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Navy ODS Tips and Insights

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Natya, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. Natya

    Natya

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    Hey Ya'll! I just got out of Navy ODS and I'm here with some tips for you guys.

    Things to bring:
    unscented baby wipes (unless you like to smell like baby): you don't always have time to take a proper shower

    those facial cleansing clothes that don't require water (see above)

    Ladies: hair gel. Lots of hair gel. You won't need it the first few days. You'll actually be forbidden from using it. Then your team leaders will get tired of your flyaways, yell at you, and you'll plaster your hair to your head 24 hours a day from then on.

    iPod. They never specifially say you can use them, but they're fair game on weekends and evenings (well, evenings after the second week)

    computer. Yeah, they say you can bring on on the website. There is PLENTY of storage space in YOUR room, locked up with YOUR lock. Bring it. You won't get internet access unless you're in wing 6, but it comes in handy, nonetheless.

    watch. You won't be allowed to wear it until week 4 or 5, but you'll be glad you have it then.

    Ladies: little boys tee shirts. They don't make women's white tee shirts. Mens require tucking into your pants. Trust me, as high as the waist line is on those uniform pants, you're NOT going to want to tuck in any more than absolutely necessary. If the little boys size doesn't fit you, CUT the bottom of the shirt off.

    Crappy glasses (if you wear them). You'll need crappy ones.

    Contact lenses. At the very least, you'll want them for fire fighting and abaondon ship. They also make PT better. Nobody likes to run/do pushups with their glasses sliding down their noses!

    Notebook. Scrap paper comes in very handy, and the last few weeks, you'll be allowed to carry it to class. Taking notes is a handy way to stay awake in power point hell. You'll understand when you get there.

    Blanket. If you are in RI during anything except July and August, you'll want a blanket. They turn the heat off in the building because of the smell (remember the lack of proper showers?). The blankets you'll be issued are crap, plus you can't actually use them. You won't be sleeping in your bed. On it, maybe, but not in it. Bring a blanket, or buy a cheap on at the NEX when you get there.

    Civilian clothes. Yeah. The website says to bring as few civvies as possible. Ignore that. Figure you'll have three weekends of liberty while you're there. That's Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday for three weekends. Pack accordingly.

    Gel insoles. You'll be standing and walking pretty much 18 hours a day the first week or two. Then you'll be drilling for grad practice for HOURS at a time. Bring insoles. They'll save you.

    Air freshener. Your room will need it.

    Swiffer, and all swiffer-related items. You'll need them to clean your room. They place is ALWAYS dusty. You'll need them. There is a gear locker where you can check out items. These are at a premium, and you won't always have time to go all the way to the gear locker.

    Books, if you like to read. I read more at ODS than I had in years. Bring reading material.

    Playing cards. You'll have spare time, especially the last two weeks. Playing cards are a GREAT passtime, plus you get to socialize with your division. Use that iPod and the cool thing that turns it into a stereo. Good times.

    Okay. I'll post more items to bring as I remember them. Here is the lowdown on what to expect the first few days.

    You'll check in Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Enjoy these days. No one will yell at you. Leave the building. Use this opportunity to get to know your division. Go off base. You won't leave base again for three weeks. Enjoy it.

    Monday: no one will yell at you this day, either. It's admin day. You'll be bored. Enjoy the boredom. Relish the boredom. You won't be bored again for a while.

    Tuesday: it's go-time. They will tell you to be up and ready at 5am. It's really 4am. Be ready to go, IN YOUR ROOM by 0345. You won't regret it.

    Make sure the people near the hall doors are comfortable with rank and recognition. Also, make sure somebody is posted there watching to see who's coming through the doors. You'll have to call "attention on deck," "chief on deck," ect all the time. You'll get dropped (pushups, punitive PT, etc) if somebody walks in and nobody calls it.

    You'll be issued a water bottle. It will be with you AT ALL TIMES. They will try to trick you with this the first REAL day of training. They'll tell you to ground your bottle. Tell you it goes with you everywhere, then send you to your rooms to get something. TAKE YOUR BOTTLE WITH YOU!!! This is a trick. You may not get YOUR water bottle back if you don't take it to your room with you.

    Know your left from your right. This is invaluable.

    Learn how to iron.

    Know how to do your own laundry.

    Practice taking REALLY quick, REALLY cold showers.

    Get used to having no privacy. The shower curtains...not large enough to cover most of...anything.

    When you check into your room on the day you arrive, you'll notice a little green notebook on your desk. Take this notebook, and write in it:
    you chain of command (located on one of the bulletin boards in your hallway)
    11 general orders of a sentry
    Sailor's creed
    Anchor's aweigh (all verses)
    Navy/USMC rank and recognition
    This is your knowledge. Memorize it. You'll be expected to recite from memory at will ANY and ALL of this. Especially during uniform inspections.

    That's all I can type at one sitting. I'm tired. I'll add more later as I think of it. Feel free to PM me with questions if you have any!

    Natya:cool:
  2. TheGoose

    TheGoose

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    thanks for the tips
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  3. MatBennett

    MatBennett New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'm going next week. I do have a few questions...

    How many people in an ODS class?
    Besides physicians, who else is there?
    What about cell phones? Can we bring 'em?
    When you have the weekend off, how far can you go? Ok to go down to NYC?

    Thanks.
  4. Natya

    Natya

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    We had 160 some odd people in my class, but it was a little larger than most. That was broken up into four divisions of roughly 40 people each.
    There were med students/docs
    dentists/dental students
    chaplains/divinity students
    medical service corps (hospital administrators, psychologists, etc)
    nurses
    lawyers
    I think that's it.

    Yes, bring your cell phone! And your charger!!!!! You will have plenty of opportunity to surreptitiously use your phone.

    Your first weekend will be essentially business as usual. You'll muster early in the morning, march to breakfast, drill, PT, etc. You won't really have much free time. I think we had about 4 hours of free time the first weekend.
    The second weekend we had on-base liberty. We could go anywhere we wanted on base, in uniform, with a buddy. You could PT in your Navy-issue PT gear with a buddy.

    The third weekend you get off-base liberty. You CAN NOT go to NYC. I think the limit was 200 miles, they already know NYC is beyond that limit. We were specifically told that we could not go there, and to not bother asking. You can go to Boston, however. I recommend this whole-heartedly. You will be in uniform this weekend as well.

    The forth weekend you have off-base liberty pretty much wherever you want (within that 200 mile limit), in civilian clothes. I'm fairly certain that we had overnight liberty this weekend as well. Newport is actually fun. It is very quaint, quintessential New England town. I enjoyed it. Other people got hotels in Boston and stayed there Fri and Sat night. You can rent cars in base for fairly cheap and wander around Rhode Island/the 200 mile radius, etc.

    It's important to not break the rules during liberty, especially in the early weeks, because liberty can be secured at any time. You have more freedoms the last couple of weeks, but you have to earn them, and maintain the right by not screwing up. It's not hard to not get in trouble. Just don't be stupid. You'll be fine. Enjoy ODS! I had had a great time. I wish you the best in your training!

    Natya
  5. MatBennett

    MatBennett New Member

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    What do you wear for the first few days? The Navy PT gear?
    When do you get your uniforms? What if they have to be altered? I have a Navy base nearby and could get my uniforms before I go if I wanted to, would it be worth it?
    Were there many prior service people in your group?
    Is it two people to a room? Do you just get randomly put together in rooms or is there some order to it?

    Thanks for your replies...

    Mat
  6. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member

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    3 weekends of liberty . . . (old man voice) back when I was there we only had ONE DAY of liberty . . . . seriously. I'm kind of bitter about that.
  7. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    You will wear what they tell you to wear. Likely it will be the PT gear or coveralls that will be issued to you.

    When they tell you to get them. For us it was the first week.

    There is a tailor at the uniform shop.

    Not really, no.

    Yes. They were sending the LDO/CWOs through ODS with us, so probably half the class had prior service, often a significant amount (we had a CWO who had been in the Navy for 24yrs).

    Yes and yes. Alphabetical.
  8. Slikkrick77

    Slikkrick77

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    I'm going to ODS in April. I am a weak swimmer and can't thread water for more than 5 minutes... How much swimming skills do I need for ODS to pass the water survival test? What exactly are they testing you for? How can you take off the pants while youre in the water? Pls. advise.

    Thank you
  9. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    You will get remedial swim training while at ODS if you can't pass the test. You can't pass ODS (or be in the Navy, really) without passing the swim test, but the rumor is that no one has ever failed the swim test after remedial classes.

    As far as the details of the test, such as inflating your pants, etc., you get pretty detailed instructions during the test itself. There were plenty of people in my class who had never done those things, and they were fine.
  10. Roshario

    Roshario Cracking Toast!

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    They'll work with you and as mentioned before, no one leaves ODS without passing the swim test. My friends was literally a rock in the water. He could not float even if his life depended on it. I still tease him about it but he completed ODS on time although he still really can't float.
  11. Hawkeye 1129

    Hawkeye 1129

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    Hey, does any one know where i can get a listing of qualified schools for navy ODS?
  12. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    What do you mean "qualified schools?"
  13. Hawkeye 1129

    Hawkeye 1129

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    To have the Navy pay for school there is a list of Medical school that are "Qualified" for them to do so.. Im looking for that list of approved AMA or AOA medical schools. Let me know if you understand what im talking about!
  14. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    The simple answer is that if it is a medical school that confers and MD or a DO and is located in the US, Puerto Rico or Canada, your good. Forget about the Carribean or Europe, they don't count.

    The longer answer is to check the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Association of Osteopathic Medical Colleges for a complete list.
  15. SemperDO

    SemperDO

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    hello!
    when do you recommend doing ODS...before you begin med school or after the first year? still debating whether or not i should enjoy the summer off before med school. thanks!
  16. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Go before med school and enjoy the summer between 1st and 2nd year.
    Getting it done early assures that you will have time. If you wait, there may be issues with spots in the class and timing with med school and ODS.
  17. Blue58

    Blue58

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    What was the conditioning test like and what are the times? What happens if you dont make your times?
  18. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    Look up "Navy PFT" or "Navy PRT" online for age- and gender-specific answers.

    In brief, the test consists of doing as many situps as you can in two minutes, followed by as many pushups as you can in two minutes, followed by a timed 1.5-mile run. Exceptions can be made for legitimate medical reasons.

    You will not make the minimums if you're completely out of shape, but it's not all that difficult for your average mid-20s student to pass the thing after some training. Technically, failing the PFT three times is grounds for dismissal from the Navy. I was once told that the majority of dishonorable discharges from the Medical Corps are due to failing to make the fitness standards, but I don't know how true that is.
  19. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Yes, failing 3 times can get you kicked out, but won't if you have an obligation.

    Getting kicked out for being fat or out of shape is not a dishonorable discharge. It is a general admin sep which is honorable. The people who get Other than Honorable discharges are typically convicted of crimes.
  20. tbemsw

    tbemsw

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    I'm thinking of signing up for Navy Medical as a clinical social worker (therapist) and would like to know if any candidates in your group were older (say 40) and had issues with the training.
  21. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Can you do 10 pushups, 40 situps and cover 1.5 mile in less than 16 minutes? If yes, you will do just fine. Pace yourself.
  22. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man

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    I was thinking just the opposite. I swear we had on base liberty (to the oclub) beginning the second monday and off base liberty the third weekend on. We got overnight liberty cancelled because we were all a bunch of drunken degenerates, but we didn't have to be back until 2. Things sound much more limited now. No watch! What's that all about? We didn't have any problems getting in a shower every day either. We had a great company commander. He didn't ride us at all. Some of the others were real dicks. Bring some $$ with you and drive up if you can. Newport is not cheap. We had a blast, but my company had some great people in it.
  23. EMTtoERDoc

    EMTtoERDoc

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    I am going to ODS this summer. Has any body been there this year so far that can talk about their experiences?
  24. Miska002

    Miska002

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    what do you wear when you swim?
  25. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    Blue or black swim trunks for men, blue or black one piece for women. It's an indoor pool with a jump tower. They'll provide you with ice cold wet khaki's to put on for the man-overboard drills. The pool time was some of the most fun we had. They stick a lifeboat in the water, turn off all the lights in the place and make you put on dark goggles so you can't see. Then they make you safety jump off the tower, coordinate with your group, and swim a couple hundred meters as a group. All the while they're hosing you down with water, they have loud crashing sounds piped in by speaker so you can't hear each other, and the red ropers float around the side and "make you disappear" if you get separated from the group (to punish the 1st in command for not keeping their sailors safe). We had a great time and it surprisingly felt fairly realistic. Piece of advice, when they're handing out jobs, if you know how to swim well, sign up to be a remedial swim instructor. Much better than being the DivO or Squad leader with the Chiefs chewing down your neck.
  26. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    The swim test and the cool overboard drill that you describe were two separate events when I went to ODS last summer. You'll do the swim test relatively early during the class, and you'll do the second thing towards the end.
  27. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Nothing, it is all skinny dipping. :D
  28. Miska002

    Miska002

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    Isn't there a website for ODS NAVY, can someone send me the link, googling it doesn't help.
  29. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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  30. Miska002

    Miska002

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  31. Gatorman

    Gatorman

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    I'd be happy to.

    I went to ODS from 22 JUN 2008 until 25 JUL 2008. Starting January of that year, I was starting to get SCARED!
  32. Miska002

    Miska002

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    "Tuesday: it's go-time. They will tell you to be up and ready at 5am. It's really 4am. Be ready to go, IN YOUR ROOM by 0345. You won't regret it."


    Why do they do that, tell you to be ready at 5 and expect you to be ready by 4am? Will this happen everyday?
  33. Miska002

    Miska002

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    Also when you say limited showers what do you mean? Like once a week :(? And I don't understand why they would limit how many showers we take if they give us free time, I would just take a shower during my free time.

    Thanks in advance
  34. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    It's not that they expect you to be ready at 4. They expect you to be ready at 5, but you will be forced to wake up early and think on your feet. That's the idea, anyway; by now, the routine has been passed around so widely that it's not as much of a surprise.

    There's some good info here about ODS, and there's probably more info to be had from those who have already gone, but the simplest thing to do is just to experience it for yourself. You'll have a better time if you show up without preconceptions or too much anxiety. Not many medical students can deal with that, but it's true. :) ODS is easily survivable for anyone who has the wherewithal to get into med school, and who can walk more than a few blocks without having to rest. It might even be fun, if you allow yourself to have fun.

    Feel free to ask more questions...I was there a bit less than a year ago, and I still remember most of the program.
  35. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    lol. a weekly shower at ods??? that would be disastrous! And un-officer-like. we showered daily, but there were something like 200-300 of us who shared two bathrooms -- one mens and one womens. So there's your limit.
  36. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    How much down time did y'all have where you weren't studying or doing anything? Is it worth it to bring books to read? Are you allowed to bring reading material?
  37. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    You will eventually have some down time, mostly after the first two weeks. Some of us brought books from home, both of the novel kind and the textbook kind. The exchange ended up being a source of reading material for others.
  38. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    I got volen-told into being in a leadership position so I dragged all these books there and spent every waking second doing some sort of administrative work. My advice, don't haul too much crap. If you need a book, the NEX has every bit of the book/magazine collection as your local Walmart. Most of the people from my company spent their down time sleeping or playing cards with your new compadres. I would suggest one of those. I still talk to most of the people from my company. They'll be in your network for life.
  39. MSS07

    MSS07

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    I know ODS isn't like the enlistees basic training, but are they going to go through our things and confiscate items like they do in boot camp. :)
  40. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    No. Just don't have food in your locker. They will open up your locker sometime in week 1 or 2 and go through and if they find any food, you're headed to the pit. Don't be that guy that get's your company sent to the pit.
  41. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    Has anyone else here had a dream about ODS? I just had one last night. Apparently Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is going to be our drill instructor.
  42. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    Does anyone know how to fill out the Chain of Command that the website says we are supposed to memorize in advance? Is there somewhere I can find this information?
  43. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic

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    This is so silly. If you really have to sweat it:
    POTUS
    SECDEF
    SECNAV
    CNO
    (then they have restructured and I'm not so sure, but I think...)
    CFFC
    CNETC
    ODS CO
    ODS XO
    ODS Company Commander

    Just know the first four names, after that I'm making this up. Congress just approved a new CFFC anyway.
  44. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    Easiest just to find out who everyone is in your CoC when you get there. There will be a bulletin board in your wing with your specific RDC, and all of the other associated people you'll need to know.
  45. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    Alright, I guess I'll just wait on that one.

    One last question: is it necessary to have a military ID in advance? It turns out it's going to be sort of a pain for me to get one before I get there.
  46. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    No, don't worry about it. It'll be an admin day thing.
  47. blee

    blee Senior Member

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    Not required, but those in my company who did not have an ID went through one hell of an ordeal to get them done at Newport. I don't know if it was just that particular month, but there were major problems ranging from broken machines to missing information in personnel files. I had the distinct privilege of hanging out in the office (can't remember the acronym for some reason) for five hours while THREE IDs were made for my division.

    In contrast, I happen to be not-so-far away from NNMC, so one day I bit the bullet to drive out there. I had my ID within half an hour of parking my car.
  48. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    True, but I HAD my ID before hand and still got to sit in that stupid office for 2 solid days. The way I figure, relax and don't waste time here if you're still going to be wasting time there.
  49. ds09

    ds09

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    I'll be at ODS July 12-Aug 14. August 14 is a Friday. Is the grad ceremony on Friday? When can I leave?

    Does it make sense to travel to be there on July 11 (Saturday) and leave on on Saturday, Aug 15?
  50. BrickHouseMD

    BrickHouseMD

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    I arrived the day before, which was nice to meet some people and relax before things get going. As for the other end, I was SO glad that I got to get the hell out of dodge right away. Graduation is usually noon that Friday and I was on a jet by 6 and back home by 8. There will probably only be a couple people waiting to get out Saturday so my suggestion is to bail asap.
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