You poor bastard! You've been hoodwinked, sucker-punched, and bum-rushed into an adventure that few people ever get to have! Welcome to the Navy! You're now part of the greatest extended family on earth and you will have brothers and sisters wherever you go, all over the world.
But you've got to get thru "Great mistakes" first.
Follow my 5 simple rules of surviving Navy boot camp.
1. Learn to shut the hell up. If you learn nothing else, you need to learn this.
2. Be on time. Always.
3. Memorize the 11 General Orders of a Sentry and the Code of Conduct. You will recite them often.
4. Get in shape ahead of time. This ranks up there with rule #1.
5. It is not personal. Remember that. It is the way things are done. You are not the first boot to "sweep the grinder". You will be yelled at a lot. Get used to it.
6. Most of all, watch your shipmates' backs. You have to take care of each other. That's how you get thru.
(a secret....buy a Bluejacket's manual and read it before going to boot camp)
7. LEARN TO SHUT UP. Got it?
The real truth about Navy corpsmen. The Navy now owns you. It can do with you what it likes. That means you will go where and when the Navy wants you to. The Navy doesn't care whether you want to go to school or not. You will not get your BSN as a corpsman unless you get into a program such as BOOST or MECEP, or Seaman to Admiral. However you can begin to knock out credit hours as soon as you like. In truth, going to college is like having a second job.....and you will sacrifice sleep, off-duty time, and money just like every other college student.
Fundamental truth #1034. You will not always like the Navy. You are being used. That's why it's called the "service". However you can use the Navy right back.
You will arrive at a Naval Hospital as an HA or HN. You'll have had maybe 3 to 4 mos of basic medical training. This in no way qualifies you to be an expert on anything. You will be working along side people who've spent lifetimes studying the art of healing people. They know way more than you. So, again...shut up. Spend your first year learning everything you can about medicine, nursing, science. A corpsmen can be trained to do anything. Whether you're any good at it depends on how much you practice. Focus on the basics first. Know the difference between a good BP and a "bad" BP. Never, ever gundeck your vitals. Ever. I will find you.
Get good at suturing. When you go out with the marines, you get to do that a lot.
Do what the LT tells you to. And what your LPO tells you to. And what your lead corpsman tell you to. And what the civilian tells you to. Oh...and what the doctor tells you to.
How to be a seal corpsman or a SAR corpsman. Study as hard as you can during boot camp and corps school. Go for the highest scores possible on every test. Train hard physically.
How to get a C school. This is advanced technical training...for RAD techs, ECHO techs, lab techs, psych techs, etc. EMT and paramedic licences are not C schools
. Only the top few percent go straight from A school. The rest have to wait until you make E4-E5 to apply. Apply and reapply.
If you want trauma and critical care experience...ask to be assigned to the OR, ICU or ER....simple. Heheheheh. Be careful what you ask for. Your clinic corpsmen will have holidays and weekends off. You will work 12-13 hr shifts and you must cover holidays, weekends, and duty beepers.
How to do and see some really cool stuff. Go with the Marines...blowing stuff up is as much fun now as it was when you were 13. Go serve on a ship.....see the world. At least the parts that really need a Wal-mart and a Home Depot. If you think you've really got a pair.....go hang out with the divers. They're nuts.
Remember you are starting on the bottom rung of a very long ladder. As you learn about the Navy, develop a plan to get where you want to be. Stick to it and you'll climb up that ladder, rung by rung until you're where you want to be. The Navy provides unique opportunities for those who serve. It is up to you to use them to achive whatever goals you have in mind.
Fundimental truth #2043: The navy is what you make of it.
That being said....if all you want to be is a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist, cancel out of your enlistment immediately. You won't get there quickly in the Navy. Go to college instead.
That's the barest bones summary I can give you....and that's all the help I'll give you.....the rest you'll just have to find out for yourself. Remember to have fun!