The SCSon understands that earning a university degree has become extraordinarily expensive and the military can help with that. He is also interested in serving his country. So to learn what opportunities are available, we scheduled a visit with a Navy recruiter.
We arrived a few minutes early to find a bolted door. Well Marines and Army are next door. Is it one big office or are they interconnected? As we head toward a different door, Navy surfaces and offers us entry. As I'm walking through the door I hear "You chose the wrong door!" To my dying day, I will never know if was Marine or Army ;-)
I opened questioning with the recruiter... "So do you guys have bulletproof glass out front yet?" The recruiter responded in the negative and then indicated he regretted not having a sidearm on his hip. I responded "I too regret *you* not having a sidearm!" (I'm the one with my back to the window). This is a broken policy that badly needs fixing. (the offices are also marked no weapons zone... this is also badly broken policy.) Give me a day and I'll add a pic.
Many family elders have gone the ROTC route so he has some history there.. The Petty Officer recruiter handles enlisted stuff but happily ponied up the ROTC coordinator info. Contrast that with the USArmy guy with the automatic "you won't qualify" attitude.
SCSon inquires about the Navy Nuclear program (as recommended by former teacher & USN Annapolis grad). USN Recruiter offered up all the flowery "here are all the accolades you will receive upon graduation and beyond." But that assumes you complete the course. This scenario reminds me of the static line parachute course I did several years ago... The first 45 minutes were "this is what will probably happen if all goes well". The next 5 hours were "these are the possible failures and how to resolve them". This path bears further exploration. There are some pretty difficult sections of the Nuclear program (see also Thermodynamics) What happens if he fails at one of these points?
I was amused when the recruiter put the question to the SCSon "are you ready to sign up today? (it's on the form)" Answer "No!" This is day one of the exploration.
It was also a teaching moment... The form asked for three contemporary references. I reminded the SCSon it is customary to notify potential references and ask permission ahead of time before listing them. In this case , as the references are all JROTC contemporaries, it would probably be sufficient to notify them "hey so&so may call... speak well of me!"
We are neither pushing pro or con. It's his choice. He has several relatives with history along the same lines. I think he'd experience either pro or con and want to share with the SCSon,