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KidJoey

Duty to serve.

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Duty to serveÖ

So next week I am going to go meet with a Navy recruiter to see about starting a new chapter in my life. This is something that I have been struggling with since the start of the year. First it was which branch to join. Then it was the fact that I am gay and would have to go back into the closet for a number of years. And thirdly, telling my family the news.

Well the good part is my family is all for it and thinks it would be a great choice and adventure for me to undertake. So after trying to work up the nerves for a number of weeks, I look back at it and think. What was there really to worry about? In the end nothing I suppose.

The Hardest thing I needed to figure out was which branch I was most interested in? Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard. Well after some soul searching, and some research online I decided on the Navy. One reason being they offer a job that I am highly interested in. And could lead to a great career down the road. And second, well there really wasnít a second reason. Now I am not going to say what job Iím interested in and I still need to take the ASVAB. But if I test into it I am looking at a year wait just to go to basic training. This would give me time to get into better shape. Not that Iím out of shape at the moment. But the more practice/working out the better. Right?

The most worry some part of this though is as you guessed it. The fact that I am gay. Since I was 19 I have been living the fee life as you could call it. I didnít have to hide behind a title saying I was straight. And I have to admit. That felt quite good to me. As I wasnít keeping a secret from anybody. I am able to be myself daily and not worry about what others think. However, with the militaryís policy dealing with gays in the military. I now have to once again hide who I am. Because, if they find out I lied to them I could be looking at a court marshal and jail time. But with their donít ask donít tell policy it shouldnít be hard for me to hide who I am. And with any luck a few years down the road they will overturn that policy and I will once again be able to come out.

Some may ask, why I want to join. Now that is an honest to god hard question to answer. But for some reason mentally I feel compelled to do so. Whatís even stranger is I donít come from a military family. So this will be uncharted waters for us all. But if I get talking to my recruiter and things seem to click it could be the start of a great career/adventure.
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Comments

  1. Chillhouse's Avatar
    Hey, we've got a lot in common. I'd like to join the navy after college. Not for any reason, just 'because'. If I start my career right out of college I'll be making crap money, so if I join the navy instead I can pay off my student loans faster.

    I also don't come from a military family. My dad's completely against me joining, but fuck 'em.
  2. diapersrulez's Avatar
    Well, if you want to, I'll wish you good luck. Personally, if I had to choose between the Navy and the army I would choose the navy, so you scored a point there But I will warn you, service in the navy is quite disciplined, and you will work in a close group, and although you say you will be able to hide it, eventually some of them will find out. Personally, I wouldn't want to work in an enviroment that discourages my sexual preferences, but if you think you will able to manege it I wish you good luck, and I truly hope the best for you.
  3. Fruitkitty's Avatar
    FWIW, from the looks of it, you'll be able to openly serve about a year from now; a DADT "review" and ability for repeal upon certification of the military command was part of this year's defense appropriations bill. That conveniently coincides with basic training potentially being about a year away.
  4. molicareak's Avatar
    I applaude your desire to serve our country. I would recommend that, if you are going to serve in the military, that you stay in the closet until you get to a safe place where you are going to be with people that you trust. I have known a handful of gay servicemen/women (like twenty) and none of them were "open" about their sexuality. That being said a lot of people knew about their sexuality and either ignored it or because they were hard workers and dedicated soldiers choose to look at it as their preference and nobody's business. That being said, there are also people in the military (like in the real world) that have strong convictions/fears that won't allow them to cohabitate with anyone that doesn't share their specific view of the world. Those people will go out of their way to get you tossed out on your ear. So, it is the dysfuncitonal minority that you have ot watch out for. I don't know about the prevalence of gay men/women in the service but my intuition is that there are fewer in the Marines and Army than in the Air Force and Navy. diapersrulez is correct about the Navy living in close quarters. I would think it depends on your MOS and posting as to how true that is. I think the Air Force is going to have more options for living in a private setting earlier than most of the services because of the nature of their bases and missions. Also, your ability to live on your own has a lot to do with your rank. If you can get a degree or advance placement and come in as an officer/higher ranked enlisted you will have a better chance of living on your own than if you come in as a junior enlisted. If you are an E1 to E4 plan on living in a group setting for a long time. E5 and above can expect to get more privacy depending on where you are posted and what your job is. If you are deployed you will have very little privacy. I wish you luck, keep us posted.
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