Who is joining the Navy?
Last week, a representative from the Navy Recruiting District of Raleigh visited Leesville Road. An information crowded with flyers and applications, was placed near the library and cafeteria to catch the attention of students walking in the hallway between classes.
The navy recruits came to spread navy awareness. They answered many questions students had with the aim to clear up any doubt or stereotypes of the military and more specifically, the navy lifestyle.
“By coming today, we want to show our face and all we want to achieve here today is make a few new friends and getting people interested,” said Petty Officer Hutton, Navy recruiter.
Officer Hutton took a slightly unique path with his Naval career. He joined the forces at age 34 in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks with the intention of serving for four years. Once he realized the opportunities this division had to offer, he changed his entire career path to fit in with the Navy. He has served for over ten years.
“Financially, I am in a better position than I’ve ever was. Education wise, I do not owe any debt,” said Hutton.
“All of my education is free; I have made the best friends I’ve made in my life in my 10 years in the navy. I’ve been all over the world. This is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Times are tough and the American Dream continues to fade away for a large segment of the student population. According to Officer Hutton, students facing the onset of hardships post-secondary school will experience…
“A complete change of life. Once you join the navy, you’ll never have to worry about the skillset you gonna need for the real world because you get it. You never have to worry about how you are going to pay for college, because you get that. We pay you to go to school while you’re in. we give you the GI bill and you can use that after you get out. Best of all, you get full medical services.”
The local branch will continue to visit the school up to the end of the school year and most of the following year. Students interested will have several opportunities to gather information about the program, take tests, and enroll into this branch of the military.
According to Hutton, the Raleigh district recruits four to five seniors from each high school. The miniscule figure is due to the fact that most people join the summer after they graduate. NROTC programs also provide students channels into the Navy.
“A lot of people flood into the military when they run out of options,” said Hutton.
“I tell people to find out if they qualify before that time because most people don’t qualify for the navy. They find out when it is too late so I say that everyone checks as early as possible. It does not cost a thing to check.”
Once prospects fill out documents and other requirements, a physical test incorporating swimming, running, and core strengthening trials will determine whether one is qualified for service.
The Department of Naval Services additionally provides special programs like the Navy Seals and dozens of concentrations ranging from advanced electronics to nuclear energy.
“You can be a 20 year old young man in charge of a billion dollar nuclear ‘power train.’” said Hutton.
“We offer you a future, period.”