More dangerous: Navy or Army

  1. Hello again.

    I've posted before with some questions about the Navy's NCP and I was pretty much dead set on joining the Navy, but I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be the best fit. I chose the Navy because I knew my dad, who is opposed to me joining any branch of the military, would prefer me to join either the Navy or Air Force since they tend to have a better reputation as far as language and stuff like that in my dad's mind. Whether or not this is true, is besides the point and I kinda doubt, but my dad feels better about those branches. He served in the Army and he said he didn't like the culture there and he's made it clear to me and my siblings that he doesn't want his children joining the military.

    I made it clear to him that I was going to join the military though and to kind of ease the tension a little I suggested that I'd join the Navy. Although he is still opposed to the idea he told me I had to make these choices myself and if this is the route I want to choose, then he'll support my decision.

    Now, here's the problem I'm facing now. Although I am still very much attracted to the Navy because of how professional they seem and the fancy ranks like Lieutenant Commander and Commander (C'mon, you got admit that sounds really cool. LOL), I don't want to join and then end up spending my time in the United States never seeing any action. Obviously not the same kind of action the troops at the front lines see, but working in something like a field hospital or surgical team. I've heard a couple of different things about the Navy. I've heard working on a ship is rare and few nurses ever get the opportunity and I've also heard that, being the medical provider for the Marines, they deploy with the Marines. I've also heard they don't deploy with the Marines. Is it specialty specific and maybe those who said they didn't deploy were in the wrong specialty and never had the opportunity?

    The Army, however, seems to be much more willing to throw their nurses into more dangerous areas.

    If I'm looking to get in the s***, so to speak, would the Army be a better option?

    Thanks for any answers!

    Chuck
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  2. Visit Chuckleface profile page

    About Chuckleface

    Joined: Jun '17; Posts: 17; Likes: 2
    from SC , US

    24 Comments

  3. by   ArmyMedicRN
    The Army is the branch to join if you want to fight in a war. They are the branch that fights on land. Know that nurses aren't a combat arms job, but they do still have units that are deployed with nurses, such as an FST or CSH. Army is way more highspeed by any measure and you will have way more possibilities to test your mettle and resolve; however, they don't have ranks with cool names like Commander .
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    I can only say "Commander" like the alien guy in Galaxy Quest. Hahaha.

    I would go Army. Because I did, lol.
  5. by   Chuckleface
    Thanks for the comments. Sounds like the Army would be my best bet. Thankfully my school recently partnered with another school to provide ROTC, so I think I'll look into that.
  6. by   jfratian
    Pretty sure the Navy is a little 'higher-speed' with at least running...just saw a military times story that had the Army as the branch with the most people with 'overweight' BMIs (10.5%)

    I would add that each of the three branches (yes even the AF) has some sort of high-speed, high-ops tempo medical team(s) that include nurses. Since I'm the AF guy here, I'll clue you into the AF's SOST (special operations surgical team); you'll find it on google. We also have pretty much all of the medical air transport teams (such as CCATT-critical care air transport team and TCCET-tactical critical care evacuation team).

    However, the vast majority of nurses in all three of those branches do not practice in that setting. Most military nurses provide bedside care in a hardened medical facility either stateside or in an inside-the-wire area overseas.

    I think you're honestly pretty much just as safe in any branch (with the possibly of some one-off dangerous job here and there), and I don't feel like that should be a major factor in your decision-making process. Nurses in all 3 branches could easily be working side-by-side in the same unit doing the same job depending on the location.
    Last edit by jfratian on Apr 9
  7. by   caliotter3
    Want to read about something cool? Look up the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Not much could be more cool than graduating from there and starting a health career in any of the branches, or the US Public Health Service.
  8. by   jfratian
    USUHS only does graduate medical education. Only advanced practice nurses will graduate from there. Entry-level RNs have to either do ROTC or direct comission.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Quote from jfratian
    USUHS only does graduate medical education. Only advanced practice nurses will graduate from there. Entry-level RNs have to either do ROTC or direct comission.
    There is a free ride med school that one can also read about when searching the web site. One isn't confined to the nursing graduate program.
  10. by   jfratian
    Medical school is included in the term 'graduate medical education.' Since this is a nursing forum, I didn't mention the non-nursing degrees at USUHS.
  11. by   Chuckleface
    Thanks for chiming in jfractian. I have looked into the Air Force a little bit, but had mostly written them off because of the chair force jokes. Foolish assumption though, you people do some really awesome stuff.

    I'm going to keep my options open and when I go see a recruiter I'll be sure to hit up all three. One thing that really intrigues me about the Air Force is flight nursing.
  12. by   Pixie.RN
    Not a nursing job, but there were some special operations people from other branches of the service on our compound in Afghanistan that worked closely with our ODA team. Among others, we had an AF combat controller, he was awesome! I grew up around the Navy and the AF in Italy and Germany, and the chair force stuff is really just good fun - they do have a lot of high speed people and roles, just like any other branch. Don't discount anything!
  13. by   Have Nurse
    The Navy and the Air Force seem to have a better budget, but I don't think that one branch of the military is any better than the other.

    I served 9 years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve.

    As for combat duties, nurses normally were assigned in Field Hospitals behind the lines. But that does not meant that that they might not see action.

    Never assume anything.
  14. by   Chuckleface
    Have Nurse,

    I'm sorry if it sounded like I was asking which branch was better than the others, that's not what I meant at all. They all have very well qualified nurses and doctors, but each branch has there own specialty that is unique to that branch. Air Force flies, Navy sails, and the Army walks.

    I'm very interested in all three branches. They all have some really cool opportunities. Just so I understand this, it sounds like as a nurse I can expect to deploy only once or twice in my career. I was reading a post on here where a Navy nurse said she had deployed in 2007 and didn't get to deploy again until 2012. So are deployments few and far between for nurses?

    PS: Also, why is all the information on the Navy page pertaining to Corpsman? Active & Reserve Nursing Jobs in the Nurse Corps - Navy.com
    Last edit by Chuckleface on Apr 10

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