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Navy’s DAT Policy Revisited

Ever since Navy Recruiting Command has implemented its policy of zero tolerance for when an applicant fails the Military Entrance Processing Station’s initial drug portion of the Drug and Alcohol Test (DAT), it never sat right with me. It is a policy that was originally implemented in an effort to help reduce boot-camp attrition for drugs by sending a strong message that the Navy meant business. Admirable motives, but there are flaws, and I voiced my concerns while on active duty, and well, I am bringing it up again. It still bothers me.

I am 100% for drug testing. I think the Navy, and the military as a whole, has a much better and safer work environment as compared to the time before testing and zero tolerance. But, I am also for a consistency in policy.

From Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Instruction (COMNAVCRUITCOMINST) 1130.8J – VOLUME II, Chapter 1, Section 1, pg. 3-4;

MANDATORY REJECTIONS/WAIVERS NOT AUTHORIZED:
a. Automatic Rejections. Application for enlistment or affiliation shall be rejected from any individual who:

(17) Has ever tested positive for drugs on a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) drug and alcohol test (DAT).

It is clear, if an applicant fails the drug portion of the DAT at MEPS — it doesn’t matter how long ago, or from what service the applicant may have been originally processing — that applicant is barred from enlistment, and no waivers are authorized. Period.

Now, here is where it gets confusing. (Read the rest of the article…)


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Navy Jobs for the Fouth Quarter FY 2014

Navy Recruiting Command’s Admiral’s Accelerator Award (AAA) is a quarterly award that provides, in part, an incentive for recruiters and job classifiers to fill ratings and programs that could use a boost in qualified personnel. The current guidance runs from July 1 through September 30, 2014 (the fourth quarter of the fiscal year). Of course, any rating could be available on any day, but due to the emphasis, the following ratings and programs listed should have a higher visibility from the first processing day, tomorrow, in July and through September 30, 2014 (a Tuesday).

Many of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same as the last AAA, and they are:
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Operation Live Well

Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss an important health initiative with Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. William Mahoney, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Navy Command Master Chief Terry Prince, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Defense Health Agency, going on within the Department of Defense (DoD). The initiative, “Operation Live Well”, now celebrating its one year anniversary, helps focus members of DoD on healthy living and beating tobacco use.

The topic is of major importance to those of you seeking enlistment. Many of you do not currently have a routine of fitness, some of you are battling weight issues, and a few of you use tobacco products which impedes your progress toward success. Remember, while at boot-camp, (Read the rest of the article…)


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Hurry Up and Wait

Lately, well, actually, over the past few months, I have been getting a growing number of applicants, and even some recruiters, telling me via comments in the blog, social media, or via email that they are waiting on their local commands and MEPS to inform them to whether their police involvement and/or medical condition will allow them to move forward with their processing. This is actually a normal part of the processing.

The medical prescreening issue:

When an applicant has a “yes” answer on their medical prescreening form, DD Form 2807-2, Medical Prescreen of Medical History Report, the corresponding medical records must be submitted to the MEPS for review. MEPS personnel will respond with one of a few options, either, eligible to process, permanently disqualified, temporarily disqualified (usually a timeframe will be given as to how long the disqualification will be in place), or that more medical documentation is required.

What isn’t normal is having to (Read the rest of the article…)


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Navy Distinguished Visitor Program

Over the years, Navy Recruiting Command has sponsored Educator Orientation Visits (EOV) to give educators around the country an opportunity to visit our Navy. The visits can include various training commands and even ship visits. Below is a description of one such trip written by a High School Principal in San Francisco — it is worth the read!
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Navy Jobs for the Third Quarter FY 2014

As a reminder, any rating and program for which you qualify may be available when you go to MEPS to enlist, but those ratings and programs I will be listing below are reflected in the incentive program for recruiting personnel message that was released today, specifically, the Admiral’s Accelerator Award. The ratings and programs listed should be available from the first processing day in April (even though the notice was signed yesterday and released today) through the last processing day of June 2014.

Many of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same, and they are:
(Read the rest of the article…)


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2015 Projected Active Duty End-Strength

For FY-2015, the projected United States Navy active duty end-strength according to the Department of the Navy budget estimates. With minor adjustments at the various paygrades, the total active duty strength projection remains consistent with the one made for 2014.
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FEB 2014 SLRP and EB Update

Effective 01 FEB 2014, the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program (LRP) will include one additional rating for those enlisting on to active duty over the previous release; Cryptologic Technician (Technical). It has been a while since we have seen a change.

Starting Monday, the first processing day in February, the Musician, Hospital Corpsman (HM-SG) and Cryptologic Technician – Interpretive (CTI-Advanced Technical Field (ATF)), Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance — SG), Cryptologic Technician (Networks — ATF), Cryptologic Technician (Technical — AEF), Information System Technician, and the Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) ratings are eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program.
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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

For my first Thanksgiving in the Navy, I was a recruit in my 4th week at RTC Orlando. Of my 51 years on this planet, it is the one I recall with the most fondness. Not because of the food, we certainly didn’t get to watch any football, and there wasn’t a blood relative in sight the entire day; however, there was something that made it special, my number one. For the first time in my life, I was actually thankful — I truly felt I understood the day’s meaning. It wasn’t due to a speech or event that day that grabbed my attention, no, it was just being there with a bunch other other folks enduring the same adversities, and we absolutely loved it.

You can learn a lot about yourself when you miss a traditional holiday for the first time. For me, I (Read the rest of the article…)


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USS Maryland Logalbum 1925

When I first entered recruiting duty, I proudly displayed the cruise book from my 1982 deployment aboard the USS Forrestal. Over the years, hundreds of applicants perused the book; eventually, it was destroyed. It did in fact help a lot of folks make the decision to join the Navy, so its death was not in vain.

It was due to the untimely death of my cruise book that I decided to make an effort to save one such book from the same fate. Not long ago, the distant family member of a Sailor walked into a local recruiting station and left his relative’s cruise book for applicants to see and enjoy. The applicants will get that chance, but not before I make a copy of all the original images and documents — I will then use the copies to make a new book. The other will either be displayed in a case or turned over to the Naval History and Heritage Command (as discussed with the LPO — if they will take it). The History and Heritage Command has a number of cruise books listed in (Read the rest of the article…)


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