We've been very busy reading a lot of posts on here regarding MEPS. We know what to expect, as does our son (he's 17).
I've read many parents post that they ARE allowed to accompany their child to the job counseling, to hear their job options and help them review their contract before it's signed. My son's recruiter just told him that is not the case, that we will NOT be permitted to be present for his job counseling. Do some MEPS operate differently as far as rules go? Or is it simply the recruiter that does not want us present?
We're going Monday for the swearing in ceremony and to take pictures, but we'd like to know what to expect in advance. As a minor signing such an important contract, we would very much like the opportunity to review it before he signs.
We were not allowed in the "back" area where the job consuling was happening; we had to wait in the lobby but my son is 18. My son's recruiter did come out and talk to us and see if we had any questions and then the day after the swearing in he had us come to the office and he went over pay and boot camp.
My son is color blind so the first visit to MEPs he didn't sign as there were no jobs open that allowed the color defecincy, well there was one job....a cook on a sub! Not the job my son wanted. They did put a little pressure on him to take that job but he stood strong and they said they would look each day for jobs for him. They said it could be months before something came up but he got lucky as the next day they called and job came open for logistics and he went right down and signed.
I think you have some good questions and your recruiter should take the time to cover everything with you so you feel comfortable before your son signs.
For recruits 18 years old or older, the rule is hard and fast - no parents, siblings, spouses, etc, are allowed into MEPS, except for a waiting room. They're not even allowed to make a phone call to consult. They have to leave their phones in a locker when they enter. There is a phone call room, mostly reserved for recruits who have signed their contract. If a prospective recruit leaves the jobs room, whatever job he or she was looking at goes back into the mix and anyone else can take it. Usually it's gone by the time the recruit gets back, even if it's just five minutes. Recruit prospects from the entire country are all competing for the same jobs - its one big pool, and jobs cannot be earmarked or "held" for a specific person. My son was looking at a job and it actually disappeared while they were reading the information on it!
I think the rules *may* be different for minors. Since a 17-year-old cannot legally sign a contract, the parents have more rights - as I understand it.
I could be wrong, but you should check this out.
Thanks for the info! We've gotten a lot of conflicting stories and since I have read on these forums about quite a few parents that were permitted to review contracts, etc...I guess we'll just wait and see how it goes. My guess is that different areas may operate differently. We just weren't sure if it was the recruiter telling us "no" ...this is the same recruiter that tried to tell our son to lie about a past medical condition, so we're a bit weary. (And no, he isn't going to take that advice and lie, he knows better, thankfully!).
You can review the contract once it is signed. While they are in DEP, the contract is not binding. DEPpers can back out at any time without penalty. However, trying to persuade the recruiter to go through all that work again is another matter. Once you back out once, you're marked forever, unless you have an amazingly good reason, like illness, injury, death in the immediately family, etc.
Hello, my son is also 17 and he has already been through the MEPS part of it... Before NAVY he was thinking of joining Marines & well that didn't sit right with me. But to answer your question, NO, Parents are not allowed to go down with their kids, to help with the job selection. Basically what he'll do is his testing & based on his scores, they'll let him know what best suits him & go from there. What you wanna do is have your son go to NAVYjobs.com & research at least 3 different types of jobs he'd be interested in, that way he has an idea of what he wants to do & can let them know what he's interested in 1 out of the 3 options should be available. Also my sons recruiter told us that the first int. swear in isn't necessary for us to attend, but the one before he leaves for bootcamp is the one we wanna go to & take pictures & all that good stuff. i don't know if any of this is helpful, but I hope in some way it did. Good Luck!
Thanks again for the info, everyone.
We got back yesterday, everything went very smoothly! We weren't allowed in for the job selection, BUT he was given time to come out and discuss things with us. He had three selected when he went there, but they only offered him one job. It's a good one, he scored very high on his ASVAB and the physical and other tests were great as well, they just said that jobs are very limited right now. None of the ones he initially wanted were available as a result. Not a big deal, he took what was offered and is going to start SEAL training in a week or two.
We know it wasn't necessary for us to attend, but he was glad we did. I can't imagine someone going to take such an important oath on such an important day and having no one present to see it. As it turned out, he was the only one taking the oath, as it was late in the afternoon, so we had the entire room to ourselves. We took pictures and a video for family and plan to do the same again next year, before he ships. :)
SO glad it went well. I also can't imagine taking that oath by yourself. My son took it with 5 others and we were the only parents present! So happy we took the time to be there. Good luck to your son!
Our son is also 17 and we were not allowed in the counseling area. We sat in the lobby, could see the counselors with our son, but couldn't go in. He came out to talk to us several times, as did the recruiter. I think he would have made the same decision without us there but stress levels for all were significantly lower because we were there!
No matter the age, no one is allowed in the back area with the person undergoing the counseling. Even if they are 17, the parents have already signed the paper work stating they can join the military.
I wanted to go with my son when he signed his contract because I was in the Air Force and feel like my experience might be helpful, but he had to go at 0530 and spend all day hanging around, so it wasn't very convenient. Of course, we'll be there when he leaves for boot camp; that's the time that really counts.
I personally would not choose to be at MEPS for their first visit (the one where they choose a job), under any circumstances. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be babying my child, who is making an adult decision, and not letting him/her stand on his/her own two feet. I'm telling him I don't trust his judgment.
It's not elementary school, or even high school anymore. A parent trying to "help" by going through official Navy channels usually just gets their sailor in more trouble. IMO, the best thing parents can do is do the research and point their kids at the right resources - and let them make their own good decisions or mistakes.