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  #31  
Old 11-09-2011
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There is only two rates in the Navy: Boatswain Mate and the other things.
21 years Navy 31 years Merchant marine... Means that I know something about living on a vessel... and even operating one.
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  #32  
Old 01-07-2012
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20 years of military experience, 2.5 army, 17.5 navy. Navy was much more fun (nobody shot at me). My rating was Hull Maintenanc Tech. The guy who said read the contract isn't kidding but the navy is usually pretty straight about what you'll get. My rating (HT) included welding, sheet metal work, pipe fitting, hyd hose making, carpentry, tile, terazzo so we were the ship's handy men. I learned rope work (knot tying) as a hobby, the navy has LOTS of rope. Going boatswain's mate (pronounced "bosun") is also a good choice, they do boat driving, mooring and unmooring, crane operator, ships repair, etc. The person who recommended the Coast Guard isn't wrong, they do more with less that any other service, they also give junior and young petty officers amazing levels of responsibility.
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Old 01-07-2012
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I was an Able Seaman in the Canadian Navy. I spent alot of time on Deck force chipping paint and line handling. My trade was as a Radar plotter so I can still do CPA and Relative velocity problems in my head. That helps. Navigation experience from time spent as the Navigation officers writer and of course a fair bit of time drinking ashore so am somewhat qualified for happy hour at any beach bar.

BTW folks Jp's job as a hull tech was probably the best trade in the navy. Should have remustered as one.
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Old 01-07-2012
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Well, when I was a 17-year-old know it all kid, joined the Navy and what the recruiter promised is not what I got. I began as a deck ape, chippin' paint, shinin' brightwork, swabbin' decks, etc... As a deck ape you're considered a bit lower than whale poop, which is at the bottom of the ocean.

Finally got into Radio School, then Underwater Swimmers School, made second class, got drunk one night, got busted back to seaman, and after four years I left the canoe club. I learned a lot, mostly things that don't have a thing to do with sailing or small boats. Living with 1,200 other guys onboard a 760-foot heavy cruiser, well that's another story.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living ab

Dont set your mind on one trade. Learn as many as you can. I was an engineer in the Army then plumber then electrician for Cessna and did odd jobs doing carpentry. Thank god i did because you will do all of those on a boat, but i will have to say the training from military to be calm when need be, is a plus.
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Re: Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living ab

Learn to use tools, all kinds of tools, you need to be able to figure things out without discovering what the insides look like through the vigorous application of a hammer.
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Old 04-26-2012
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Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living aboard

Skip the military. Go to college instead. If you don't think you're the academic type, go to community college and learn welding or... shipwright school in Portland or something.

The military is ok, but if you are interested in sailboats it might put you on an eight year (or more) detour.

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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living ab

I was also an early Cold War submarine guy. I was in for seven years as an ET, made six FBM patrols, taught at sub school, etc, etc.

The Navy today is way smaller and way more PC then we were used to.

As been said, if you want to join and qualify for specialized training, get it in writing!

In my time six years was the minimum enlistment for “A” and “C” schools and am not sure what is required today.

Submarine training is not for everyone but is a whole different experience than the surface navy.

I’m not sure it would be the easiest path to future live aboard experiences but can be pretty rewarding on its own.

I understand that it is harder to enlist these days because of the economy and the number of applicants.

Good luck and get qualified!
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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living ab

I feel that submarine duty has prepared me well for liveaboard life.

Basic submarine qualifications require that you have a working understanding of anchoring, hydraulics, sonar (depth finder), pneumatic systems, AC and DC electrical systems, potable water systems, refridgeration, diesel engine functions and a host of other useful topics, no matter what your actual job specialty are.

The only personal space I was allotted was a 6 X 3 foot bunk pan for all of my belongings, for months at sea. I know how to pack smartly, and make the best use of limited space.
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Old 04-29-2012
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Re: Any Navy or other military occupations that have helped you prepare for living ab

My son did 9 years in Navy aviation and got out because of something mentioned in an earlier post, the changing face of the military. No more hazing, initiations, wild liberty, your chain of command worrying about their careers and not yours. On the other hand, the newest recruits have grown up with these attitudes, maybe it won't seem too bad. Still, my son's wife just finished boot camp and is in school in Maryland and is having a ball. If you know what you want, if the navy needs it and you qualify the navy will train you to a fare-thee-well. The navy flew me from Scotland to Connecticut for a week to learn to ID asbestos with a special microscope. I've gone through SQUIP training (shop quality improvement program), leadership training, nuclear worker training, welding school, emergency pump repair school, fire fighting school, gas free engineer school and maybe two dozen more. The navy doesn't like or need specialists in most areas, they need (and train) generalists. This means more diverse and more frequent training opportunities than in the other services. At the end of the day however I feel that the most important thing about military service is this..............you will be one of less than 1%. The tiny percentage that stands between all that you love and anything that threatens it. That alone will make you special, different and able to challange any task you wish.
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