Hello Dads (and moms),
My son joined the Navy and landed at NTC back in January of 2014, worked his way though AD school at Pensacola during the spring and summer of that year and was ordered to NAS Lemoore to do I-Level maintenance on the GE F-414 engine which powers the Super Hornets. While at Lemoore he worked his way up to AD3 which put him in good shape for his second round of orders which ended up putting him with the Growler squadron VAQ-132 on Whidbey Island (currently deployed to MCAS Iwakuni). Just recently he was promoted to AD2 and suddenly the pressure to reenlist has dramatically increased; he isn't opposed to reenlisting, but he wants to be selective about where he goes from here.
He told me they made him a really good offer, stay with the squadron, which he loves, for two more years, and then possibly move on to "Pushing boots" at NTC after that, something he'd also love to do. The thing is, while they can guarantee staying with VAQ-132, they cannot guarantee what happens after, and he doesn't want to end up back in Lemoore (which is a huge fear of his).
My question is this; if he holds out long enough, are there any exceptions which can be made which will guarantee him his postings for his second enlistment?
He should know by now that there are never any guarantees with the Navy. The needs of the Navy come first. Now he does have a couple of things going for him. He's Petty Officer 2nd. That says something to his command about his attention to detail and that he uses his brain. He has made himself valuable to the Navy.
We need bright young people to help lead those that come after him. I can't think of a more important job than to keep our jets in the air. I know of several sailors that have served a lot of time at Lemoore. I don't think it's such a bad billet. He must have had a hard time out there. I'm sure he would make the best of it.
Agree with Jim that there are no guarantees in the Navy. Unless it's in writing I would be wary of any "deal" being offered. That being said, he can control his own destiny. Getting orders to RTC is not a sure thing. There is a screening process, but if he meets all of the requirements he should get approved as RDC duty is a high priority billet and they are always looking for qualified Sailors to fill the open slots. Also, these billets usually come with incentives for people to apply for them like choice of follow on orders (usually it is just a guarantee of which coast you'll be stationed on following RDC duty, but sometimes it is more specific to duty station) so he could have a pretty good shot at not going to Lemore.
Thanks gentlemen for the responses. Geez, I just noticed I wrote NTC and not RTC, showing my age I guess as it was called NTC back when I was in the Corps back in the 1970s.
Yeah, he is well aware of the whole, "if it ain't in writing" thing; that's why he's being so cautious.
Regarding Lemoore, I suppose it may have been a good place to get orders at one point in time, but at least for the I-Level maintenance folks, these days it is no picnic; 80 hour weeks, air which smells like cow dung 24x7 and is constantly in the "unsafe" zone for being outside, and oppressive heat all conspire to generate exceedingly low morale which in turn leads to high rates of alcoholism, DUIs, and even suicides. Not exactly what I would call a desirable duty station. While my son was in Lemoore I visited three times and talked with a lot of Petty Officers about the environment, not to mention experiencing it for myself; it is definitely a good place to be from.
Regarding orders to RTC, he will pretty much meet all requirements after two more years with VAQ-132 except he'll be a couple of months shy of sea duty; something which is apparently fairly easy to get waived. He has an exemplary service record, is in extremely good physical condition, and is a natural born leader, so "pushing boots" will be something he will excel at should he be given the opportunity.
I'll keep y'all posted as to how things develop.