Navy Recruit needs advice!

Specialties Government


Hi all, I'm brand new to this board - and I thought I'd ask for some much needed advice.

I'll be forward - I enlisted in the Navy and leave for BT on 9/27. My rating is HM.

My goal is to become a CRNA as fast as possible. The problem is that I'm not sure that I can trust my recruiter (he told me there was an apprenticeship program called 'anasthesiologists apprentice' - which I took without research, my bad). I will note that I don't have any credits toward a degree yet. I would like to get my BSN while I'm enlisted. If it makes any difference, my ASVAB composite was 91.

So here are my questions:

-What is the best course of action to take in getting this goal accomplished? -Should I try to get into the 'nursing' apprenticeship program?

-What are the prerequisites for getting into this program?

-What is the best program or way to get credits through my job that will go towards getting my BSN?

-What would be the best 'c' school I should try to get into that would help move me closer to my BSN?

-I've been told that the top "x" percent in HM "A" school get to choose their "c" school, but that even if you don't finish in that top "x" percent - you can still petition to get the "c" school of your choosing ... what's the deal with this?

-Can someone give me some advice regarding SOCNAV? How can I best use SOCNAV to get my BSN?

-In order to become a CRNA, after my BSN I understand I'll need various experience in an ICU, or trauma, type setting and then typically a 2 year anasthesia program ... What's the best way (IF there are any) in the Navy, as an HM, to acquire credit toward that 'ICU or trauma' experience and/or the anasthesia program?

-Will the Navy pay for my education automatically (once and while I'm enlisted), or should I make sure there is something on my contract that will ensure that?

-A friend of mine, that was an HM in the Navy, recently got out and said he received like 30K, from the government ... IN HIS BANK ACCOUNT?! Can anyone explain, offhand, how this happens?

-IS there a way to ensure where I'll be stationed after BT (I've been told that you pick 10 places you'd like to be, and are guaranteed one of them. My recruiter THEN said he just picked Pearl Harbor and got it... what's the REAL deal?)

I know, I know, that's alot of information to ask for, but any and all is GREATLY appreciated!

I really want to prepare myself as much as possible and make the most out of my time in the Navy. I have a million other questions about BT, what to expect, the intricacies and nuances of what will get you farther and such, but I don't wanna wear out my welcome on my first post!! :)

I plan on checking this board frequently, but if it's more convenient for you to email me privately, my address is [email protected].

Thanks again!!



71 Posts

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 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!

Specializes in Oncology, Cardiology, ER, L/D.

Calfax, you have gotta go in recruiting sweetie! As a former HM, I definitely gotta agree. The only thing I would say is if you want CRNA and don't want to go to college right away, I would go for OR tech "C" school and also get your EMT, that way you can pull EMT duty and get some trauma experience that way. Good luck to ya!


594 Posts

Specializes in ED, Cardiac Medicine, Retail Health.

Calfax said it perfectly! I am afraid you did get the wool pulled over your eyes. Though it is possible to get a degree while in the Navy, It will be very difficult. I can just hear the recruiter now, "Yes you can do this, yes you can do that, oh it will be a breeze" as he/she is thinking "poor sucker". The fastest route to CNRA would be to go to college. In the Navy they do care about your goals and dreams, as long as it doesnt interfere with the "mission". What you can do if you are locked into this enlistment is sign up for the GI bill, and knock out as many courses as possible. You should get $4,500 a year for tuition asistance, plus $150.00 a quarter for books. If you are lucky enough to get stationed on land, talk with your education officer when you get settled, and start as soon as possible. Good luck!!!!


583 Posts

Oh Phil,

I believe you just joined the ranks of many who were not really lied to, but maybe the whole truth was not told to.

Use your time wisely, bust buns, apply for officer programs, apply for nursing programs, and go to school and start working on your basic (core) courses that everyone has to do. Use the tuition asistance as much as you can.

Have fun though, above all have fun. Just remember, they can kill you, but they can't eat you!!!

Above all,do whatever the Chief tells you to do!!!!


AEC USN (ret)


124 Posts

My husband was a recruiter while I joined the navy. Quite honestly, they will tell you anything you want to hear to get you in so they can get their points. Trust me, you don't get to pick your C school. You will be so lucky if you did. From what I remember you have to be one of the top 2 students in your class to choose where you would like to go or what you would like to do next. You could try to see if you could get C school but you could be waiting years for it.

I went to Naval Hospital Corps School in 2001. Things were changing while I was there. Quite honestly, if I could change what I had done I would. I would of listened to my dad and went to college to become an RN instead of the navy. I wanted to do something good for myself and others also but military does not pay well. You could make so much money in civilian life.

Navy life is fun. I think being a HM is great. If I was single when I finished I would of asked to go to a boat and go all around the world. Instead I was pregnant and not allowed to do that.

Some advice, learn all you can before you leave. Your first class will be CPR. Learn how to take a BP. Read up on how to dress wounds. There are something you cannot learn now but just be patient when you get to that lab. AKA...the stab lab.....taking blood

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