Senior Allison Alvarez enlists in the Navy

Katianna Mansfield

More stories from Katianna Mansfield

I am okay now
February 16, 2018

A single moment can change someone’s entire world and everything they once knew. For senior Allison Alvarez, the instant she circled “interested” on the arbitrary Navy recruiter’s survey as they stood at the entrance of the cafeteria, her future was set for a new path.

In the matter of a month, Ally was informed about the Navy, had decided to go into the Navy, and was enlisted into the Navy.

“No one saw it coming– that’s the thing,” Ally said. “If I hadn’t talked to someone since September, they would have never known. I never once mentioned the Navy until October; it was a big shock.”

Those around her have accepted the idea, but they were surprised to find out she had signed the contract for eight years rather than four, and they are now trying to deal with that.

For six years Ally will be in active duty, and she will spend two years in reserve where she can be automatically drafted if we enter a time of war.

After taking the survey, she was contacted to see if she would like to come in and get more information and see what they could do for her. She went in on a spur of the moment decision, and from their first meeting, she was hooked.

Ally set up her ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test in Lansing, and she was given three positions she was qualified for: corpsman, who works in the hospital; master at arms, the security for the Navy; or an electrician.

Knowing that while she is in active duty they will pay for her college tuition and give $80,000 for any debt she may have after she gets out, she knew corpsman would be best for her. She would like to work her way up in a hospital setting to being a surgeon, and she’s tentatively considering becoming an officer in the Navy.

No one saw it coming.”

— Allison Alvarez

“I know my future,” Ally said. “I know what’s going to happen rather than being in college and wondering what’s going to happen, if I’m going to change my major, or where I’m going to go, applications– all of that. You also get to travel; their stations are along the coast, San Diego, Florida, Seattle, Honolulu, Japan, Australia, all those cool places, and I’ll have a secure job.”

She will spend two months at boot camp in Chicago, and a year or two in trade school in Texas.

“I know it’s going to be very physically straining because, you know, you’re going into the Navy; so I don’t really know what they’re going to do there, but I know it’s going to be a lot of physical training,” Ally said. “I’m nervous. You never know how you’re going to be in a particular situation. Also, as a student I have to keep up with work and my college classes that I choose to take, so I’ll have to juggle a lot.”

Ally will be shipping out for boot camp June 20th of 2018 and will not have access to her phone, only communicating by letter until she returns home.

“I’m extremely nervous but also excited to be corpsman in the navy,” Ally said. “It’s an opportunity for me to bring my education to a whole new level as well as my traveling experiences. Even though it was a last minute decision, I know it’s a decision that will impact my life for the better.”