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Hi All,
I'm an 18 year old girl and for the past couple of months I've been considering joining the Navy. I've met with a recruiter, and I've talked to my parents, and they're not NEGATIVE, so things are looking up so far :) And I think the Navy is really for me.

Could any body tell me whether or not there are Navy careers in the Art field. On the Navy website there is a link to Art Jobs under enlisted. When I went to the recruiter's office with my dad,however, they said that there are some things on the website that aren't necessarily true, and they didn't know any thing about that.

I understand in these economical times it's better to be flexible about what rate you get in the service, but I'm still curious if there is any need for artists or graphic designers in the navy. or is that a stretch? My prelim/Asvap score was pretty high, so I know I have lots of options if there aren't.

thanks to all Navy mothers, For giving birth to the people who serve our country!

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The closest rate (job) I know of is mass communications specialist, and then they have sub-categories under that. You'd be leaning heavily toward writing, photography and video/web design rather than traditional graphic arts.

This is the link describing the job:

I think most of the art work done for the Navy is by government employees who are not active duty, or contractors. You may have to "do" art on the side until you finish your contract and then pursue it as a civilian career. That said, there's opportunities to use an artists skills outside your rate ... designing flags and newsletters and patches, I designed a graphic for a new department of my command once.
Thank you so much for this Link!!! I'm sending this to my recruiter straight away! :)
Hey, it wouldn't hurt to look into that mass comm rate. It'll help your art career later in life. I am a professional artist (illustrator) and an art teacher. My experience has been most art schools would love to have someone with that experience behind them as a student. My son (currently in the Navy now) is an MA and he is also an artist. He loves being an MA, but he also does a lot of art on the side, and other sailors have actually commissioned him to create paintings and pictures for them, so you CAN use your skills as you train. Also, you can design flags (as my son did for his unit) for your unit (I'm not sure if the wording is right here...) If you'd like to keep in touch, I'd love to see what all you can do with your artistic skills as you move up thru the Navy...also, later on, I can recommend some really good art schools for you if you'd like.....Sooz
My son has a degree in studio art and designed his division flag at Boot Camp. He's training for rescue swimmer but still does art work on the side. He envisions a career in graphic arts when he gets out....unless he decides to be a lifer. But he's taking lots of photos and finds it very theraputic (along with surfing of course). :-)
Art is life, not just a career! You may be able to do both. just not all at once.

My story: I may be ex-Navy, but I kept up with my art. I was an ET and my degrees are in something else entirely other than art OR electronics! I paint and create a lot of outsider art... this year at my art adoption gallery at Burning Man, I gave away over 400 pieces of unique art, much of it my own creation, some donated, and some created just for the event. This was our fifth year, and the first year we have given away every piece of art we brought to the festival. (no buying or selling allowed, all gifted away; I have the recipients fill out adoption forms) I'm not a professional artist, but people enjoy my work and my paintings hang in hundreds of homes. Imagine if I were actually good! So you can love and make art, some would call it a hobby, but it is far more than that to me.
Also, I used to (and still do at times) freelance for all the major animation studios in CA so if you keep up with your portfolio, you can use that as an in as they are always looking for artists. Anti M is right - art IS a way of life, not just a career, but it is just icing on the cake if you can do what you are most passionate about and get paid for it. I have been in many many galleries and museums, but oddly enough, I get the most fulfillment out of teaching art to others - my motto is art is not just for two special people in the universe, art is for everyone, and ANYONE can do it - art is 2% talent, 98% passion. Let me know if I can help you - I have many many connections within the art world out there. SOoz
Thanks so much Sooz. I'd be great to Have a REAL art job and not just freelance work to get by on. I actually stumbled across a U.S. Navy Banner while I was looking for Graphic design jobs on criegs list. Any jobs I found wanted people with either Experience I don't have, or Skills I haven't learned yet. :P and I need a job because I can't afford to take anymore classes to get some of those skills that I need to get hired for the jobs I know I can do. sort of a catch 22. total Sob story, I know :)
What would you advise a girl in my position to do? as an art teacher and as a Navy Mom.
Am I being hasty?
I Cali-Ali-gator! Sorry I haven't replied to you in awhile, but life is hectic what with school and I have an upcoming Art Show that I am preparing for with about 15 other artists! I didn't always freelance, I was a full-time illustrator for an animation studio for awhile, but after we adopted our kids, I decided I wanted to be with them more so I turned to freelance as a solution to that problem. It has been lucrative, so no complaints there! What I would suggest is, join the Navy, insist on MC and WAIT if it's not available at the moment, then take classes on the side in college studio art like my sailor son is doing. That way the USN pays for your art education, AND you may find you love MC in the Navy and not want to do anything else for awhile. MC would give you the experience you need. Keep updating your portfolio as well with as many different pieces using a wide variety of media so the art world out there knows how proficient you are! :-) But.......I WILL tell you, I wish I had joined the Navy and THEN gone to art school! The benefits are outstanding! Sooz
My sailor is also an artist. He's assigned to the USS Nicholas. During his time at Great Lakes he designed the flag for his recruit class, has painted a couple of murals in the barracks and has done several paintings for his fellow sailors. I think if you look for opportunities, you find ways to contribute as a sailor and an artist. Plus it's really boosted his confidence to have his work appreciated by others. Good Luck in making your decision!
Thank you all so much for your extremely helpful responses! It's encouraging to hear so many stories of Sailors using there artistic skills while serving. I suspected that was the case, but didn't want to be TOO optimistic. :)

I'll be sure to investigate the mass comm rate thoroughly with my recruiter. fingers crossed that I end up in something like that! I know the work experience would be invaluable in the civilian life. one of the things that attracted me to the navy was the opportunity to get useful job training and experience. I also think that any travel that I'd get to do would be enriching. And I agree; art is not something that gets worked into the things you do, it's just something that happens and is. art isn't just a career; it's life

How should I pursue that rate? Is it a good Idea to not accept ANOTHER rate that is open at the time, and NOT wait for a MC rate? Can you change rates after you're sworn in?
Technically you can change rates... but be careful. You must wait a couple years, and may only change if the Navy needs you to do so. If you are in an undermanned rate you will NEVER switch to an overmanned rate. I haven't looked, but I suspect MC is not undermanned, ever.

My ex went in as an ET because he didn't want to wait for Musician to open. You guessed it, he NEVER got to switch over to being a musician for the Navy. The ET skills were too critical to the fleet.

If you want only MC, then wait it out. If you simply want to join the Navy, accept another rate you may be interested in.


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