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ODS Questions

I will be heading to ODS in September and I have some questions about everything. I have been reading different threads and blogs about information but I still am missing some parts.

I have been waiting on my orders still which should have been received and are being processed. My recruiter has been the only person who has been in touch regularly to help me get things moving.

1. What paperwork do you need to bring to ODS? It states on the website a long list, many of which I already had submitted when I was applying for the NCP. Do I need all these documents again? As for medical/dental records, what exactly does this entail? My online portal for my healthcare network does not have detailed records of anything, so do I call up and request copies of everything? Can someone explain to me more in detail regarding the paperwork they want?

2. Do I need to bring my own swimsuit or do I get one there?

3. We really are required to purchase all of our uniforms and such? Is there a process if you don't have enough money? I am assuming I'll be needing to borrow from family, but I'd like to avoid borrowing too much if possible.

Any information about ODS is helpful!

I'll also be transitioning to Walter Reed, and I hear that you get 10 days after ODS of house hunting leave, and I'm confused as to how this process works. Is 10 days enough to find a place? Finding an apartment to move into so far in advance is difficult if I wanted to secure a place to move into end of Oct, but finding it before my Sept date... I am also unfamiliar with the area and unsure of where to look.

Thanks so much for any info/help!


Has 4 years experience.

Bring your own swimsuit. Several uniforms have to be purchased as you will be inspected in them. Right now, my group is having to purchase summer whites, dress whites, and khakis, which we will be wearing all the time. You also have to purchase PT uniforms and sweats. You do not pay have to pay for them until the end of ods.

Motherofcorgis, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology, ICU. Has 6 years experience.

It's been quite a few years for me since ODS, but at the time the Navy Exchange had a program where you could sign up for their credit card to make the uniform purchase if you did not have the cash immediately. That's what I did. I took out a Career Starter Loan through USAA to consolidate my debt, school loans...etc and paid off the card immediately. But you could make payments on it if needed.

1. You should definitely bring your ID, birth certificate, passport, Oath of Office, orders, any award letter you may have. As for medical/dental records, I just brought my shot records with me. I think if there is anything that needs to be requested they will tell you specifically what they need and you will have time to do so while you're there. I definitely wouldn't assume they received anything you have already submitted! It was hit or miss while I was there. Some people had all of their paperwork sent over and others had nothing but there is plenty of time to get it all sorted out. If there is anything you think is very important you can go ahead and bring it with you just in case.

2. You need a 1 piece swimsuit. They do sell them in the uniform shop so if you don't have one and want to wait, you could purchase it there. I'm not sure how much it costs there because I brought my own.

3. You do have to pay for the uniforms at the end. I spent around $2200 on uniforms. The uniform store will give you a "gift card" to buy the uniforms as you need them and on the last week you pay it back either with cash/credit (you will have received a pay check by then) or with the military Star credit card if you choose to apply for that. You get 10% off if you use the Star card.

The house hunting leave was very confusing to me also. I don't know if you have a sponsor yet but they should be your go to person to find out about your check in process. I had a hard time finding out exactly how many travel days I was allotted but I just gave myself a couple of days to get to my duty station since I was driving from Texas to Florida. I told them when I would be checking in (the Wednesday after ODS graduation) and they told me where to report. Once I got to my duty station, my division officer brought up the house hunting leave and arranged for me to start it that Friday afternoon. The 10 days includes the weekends. It is my understanding that it is up to the command to grant you the house hunting leave and it is to their discretion when you will get it. You can make requests and hopefully they'll work with you. Mine knew my household goods were supposed to be delivered that week and wanted me to be off to handle that. I actually already arranged the lease for my apartment before going to ODS. I feel that it was helpful for me to have the place as soon as I got here and I was able to use the leave days to get settled in. I would have been more stressed if I actually had to go hunt for housing in one week and completely move in. Luckily I had people I could ask about certain areas in town and I found a great apartment without actually being here to look at them before leasing. If you do have any contacts in that area or get in touch with your sponsor you should try to get opinions on areas to look into or especially where to stay away from. I know it's pretty overwhelming but in my experience so far, most people want to help make it as smooth a transition as possible. I hope you have the same experience! Let me know if you have any other questions!


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