Sunday, September 13, 2015

MC Perspective: So you were turned down for the rating?

MC3 Seth Coulter
Nobody wants this.  You decide to enlist but get told by the classifier at MEPS that there's no spots available.  You can pick another job and try to cross rate later or you can enlist as undesignated (no job) and strike to MC later.  


Entering the fleet as an undesignated seaman/airman/fireman was surely not your first choice, but it's not the end of the world.  Let's talk to two MCs who have been through the process. 

For more information about what striking is check here.


I Am Your Eyes: What were the steps you took to strike MC? 

Coulter: Make sure you go in with a high ASVAB score, this is one of the most single important things you can do. If you don't score high initially then re-take down the road. I was lucky enough to strike in while the rate was relatively open so I selected it, from the eligible list and once selected began working on my required portfolio. 

Brooks: First you have to be sure you meet the basic requirements to become an MC. Which means that you meet the required ASVAB scores to become and MC, you are not color blind, and you can get or already have a SECRET clearance level.

"You need to do some OJT (on the job training) with 
an MC shop so you can learn the job."

In order to do that you need your chain of command and the MC shop chain of command to approve you doing OJT with them. You'll more than likely have to do this outside of your normal working hours. 

Once you've worked with the shop and published plenty of work (photos, new story, etc.) you will then have to submit a 1306, along with a portfolio of your work (published and non-published), and get a letter of recommendation from a senior enlisted MC. Then submit all that to the MC community manager.

MC2 Brian Brooks

I Am Your Eyes: Did you go to A school after you passed the test?

Coulter: I don't know how many people go back to school after striking in but I sure wasn't one! Everything that Ive learned has either been taught to me from my peers or learned on my own. 

Brooks: I did not have to go to A school when I made it but that may be a decision that is made once you've make it. The thing you have to realize is that if you do go to A school the command that is gaining you will have to basically count you as a loss for about six months until you return. 

So in my opinion, they may not want to send you to A school due to being a person down and the cost of the school as well.    

 I Am Your Eyes: What's your final advice for strikers?
Coulter: The best advice I can give is to buy a DSLR, get a 35/50mm lens and leave it on manual. Go out and constantly shoot as much as possible. 

"Read more books and magazines on photography
 than you ever thought possible!"

Don't neglect the shooters of the film age either. Magnum, Time, Life and Nat. Geo. are good places to turn to for reference. Don't forget to practice good graphic design either, it can be something that sets you apart in the community.

Brooks: My advice is do as much learning as you can on your off time and take the initiative to do some MC work on your own to show them what you're capable of doing and that this is something that you really want to do with your Navy career. I can truly say that this is not a "hard" job in comparison to like Deck Dept. (trust me I know...they are some of the hardest working Sailors) but it can be a challenging job because you are always putting your personal work on the line. 

"Keep an open mind and be able to take criticism and learn from it. 

I hope that helps. If you need any specifics you can always talk to your career counselor at your command. Good luck.


Gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to help us out with some great gouge! 

No comments:

Post a Comment