Recruiting 101-Part 1

I’m going to turn this into a mini little series based on different milestone markers. This will be part 1 of  4. Today we will cover “so your kid wants to join the ….

Disclaimer: I am not all knowing and would never profess to give guidance on something I do not know. With that said these will be mostly Army related. For other service specific questions please find someone knowledgable for that service. 
It’s the day every parent dreads, mom/dad I met a recruiter and I’m thinking about the … Don’t think your child was fed some slick sales pitch first of all. The most successful recruiters let their career do the talking, telling stories and sharing experiences works best. But now what can you as a parent do?
First and foremost don’t panic. Things will be ok. 
Pre-visit: Odds are that your child wants to be just like or similar to his recruiter. Physiologically we recruit in our own image, I’ve put more MP’s in the Army than anything else. Find out what interests your child and work from there. Make a list of things you want to talk about (education benefits, continuing training, career progression expectations, and day to day for example). Be prepared but listen to your child. Maybe he only wants infantry now that doesn’t mean he will want it down the road. Make a list of career fields he is interested and ask questions about those. Plan the visit out for a specific date and time I can prepare much more detailed information based on your child if I have a heads up. If you fail to plan expect the recruiter to follow suit. 
During visit: I will always want you to come to me. It’s simple I have an advantage on the home turf. I also have the added benefit of my friends in the office that can help with their experience lines up with something that interests your child. Ask your questions, this is an information session. No recruiter can put your kid in the service from their office so stop thinking your child is enlisting right now. Have a conversation, find out about the recruiter what he has done and seen. Talk to the center commander as well. Take notes, ask for handouts explaining the things that are important to you. Ask questions and get into detail about the differences between Active, Reserve and Guard. Make sure you understand how each program works and what they are guaranteeing, not just promising. 
Post visit: sit and talk. You may not want this to happen ever but if your child does enough it will, nothing you can really do about it. Ask questions of where he is and what he liked and didn’t. Validate the information you were given through a secondary means. Shop around, that’s ok just don’t buy into the crap that they sell (I.e. The USAF is the smartest, USMC is toughest, that IS a recruiting pitch. No one is stronger or smarter than anyone else and everyone matters). Evaluate the information for your child and let them drive the conversation. Be supportive not discouraging, if your son wants Airborne Ranger and you talk him into being a computer guy it’s not the recruiter he will be upset with. 
Decision time: Pick the service that is best for your child. Don’t believe the hype of smart/strong make a decision based on the facts. When a decision is made notify the recruiter. 

If you need anything we are only a message away. 

Our current missions

MilitaryMamaNetwork moves fast; I think I no sooner pass on a need to the mamas and men and it is met.  My hope it to enable our non-Facebook supporters the ability to help with missions too!

Our current missions are:

  • Airman support at a forward operating base.  We have sent several sets of sheets but have 8 left that need to be sponsored.  You can donate through our donation link to sponsor our AF support.  To assist with this mission, you can shop at the Amazon store we created for their needs or donate using the donate button on the main page.
  • National Guard Support in Chicago.  We have a young Guardsman with a 3 month old son who was shot in a robbery attempt.  We will continue to support him as much as possible.  You can access our donation link or go to our Amazon affiliate store and shop in the NG Assist storefront.
  • Veteran support in MD and Chicago.  We will be providing products for wounded and transitioning veterans for a golf outing in MD and Warrior Games in Chicago.  The best way to support this effort is to click on our donation button or if you can be a corporate sponsor, contact me at Geriann@MilitaryMamaNetwork.org to make arrangements for your sponsorship and recognition on our website now and at both events.

Cherain’s Story: Prior experience with military helps…somewhat

I HAD experience

Military service runs deep throughout my family and has since WWII. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 8-10 family members who have served.  I had prior experience.  Lots of it.

My youngest son decided that he wanted to join the military in 10th grade or so. He first wanted to go to the Coast Guard and then decided that he would join the Army. He enlisted in August 2015 at 17 years old. 

This required (as many of you know) that his father and I sign him in. This was an unsettling experience for me to undertake and I had reservations.  I pondered how would his life be impacted if he had to wait an additional 8-10 weeks to initiate the process after his 18th birthday? With that in mind I asked him “Are you sure that this is what you want to do, and are you ready now?” He said that he was ready and his father and I signed on the dotted line.  Just like that our 17 year old baby was a man and enlisted in the US ARMY.

I made sure that I poured as much information about signs and symptoms of depression, hearing loss, PTSD, etc., into my son prior to him leaving for boot camp. I did so based on my experience as a VA therapist and seeing my young and old patients struggle to get what they need. I encouraged him to advocate for himself, and stand tall walking in the word of God as he served our country. Most of all I reiterated to him that I would be here no matter the situation good or bad, and that it is ok to ask for help.

Finding Support online

While he was at Basic, I found Facebook groups for guidance regarding what I’d  experience as an Army mom. I am familiar with military life in a sense my husband is a DOD employee for 25+ years. We have lived near several military bases and my children became accustomed to friends leaving every three years.  I found several groups some specific to the location of my child at the time, and then I found Military Mama Network. MMN resonated with me because of the service that it provides to all of the branches of the military. MMN inspired me to send care packages to my son’s battery at Camp Casey for Veterans Day. The process of making all of the heartfelt cards with my then 4 year old daughter allowed here to connect with the important work that her big brother is doing.

Lessons Learned Waiting

In recent months there have been ups and downs as to the emotions that I have felt.  To date it has been 15 months and 2 days since I have hugged my son! I can proudly say that he is back on US soil but has not been home yet due to training. I completely understand that and I patiently await him coming home for Christmas. Today, I am not stronger because my son serves but I am stronger because his service has solidified my faith. His service has caused me to remain calm in the face of the unknown. I’ve learned to stand steadfast when I wanted to be a puddle on the floor,  so I can encourage him. 

His service has taught me to embrace the moment, realizing that before we know it this moment becomes a memory. Through his service has I have gained a large community of brothers and sisters to lean on. I never worry about the inevitable time that will occur when I cannot be right there if something happens.  I know that if I put the word out for help for my son that a Military Mama, Poppa, etc., will come to the rescue.  Until I can make it to him.

 

In closing, I would like to offer the words that his recruiter offered to me prior to his departure “No news is good news”.

Submitted by Cherain

Military Mama Network and Friends Cruise 1/21-1/28/2018

Between taking care of our families, our veterans and our active duty service members, working in a vacation is tough.  How about if someone could make it easier for you?  And how about if that easy vacation included a chance to see all of the people who have become so important in your journey as a Military Mama? We are planning a cruise that benefits everyone!!

​An event six months in the planning, this Norwegian Cruise Line cruise has something for everyone!  Families of four can share a cabin for a great cruise experience at a very reasonable rate; seasoned travelers will love the extras added for MMN cruise only; and first time cruisers will be amazed (like me!) at all the ship has to offer.

Place a deposit, express interest, or ask questions now by going to our private website.  You will access exceptional service as well as special deals and extras available only through this private website!

EVERYONE is welcome, so if you just want to cruise and not take part in any MMN events, join us. Or if you’ve been part of MilitaryMamaNetwork since before it was official and want to share memories with those you’ve known online for years. And everyone in between is welcome.  We will even help you plan a week long slumber party if you’d like to share a cabin with one of your mama friends

What can you expect on this cruise?

 

Seven glorious days onboard the magnificent Norwegian Getaway!

Adult night out:  Night clubs, hot tubs and broadway quality show

Children’s safety and enjoyment:  secure, free day care open until 11:00 for late night diners, family pool and splash pad, child friendly foods and show

 

Relaxation:  whether on the top deck catching all the rays possible, shopping, gambling,  using the book exchange library, or catching an impromptu show as you stroll by, your days and nights can be as busy or as leisurely as you want them to be.

 

Exceptional quality dining:  buffet open and fully stocked day and night, drop in cafes/restaurants and upscale dining are all available at no extra cost.  For a small charge, you can experience the dining package that include meals such as a Brazilian steak house, oceanside Italian bistro and tableside Asian meal preparation.  If none of that suits you, call 24 hour room service for a pizza on the balcony.

Includes your choice of :

Free Beverage Package – Free Specialty Dining – Free Wifi –  Free Shore Excursions

 

 

Special MMN perks:

Private dining as a group ~ Reserved seating for shows ~ Private Cocktail party ~ Commemorative shirt ~ Dedicate cruise coordinator to quickly respond to all your travel related problems, concerns and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Ports of call:

 

​Miami ~ Belize ~ Honduras ~Costa Maya ~Cozumel ~ Miami​

Stayed tuned for breaking news and updates