This Girl's Navy
I just wanted to thank you for all the effort you've put into your blog. I am contemplating joining and this has REALLY provided a commentary I just wasn't finding elsewhere. All the links you provide, the humor and perspective - it's wonderful, and hilarious. Thank you!!

Thank you so much! I really enjoy talking about my time in and am very glad when this silly blog helps others in some small way!

Found out my ship has a little publication on board these days! They did a profile on a woman kicking ass in her Navy career, the story is pretty cool! 

Full thing here: http://www.reagan.navy.mil/documents/october_6.pdf

Found out my ship has a little publication on board these days! They did a profile on a woman kicking ass in her Navy career, the story is pretty cool!

Full thing here: http://www.reagan.navy.mil/documents/october_6.pdf

I seriously don’t understand sometimes how there’s so little information on this. Or why some recruiters just suck at giving it. It’s as if a confusing introduction to the Navy is on purpose.

I didn’t take much. Really I just wanted to make it through those 8 weeks of boot camp. I had deodorant, my glasses (which we weren’t allowed to wear through boot camp, but I was glad to have them after), a bunch of white underwear and like 3 white bras and 3 sports bras. After a few days at boot camp in June I remember I NEEDED more sports bras and my awesome dad had 3 more shipped to me quickly. Anything else I just took what I was issued and family and friends got letters on the boot camp issued letterhead (Do they even have that anymore?!). 

I had a few things that were sent home: I think some jewelery, maybe my purse, my discman (yes DISCMAN), and the state of the art 2001 nokia brick I had to my name. It was one of the first group activities in boot camp indoc. Everyone stood in lines in front of boxes, we each wrote our home address on our box, put the things in there we didn’t need, and it was mailed home. A few RDCs were walking around answering questions and making sure we didn’t keep anything stupid.

My only advice is don’t try to sneak anything ridiculous in. There’s no point. It’s 8 weeks and it goes by quicker than you think. But if you genuinely think you need an item for that time, might as well take it and see. Shipping home isn’t that painful when it comes down to it.

I seriously don’t understand sometimes how there’s so little information on this. Or why some recruiters just suck at giving it. It’s as if a confusing introduction to the Navy is on purpose.

I didn’t take much. Really I just wanted to make it through those 8 weeks of boot camp. I had deodorant, my glasses (which we weren’t allowed to wear through boot camp, but I was glad to have them after), a bunch of white underwear and like 3 white bras and 3 sports bras. After a few days at boot camp in June I remember I NEEDED more sports bras and my awesome dad had 3 more shipped to me quickly. Anything else I just took what I was issued and family and friends got letters on the boot camp issued letterhead (Do they even have that anymore?!).

I had a few things that were sent home: I think some jewelery, maybe my purse, my discman (yes DISCMAN), and the state of the art 2001 nokia brick I had to my name. It was one of the first group activities in boot camp indoc. Everyone stood in lines in front of boxes, we each wrote our home address on our box, put the things in there we didn’t need, and it was mailed home. A few RDCs were walking around answering questions and making sure we didn’t keep anything stupid.

My only advice is don’t try to sneak anything ridiculous in. There’s no point. It’s 8 weeks and it goes by quicker than you think. But if you genuinely think you need an item for that time, might as well take it and see. Shipping home isn’t that painful when it comes down to it.

That’s so cool I loved my Linguistics class in college! It was absolutely fascinating, and now you can’t make me shut up about how similar L and R really are linguistically speaking. I got my English degree in college, after successfully navigating the Navy’s mathy-sciency nuclear power program. So I’m totally with ya dude.

There must be some study guides. But I’d say it comes to what kind of test taker you are. I never studied for the SAT, ASVAB or anything. Did fine, would have gotten in to any college, and the 96 on the ASVAB pretty much set me up. Oh, and the 96 surprised me because the mechanical section I was all huuuuhh?

Understandably, my method comes across as super nauseating to people who struggle with those tests. If you’re worried, google is your friend, I’m sure there’s got to be a study guide or two out there in the webisphere, someone blogging who’s taken it. Good luck to you, and enjoy your last weeks of linguistics!

That’s so cool I loved my Linguistics class in college! It was absolutely fascinating, and now you can’t make me shut up about how similar L and R really are linguistically speaking. I got my English degree in college, after successfully navigating the Navy’s mathy-sciency nuclear power program. So I’m totally with ya dude.

There must be some study guides. But I’d say it comes to what kind of test taker you are. I never studied for the SAT, ASVAB or anything. Did fine, would have gotten in to any college, and the 96 on the ASVAB pretty much set me up. Oh, and the 96 surprised me because the mechanical section I was all huuuuhh?

Understandably, my method comes across as super nauseating to people who struggle with those tests. If you’re worried, google is your friend, I’m sure there’s got to be a study guide or two out there in the webisphere, someone blogging who’s taken it. Good luck to you, and enjoy your last weeks of linguistics!

Thank you, glad you like my little tumblr here!

I’m not entirely sure about that, but it does sound pretty right, because I think you’d have some kind of contract to fulfill with reserves, which might go past your graduation date. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be a good time though! But going officer would be like starting all over practically. 

Try to find a resource on being commissioned officer that you could talk to about it. Navy officer recruiting office? I know there’s programs like NROTC and what not that prep you for being an officer. I’d say a good next step would be looking into your other options.

I never worked with a Navy reservist. They simply didn’t exist in the Navy Nuke community. In my experience it’s almost like they weren’t really the Navy. Because you join the Navy to get on a boat and go to sea! That doesn’t seem like reservists’ goal in signing up but it was mine and it was AWESOME.

Thank you, glad you like my little tumblr here!

I’m not entirely sure about that, but it does sound pretty right, because I think you’d have some kind of contract to fulfill with reserves, which might go past your graduation date. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be a good time though! But going officer would be like starting all over practically.

Try to find a resource on being commissioned officer that you could talk to about it. Navy officer recruiting office? I know there’s programs like NROTC and what not that prep you for being an officer. I’d say a good next step would be looking into your other options.

I never worked with a Navy reservist. They simply didn’t exist in the Navy Nuke community. In my experience it’s almost like they weren’t really the Navy. Because you join the Navy to get on a boat and go to sea! That doesn’t seem like reservists’ goal in signing up but it was mine and it was AWESOME.

Really looking forward to the day when it’s not reported as a ‘female soldier’ as if women are a subset of soldier.

"…stories about female veterans are nearly absent from our culture. It’s not that their stories are poorly told. It’s that their stories are simply not told in our literature, film and popular culture."

We should all be working on changing this! Write your story, tell your story, BE HEARD!

Recruiters Gonna Recruit

Just heard an account from an acquaintance of mind whose son is wanting to join the US Navy and thought I’d share it with you guys. He wanted my input because I’d been through something kinda similar, in that I and his son were both dual citizens when we were looking into enlisting. So the son (24) recently went to the Navy recruiters office, interested in meteorology, which I gotta say does sound like a pretty cool field. He got a 78 on the asvab (cute, I got a 96) and they told him he pretty much qualified for anything. He passed his medical exam and everything seemed to be cool, then they just offered him like aviation mechanic or something. That’s it. He didn’t like that so much and their response was ‘we can’t trust you because you’re a dual citizen, so you wouldn’t get anything with a clearance.’

Yeah because New Zealand’s been so damn shifty, over there with its hobbits and gorgeous nature and shit. Bet they’re just dying to know what American weather is doing! And they bullied the hell out of him trying to get him to just sign the contract! Yeah so he left, and now he needs to decide what he wants to do. He might do the NZ military actually, if they have something that goes along with his interests.

When I went in to the recruiters office in 2000, I never made it a secret I was a dual citizen with Australia. No one ever even implied it would be an issue. They just wanted me to sign something. And I did. Still never made it a secret, got halfway through boot camp, was feeling quite proud of my accomplishments there and then they told me I had to renounce my Australian citizenship to get the clearance to become a nuke. Honestly, I hardly thought about it, I’d already put in so much effort, and I did want to try being a nuke, so my dad looked into it from Massachusetts, sent the forms to me in Illinois, I signed them and mailed them to the Australian Embassy in DC, and then made sure it was in my Navy file.

The recruiters did their job. They got me to sign, and by the time I knew what I actually had to do, I was in so deep that dropping out then would have felt like failure. Recruiters don’t actually know a whole lot. I don’t think they actually knew what a dual citizen would have to go through. They’re not trained to know EVERYTHING ABOUT JOINING THE NAVY. They’re just trained to get people in the Navy. A recruiter’s just a sailor on shore duty.

So that was one experience that a kid went through recently, as well as my own.

PS a couple years after I got out of the Navy, I applied to get my Australian citizenship back. It was a long process but I’m glad I got it back because now I can live in New Zealand.

I love being an Australian-American!

Some days I’m really glad I’m not in the Navy any more. Like today. When I’m reminded that my office never confines me to the building over the weekend pretending we’re a ship at sea.

Here’s to a successful and mostly enjoyable six-year enlistment being OVER!

Some days I’m really glad I’m not in the Navy any more. Like today. When I’m reminded that my office never confines me to the building over the weekend pretending we’re a ship at sea.

Here’s to a successful and mostly enjoyable six-year enlistment being OVER!

Honestly I’d say the best resource for that would be google! The wikipedia page really will give you all the absolute basics (when read with a grain of salt). But the thing is everyone’s Navy experience is different, one thing you might read may not pertain to you at all.

The way I see it, it’s kinda like high school. Did you read a lot of books on what to expect on life in high school? Most likely not. I mean I watched John Hughes movies. Some films that might give you an idea of what to expect, kinda: STRIPES, Private Benjamin, Down Periscope (no really that’s what it’s like to be an electrician in the Navy), I’ve heard Antwone Fisher is pretty good, written by the actual Antwone Fisher, though admitedly I haven’t seen it.

But yeah, as far as the basics, google should give you perfectly fine information. Just try to find more recent pages as things change, even since I went in…THIRTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!

Honestly I’d say the best resource for that would be google! The wikipedia page really will give you all the absolute basics (when read with a grain of salt). But the thing is everyone’s Navy experience is different, one thing you might read may not pertain to you at all.

The way I see it, it’s kinda like high school. Did you read a lot of books on what to expect on life in high school? Most likely not. I mean I watched John Hughes movies. Some films that might give you an idea of what to expect, kinda: STRIPES, Private Benjamin, Down Periscope (no really that’s what it’s like to be an electrician in the Navy), I’ve heard Antwone Fisher is pretty good, written by the actual Antwone Fisher, though admitedly I haven’t seen it.

But yeah, as far as the basics, google should give you perfectly fine information. Just try to find more recent pages as things change, even since I went in…THIRTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!

Every year someone posts a picture to facebook from the Navy that I do NOT remember. Usually it’s posted right around the time I’m thinking “you know, I’m a really put-together, mature person.”

This particularly striking entry is from the 2 or 3am-ish liberty boat returning to the ship from Rio de Janeiro in 2004.

Every year someone posts a picture to facebook from the Navy that I do NOT remember. Usually it’s posted right around the time I’m thinking “you know, I’m a really put-together, mature person.”

This particularly striking entry is from the 2 or 3am-ish liberty boat returning to the ship from Rio de Janeiro in 2004.

Hey, I talked to you forever ago about what happens after Prototype because my husband was almost finished. Well, he's finally graduating and he got his first pick for his Duty station!

That’s awesome congrats to you guys!! Now the real fun starts!

(Tumblr doesn’t like my computer anymore so I’m doing my ask this way)

Ah young love. You two are sweet.

One thing I can offer is my own experience: I recently went through a long distance thing with this awesome guy. We were on separate continents for A YEAR, and he’s in events so always hanging out with pretty hotel reps or bartenders who adore him, because he’s charming and wonderful. Sometimes there would be pictures, and it would irk me for a second, then I’d remember, “Oh that’s right, I’m awesome, and if he doesn’t realize that he’s the stupidest person ever. Plus that chick would probably be awesome to have a drink with.” For me that’s the thing, having enough confidence in myself to not worry about what he’s doing. You’re obviously very cool and motivated. How FUCKING STUPID would he have to be to throw that away!! Seriously!

The thing for me was I like this guy. I like talking to him. I like hearing his voice. I like when he spends a night getting completely wasted with his chick friends and guy friends because he goes home after that and just wants to talk to me. He likes me. For a year overseas, we liked each other. That was 2012 and we STILL like each other today.

I don’t like the word trust. To me, trust means I still get that icky feeling but I talk myself out of it. Which isn’t how it should feel! With this guy, it’s about being partners. He calls me out on my shit and encourages me in everything. I can introduce him to an old friend WHO I SLEPT WITH and never feel uncomfortable. So that’s pretty damn cool.

Anyway, got off track gushing about how cool my guy is.

NAVY GUYS, right, well, here’s a horror story: we went on deployment, 6 of my friends were married. 6 months later coming home, 5 were getting divorced. 

But I do also have sweet stories, like the guy who found a phone in a Singapore bar to phone his wife aww. Plus, he was hanging out with me, a GIRL, and guess what, after that we got all drunk with our friends, then we didn’t bang. There’s such a thing as going a little crazy (as we have been couped up inside a ship in the middle of a lonely ocean), and not doing anything gross or weird. Happens a lot really! Sometimes we share hotel rooms to keep costs down and STILL no banging! We were all more interested in a big fatty meal, good beer, good shopping, a foot massage (totally took my Navy guy friends to get foot massages), maybe a tour if we weren’t too hungover, and good conversation.

More crazy things: We’d go to hotel bars in Dubai and try to figure out which women were prostitutes. We went on safari tours to a touristy Bedouin camp where we got henna tattoos and ate everything. We went to a Hong Kong pub where we met tons of expats, befriended random businesspeople and got shopping tips. That is the fun crazy side of port calls for me and my friends. 

In my opinion, the best thing for you to do is give it a chance, don’t put any pressure on yourself or him, just have a good time! You’re young, maybe the relationship will work, maybe it won’t, no one can tell you how the future will go, not the Navy or anything you’ve heard about it, and especially not me. You two obviously care about each other enough to give it a chance. Smile and give him a big hug the next time you see him. That’s all any of us can do!

(Tumblr doesn’t like my computer anymore so I’m doing my ask this way)

Ah young love. You two are sweet.

One thing I can offer is my own experience: I recently went through a long distance thing with this awesome guy. We were on separate continents for A YEAR, and he’s in events so always hanging out with pretty hotel reps or bartenders who adore him, because he’s charming and wonderful. Sometimes there would be pictures, and it would irk me for a second, then I’d remember, “Oh that’s right, I’m awesome, and if he doesn’t realize that he’s the stupidest person ever. Plus that chick would probably be awesome to have a drink with.” For me that’s the thing, having enough confidence in myself to not worry about what he’s doing. You’re obviously very cool and motivated. How FUCKING STUPID would he have to be to throw that away!! Seriously!

The thing for me was I like this guy. I like talking to him. I like hearing his voice. I like when he spends a night getting completely wasted with his chick friends and guy friends because he goes home after that and just wants to talk to me. He likes me. For a year overseas, we liked each other. That was 2012 and we STILL like each other today.

I don’t like the word trust. To me, trust means I still get that icky feeling but I talk myself out of it. Which isn’t how it should feel! With this guy, it’s about being partners. He calls me out on my shit and encourages me in everything. I can introduce him to an old friend WHO I SLEPT WITH and never feel uncomfortable. So that’s pretty damn cool.

Anyway, got off track gushing about how cool my guy is.

NAVY GUYS, right, well, here’s a horror story: we went on deployment, 6 of my friends were married. 6 months later coming home, 5 were getting divorced.

But I do also have sweet stories, like the guy who found a phone in a Singapore bar to phone his wife aww. Plus, he was hanging out with me, a GIRL, and guess what, after that we got all drunk with our friends, then we didn’t bang. There’s such a thing as going a little crazy (as we have been couped up inside a ship in the middle of a lonely ocean), and not doing anything gross or weird. Happens a lot really! Sometimes we share hotel rooms to keep costs down and STILL no banging! We were all more interested in a big fatty meal, good beer, good shopping, a foot massage (totally took my Navy guy friends to get foot massages), maybe a tour if we weren’t too hungover, and good conversation.

More crazy things: We’d go to hotel bars in Dubai and try to figure out which women were prostitutes. We went on safari tours to a touristy Bedouin camp where we got henna tattoos and ate everything. We went to a Hong Kong pub where we met tons of expats, befriended random businesspeople and got shopping tips. That is the fun crazy side of port calls for me and my friends.

In my opinion, the best thing for you to do is give it a chance, don’t put any pressure on yourself or him, just have a good time! You’re young, maybe the relationship will work, maybe it won’t, no one can tell you how the future will go, not the Navy or anything you’ve heard about it, and especially not me. You two obviously care about each other enough to give it a chance. Smile and give him a big hug the next time you see him. That’s all any of us can do!

Ladies, if you’re the one going around saying ‘I don’t hang out with girls because there’s too much drama,’ you’re the one with the drama.