Navy life
July 31, 2007 3:33 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone help me get out of the Navy? -Ok, I like the Navy, I love living in Japan, but three years is enough and I'm anxious to get on with my education. Has anyone out there gotten an early out (honorable/ w/ benefits of course)?

There is an early out program for people with a year or less left, and have heard plenty of rumors of friends of friends, that have done it (not counting the countless tales of pretending to be gay/crazy/a woman (seriously)) but would really like to hear from someone who really has. Thanks.
posted by nintendo to Law & Government (18 answers total)
three years is enough and I'm anxious to get on with my education

How many years do you have left in your current enlistment? What's your rank? Can you not "get on with your education" while still in the Navy (online classes, correspondence courses, courses at your current base, etc.)?
posted by amyms at 3:36 AM on July 31, 2007

How many years do you have left in your current enlistment? What's your rank? Can you not "get on with your education" while still in the Navy (online classes, correspondence courses, courses at your current base?

Good questions,

I have 1 year left, I'm an E-4, I have taken online classes for the past two years but the Navy makes college anything but accessible, with a minimum of 2 month long terms and time on and off boats, its usually only 1 or 2 terms out of 5 a year I'm even available for. The GI bill is nothing more than a recruiting tool, and the Navy has recently instituted a new policy where they will no longer pay for classes if you have a year or less left in your enlistment.
posted by nintendo at 3:49 AM on July 31, 2007

If you've only got a year left, you'll probably be better off in the long run if you just wait it out, unless you really do qualify for the "early out" program (without "pretending to be crazy" ~ which would probably haunt you in the future with job applications and such). Can't you talk to your higher-ups and find out more about the "early out" program? They'd know more about it (and about your situation) than strangers here on the internet.
posted by amyms at 4:00 AM on July 31, 2007

The large majority of "higher-up" would rather keep you around, and certainly if it doesn't work out, I have another year with these people. The part of the Navy I'm in seems to be very, either with us or against us. Plus, a year is a realllllly long time (making uuhgg sound :)
posted by nintendo at 4:11 AM on July 31, 2007

I hope someone else will be along soon with better suggestions than mine. Good luck to you.
posted by amyms at 4:19 AM on July 31, 2007

Suck it up and tough it out. You may be asked by a future employer about why you only served 3 instead of 4 years and then you'll have to either tell the truth, which will make you look like someone who can't finish what you started, or you'll have to make up a bullshit story that may or may not hold up upon further questioning.

Just my 2 cents. I don't have military experience but I have worked for/with people who do and heard them discuss undesirable applicants with similar "situations" on their resum├ęs.
posted by chillmost at 5:23 AM on July 31, 2007

Seconding sticking it out.

Not in the military, but I knew an awful lot of people in your shoes, having a tough time taking the last year of enlistment.

The ones who had the most sanity just steeled themselves and looked at the military as a job. Just a job. A weird job. Go to work, do your job, come home and think about the stuff you like to think about. Take a jaunt through the employment questions. Lots and lots of people don't like their jobs.
posted by desuetude at 6:04 AM on July 31, 2007

Yeah I would say tough it out as well. I have worked with a fair amount of ex-military people and almost uniformly they are respected so I wouldn't do anything to give people any reason to think otherwise.
posted by mmascolino at 6:23 AM on July 31, 2007

Right now isn't a great time of year to be trying to enter a normal university--for most four year "traditional" universities, classes are about to start in three weeks, which is a really short time to apply, be admitted, pick out classes, find a place to live and a way to pay for it all, etc. I think you would be much better off taking the year and getting your ducks in a row, applying for scholarships/grants (free money!), filling out school applications, making sure that all your previous credits transfer...... Then next year you can move straight into college with as little pain as possible.
posted by anaelith at 6:27 AM on July 31, 2007

Well, I'll go against the grain a little and say that getting out early most likely won't follow you around. If you end up getting the "other than honorable" tag, you may have some 'splainin' to do, and you'll lose the little benefits you have. Check your home state laws and see what they'll do for veterans. You don't want to lose that, along with the GI Bill.

A year really isn't that long; while the nights last forever, the weeks will fly by. If you can't do school, find some other hobby to occupy your time. Most degree programs have a long shelf-life. This is a delay, not a denial.

Now if you've got someone in your chain of command dicking you around, you're going to have that on the outside, too. You just have fewer options where you are. This is a time to learn how to deal with it, because after this the most stupid, childish, asshole civilian (even ex-military) boss will be nothing after this.

You don't say how old you are, but my guess is early 20s. Everyhing seems eternal at that age.
posted by lysdexic at 6:35 AM on July 31, 2007

Have you thought about finding a Reserve unit you could transfer to? The early-out probably involves staying in the IRR for some time, which could result in an unpleasant surprise down the road.

I realize this is not the answer you're asking about; I don't know anyone who has used early-out.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:36 AM on July 31, 2007

one year left... don't forget to sign up for TAP. it was the best part of my military education. You get to wear civilian clothes, they teach you how to write a resume, give you a lot of good job hunting resources, and you are away from the ship.

If you are talking about the early out for over manned ratings, you should be able to take it with no problems. Just remember that you are looking for the "Honorable Discharge" and not "General Discharge under Honorable conditions". I can't remember exactly where to look, but read up in the MILPERSMAN under discharges, and also at their website, where you can read the actual message that establishes the early out program.

Depending on who your CCC is, you should be able to talk to him and get all the info you need. That is, unless he's bought into the whole 'must retain all squids possible' mentality. Luckily, mine was all about getting people out, so a bunch of people got it with his help.

When you submit your special request, attach copies of relevant messages and instructions, so that you aren't dismissed out of hand.

Your CO probably has a large amount of say in whether they'll give it to you or not, so don't be too suprised if you are turned down.

Just be glad that you weren't required to sign up for 6...
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:38 AM on July 31, 2007

You need to stick it out. Don't look at it as a whole year before you get out, think about it one day at a time.

All you have to do is get through today. Just today. You can focus on tomorrow when it gets here.

Good luck, you'll be out before you know it.
posted by bshort at 6:38 AM on July 31, 2007

Nthing treat this last year like a job. Get some hobbies for your downtime, don't let it take up as much of your life as you've been letting it. Could be a good time to start writing?
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:04 AM on July 31, 2007

Depending on the type of work you are going to look for, would you hire someone for a highly responsable position if you could see that there was a contractual comitment that they did not meet? Before you decide to work toward an early discharge, think about that aspect.

Also, I cannot imagine that the last year in the navy stationed in Japan could be as bad as the last year in the marines stationed in Iraq.
posted by slavlin at 8:01 AM on July 31, 2007

slavlin: Although your're probably right, you'd be surprised what the last year anywhere in the navy is like.

As for the question "Why did you only serve 3 out of 4 years of your contract?", the answer to that is "My rating was overmanned (or whatever), I was offered termination of my contract, and I took it because I wanted to jump-start my education." Assuming they ask it, of course.

Make a countdown of the days you have left. It could be as simple as a calendar where you X off the days that go by, to making a paperclip chain where you remove one for each day, to anything more complicated. I know a guy who hated his job so badly that he wrote the number of days remaining on the inside of his wrist. The point being that if anyone asked him why, he could respond "So when I think about slitting my wrist over this job, I can see how little time left I have and change my mind." He wasn't suicidal, just very dramatic.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2007

I know nothing about this since I don't know people in the military, but what is the negative reprecussion of coming out as gay to get out? Does that give you a dishonerable discharge? I don't know the post don't-ask-don't-tell details on this, but if you dont' violate the code (ie: you don't "tell" but rather let the story get 'out' through rumor), is it still dishonarable? Seems easy enough to fake being gay. Make out with a dude. In public. Write love letters. 'Hide' some gay porn in your stuff. Etc.
posted by serazin at 10:46 AM on July 31, 2007

Are you accepted to the school you want to go to yet? Have financial aid lined up? Saved up enough money to get by for a while with (no/a crappy) job? Found a place to live in the town you want to go to school in?

Chances are, you're not as ready as you could be to get out yet. I mean, sure, you could get out and not drop dead. Why not use the Nav for your last year? Do all of that stuff while they're paying you. On your last day +1, walk into your new job, new school, new apartment and get going. Don't get out and then have a bunch of stuff to do.

I spend a lot of time at career review boards with the old man. Guys always say they want to get out early and go to school. He always asks, how do you know? Sure, he said so. Has he mailed off any applications? Made any arrangements? Must not want to go that bad. Denied. The one guy who I've seen who was serious did all that stuff. Know what? The CO couldn't sign his chit fast enough. Kept bugging the yeomen to get him on his way.
posted by ctmf at 10:54 PM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

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