See attached quote from another thread. [Chouinard Fan is a current Army Captain]
Asking questions about dating access in the context of a military career does come across as pretty immature, and I can easily see how it would irritate a recruiter who can cherry pick candidates. That you seem puzzled by this reaction and insist on pursuing this question reinforces the vibe that you’re less interested in the practical answers already given here, and are into a somewhat self centered “I will not be ignored” quest.
My interest is not in pursuing this particular question, but in the principle that the Navy should not be so draconian as to ban someone for asking such a question, and then censor their future attempts to even find out what’s going on. If the recruiter had answered my question by saying “sorry, I don’t know,” I would have said okay and ended the chat. The practical answers I have received here are more than sufficient to answer the basic question; it’s the principle that bugs me.
Would I sit in front of an OCS board and ask that kind of question? No. But the fact that the chat advertises that it is open to questions pertaining to “career opportunities, scholarships, Navy life and any other Navy-related subject matter” in an anonymous setting indicates to me that it is open to almost any question from a potential recruit, if reasonably stated. Even if it was just “Hey, is the food in the Navy really as good as I’ve heard?” would seem to me to be valid. But, still, I will defer to majority opinion here.
I’m a Naval Officer, and I have to say that I totally agree with A.R. Cane. If you’re this distressed about this whole thing (and I’m not saying you’re having a nervous breakdown, but it definitely bothered you to the extent that you posted about it and seem a bit defensive in your rationalizations)… well, let’s just say that I don’t know any officers who would have given this whole thing a second thought.
If you’re serious about joining, then GET serious, put all this aside, go talk face-to-face with a recruiter (officer, since that seems to be your thing), and take the tests he’s probably going to want you to take. And stop going on about getting banned. If you want the straight dope on what it’s like to be an officer, there are boards you can go to where O’s from several different communities (Pilot, NFO, SWO, Intel, etc.) will be happy to talk to you as long as you appear mature and serious about it.
And just for the heck of it, here’s my answer to dating: yes, the E’s have sex all the time with each other. But O’s dating/having sex with O’s? It really depends on the circumstances. If you’re in the same squadron, you’d better keep a tight lid on it because it’s bad form and may, depending on rank/chain of command, be fraternization. But if I’m junior officer and meet another junior officer from somewhere else, there won’t be any heartburn if we start seeing each other.
23-year Navy vet here who got married while in the service. You can marry whomever you damn well please. A commanding officer can’t tell you you can’t, and you don’t have to ask permission. However, if you are an officer and you marry an enlisted person and the CO finds out about it, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a courts martial, depending on various variables.
This isn’t that unheard of in the Coast Guard. The policy is quite simple - if an O marries an E, and nobody knew anything about it before hand, then no assumption of prior misconduct will be made and the happy couple will go about their lives. If they’re in the same command, then one will have to transfer to (hopefully!) a nearby command, but that’s about it. However, if a pre-marital relationship between an O and E is discovered, a subsequent marriage will not save their bacon, (the O will pay the heavy price) and disciplinary action will be forthcoming.
Calling 1-800-GET USCG will automatically put you in touch with the nearest recruiter. I could probably answer any questions you may have if you decide to look into it. I’m not a recruiter, so I’ll give you the ‘Straight Dope’.
As far as dating is concerned, basically if you are stationed aboard a cutter, you may not date anyone else aboard that cutter. If you are stationed shore-side, you may only date other Coasties if the shore-side unit has more than 60 people; you aren’t in the chain of command of one another or have a sup/sub work relationship; officer/enlisted relationships are taboo no matter what; the relationship doesn’t involve a senior enlisted (E7,8,9) with a junior enlisted (E1, 2, 3, 4); the relationship isn’t disruptive in nature. That list isn’t all inclusive, but that’s the gist of it.
The officers you know wouldn’t get their feathers ruffled about being banned from something for asking an innocuous question? Alright, I’ll concede your point since you have more experience than I do, and shut up about that aspect now.
I did go to talk to a recruiter face-to-face. First at the recruiting station in my town, then, when that was closed every time I went in, at a larger town 30 minutes away where I did finally find someone. The sergeant there said he didn’t know anything about OTS, and that the nearest officer who did know was stationed in a city almost 4 hours away. So he put me on the phone with that recruiter, and I had a good, long conversation with him. He answered all of my questions (no, I didn’t ask the bannable one), asked me some of his own, and gave me some good information about the jobs and opportunities available to me in the Navy. At the end he told me he thought I’d make an excellent officer, took down all my contact information, and told me I’d get an e-mail from him in the next couple of days with more information about the jobs I’d expressed interest in, how to study and sign up for the ASTB, and what my next steps should be. Very exciting. So I went home and waited. When I hadn’t heard anything after almost two weeks, I looked up his e-mail address online and sent him a follow up e-mail. Waited a few days more and still didn’t hear anything, so I drove down to the recruiter station to see if they knew anything. They said I should call him. I mentioned not wanting to pester him since I had just sent an e-mail and I knew he must be busy, and they said no, I should pester him because “otherwise he won’t think you’re really interested and he won’t bother to e-mail you.” Well, okay. They gave me his number and I called later that afternoon. A surprised woman answered the phone and told me that the recruiter I had spoken with had retired a few weeks ago, that she had no information on me, and that anyways, why was I calling that recruiting station since it wasn’t the one I was zoned for? :smack: Apparently, instead of the city 4 hours to the west of me, I was supposed to call the city three hours north of me. So I started all over with that recruiter, and I’m studying for the ASTB now.
All that’s just by way of saying that I had a bit of a baseline frustration with the recruiting process even before the incident related in the OP happened.**
I based my information on this thread…which on review I see you posted on at the time, though consensus never seems to have been reached about the actual rules. All the more reason to clarify before you sign up.
**This was still a lot better than my Air Force recruiter, who did not return the messages I left for her for a week and a half, and when she finally did call me and I set up a meeting with her for a few days later at 4:30pm, she did not show up. When I called her cellphone, she said she had no idea who I was and that she didn’t know that we had a meeting, but that I should wait there because she was heading for the office anyways. Finally she showed up, looked at her schedule, and said that she’d had an appointment scheduled for 4:00 with a Rodgers, and could that have been me? I said that I was sure we were scheduled for 4:30 since I didn’t get off work till right at 4:00, but maybe there was a miscommunication, and had she been waiting for me at 4? “Oh no,” she tells me, “I was somewhere else at the time.” :smack: She then tells me she doesn’t know anything about OCS, and isn’t sure who is supposed to do the recruiting for it. She calls her boss, and I hear this: “Hello, sir, who doing OCS recruiting these days?..Oh, I am?? Hahaha, well I guess I’d better learn quickly, huh?” She takes down some quick notes, hangs up, and tells me what little she knows, which isn’t much. Okay. This isn’t going anywhere, so I ask if I can maybe get the e-mail address of the guy she had spoken to so I could e-mail him some questions, and she laughs and says she would give it to me if she could, but she can’t because she doesn’t know his first name. Haha. All during this she takes about three personal calls from her babysitter about what kinds of cereal her daughter likes to eat. Her main selling point for the Air Force is that “you don’t really have to do PT every day” and that the Air Force will put you up in hotels where the other branches make you sleep in cots. The story goes on, but I think I’ve done enough venting for one day.
The fact that the local AF recruiter is a ninny shouldn’t put you off an entire service. You’ll find idiots all over the military. Go for the one that has the life and MOS you want. Make those your main points.
IMHO, if you’re going to get worked up about “principles” like this one, you are not going to like being in any branch of the military.
There are all kinds of rules restricting the conduct of military personnel that will frequently make no sense to you. Many of them are unofficial and/or enforced arbitrarily.
For example: My sister wanted to come home on leave in mid-May to see our baby sister graduate from college. She put in for her leave at least two months ahead of time. Another purpose for her trip was to come pick up some things that she still had stored at my parents’ house. Consequently, she planned to drive her car from Virginia to Iowa and back, rather than fly.
I’m not sure if it’s an official rule or not, but her CO required her to tell him how she planned to travel. When his CO found out she planned to drive, he came and told my sister that he did not want her to drive–he wanted her to buy a plane ticket and fly. Why? The answer was something vague about how there were too many sailors getting DUIs lately. Obviously, a totally unsatisfactory reason. My sister asked him, “Are you telling me that I have to fly?” Her CO’s CO told her, “No, I’m not saying that,” but he was holding up her leave until he got an answer out of her about how she planned to travel.
She asked her CO to talk to the guy and explain how she is (no exaggeration) the most responsible, trustworthy sailor under his command (she has been told this many, many times, and has commendations to back it up). Her CO went to bat for her. And the answer came back that she could drive if she broke the trip up into three days. (My sis planned to do it in one, as she has several times before.) Before he would approve her leave, he wanted her travel itinerary on his desk, complete with her plans for nightly stops, and copies of her confirmations for reservations at motels for each night. He also wanted her to extend her leave by four days to accommodate the extra travel time, thereby wasting leave days she wanted to use later this year to visit a friend who just got transferred to a command in Germany.
My sister was obviously upset at what she perceived to be unprovoked harassment on the part of her CO’s CO. She made arrangements to buy a plane ticket that she really couldn’t afford, and to pay to ship her things from Iowa to Virginia.
A couple of weeks before the graduation–after dragging matters out for over a month–her leave was finally approved. Odd, since my sister still hadn’t gotten back to her CO about her final travel arrangements. All of a sudden, it just wasn’t important to hassle her about it anymore. She wound up going with her original travel plans. In the end, nobody cared.
This is just one of many, many times that she or her friends have been “jerked around,” or had “promises” made to them by COs broken, and what have you. The military is not always going to treat you in what you would consider to be a fair manner. If you can’t just laugh that off, you’re better off not going into the service at all.
Just to clarify, the ‘permission to marry’ requirement is primarily intended for U.S. service personnel serving in foreign countries and wanting to marry a foreign national. It has two primary objectives: to prevent foreign spys from infiltrating the military community, and to protect naive young people from being used as a method of gaining U.S. citizenship. To the best of my knowledge, there is no requirement for a military member to get permission to marry a U.S. citizen, although I suppose it’s possible if you’re serving in a security sensitive position.
Geez. Stop saying the Navy is banning you. You aren’t being banned from the Navy for crying out loud! You’re being kicked off a message board – probably because they think you’re a troll. As long as a real-life recruiter is still talking to you, the Navy hasn’t blacklisted you yet!
And I got married twice while I was in the Navy. I don’t remember if I had to put in a chit the first time (I was an E-4, marrying another E-4 while we were stationed in Newport, Rhode Island). We were stationed together at the same department, BTW. The CO knew we were engaged – it was a really small command and he was even invited to the wedding.
I probably did have to put in a chit to get married the second time, although I don’t remember for certain. I was still an E-4 (marrying an E-5 this time; as my father put it so charmingly, I couldn’t make rate so I married it!), but we were stationed overseas. Separate commands that time, though. We were on a NATO base and I remember having to jump through a ton of hoops to get married, but I don’t remember for sure whether or not a chit to our COs was one of the hoops.
Indeed. It makes sense to consider that many people in command positions consider arbitrary enforcement of unofficial rules to be indispensable to good order and discipline.
It’s one reason I left. People with extremely limited intelligence and/ or common sense are routinely placed in a position of high authority.
There are some great people in the Navy, but there are just as many, if not more, fools – many of whom are mean-spirited.
The entire Officer/ Enlisted distinction has been breaking down for many years. A large number of enlisted people have extensive technical training. The military technical training schools are 40+ hours per week of intensive classroom and practical training. I had over 3 years of nothing but training schools, all told over my career. I spent far more time in class and with homework than any college graduate.
Yet, the Navy’s system is still modeled on the educated Officer vs. the illiterate Enlisted. Its stupid and arbitrary, and I’m always amazed that it works at all.
It does suck that you’ve had such a hard time, and a bit surprising. I do know that while the Navy still needs officers, they are currently conducting a slight RIF. Maybe this is why you’ve had such a lackluster response (although it’s more likely the guy you spoke to originally didn’t care because he was about to get out). As for your situation, I have one piece of advice: Be aggressive. That’s respected in the Navy. Passivity is not. Good luck to you!
Maybe it works because it’s stupid, arbitrary, mean-spirited, and cares nothing for common sense. It is a warfighting organization. And war is all those things and much, much worse.