I hate cell phones. If you’ve spent any length of time around me you hear my spiel on the evils of cell phones. Can you hear my now? Maybe I don’t want to hear you now – maybe I want to be left alone for 5 minutes. I do confess my wife started me on this dark path toward cell phone sin back when we first got married and I use it it as she intended it to be use – to call her.
I love cell phones. Instant communication is great! My recruiter called me on Friday; someone who I’ve been wanting to hear from everyday for the past month. Basically curious to find out what’s next – where I am in the processes and all things Navy. Lets just say if someone could be annoyingly persistent in the process of trying to talk to a recruiter it would be me. Which in itself is sort of ironic considering their job is to “recruit” people to their cause – in this case the U.S. Navy. To be honest there was a change in personnel and I happen to jump into the fray at the just the perfect moment to contribute to the chaos of moving all applications packets from one recruiter to another.
The Application for Commission:
So if you want to enlist in the Navy the process is pretty thorough covering everything from a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) to the ASVAB (a test designed show your recruiter where your skills lie) to MEPS (think turn your head and cough on steroids). If however you are seeking a commission in the Navy as an officer, the process becomes down right diabolical. Let’s imagine your superman and you do everything at the speed of light. It will still take you 3-4 months to get everything done.
So for an Application for Commission here is what is required in your “packet”
note: This is specifically for Chaplains, it will differ some for line officers and other staff corp officers.
The Application (6 pages worth)
Copy of every official document you’ve had (Pull out that library card, hero)
The Resume (dated and signed)
Tattoo Screening (You have to list every tattoo you have and its location – for me not so much.)
Waiver Of Liability (Basically as your trying to get back into shape for the PRT you can’t blame the Navy for injuries.)
Security Clearance (Yeah the beast of Revelation right here. 7 years of employment history and 5 years of resident history; if you stayed somewhere longer then a week you have to list it with exact dates – that by the way have to match the dates you listed on your application, or it will not pass. I think I spent about 10-12 hours filling this out. Seminary students move a lot.)
References (from everyone including your first pet – if he died tough luck you still need it.)
Ecclesiastical Endorsement (This one is going to take a while as well – see previous post)
O-4 Interview (This is an interview with a Lt. Commander or higher – you will need 2 of them)
MEPS (the physical – probably the most invasive physical you’ll ever undergo.)
CARE Board interview (You are flown to Washington D.C. And stand before a panel of command chaplains (4-6) and a line officer to give an accounting of yourself and your desire to serve as a chaplain in the Navy.)
Now during this entire process another process is going on in the background unbeknownst to you called Scrolling. This is basically what the Navy calls a scroll (A form document) with all the potential men and women looking for a commission that goes up to Congress for approval. Now here is the catch. If your approved by congress before your application packet is done you just added 4 to 6 months to your lead time so that the Navy can verify and validate all information your submitted is true.
So anyway I get this call from my recruiter informing me that I have a CARE board date. Sweet! April 13th. I’m still liking the sound of this. Five weeks away; cool, plenty of time to finish the last few things I need; specifically MEPS and the O-4 Interview. 5 weeks – no – lets try 2. Oh and by the way I need to send my recruiter a copy of my SS card. Sure soon as I get home. I bet you see where this is going.
So that SS card, the one I’ve had for the past 31 years. I lost it last month. Replacement cards take 10 to 14 days. So this stupid little card that has a number on it – that I can say backward while doped up on NyQuil is seeking to single-handedly destroy my entire naval career because it went and got lost.
So that’s it – my packet is done save for MEPS, my O-4 Interview and that stupid card.
April 13th seems like an eternity away.