At age 17, I enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program, to pursue training in electronics and an accelerated advancement upon graduation. I had only some idea of what I was selecting from a few courses in my last year of high school. After completing a career in the Navy, the experiences and the training I earned have provided me security and satisfaction with the career I was afforded. Young men and women today have many more opportunities to learn life-changing skills and gain experience through military service. Yet, the career a young person embarks is still to a large degree dependent on the goals, aptitude and motivation of each individual. Though I know few who regretted their choice of career, with a well-reasoned, thoughtful approach to potential careers, the military does enable many to avoid the pitfalls of a loan-financed education with few real-world opportunities.
In 2023, the lure of a college education as a means to provide more security and career options to young people is recognized by many as failing to live up to the billing. Those whose aptitude and college credentials provide them access to biotech, engineering, computer programming and related careers will do well generally. Many of these students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields have opportunity to intern with companies, and get real-world experiences prior to graduation. The Navy, as well as the other military services, as well as other government organizations offer internships to highly motivated young people, even before deciding to embark on an enlisted or commissioned career.
Here are some of the opportunities that exist today in the Navy:
- STEM internship for select high school or college students
- Warrant Officer (Aerial Vehicle Operator) program for current enlisted personnel to attend OCS and become advanced technical specialists
- For those students seeking post-graduate education in the medical or dental fields, a Navy scholarship program can pay those costs, so students can focus on their education and providing real-world experience in the Navy or Marine Corps
- Current college undergraduates whose career ambitions may be in the Active Duty or in the Reserve, seeking a Commission, or to pursue Nursing, Civil Engineering, or the nuclear power field have options