I think the Effin' Navy has blacklisted me!!!

Recently I’ve become interested in joining the military. I’ve spoken with recruiters from all of the branches, and the Navy is one that has really interested me – they seem to have a lot of good opportunities, and I kind of like the idea of going out to sea.

Naturally, I’ve spent a good bit of time on the Navy recruiting website lately. They have an online chat, where you can speak one-on-one with a recruiter. A while back, I used the chat a couple of times, and I always ended up speaking with the same recruiter online. The guy struck me as kind of rude – his answers were very curt, and he got kind of pissy once when I asked a question comparing the Army and the Navy. One time I asked what I thought was a perfectly legitimate question about the rules for officers dating, and what the usual gender breakdown is on Navy ships (a reasonable question if you’re about to sign on for four years, and one that I’m sure has been asked before!). He gave a very abrupt non-answer and ended the chat on me!

After that, I noticed that whenever I tried to use the online chat it always told me the chat was “unavailable,” even though I was trying to use it well within its stated hours of availability. This went on for a week or so, and I was never able to logon. So I went to the Navy’s online message boards, signed up for an account so I could post, and posted a thread asking if anyone knew what had happened to the online chat – if the hours had changed, if the feature had been discontinued, or what. When I hit submit a little message popped up saying that all messages had to be reviewed before they were put on the website, which is fair enough since they have to avoid spammers and the like. A few hours later, my message showed up.

I checked back in a day or two, and since my thread hadn’t gotten any responses, I logged in again and posted a follow up asking if anyone had heard anything. Checked back a few days later, and not only had my follow up message not been posted, but where my original thread used to show that it was posted by Rodgers01, now it showed that it had been posted by “Guest.” Thinking this was strange, I tried to log on to find out what was going on, but discovered that my whole account had been deleted!!

All this time, I still couldn’t log on to the online chat. Getting suspicious, today I came to an internet cafe, and tried to log onto the chat. Voila – it’s working! I called my brother and had him try to logon to the chat on the home computer, and wouldn’t you know that it said it was unavailable!!!

Needless to say, I’m furious. I did not ask any inappropriate or unreasonable questions on either the chat or the message boards, I did not abuse or overuse the system (I had only used the online chat 3 or 4 times tops!), I was not argumentative or use foul language. Yet the only thing I can think is that I have for some reason been blacklisted. We have not changed anything about our home computer (firewall or the like) that could account for the technical difference of why I could log on to the chat a couple weeks ago, but I suddenly can’t now – and besides, that wouldn’t explain why they deleted my message board account, and censored my question.

What do you think, Dopers? Have I been blacklisted, and if so, what should I do about it?

Well, I don’t know about black listed, by my friend who was in the US navy has told me, in no uncertain terms, that dating is NOT allowed. At all.

I’m not sure why they would black list you for asking though. Perhaps you could phone and speak to someone else.

Sounds like you should go talk to a recruiter in the flesh. The effort to find one will say your not just some troll or prank, and they can’t just shut you out.

Well when I asked the question online the guy just responded he had “no idea” about the gender breakdown, that “they are all just sailors,” and then he ended the chat (and apparently banned me). I would have been fine if he had just told me he didn’t know the breakdown, but that dating was not allowed – a reasonable answer to a reasonable question.

I have talked to my local recruiters, but they only know about enlisted stuff (the officer recruiter is located a couple hours away), so it was nice to have the online chat to easily be able to ask about stuff for officers.

Judging by these answers, maybe he thought you were trolling, or that you weren’t a good choice if you seemed to be cruising for a Navy chick.

Maybe he thought that, but if so he’s a more than a bit overzealous. I don’t see why it would be such an unreasonable question. And I didn’t ask it inappropriately or anything (ala “Hey, what’s the chances of landing a Navy chick?”). Wouldn’t most people want to know what the fraternization rules are before signing on to spend most of the next four years on a boat with likely limited social opportunities?

Fuck 'em. Join the Army instead. If you like the water and boats a lot, you can operate tugboats for the Army. Or any number of other jobs.

If you’re interested in the Army, email me BEFORE you talk to a recruiter. They’ve started a new program to pay people for referrals. And hell, if you sign up, I’ll split the grand with you.

Ha ha…ha ha ha ha! (wipes away tears of mirth)

The rules against fraternization are strict in theory, but in practice? The enlisted sailors are constantly dating each other–even the ones who work together on a daily basis. Their COs usually know it, too, and turn a blind eye as long as the lovebirds don’t act like it at work.

My sister is currently enlisted in the Navy, and is in her 20s. I want to say that the enlisted ranks are about 17% female, and around 10% of the enlisted sailors on ships at sea are female.

I think the recruiter you chatted with online was put off by your questions because it sounded like your main interest was dating female sailors. But the rest of it I suspect is just paranoia on your part. Talk to a recruiter in person if you’re still interested. Don’t ask the questions about women and dating. You can get all that information from unofficial sources–and it’s likely to be more accurate, given that the official Navy policy on the matter is not actually enforced as written.

Our ship, a tender, was 25% female. We put up free condom dispensers in an attempt to reduce STD’s and pregnancies. We averaged three of the former and one of the later, each week. Not good, not good at all.

The Navy web sites probably cookie your home computer, and restrict access based upon some sort of behavior, but I doubt it’s personal.

I have to wonder why the OP thinks questions about the availabilty of women and dating policies are normal questions to ask of a recruiter? Would these type questions be appropriate if you were talking to a corporate recruiter?

Don’t you think joining the Navy is a little different from accepting a job? There are a lot of restrictions that the military puts on people that other employers would never be able to do; asking about their policies shouldn’t be off-limits.

Did you make it clear that you were interested in dating girls? The military can be kind of tetchy about that sort of thing, from what I hear.

My sister was stationed on an aircraft carrier in Iraq. Maybe there are fewer females on them. Or maybe her percentages are out of date. The Navy is definitely way more than 50% male, though.

Yeah, when I say “the enlisted sailors date constantly,” I use the word “date” extremely loosely. Casual sex is rampant.

Quite probably why they are reacting badly to someone whose questions largely focus on how many women they’ll be working with, and what the fraternization rules are.

Times sure have changed! Back in my day the recruiters’ standard sales pitch was how “sailors always get the best pussy.” We kids would go down to the post office and hang out in the navy & marine recruiters’ offices and listen to them bullshit about their swordsmanship.

Yabbut their recruiting quotas are a lot more important than anyone’s civil rights.

As others have stated, the military is different enough from private companies that I don’t think it was a bad question to ask. If a job decides it will regulate your personal life to the degree the military does (ie where you live, how you live, who you’re allowed to associate with), it seems fair to ask about the rules before you sign up.

Yeah, likely that’s it, though I’ll repeat that I asked the question very professionally. I think the guy just had waaaay too itchy a trigger finger on the ban button.

While I was at the internet cafe I decided to log onto the chat and complain about my experience (heck, it’s an anonymous chat, it couldn’t hurt). Luckily I got a different recruiter than the guy I had before. I explained what happened, including the apparently offensive question I asked (oddly, he said he didn’t know what the term “gender breakdown” meant :dubious:), asked who I had spoken to, and said he’d look into it. Unfortunately he said he didn’t know how to unban people.

You got it. If I join the Army, I’ll make you my referral. Army’s currently my second choice; it was 3rd, but my experience with the Air Force recruiters has been even worse (that deserves a post of its own), so they’ve dropped down.**
**I have to say you can really tell which branches need people right now, and which don’t really give a damn. The Marines, which I was never interested in, but I decided to listen to their pitch anyways, called me several times to follow up on our meeting, answered all my questions, and even sent people to my work a couple times to meet me. The Army has been similarly good at following through and doing what they say, though they’re less pushy than the Marines. The Navy and especially the Air Force, though, apparently have a surplus of officer candidates and just can’t be bothered to do anything. In fairness, of course, I shouldn’t judge entire branches by the handful of people who happen to be working at my local recruiting station, but geez…

Just out of curiosity, did you give the Coast Guard any thought? When he was graduating and the different recruiters were calling, he said that they made him the best offers.

A military recruiters job is to sell the service and, while I don’t agree w/ some of the tactics they use in that end, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to inquire into what you should expect from a military lifestyle. You are after all going to be asked to sign an employment contract of several years duration. I would find it quite prudent to ask about what training I might receive, what vocation I might be assigned to, the pay I should expect including any bonuses, where, geographically, I might expect to be assigned, what are the prospects for advancement, etc., etc. I think ‘How many women are available’ and "can I date them’, would be among the more assinine questions and that a serious recruiter, who’s interested in signing up the best qualified people, might find very sophomoric and not really worthy of serious attention.
Rodgers, you may have the academic qualifications to become an officer, but, based on your responses here, I suspect you lack the maturity.

Actually, I haven’t given it much thought. There isn’t a Coast Guard recruiter near me, but I guess it’s something that’s worth looking into.

Well, needless to say, I disagree. Considering, after all, that this is a branch in which you have to ask permission from your commanding officer in order to marry (permission which is not always granted, as I’ve learned from these boards), it seems to me entirely reasonable and, yes, mature to ask what the ground rules are before you sign up. Not in order to find out how much “action” you’ll get while you’re in the service, but to find out what your chances are of forming a long-term relationship when you’re spending half your time at sea in a predominantly male environment. Not a bad question to ask, and certainly not a bannable one.

But I’ll leave that up to the Dopers, since that seems to be the way this thread has turned. Was my question “assinine” and evidence of my immaturity, or was it a reasonable thing to ask?

It seems like a strange thing to consider, given what military service is not supposed to be a nice, happy, outward-bound trip. I don’t doubt that there is plenty of casual sex among the ranks, but a serious relationship could have serious confict of interests and a thing that a recruiter isn’t going to endorse or condem to a prospective recruit. I agree it’s not bannable but it doesn’t really sound like you’re that serious and the recruiter was less than forgiving. I notice that you mention talking to the Navy and Air Force, you said “The Navy and especially the Air Force, though, apparently have a surplus of officer candidates and just can’t be bothered to do anything.” are you considering OCS? I would think that’s your first concern.