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Thread: Navy PACT Program...as bad as people say it is?

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    #1

    Sad Navy PACT Program...as bad as people say it is?

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    My wife is shipping off to boot camp in 18 days. She's signed up for the Navy Pact Program, where she will work as an apprentice for the first year before striking for a job.

    This seemed like a great opportunity for her so when she signed on for it, we thought we had chosen the right thing.

    Now it seems like everything that we have been reading on it is terrible. We've even read that it's nearly imposssible for someone to go career after choosing the PACT program because it's too hard to advance to E4 before the start of your 4th year, and you'll get "High Year Tenured Out" if I understand what that means properly...she wont be allowed to reenlist because she didn't progress far enough into her chosen job.

    Does anyone know anything about this program? Does anyone have any advice about this program? She wants to be career, so we feel like getting into the PACT program may have ended that for her before it even began...


    ANY advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
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    #2
    I don't know anything about the PACT program, but I do know her career will be dependent on her. If she wants to advance she's going to have to work for it. Joining it doesn't automatically mean she won't be able to go career; it might mean it'll make it harder, but not impossible.

    The only people I know that have hit HYT have been people who didn't try to advance in their career. They did the bare minimum to get by and that was it or they made major mistakes along the way and kept getting knocked down in rank instead of kicked out. Their career was in their own hands and they chose to not do what it took.

    ETA
    The following HYT LOS gates have been established based on pay grade:

    * E1/E2 - Active-duty/Full-Time Support (FTS), 4 years; Reserve, 6 years;
    * E3 - Active-duty/FTS, 5 years; Reserve, 10 years;
    * E4 - Active-duty/FTS, 8 years; Reserve, 12 years;
    * E5 - Active-duty/FTS, 14 years; Reserve, 20 years;
    * E6 - Active-duty/FTS, 20 years; Reserve, 22 years;
    * E7 - Active-duty/FTS/Reserve, 24 years;
    * E8 - Active-duty/FTS/Reserve, 26 years;
    * E9 - Active-duty/FTS/Reserve, 30 years.
    For better clarity, HYT means you have been at that specific rank for the max time. I.E. Active duty E-4 for 8 years, not still an E-4 after 8 years of service.
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    #3
    PP is right, although some of the HYT is strictly dependant on how many spots are open for advancement. For an example, my brother has less than 1% to make E-6 with how many ever thousands are vying for the spot. Even with awards and his excellent evals and scoring high on his exam it will be nearly impossible for him to make it.

    Has she chosen what she will apprentice in? If not, it might be beneficial to look online at what the trends have been for advancement each exam cycle to help narrow down her choices. If she has chosen, she could stil look and see. Granted it does change every cycle, but it would give a hint as to some trends.




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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye14 View Post
    PP is right, although some of the HYT is strictly dependant on how many spots are open for advancement. For an example, my brother has less than 1% to make E-6 with how many ever thousands are vying for the spot. Even with awards and his excellent evals and scoring high on his exam it will be nearly impossible for him to make it.

    Has she chosen what she will apprentice in? If not, it might be beneficial to look online at what the trends have been for advancement each exam cycle to help narrow down her choices. If she has chosen, she could stil look and see. Granted it does change every cycle, but it would give a hint as to some trends.

    She has not chosen yet, which is why shes going into the PACT program...what some people are saying, is because for the first year you do not have a rate that you're under, it takes a year off of your ability to advance...so she will only have a year and a half or so by the time she chooses her rate to become an E4 or she will be HYT...this cant be true, can it?
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1286 View Post
    She has not chosen yet, which is why shes going into the PACT program...what some people are saying, is because for the first year you do not have a rate that you're under, it takes a year off of your ability to advance...so she will only have a year and a half or so by the time she chooses her rate to become an E4 or she will be HYT...this cant be true, can it?
    I think she was asking if your wife has yet chosen the track she'll be in. There are three PACT tracks, right?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1286 View Post
    She has not chosen yet, which is why shes going into the PACT program...what some people are saying, is because for the first year you do not have a rate that you're under, it takes a year off of your ability to advance...so she will only have a year and a half or so by the time she chooses her rate to become an E4 or she will be HYT...this cant be true, can it?
    Unless the Navy is drastically different than the Air Force then no. She will have to be a single rank for a certain amount of time for HYT to kick in. I think you're thinking the HYT time is her entire service time and that is incorrect. She does not have to advance to E-4 in three years, she just can't be at the same rank of E-4 for 8 years, meaning she has been getting paid as an E-4 for 8 years.
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    #7
    I have no experience with the PACT program, but I initially joined this site because I was dating a guy in the navy. He had several friends go in as undesignated and basically hated their lives because had the shittiest jobs to choose from. They also tended to have lower ASVAB scores, so did not qualify for some of the 'better' jobs anyways, but both the guys ended up doing their time and getting out.

    Is this similar? If not totally ignore my post, but I guess I just didn't see the appeal of joining just to join the military without having a specific job in mind. I would be entirely too worried that she would end up in a career she didn't enjoy. Again, this two things can (and probably are) completely different, I just wanted to throw that out there in case it was a similar program.
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    #8
    My husband went into the Navy thru the A-pact program (there are three - A-pact for aviation, S-pact for seaman and E-pact for engineering) He did well on the asvab and wanted to get into intelligence but he was a naturalized citizen so they flat out told him he would never get a high enough security clearance. So they told him about the A-pact program and played it off as an apprenticeship that he would get to chose what job he wanted after trying a bunch out. Honestly it ends up being hey do what job you're told at the squadron (he was assigned to helos). He struggled for a long time but he is a very positive a driven person so he made the best of it. He had up to 18 months to pick his rate. After 8 months or so he decided on which rate he wanted (AT) but he had to wait for available jobs to come out each month and choose from those. It took him over a year later for the rate he wanted to become available. While he was waiting he was not able to take advancement exams so it made him in the long run about a year behind everyone else who already had a rate. He held out and in the end got the rate he wanted but it took almost two years of really shitty hard work to do it. He went in with several people in Pact programs who didn't stick it out and just settled for the first job they were offered so they could take advancement exams.
    So honestly the thing that he was the most mislead about was that he could "choose" what job he wanted after trying them all out. He was offered what the command needed at the time. About the high year tenure it really depends on someone's motivation and the rate they are in. We encountered several people that got high year tenured out and actually I don't think any of them went in originally into the pact program. When she chooses her rate (or a few she's interested in) look at their advancement rates to see what percentage advances up each rank. That can show you which ones bottle neck and will be hard to advance in.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by missinghim View Post
    I have no experience with the PACT program, but I initially joined this site because I was dating a guy in the navy. He had several friends go in as undesignated and basically hated their lives because had the shittiest jobs to choose from. They also tended to have lower ASVAB scores, so did not qualify for some of the 'better' jobs anyways, but both the guys ended up doing their time and getting out.

    Is this similar? If not totally ignore my post, but I guess I just didn't see the appeal of joining just to join the military without having a specific job in mind. I would be entirely too worried that she would end up in a career she didn't enjoy. Again, this two things can (and probably are) completely different, I just wanted to throw that out there in case it was a similar program.
    It is similar to undesignated, but I think this is sort of the new "improved" version of undesignated.

    Most people (but certainly not all) go PACT because they don't have the scores to get a designation and this is they only real way in. DH has several PACT sailors at his command right now. He said that the best advice, since your wife has already joined under PACT, OP, is just that she work as hard as possible, soak up as much knowledge as she can, impress the hell out of any one who is watching her, and take the ASVAB as often as she possibly can. DH said he's seen plenty of PACT sailors make E-4 and beyond, so it is certainly possible.

    She can also be strategic about what jobs she chooses, but that's a balance. Does she choose a job that is more open and thus has a shorter wait and potentially better advancement odds? Or does she choose a job that really interests her? You guys will need to figure that out together, but she should definitely research rates (and even the three tracks if she hasn't already selected one) before making a selection so it's an educated decision.

    I assume it is too late for her not to go PACT? It sounds like you guys didn't research much before, and now that you have, she's maybe having buyer's remorse. Why did she choose PACT? Was it due to ASVAB scores?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EverlastingLove View Post
    I don't know anything about the PACT program, but I do know her career will be dependent on her. If she wants to advance she's going to have to work for it. Joining it doesn't automatically mean she won't be able to go career; it might mean it'll make it harder, but not impossible.

    The only people I know that have hit HYT have been people who didn't try to advance in their career. They did the bare minimum to get by and that was it or they made major mistakes along the way and kept getting knocked down in rank instead of kicked out. Their career was in their own hands and they chose to not do what it took.

    ETA

    For better clarity, HYT means you have been at that specific rank for the max time. I.E. Active duty E-4 for 8 years, not still an E-4 after 8 years of service.
    Actually it's the other way around. High year tenure in the Navy means if you hit 8 years of service and you're still an E-4 you're going to get kicked out. People have gotten busted down in rank because of messing up an then are forced to get out because at the lower rank they are above the higher tenure (an E-5 at 12 years gets busted to E-4, they have 12 years and they are above the high year tenure for E-4).


    OP your wife will learn a lot about advancement when she is in. She needs to carefully pick her rate that she chooses to strike, and see what advancement in that rate is like. Some are locked up at the top but wide open at the lower ranks, others are the other way around, and others are completely locked up making advancement difficult. There is a saying "Choose your rate, choose your fate" in the Navy. Each rate has it's perks and downfalls. Cooks don't have to stand overnight duty but they have to get up stupid early hours. Engineering department rates tend to work the longest days. She'll pick all this up observing things around her when she starts out. She shouldn't have a problem making it to E-4 before 8 years hits.
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