Going Navy ATC; Questions Part 1

Future Sailor

Newcomer
Jul 25, 2019
2
0
1
Normally, this would go in the military ATC section but since I'm new, I figured two birds with one stone (an intro and question post) would be appropriate. I'm sure you gentlemen (and women) are busy so I'll get right to the point.

I am currently in the process of enlisting in the US Navy. I did pick 3 rates that are interesting to me to avoid the "job locked"ness that recruiters hate, but my top pick is, obviously, AC -- or I wouldn't be here. There is no slight against any other rate or branch. Every branch plays a part in the greater mission, as do the jobs and rates that comprise them. The Navy's culture and designs fit my personality and life trajectory, while the AC rate fits my interest in puzzle/problem solving, transportation and coordination (with civilian opportunities should I choose that route). As far as the other areas are concerned, I am committed to signing and enlisting. I will see this through and not waste my recruiter's, your (the readers), or the Navy's time.

That said, I have some questions about getting approved for the rate, as there seems to be a lot of steps that need to be taken to ensure I get and keep the slot (security clearance, flight physical, etc).

1) I'm a bit worried that my line scores will be too low to qualify. It's currently 220. My maths aren't that great, and while I am taking the obvious steps (studying and the like), I'd like to know if I'm overthinking the ASVAB here. This is key, because without the appropriate score, AC will be forever locked to me, thus rendering this thread pointless.

2) I'm even more worried about my security clearance. One is required for this job. I am filling out the SF86 to the best of my ability and am not fudging anything, however I have non-credit card-related debt (from hospital visits that don't violate the enlistment standards) with a credit score in the 540s. Is the clearance process less strenuous than I make it out to be or am I putting too much energy into this?

I know I've said tons, but I do appreciate everyone for reading and responding to ensure that I get the most out of my Navy future. I'll offer any additional information as requested. Thank you.
 

Mendooooo

Newcomer
Jun 21, 2017
2
0
1
Hello, just got out of the US Navy as an AC. Loved it, took me many places and I loved every minute of it... Now to answer your questions to the best of MY abilities....

Honestly the AC rate is always open. If you can score a 50 (I've known people to score 38 and still get it) on the ASVAB it will be available for you. Talk to your recruiter for help with your security clearance and any other questions regarding that aspect of it. You are not likely to find someone who is able to correctly answer those questions in this group.

Just keep in mind if your end goal is to enter the FAA (on the experienced bid) or any other contract tower in the US, you will need a CTO for most of those jobs. The Navy will most likely send you to a ship (carrier or amphib) for your first duty station. So you may end up doing more than one enlistment with them, in order to earn the appropriate quals.
 

Future Sailor

Newcomer
Jul 25, 2019
2
0
1
Hello, just got out of the US Navy as an AC. Loved it, took me many places and I loved every minute of it... Now to answer your questions to the best of MY abilities....

Honestly the AC rate is always open. If you can score a 50 (I've known people to score 38 and still get it) on the ASVAB it will be available for you. Talk to your recruiter for help with your security clearance and any other questions regarding that aspect of it. You are not likely to find someone who is able to correctly answer those questions in this group.

Just keep in mind if your end goal is to enter the FAA (on the experienced bid) or any other contract tower in the US, you will need a CTO for most of those jobs. The Navy will most likely send you to a ship (carrier or amphib) for your first duty station. So you may end up doing more than one enlistment with them, in order to earn the appropriate quals.
Surprised I didn't get a lot of bites in this thread. Then again, I'm not sworn-in yet so perhaps everyone else will come out in number once that happens.

Firstly, I appreciate your response. I'm glad you found your time fulfilling and that you served honourably. I scored a 64 on the average score six years ago for the Army, so I'm confident I won't be a total fail in that regard. Still, it pays to study and brush up rather than doing the minimum. I will say that I've done a good amount of basic research on the FAA. I'm not as interested anymore because I'm 27 and the cut-off is 30. Yes, I'm aware that they make exceptions for prior service, but the process can STILL take years and they start you from the beginning anyway. Not to say I definitely WON'T try for FAA. I'm just realistic and am aware that contract towers and DoD airports are still options.

My main concerns really are the ASVAB and the security clearance. The latter moreso than the former, as if scores of 38 still allowed for ATC to pop up I shouldn't be worried about making the score. ESPECIALLY now that I'm studying for it.

Another question: Browsing some of the old threads for recruits who signed for the job, I noticed a few servicemembers offering to put them in contact with certain instructors at their ATC schools to help them get extra squared away. Is that actually allowed? If so, I was going to take advantage of that, as I'm joining to do a job and not to play games or party. Hopefully you'd be able to answer this as well. If not I understand. But I do want to thank you again for taking the time to read this.
 

Skykid91

Rookie
Jun 1, 2018
50
0
6
I'm kinda in the same boar as you. I'm 27 and in the process of joining the National Guard ATC.
 

Mendooooo

Newcomer
Jun 21, 2017
2
0
1
Surprised I didn't get a lot of bites in this thread. Then again, I'm not sworn-in yet so perhaps everyone else will come out in number once that happens.

Firstly, I appreciate your response. I'm glad you found your time fulfilling and that you served honourably. I scored a 64 on the average score six years ago for the Army, so I'm confident I won't be a total fail in that regard. Still, it pays to study and brush up rather than doing the minimum. I will say that I've done a good amount of basic research on the FAA. I'm not as interested anymore because I'm 27 and the cut-off is 30. Yes, I'm aware that they make exceptions for prior service, but the process can STILL take years and they start you from the beginning anyway. Not to say I definitely WON'T try for FAA. I'm just realistic and am aware that contract towers and DoD airports are still options.

My main concerns really are the ASVAB and the security clearance. The latter moreso than the former, as if scores of 38 still allowed for ATC to pop up I shouldn't be worried about making the score. ESPECIALLY now that I'm studying for it.

Another question: Browsing some of the old threads for recruits who signed for the job, I noticed a few servicemembers offering to put them in contact with certain instructors at their ATC schools to help them get extra squared away. Is that actually allowed? If so, I was going to take advantage of that, as I'm joining to do a job and not to play games or party. Hopefully you'd be able to answer this as well. If not I understand. But I do want to thank you again for taking the time to read this.
Well I would not worry too much about the ASVAB you seems like you are well prepared. Just keep it up. Security clearance should not be that big of a deal if you, havent committed any crimes, and have a decent credit score. Key word SHOULD NOT. But to answer your question, you can make your own contacts with the instructors once you get to AC "A" school. Kind of blunt... Yes, but once you start contacting them before you're a sailor, and even so before you are a rated AC, you start flirting with a policy we call fraternization. Thats the best way to get you a ticket back home in a heartbeat. One important thing to noted in the Navy you are a Sailor first.. not an AC.
 

shannoneliz

Newcomer
Mar 6, 2012
6
0
1
I defaulted on a student loan before I joined the navy, so my credit score was pretty trash. The only requirement they had was that I get the loan back into a repayment status. If you're making your payments on time, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I also took the asvab years after being out of school and taking a math class, and managed a good score. I wouldn't overthink it too much. Don't try reaching out to an instructor. They'll teach you what you need to know when you get to A school. Nothing's going to make much sense to you now. AC doesn't have a sea/shore rotation like other rates, so you could go to a boat or you could spend 7 years on shore duty like I did.