Enlisting to the military at post doc level

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by affectiveH3art, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. affectiveH3art

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    Hi folks - I’m prepping to move for internship at a VA and was wondering if anyone has experience enlisting at the post doc level. I’ve talked to a general recruiter and clarified if I was eligible (I have two sleeves of tattoos). They referred me to a healthcare recruiter as of yesterday. They said my tattoos wouldn’t be an issue but I’m not holding my breath. Aside from that, does anyone have experience on what the process looks like specifically for airforce? I would appreciate any feedback or advice. I unfortunately am looking at this option because graduate school and relocating so much has been a financial burden given I am a single mother of two kiddos with minimal assistance (eg no child support)


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  3. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    You will not be enlisting. You are commissioned as an Officer. Whole different universe.

    You will need to show that you have someone to watch your children when you are deployed.
     
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  4. affectiveH3art

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    Ah see - I’m not even educated on that... commissioned as an officer. Thank you for the correction. Yes I spoke to recruiter on that. I have a designated person (my mother). Can you speak more on how this I a whole different universe


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  5. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    The military is a essentially a caste system.
     
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  6. psych.meout

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    With two sleeves of tattoos, the Navy is probably your best bet. The Navy is the most lenient branch when it comes to tattoos, which originates from the centuries-long history of sailors getting tattoos.

    As far as the accessions process goes, the standards (e.g., physical and mental health, moral and legal problems) are technically the same between enlisting and commissioning, but there are ultimately significant differences. Most notably, there is significantly more competition to commission than to enlist, which means that you would be far less likely to get any waivers while commissioning. There are just too many applicants for these very few positions to waste time and energy on applicants that need waivers (e.g., you probably need a tattoo waiver and a dependent waiver for your children). If the particular position is significantly undermanned (if I remember correctly, nurses and physicians are undermanned right now), then they'll waive significantly more than they normally would.

    Before banking on commissioning as a solution, you should definitely look up the DOD instructions for accessions to make sure you don't have anything else that would need to be waived. The more waivers you need, the less likely you'll be able to commission.
     
  7. affectiveH3art

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    Do you know where I could access the DOD instructions for accessions? Thank you for the info


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  8. psych.meout

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    #7 psych.meout, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  9. Psych99

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    The air force does not have postdocs only the Army and Navy do. If you do a postdoc you are not eligible for loan repayment or sign on bonuses unless you reup after your initial payback time, which is 3 years after the postdoc. So assuming you’d want loan repayment you’re likely committing to 7 years. The other option for loan repayment or sign on bonuses is to go in as a direct accession, which requires you to be a licensed psychologist. Joining the military as a psychologist solely for financial reasons is not advised, and will likely show during interviews.
     
  10. affectiveH3art

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    Thank you for this information - I am just exploring options for the future.
     
  11. Psych99

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    The BOP offers loan repayment as well, you’re not required to do a postdoc and can get a position unlicensed and work toward licensure. Totally different population but does have financial incentives without going active duty (if that’s a concern which for you it may not be). You would be considered a federal officer. I’ve heard mixed reviews depending on the prison but that may be another option to explore/consider!
     
  12. AcronymAllergy

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    If you weren't already aware, as with BoP, the VA also offers loan repayment for some (typically hard to fill) positions. In psychology, this probably means you'd be moving to a less-popular area, but it could be another option for you. And there's also NHSC loan repayment; I believe a few of our members here on SDN have some experience with that program.
     
  13. penguinrabbit

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    First of all, it sounds like you're under an enormous amount of stress and are looking at all your possible options to make the best possible decisions you can for you and your kids. Major kudos. I can't imagine having gone through the internship process with two kids and minimal support.

    But hearing you say you are "unfortunately" looking at this option gives me very little confidence in your ability to make it through the challenges associated with being an active duty psychologist, or your ability to serve a deserving population well, or my desire to work with you as a colleague in the future. While motivations to be involved in the military differ wildly from person to person, and some of them definitely include things like financial benefits, generally people who are going to succeed at all are going to need be motivated by more than the perception that the military is their last resort. Especially officers. Attitudes like these leak out in many ways eventually, even if you do your best to cover them up.

    If you do decide to go the military route, make sure you get your info from a health services recruiter and the most up to date DoD policy guidelines.
     
  14. psych.meout

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    Eh, if you look at many enlisted and the officers that go through ODS (as opposed to OCS), military service is a means to an end, not borne of patriotism or jingoism. Service is the way many people obtain higher education, pay off existing higher ed debt, obtain practical skills to make them more employable as civilians, or escape from the poor opportunities of their home communities. These people do just fine in the military.
     
  15. affectiveH3art

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    When
    I say unfortunately - it is because I have children. I unfortunately am in grad school as well - it is an influence on my family. It is completely apart from my sole interests. If it were purely me, I would have enlisted YEARS ago. I do have to say I Unfortunately am in a place where I can no longer seek this as an option. Motivations to be involved in the military include many many variables. However, due to my current situation I am unable to pursue this. So thank you for the lack of confidence in me. And it is not the last resort - rather the first resort I revisit every year out of interest and regret on not joining at an earlier age before children.
     
  16. affectiveH3art

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    I think everyone gets involved in the military for various reasons - thanks for your perspective on it.
     
  17. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    This is true. But again, you are trying to enter a rank (and a hierarchical class) that is very choosy and very different from "enlistment." At this level, the armed services is very selective, as they should be. Motivation(s) and overall ability to support the mission (think "deployable" and with demonstrated leadership capabilities) will be scrutinized much more than if you looking to just "enlist."

    Think of it as if you were going to become an FBI agent. Many varied jobs and responsibilities within the agency (e.g., behavioral science unit, forensic accountant, statistician etc.), but you are a essentially a law enforcement agent first and foremost.... and must prove yourself to be capable and willing of such.
     
    #16 erg923, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  18. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    The FBI, CIA, and other actively recruit psychologists. The intake process is hilarious.
     
  19. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    With the exception of Charlottesville.... Virginia doesn't really appeal to me. I also thinks I may have done too may drugs when I was younger to impress???

    Can said former skate rats become FBI... not likely. Can they work for the VA and Fortune 500 companies...certainly!
     
    #18 erg923, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  20. PSYDR

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    Truth. Can tell you more backs channel
     
  21. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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