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DrDubzz
10-18-2009, 10:11 PM
I will be graduating with my Pharm.D. in May next year and shortly after will taking licensing exams etc to become a practicing pharmacist.

I have decided on my first job after school, and that is to be a pharmacist in the Navy. I've interviewed, done my security clearance and am waiting on another month to pass so I can do my physical and ultimately, Lord willing, get "selected" (so that I can get loan repayment etc).

I'm posting this here because my recruiter, who has always been upfront and forthcoming, is driving up to Amarillo, from Dallas, to meet and chat (she has some other prospects up here too) on tuesday the 20th.

So, I have a list of questions for her about the selection process, getting stationed etc. and I've gained a LOT of info in the past six months from my med center visit and all that.

But I'm curious what I should ask her from a day-to-day perspective. What kinds of things have you guys learned in your service that you wish you knew to ask about ahead of time? I know what I want to know about finances and locations, but not about daily life details that you don't learn about until you're in.

Any help appreciated, thanks guys

elderboy02
10-18-2009, 10:22 PM
Thanks for volunteering to serve our country. :usa

DrDubzz
10-18-2009, 10:35 PM
it's my honor, believe me

but you are welcome of course

T.G
10-18-2009, 10:47 PM
What rank are you supposed to be going in as?

DrDubzz
10-18-2009, 11:37 PM
O-3

kelmac07
10-19-2009, 03:54 AM
Congrats!! :tu :tu

Smokin Gator
10-19-2009, 04:27 AM
I have absolutely nothing to add as far as answering your questions, but I would like to say congratulations and thanks.

CasaDooley
10-19-2009, 05:15 PM
Congrats LT! And remember that Chiefs are all knowing and all seeing and the PO 1's do their bidding.;)

CasaDooley
10-19-2009, 05:19 PM
Forgot to mention that even though you will have the respect of your rank, you need to earn the respect that goes with it. Remember that cur sounds alot like sir.;)

csbrewfisher
10-19-2009, 05:24 PM
Great choice Tim! I trust R is OK with it. :tu

DrDubzz
10-19-2009, 05:25 PM
Great choice Tim! I trust R is OK with it. :tu

she makes it sound like it was her idea! :D

DrDubzz
10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
Congrats LT! And remember that Chiefs are all knowing and all seeing and the PO 1's do their bidding.;)


Forgot to mention that even though you will have the respect of your rank, you need to earn the respect that goes with it. Remember that cur sounds alot like sir.;)

between the Chiefs I met on my med visit and the fact that my dad was enlisted(AF) as well as my Grandpa (Navy), I have been made aware of these truths

No one like a snivelly officer who's too big for his britches :tu

CasaDooley
10-19-2009, 05:31 PM
between the Chiefs I met on my med visit and the fact that my dad was enlisted(AF) as well as my Grandpa (Navy), I have been made aware of these truths

No one like a snivelly officer who's too big for his britches :tu

Your gonna do just fine!:tu

RJK18
10-19-2009, 05:47 PM
Congrats and thanks:usa

T.G
10-19-2009, 05:52 PM
Looks like Kevin already covered it.

Plus, would you really want the advice of a former cargo REMF?

Thanks for taking up the reins.

Volt
10-19-2009, 08:01 PM
hmmm Well I'll toss in a few comments as your asking.

I'm a 20 year retired Chief - engineering field not medical. Although I was stationed at a hospital for the 1460 days :( Given that your medical and a Pharm. Some of this may be known to you some may not.

1. Go to sea for at least one cruise - that's where the real Navy is. This will help you to understand who they are when they come to see you whether on the ship or at the hospital/clinic where most of your career will likely be.

2. DO NOT write inflated evals. We have enough dirt bags in the Navy because some one is scared to give them what they earned. This will not make you popular with the Command, but you will be helping yourself and the Navy by doing this.

3. Take care of your people, enable your Chief to take care of his people. They are your greatest assets. If he will not do it, fire his ass and get one that will. See #2

4. Fight for awards for you people. It's a pure pain in the ass to write for a medal or a LOC/LOA, but that's your job as their leader.

5. Lead by example - 2 sets of rules: yours and what you tell others to go by are the fast track to losing your Sailors respect. They will salute the uniform, better that they want to salute you.

6. Unfortuantly, "most" medical is/has the 9 to 5 attitude/mentality and is very petty rule driven. I learned this much from my life time at teh hospital and using medical for 20 years. When you have a Sailor at your window with a script, at 1705 and you closed at 1700 - remember he may be on port and starboard watch and 3 section duty. Take care of him. Last thing he needs to hear is "We closed at 1700".

7. Best corpmen as a group I ever met were IDT (independent duty corpmen) and FMF (fleet marine force). They have my respect for the jobs they do.

8. Severe disadvantage I see for you is that as a LT, people will expect you to have naval experience to go with the rank. Just something you will have to work around.

Good luck to you and your career. I loved my 20 years and would do it again with every thing I know today. I enlisted to get a job and to stay out of jail. I ended up with a love for my country and a sense of pride for serving for a higher purpose than myself. Sort of corny, but that's how it worked out for me.

DrDubzz
10-19-2009, 08:08 PM
Thanks Volt, I think those are good bits of advice.

I'm still not decided on career or not. I figure I'll know by the time I need to re-sign or resign.

Volt
10-19-2009, 08:27 PM
Any time. The world I came from is not really known for "nice" or "friendly".... Just they way Engineers are. The military can be a great career if it is for you. One thing I would note, if you decide to leave ask your self a question. Am I unhappy with the boss/command or is it teh Navy? I almost got out at 9 years because of the hospital. realized it was not my world - re-upped and enjoyed the rest. Bosses come and go for better or worse.

Laura (ashtonlady) was actually a corpman in the Navy. She may be a better person to cat with concerning teh medical field. I'll point her here.

Riff Raff
10-19-2009, 08:29 PM
LT. congrats on your pending commission in the US Navy. As an 11 year vet of the US Navy, I can't offer any advice that the Chief hasn't already covered. I can give you an insight from the enlistedman's point of view:

Be fair. Be yourself. Listen to the advice of your senior petty officers and make your own decision. Use all of your customer service skills. You will definately use them!

Fair winds and following seas, Sir!

ashtonlady
10-19-2009, 11:08 PM
PM sent.

DrDubzz
10-19-2009, 11:37 PM
I want to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has replied here.

these responses are part of the reason I'm ready for service. I've always felt a call to the military, I just had no idea this is how it would come about for me. I'll be 25 when I receive my commission instead of 18 (as I almost enlisted in the Army out of HS), so it's been a while in the making, but I think this will be the best way for me to serve this country.

Thanks again everyone, it's quite heartwarming. Now I just hope we have a good meeting tomorrow, and that they don't find out I'm defective at my physical next month :ss

MedicCook
10-19-2009, 11:43 PM
Good luck at your meeting Tim.

DrDubzz
10-20-2009, 01:24 PM
Apparently there's no loan repayment for pharmacists this year, and that really throws a wrench in things... Hard to pay off loans on a third of a civilian salary :(

not sure what to do now

T.G
10-20-2009, 01:39 PM
Apparently there's no loan repayment for pharmacists this year, and that really throws a wrench in things... Hard to pay off loans on a third of a civilian salary :(

not sure what to do now


Call the officer recruiter of a different service branch, see if that branch will repay the loan.

It might sound harsh, but the reality is that recruiters and services get played against each other all the time when it comes to people signing up and wanting certain guarantees.

If not that, do they have an option for delayed? This would put you at the top of the list for when the slots open up.

DoctorBJ
10-20-2009, 01:55 PM
No questions or words of wisdom to give from my own personal military experience. If I can say anything, it's that famly and spouses often have an even harder time with the "military experience." (Moving from base to base, deployments, procedures etc) Remember your family and take extra special care of them when you can. If you've got a significant other, really pay attention to their needs and let them know how important they are to you.

Congrats on the degree and Thank You for what you are about to do.

Volt
10-20-2009, 02:05 PM
Apparently there's no loan repayment for pharmacists this year, and that really throws a wrench in things... Hard to pay off loans on a third of a civilian salary :(

not sure what to do now


Ouch.... Not sure what a Pharm. makes but a third of is rough.

OLS
10-20-2009, 02:10 PM
so I can do my physical and ultimately, Lord willing, get "selected" (so that I can get loan repayment etc).Start by not mentioning that you are just trying to get your school paid off. America needs PATRIOTS right now, lol.:D

DrDubzz
10-20-2009, 02:32 PM
The problem is, I can't pay off roughly 130k on 45k a year. So the loan repayment was pretty much a necessity. The amount paid last year still would not have covered all of it. But would have been about 3/4. Now I don't know what to do. The navy has been all that I've wanted to do for about 3 years now. Now it's not looking like a feasable option.

Veritas
10-21-2009, 09:53 AM
Congratulations, Tim. The Chief nailed it with advice. The only thing I would add is when following point #1 above try to experience as much as possible on the ship, by that I mean spend time out of your workstation. When serving on the USS CALIFORNIA I had a chaplain that qualified several of the bridge watchstations. He didn't have to, obviously, but by doing so he gained a lot of respect. It wasn't uncommon to have him relieve the helmsman for an hour or so just so the kid could hit the rack early.

One other thing - take an overseas post if given the opportunity. Living in Japan is one of the best experiences from my time in the Navy.

Good luck to you, sir.

DrDubzz
10-24-2009, 10:37 PM
Update

I have spoken to the Air Force, and they apparently not only have loan repayment available, but pretty healthy bonuses for pharmacists. So I am finishing up my application and getting my things in order for them. It looks promising, so here's hoping

MedicCook
10-24-2009, 10:39 PM
Good news Tim. :tu

T.G
10-25-2009, 12:28 AM
Update

I have spoken to the Air Force, and they apparently not only have loan repayment available, but pretty healthy bonuses for pharmacists. So I am finishing up my application and getting my things in order for them. It looks promising, so here's hoping

Excellent!

Veritas
10-25-2009, 12:46 AM
Update

I have spoken to the Air Force, and they apparently not only have loan repayment available, but pretty healthy bonuses for pharmacists. So I am finishing up my application and getting my things in order for them. It looks promising, so here's hoping
There is a world of difference between the Navy and the Air Force. I spent ten years in the Navy and currently wear AF blue, so I can offer some contrasts if you want.

Good luck to you, whichever branch you choose.

Mugen910
10-25-2009, 12:48 AM
Qs


1)Is there an enlistment bonus you are eligible for. (they give them away..IDK about officers but it never hurts to ask)

2)Are there other bonuses you are eligible for?

3)Can they help you pay off some debt?

4)How do duty stations get assigned?

5)Where are my options to get assigned? (Don't take a vague "anywhere you want" answer) Have her give you specifics.

6)How long is training?

Ask everything under the sun...I focused on the $$ because when I went in there was $$ I didn't know to ask for. Then again I went enlisted so you might not have anything like that.

Best of luck.

shark
10-26-2009, 09:10 PM
I'll add to this already good advice: Whatever guarantees that they SAY they have, make sure you get it in writing. Recruiters are professional sales people and are very good at telling prospects what they want to hear. And you should be able to enter in the Air Force as an O-3 as well. I believe everyone with doctorates of some sort (chaplains, doctors, lawyers) are commissioned into the O-3 pay grade.

hotreds
10-26-2009, 09:24 PM
http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n160/acdc_princess/navy-5.jpg

HOORAH!

DrDubzz
10-27-2009, 04:39 PM
update again, my recruiter emailed me and said it was very likely they would approve loan repayment for me, and she's handing me off to a recruiter that actually handles pharmacists, so the new person will know what they're talking about.

Good news on both fronts.

T.G
10-27-2009, 05:10 PM
update again, my recruiter emailed me and said it was very likely they would approve loan repayment for me, and she's handing me off to a recruiter that actually handles pharmacists, so the new person will know what they're talking about.

Good news on both fronts.

The Air Force recruiter? Or did the Navy execute a williamson turn?

DrDubzz
10-27-2009, 05:18 PM
Sorry, the Navy person

I'm still in the application process with the Air Force

ashtonlady
10-28-2009, 12:31 PM
Very likely is not a garrentee, be careful.

DrDubzz
10-28-2009, 05:19 PM
Very likely is not a garrentee, be careful.


yeah, but as all I need to complete my navy kit is the physical I would need for the air force anyway, I'll continue with them.

Nothing is commital until I graduate anyway

DrDubzz
12-16-2009, 12:25 PM
Well... just an update, the Navy looks to be out of the picture. Aside from financial issues, I can't get an e-mail back from the recruiter, and I'm in a position to be pursued, not to badger them for information.

However, I an still in the process with the Air Force, I took my 5+ hour physical this morning and everything checked out, so now I lack an interview and processing for selection. Hopefully I'll know about all that by the end of January/early February.