5 Tips for Striking a Rate
Jason LeMay is a Corpsman diver, one of the more unique jobs in the Navy. But, he didn't start that way. Like many Sailors, he started his career undesignated. Through the PACT program, Sailors can find the rates that suit them best.
Standing in line at a new restaurant staring at the menu board can create fear and tension in the best of times.
Fortunately, any single decision made while looking at a food menu isn't normally a decision that will determine your whole career.
The Big Honkin' Burger sounds tasty but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least try the Turkey Brie melt. What if I never come back to this restaurant and get to order the Crab Cake Hoagie? Will I be able to live with myself?
Imagine sitting in the Navy recruiter's office forced to pick a job you'll spend the next four-plus years of your life doing; A job you know nothing about. The Navy's Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks program, or PACT, enables even the most indecisive recruit the option to explore different ratings while still enlisting and protecting our country. Through the apprenticeship program, new undesignated Seamen can learn about the different Navy jobs without rogering up for one and getting stuck with a job they may not be suited for.
Perhaps you're already in the fleet mastering the needle gun, painting the side of the ship on three-section duty or chipping paint for a living. It's easy to feel defeated and just resign yourself to the daily undesignated seaman grind for the rest of your career. Keep your head up and remember that no one cares more about your career than you do.
Here are the five things Career Counselors want you to know about enlisting in the PACT program.
1. Stay involved with you chain of command and Command Career Counselor
PACT Sailors should meet with their chain of command and career counselors often to discuss their personal and professional goals, navigate the Career Waypoint system (or C-WAY), conduct Career Development Boards (CDBs), go over PACT designation quotas, and study for exams. Going through the PACT program for a year and 11 months, then finally informing your chain of tour intentions to join a certain rate is asking for the Navy to choose a job for you based upon available quotas, amongst other things.
"The most important thing is being engaged from the individual Sailor all the way up through the Chain of Command to the Commanding Officer," Said Senior Chief Career Counselor Harold "Butch" Gibbs, the USS George Washington(CVN-73) CCC."