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Looking for a Navy or AF recruiter for my son...

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Active member
Jun 7, 2002
Hey guys -

My 20 year old just finished his AS degree and really wants to pursue ATC in the Navy (he got pretty well screwed by an AF recruiter last year trying the same thing with them...ended up getting a breath away from EOD before it was over, and is a bit gun-shy now).

It's my understanding that what he needs is a recruiter that is willing to work with him, knowing that the ONLY thing he is interested in is ATC. This kid is really sharp (I'm biased, but he really is a cut above), and would be a tremendous asset to any branch. His older brother just finished a tour in Iraq with the Army infantry, and his best friend is an AF controller, so he knows what he's getting into...he just needs a little help (I'm flying for SWA, but crawled up via the civilian route and have proven very little help with this so far). Anyone out there have connections to a recruiter that might be able to lend a hand?

Guys, I need some help here - my kid is absolutely perfect for this, and I'd love to see him move in this direction.

Thanks in advance,

A lot of recruiters these days are co-located in the same building with the other services recruiters. Find one of them and go and see the recruiter of his choice. Tell the recruiter in no uncertain terms that he wants ATC and ATC only. Also tell them that if they even stutter he'll walk right next door to another service and see if they can accomodate him. You don't need to be confrontational, just don't let anybody talk him out of it. I doubt he'll have a problem. Your son is educated and focused. There's no selling involved. All the recruiter has to do is test him, sign him and ship him. That's a recruiters wet dream.
Finish the 4 year degree first!!!!!!!

From a former active and now reservist enlisted Navy guy...Tell him to get his Bachelors first. It's only 2 more years. That way when he realizes how bad it sucks being a junior enlisted guy in the Navy and how little money he will be making, at least he won't be pigeon holed and he can look at officer programs. Don't get me wrong, I love the Navy, but given the choice, take the high road... Also, is he interested in doing this forever? Why not go the civilian route and be done with it?
What part of the world do you live in? I have a good friend that is the officer recruiter in Dallas. I would tell your son to finish his 4 year degree first and the look at getting in as an officer. Have him look into the BDCP program (can’t remember if that what it’s still called). I don’t know all the details of it but the navy will make him an E-5 pay for his school, give him full BHA, and all benefits till he’s done with school. After that, OCS and 4 years. Right now the navy is not taking a lot of enlisted people in some fields. I had a good buddy try to become a corpsman and was told it is a year long wait just to get into boot camp then 6 month wait for A- school. I can promise you he will be much happier as on officer. I spent 5 years enlisted in the Marine Corp then joined the dark side as a naval officer. Loved my time with my bros but navy life is much nicer.
ATC vs Officer

There are not a lot of officer billets in ATC. There are even fewer officer controllers. Most are enlisted that actually do the controlling. Something to think about. Has he considered the FAA route or is he set on going the mil route. The above info from Caveman is right on concerning the recruiters. Recruiters "sell" the needs of the service and make it seem like that is the best or only option. Stand by your guns and make sure they know you are only interested in ATC if you go the mil route. Good luck.
As ExAF states there is at least one ATC Officer slot at an AF base and often 1-2 additional Officer slots at the bigger and busier bases. At Eglin we had 3 Officer slots when I was there in the mid 80s. The advantage to the AF is more bases = more ATC facilities = more controller slots.

Another avenue your son could look into is the ANG. ANG has quite a few Combat Comm Sqdns (at least that's what they were called when I was in) where he could get the training and look at the FAA afterwards. I'm a retired AF controller but have been out since '88. Also worked w/ the ANG as an ATC Advisor, so I'd be glad to answer any other questions if I can.

ExAF, man I miss the F4! Could watch 'em in the pattern for hours. Saw one at the Maxwell Open House this year flying w/ a P51. Too cool.

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Don't forget the Marines have ATC too, MOS 7257 if your son wants to be in the real military. Just kidding.

Seriously if ATC is his thing then stick with the Air Force. Much better assignments and training in the airplane-centric service. I don't know what happened with your last recruiter, just find another one or talk to his CO. Actually AF EOD is a pretty sought after career field so he wasn't really screwing him. I have never seen a requirement to try and put people in EOD because a lot of people can't get in because of secuirty clearance requirements and ASVAB scores.

That being said recruiters work in regions. If you live in say Dallas, you will want to work with the recruiting station in Dallas. If anyone here knows a recruiter outside your region all that recruiter may be able to do is offer advice, but you will still have to inprocess near your home with a local recruiter.

BTW the Army has ATC too.
Guys - thanks a ton for the feedback. He definitely has a lot to think about, and some avenues not considered before!
Guys - thanks a ton for the feedback. He definitely has a lot to think about, and some avenues not considered before!

I just wanted to add something if you are now seriously considering the officer route. OCS is very competive and dificult to get into right after graduation from college. Selection rate percentages are usually around 12-15% for qualified applicants. In the Marine Corps any college freshmen could enroll in PLC, go to training over two summers, maintain a "C" average, and get a commission upon graduation. To be competitive so you could get into Marine OCS after graduation you had to pretty much be a "A" student in a technical degree program, be in excellent physical shape to score high on the pre-entry PT Test, and have shown a lot of demonstrated leadership or (and) have been a college athlete.

If you and your son are now considering staying in school and becoming an officer there are two year ROTC programs your son can enter for his last two years of college including the 10 week Marine Corps PLC.





If that is not an option serivce in the National Guard or Reserves would not hurt and offer another possibility to receive a comission.
The services are filling their annual recruiting quotas up to 6 months in advance. It is a buyers market. The choice jobs are filled well in advance of the opening. What was his ASVAP score? that tells a lot about placement. Don't just go for Navy, go for Army, USMC, and don't forget the USCG. Also this is not a civilian ATC job, he is joing to serve at the pleasure of his president.

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