In Depth Questions Regarding HM (Hospital Corpsman) Rating In the Navy

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    Before I start, I'll answer a few basic questions that some people are bound to ask. Yes, I'm enlisted (woo-hoo!!!), I scored an 83 on the ASVAB & I have a ship date to boot camp (Feb '13) & a rating (IC), but it's not necessarily the rating that I'm seeking (HM). I have also been informed that I have the oppurtunity to leave in Nov of this year as a Pact Seaman. Just so you guys know, I am not just joining the Navy for the educational benefits; that's just a bonus that I plan on taking full advantage of. My priority is to serve the country that I live in (: I've talked to my recruiter & several others about my questions & concerns, but they insist on answering like car salesmen rather than realist. I am informed on both the pros & cons of the navy & I am 100% committed despite the cons. So, with all of that being said, here we go:1) As I stated, the rating that I'm most interested in is HM (hospital corpsman), but according to the classifier that I spoke to at MEPS & my recruiter, it is a hard rating to come by (it's overmanned) & they do not know the ship dates before hand. I have an interest in HM because of the civilian jobs that it translates to & I am shooting for a M.D. in the future. Based on my research, I've read/heard that females are not necessarily chosen for such ratings. Based on your knowledge, is that true?2) I am in DEP. If my recruiter were to send in a DAR for HM, would I lose my current rating? What is the average wait period before shipping out to boot camp as an HM?3) I am adamant about going into boot camp with a guaranteed spot in A-school for HM, but the unknown wait for a ship out date is what has me considering going in a as Pact Seaman & striking for the HM rating. How long would I have to serve as a Pact Seaman before I could strike for HM & what are the steps in doing so?4) Would you advise me to go into boot camp as a Pact Seaman? Why or why not? (Once again, I am aware of the cons, so please don't just try to sell me the pros).5) I've heard that some sailors who are Pact Seamen were kicked out of A-school. Does that mean that I would potentially be looked down upon if I went in as one?6) Being a HM in the Navy would be beneficial to me because even if I didn't have much free time to complete college courses towards my M.D., as a HM, I'd still be doing what I love. Also, if I were to have enough free time for a few college courses, the credits that I earn from HM technical training would count towards my degree. It's a win win situation. Roughly, how any credits per semester is realistically possible to attain while serving in the Navy?7) How soon after your first deployment can you start talking college courses (whether it be online, through the professors aboard ship or by a nearby "military friendly" college)?By the way, the number of years I serve is not a factor to me. I'm not looking to get out after I get my degree. Im just rolling with the punches (:I'll be extremely grateful for any answers that I receive & I'm excited about hearing your opinions/knowledge. Especially if you have years of experience under your belt. Thanks a lot!
    Last edit by mariahmichelleking on Sep 6, '12
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I was army but I think this goes for all branches. If you want that job get it in writing, do not go in with a seperate identifier and hope you can switch any time soon if ever. I am not sure about the other questions except the school one. Again I wasnt Navy, but Army you can sign up for school immedtiately(college). And in the Army school took precident over almost everything except deployments. It went both ways though, they will make sure you can get to your classes but if you start to screw up on some or miss classes your chain of command will come down on you. Good luck.
  5. 0
    I have the oppurtunity to leave in Nov of this year as a Pact Seaman.

    -I am not sure what a Pact Seaman is but if it is unrated which it sounds like you will end up where ever the Navy needs you and you will not have a rating and will have to strike for one later.


    1) As I stated, the rating that I'm most interested in is HM (hospital corpsman), but according to the classifier that I spoke to at MEPS & my recruiter, it is a hard rating to come by (it's overmanned) & they do not know the ship dates before hand.
    -The HM rating has been overmanned for years, it was overmanned when I was a HM1 back in 2002. I find it hard to believe that they do they do not know the ship dates before hand since school dates are scheduled 1-2 years in advance.

    I have an interest in HM because of the civilian jobs that it translates to & I am shooting for a M.D. in the future.

    -A HM can transition in to allied health positions if they obtain the proper paperwork. Even thou you may be trained in the Navy say as a PT tech, without the proper certification it will be diffucult to get employeed in the civilian world.

    Based on my research, I've read/heard that females are not necessarily chosen for such ratings. Based on your knowledge, is that true?

    -No, there are plenty of females in the HM field and even attend 8404 school which is to be able to be with the Marines in the field. I served with many females who were assigned to the Marines, just not Marine Combat Arms.

    2) I am in DEP. If my recruiter were to send in a DAR for HM, would I lose my current rating? What is the average wait period before shipping out to boot camp as an HM?

    -That is hard to say for any rating, but ratings which are popular will have a longer DEP time due to the demand and the number of slots available. Inless things have changed you can only DEP for 365 days.

    3) I am adamant about going into boot camp with a guaranteed spot in A-school for HM, but the unknown wait for a ship out date is what has me considering going in a as Pact Seaman & striking for the HM rating. How long would I have to serve as a Pact Seaman before I could strike for HM & what are the steps in doing so?

    -This also varies on where you end up assigned. If you are assigned to a ship which only has 1 HM it could be a very long wait if you are even able to strike for an HM.

    4) Would you advise me to go into boot camp as a Pact Seaman? Why or why not? (Once again, I am aware of the cons, so please don't just try to sell me the pros).

    -This is up to you but if you go in unrated you can end up where ever the Navy whats to send you. Remember most unrated Seaman normally end up in the Deck Division.

    5) I've heard that some sailors who are Pact Seamen were kicked out of A-school. Does that mean that I would potentially be looked down upon if I went in as one?

    -If a PACT Seamen was kicked out of A school I doubt it was because they where a Pact Seaman. Properly was for disciplinary or academic reason.

    6) Being a HM in the Navy would be beneficial to me because even if I didn't have much free time to complete college courses towards my M.D., as a HM, I'd still be doing what I love. Also, if I were to have enough free time for a few college courses, the credits that I earn from HM technical training would count towards my degree. It's a win win situation. Roughly, how any credits per semester is realistically possible to attain while serving in the Navy?

    -Also varies on where you end up stationed any what your job is.

    7) How soon after your first deployment can you start talking college courses (whether it be online, through the professors aboard ship or by a nearby "military friendly" college)?

    -You need to speak with a Career Counselor on this since they have the up to date info.

    By the way, the number of years I serve is not a factor to me. I'm not looking to get out after I get my degree.

    -All first time enlistments are for 8 years no matter which service. This time can be divided up between active, drilling reserves, & no drilling reserves. The number of years you will have to serve on active duty will be in your initial contract.
  6. 0
    You have so many questions here I can't answer them all at once. If I were you, then I wouldn't join the Navy first if you are wanting to go to med school. The navy will help you do it, but it will take you so many years to get there that it may hinder your chances of getting into med school. med schools want someone who is driven, hard working, and focused. If you take classes here and there from multiple different sources it shows inconsitency to admisison boards, it shows that you may not be as focused as someone who got a 4.0 in your undergrad in 4 years. Under grad & Grad schools may also not accept some of the credits earned if you take them from the shipboard professors. BTW the professors on the ships tend to only teach the very basics, lower division math, english, history. Plus the credits earned may not be recognized by some schools. I could go on about this.
    Regarding your HM rating helping you with med school, maybe. Many of my corpsmen are amazing and smart and could absolutley become a physician. However I don't think that becoming a corpsmen will help your chances as much as you think. What I know it will do is that it will give you confidence when you start working with patients years down the road. You won't have that scared or hesitant look on your face when you are doing an exam or an assessment on someone. What a HM rating will do for someone is give them the basics to succeed in nursing school or PA school. Also obtaining a rate of HM will allow you to test out of the LPN/AD NCLEX depending on your rank and years in.
    Overall I applaud you for your desire to want to serve your country however I would really reconsider how you go about getting to med school. There are programs that will help you through undergrad and med school: ROTC, HPSP, etc. These things will help you get to becoming a MD sooner, and you will still get to serve plenty of time in the military during your payback for these things. Good luck.
  7. 0
    Check out USHS. Universal School of Health Sciences at Bethesda Naval Hospital or now its Walter Reed. USHS is medical school for the military. Not all states accept HM training to test for LPN license and without certificates it is very difficult to get civilian jobs based on corpsman experience.


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