Author Topic: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions  (Read 29807 times)

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Offline Navythursday19

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Hello,

I have applied to the Canadian Forces and I have completed the CFAT. I have been told, however, that my original occupation choice is now closed. I have been researching the occupations that are open, and I am considering joining the navy.

I love BC and I have always dreamed of moving out west. Since boats are stationed in either BC or NS, it seems likely that the navy could help me end up there. The main thing that I am worried about concerning the navy is how long I would be separated from my spouse. Obviously the navy entails spending long stretches of time out at sea. I am not as young as some of the other recruits and I worry because I want to start a family soon before it's too late. And it's kind of hard to create children when you are always apart from your spouse LOL.

Would it be the kind of thing where I would be away for years, only being able to visit my spouse for a couple of weeks here and there? Or is it quite possible to be, say, out at sea for a number of months and then working a job at the port for a number of months? I am interested in the Sonar Op occupation which states to be 40% at port and 60% at sea. How does this usually work out? Are there any Sonar Ops on here that could give me an example?

I am not so much worried about being apart for the sake of us missing each other, we are pretty strong when it comes to things like that. I just have my own goals in life and I don't want to wait to have children until it's too late. Also, when would the CF move my spouse to be with me? During my training, or not until afterwards?

I very much want to be in the Forces and serve my country, but family is important to me too. If anybody on here could help me out with my questions, I would appreciate it very greatly. I have been pondering over which occupation I would like to pick for a while now! I would be extremely grateful for any advice.


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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 13:57:02 »
PM inbound.

Offline Pusser

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 14:22:29 »
The gist of your question is, can you have a normal family life in the Navy?  The answer is yes.  To you use myself as an example, I've been married for almost 18 years and my wife has been a "Navy Wife" (although don't ever call her that) for the whole time (i.e. I met her after I joined).  We have a house, two kids, a dog and a cat.  How much more "normal" can you be?  Do we spend time apart?  Yes, sometimes as long as six months in theory, but the reality is that we have never been physically separated for more than three months.  When they talk about a trade being 40% ashore and 60% "at sea" what they really mean is 60% of personnel are posted to a ship at any one time.  Being posted to a ship is quite different from being at sea.

Ships have work cycles which include time away and at home.  When a ship is in home port, it's much like any other job, in that you arrive on board in the morning, work the day and then go home at night.  Occasionally, you will have to join the "duty watch" and spend the night on board, but most of the time you get to go home.  When the ship deploys, it can be gone for anywhere from a couple of days to usually no more than 59 days at a time before returning to home port.  Yes, there are longer deployments (up to six months generally), but they are the exception, not the rule.  Even when deployed, ships visit foreign ports, often for a few days at a time.  It's a great way to see some interesting places!  You may also have the opportunity to arrange to meet your wife in some foreign ports (careful though, there are some risks to that).  All in all, there will be plenty of time for making babies and even the possibility of watching them grow up a little! ;D   The modern Canadian Navy is not like a 19th Century whaling ship - we don't go away for three years at a time!

We also keep track of the "sea/shore ratio" where we make a concerted effort to ensure that everyone gets their fair share of time ashore as well.  When posted to a shore billet, you definitely work normal hours and go home very night - for the most part (there's still the occasional duty watch or emergency tasking to fight forest fires).
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Offline Navythursday19

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 14:57:09 »
Thank you very much for your advice. It is appreciated. It seems as though you get to have a good lifestyle. I am under the impression that those in the navy live on either the east coast or the west coast and move much less often than those in the army. Also, the possibility of travel to foreign countries is particularly exciting to me. My file has no occupation listed for it at the moment. I think they might close it if I don't pick one (or two, or three) soon, so I've got to make a decision already.

Offline Pat in Halifax

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 15:05:08 »
You are correct in that as a hard-sea trade, you have the potential to never leave the coast but there are positions across the country believe it or not and MANY Naval positions in Ottawa (I am slowly figuring that out!) Hard sea trades are many:
WEng
SonarOp
NCIOP
NACOP
MAR ENG
ELEC  TECH
HULL TECH
BOS'N
STEWARD
(And someone will chime in as I am sure I missed a couple...and you will notice I didn't put stoker first!)
Point is, look them up and see what interests you. Each provides specific challenges requiring specific skill sets and in reality, only you know what you are best suited for. As well, if there is any kind of Recruiting Fair going on in your area, go and ask questions. Quite often, the individual may not know the answer but chances are she/he will find it out for you.
"No ******* ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb ******* die for his"
George S. Patton

Offline asstastic1

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 22:29:29 »
Why didn't you list stoker first ???

Offline airmich

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 08:13:44 »
(And someone will chime in as I am sure I missed a couple...

Naval Communicator
Naval Weapons Tech

And is Steward really considered a hard sea trade?

Navythursday19:  If I may make a suggestion.  If you definitely want to go Navy, regardless of trade, check with your Recruiting Centre to see what trades are open.  Then go to http://www.forces.ca/en/home/.  Search through each of the trades that the centre told you about and narrow it down.  The information on there is great and includes videos too.  Good luck!
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Offline N. McKay

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 09:18:05 »
And is Steward really considered a hard sea trade?

It is now.  I'm not sure when that changed.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 09:29:26 »
Stewards have been a hard sea trade for a few years now. In the late 90s early 2000's they left the umbrella of the Log Branch and entered the Naval Operations Branch. The switch is fully complete now with their career training having moved from CFSAL to the fleet schools.

On HMC Ships they still fall under the Log Department though.
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Offline airmich

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 09:38:02 »
Thank you all for the info re: steward.  I hadn't realized, and now I know.  :)
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 10:10:29 »
No prob Bob! lol I'm full of useless info  :nod:
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline FSTO

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 23:54:38 »
More useless info: The stewards run the NPF organization on HMC Ships. AFAIK, NPF is run by civilians on Army and Air Force bases.

Offline Occam

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 05:44:14 »
NAC Op = TAS Op = the current Sonar Op.  NAC Op used to be Naval Acoustic Operator.  The trade has had something of an identity crisis for a while now.

Offline trigger

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 20:26:39 »
Back in the day they used to have Sonarman as a trade. They were operators and techs at the same time. 

Eventually, they separated. the techs are now called NET(S)--Naval Electronics Technician(Sonar).

Ocean Ops(people who ran land based sonar) and NACOPs(the ones who did it from a ship) merged and became TASOPS.

Then they changed TASOP to Sonar Op so people could relate a bit better if they were thinking about joining. (not like sonar means that much more than "tactical acoustic sensor" to your average person) but that's how it is now.



I think that might have been a mistake and he meant to write "NESOP" on that list

Offline Gizmo 421

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 21:17:53 »
And for the newest amalgamation of trades say hello to Naval Weapons Engineering Technician (NWET) or what use to be known separately as:

Naval Electronics Technician (Communications)
Naval Electronics Technician (Radar)
Naval Electronics Technician (Sonar)
Naval Weapons Technician

At least during initial occupation training sort of like ACISS.



I still have so much to learn.

Offline ItsJustOscar

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2011, 15:37:45 »
MANY Naval positions in Ottawa (I am slowly figuring that out!)

What Naval positions are in Ottawa? I'm a Ottawa boy, thinking of joining up. Any engineering positions?

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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2011, 15:42:57 »
And for the newest amalgamation of trades say hello to Naval Weapons Engineering Technician (NWET) or what use to be known separately as:

At least during initial occupation training sort of like ACISS.

Navy's trying out that gongshow too?

Offline Occam

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2011, 16:14:48 »
Navy's trying out that gongshow too?

Yep, didn't learn their lesson during MORPS, I guess.

Offline N. McKay

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2011, 18:23:25 »
What Naval positions are in Ottawa? I'm a Ottawa boy, thinking of joining up. Any engineering positions?

If you want to stay in Ottawa and serve in the navy then the Naval Reserve (part-time) would be your only option.  Talk to these guys: http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/navres/1/1-n_eng.asp?category=95

If you want to make a full-time career out of it then you'll have to be willing to move wherever the navy sends you, and you can probably imagine that most naval activity takes place on the coasts.  There are postings for naval members in Ottawa, for example at National Defence Headquarters, but it would be normal to spend quite a bit of your career elsewhere first.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 19:38:03 by N. McKay »

Offline Pusser

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2011, 19:40:04 »
If you want to stay in Ottawa and serve in the navy then the Naval Reserve (part-time) would be your only option.  Talk to these guys: http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/navres/1/1-n_eng.asp?category=95

If you want to make a full-time career out of it then you'll have to be willing to move wherever the navy sends you, and you can probably imagine that most naval activity takes place on the coasts.  There are postings for naval embers in Ottawa, for example at National Defence Headquarters, but it would be normal to spend quite a bit of your career elsewhere first.

Not entirely true.  Although virtually all of the initial training for engineering officers (Naval Technical Officers or NTOs in the in the new parlance) takes place on the coast, it is entirely possible to spend a large part of an NTO career in Ottawa.  Once they finish their  Head of Department (HOD) qualification and especially after a tour as a HOD, many NTOs never see the coast again (except on visits).  The same is largely true for Naval Logistics Officers.  For the most part, in both the NTO and SeaLog communities, anybody who stands up and says they want to go to Ottawa, will likely be allowed to do so.  By and large, there are more folks wanting to stay on the coast than there are positions, so it is generally more difficult to stay on the coast than to stay in Ottawa.
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Offline CountDC

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2011, 11:52:02 »
There are a fair number of regular force navy positions in Ottawa but for the most part they fall into the category of

1. RMS Clerk

2. Senior NCO's

3. Officers Lt(N) and up.

outside of those 3 is a small amount of others.

What this boils down to is that odds are extremely in favour of you ending up on one of the coasts starting out.
“non-commissioned officer (NCO)” means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal.

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Offline Springroll

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2011, 19:29:45 »
Can you have a life in the Navy?

Yes, somewhat....In the last 3 years, I have almost a solid year of time at sea. That does not include port visits and courses.

If you don't want to be gone alot, then do not go into a hard sea trade.
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline gunslinger

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2011, 12:32:52 »
Looking for some "Int" folks...My current combat arms trade has gone somewhat stale for me, and over the last few months I have been mulling over a possible OT.  Where as I realize that I would go back down to Cpl / Seaman(?) and a drop in pay, I would rather do that than remain bored and fed up in my current trade.  My question is about the Boswain trade.  I would like to hear from any pers in the trade or any trade for that matter, with their personal insight into the trade, Navy life in general and if any of you think that going from a Sgt in the Arty to the Navy is just plain stupid. Constructive criticism welome, personal attacks are fine, just be prepared to get some back :)

Thanks
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Offline Chief Engineer

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2011, 12:43:00 »
You'll probably get offered LS IPC 4 as your offer. You'll get PLQ credit and have to start out on your basic trades course. Keep in mind you'll have to do things such as cleaning stations where you'll be on your hands and knees scrubbing decks while someone 10 years younger is telling you that you're not doing it good enough. When posted to a ship you'll get sea pay.
That being said its all pensionable time and you'll get to meet great people and see interesting places. If your in a rut, the navy is the place to be.
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

كافر

Offline gunslinger

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Re: I am considering joining the navy and have a few questions
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2011, 13:14:22 »
Thanks CS,

I hear you regarding the the whole cleaning/swabbing thing, though I accept that as part of the deal.  I think that would be the case for an OT no matter what trade in the CF.  All I would hope for would be shown some sort of respect but hey, it will be what it will be.  having done multiple tours, I would be interested in the Boarding party course once established in my trade, and also the Ships Team Diver course.  Is there an age limit to that course or as long as you are in excellent shape you are able to apply?
Proximity....it turns people into Human Jerky