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Old 07-05-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
lilyputian
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Default DLAB & Contract

I'm going to MEPS on Monday, but I won't be taking my DLAB until Thursday. Is it possible to sign a contract for CTI without having taken the DLAB first, or will I have to wait until Friday to sign my contract (assuming all my scores qualify me)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:05 AM   #2
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Don't do it. You won't be able to sign for CTI until you've done the DLAB, and I wouldn't bet a lot on your chances of getting another MEPS visit, AND landing an open slot, before you ship. Your recruiter will almost certainly be annoyed, but if you've already got the DLAB scheduled, you're already doing better than I did when I tried this same thing.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:57 AM   #3
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My recruiter claims the DLAB is scheduled. I'm not sure it actually is. I was really hoping to take the DLAB back to back with the ASVAB on Monday, that way I could have a definite response the same day, but it looks like that's not gonna happen. I'm definitely not going to sign a contract until I find out whether I'm eligible for CTI, because that's my 1st choice by far (IS is second).
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lilyputian View Post
My recruiter claims the DLAB is scheduled. I'm not sure it actually is. I was really hoping to take the DLAB back to back with the ASVAB on Monday, that way I could have a definite response the same day, but it looks like that's not gonna happen. I'm definitely not going to sign a contract until I find out whether I'm eligible for CTI, because that's my 1st choice by far (IS is second).
It's also good to go in with a third and even forth choice.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:09 AM   #5
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It's also good to go in with a third and even forth choice.
Not just an understanding of that ratings you would be willing to sign for... but an understanding of what ratings you would not want. Assume the liaison will paint any rating in the best light possible... it's good to research as many jobs as you can so you know the reality of what they do and whether you'd be willing to do them.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:17 AM   #6
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Not just an understanding of that ratings you would be willing to sign for... but an understanding of what ratings you would not want. Assume the liaison will paint any rating in the best light possible... it's good to research as many jobs as you can so you know the reality of what they do and whether you'd be willing to do them.
Also, figure out for yourself whether it's more important to be a Sailor or to have such-and-such job.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lilyputian View Post
I'm going to MEPS on Monday, but I won't be taking my DLAB until Thursday. Is it possible to sign a contract for CTI without having taken the DLAB first, or will I have to wait until Friday to sign my contract (assuming all my scores qualify me)?

Thanks in advance!
I DEPd into the Marine Corps in March of '13, and took my DLAB a week later. I made a 133/134, so that got me a Crypto Linguist contract guaranteed. Long story short, I decided to leave the Marine Corps DEP and joined the Navy DEP due to date complications. All of this has been said to let you know that, despite my score and already having an identical job in the Corps DEP, I still had to sign on as a Seaman PACT, and wait for a CTI spot to open up. Once the spot opened up, I signed a new contract. So I'd tell you to ask your recruiter about an open contract.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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I still had to sign on as a Seaman PACT, and wait for a CTI spot to open up. Once the spot opened up, I signed a new contract. So I'd tell you to ask your recruiter about an open contract.
The big problem with that plan is, if the CTI spot hadn't opened up, you'd have gone in as an undesignated Sailor... you're completely dependent on your recruiter's initiative, MEPS, manning, and numerous other factors out of your control. Any contract that you sign should be under the assumption that you're not getting another rate. Still try for a DAR to get your #1 choice, but don't sign for something you're not willing to do for 4-6 years... no matter how much they promise you'll be able to switch later.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:03 PM   #9
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The big problem with that plan is, if the CTI spot hadn't opened up, you'd have gone in as an undesignated Sailor... you're completely dependent on your recruiter's initiative, MEPS, manning, and numerous other factors out of your control. Any contract that you sign should be under the assumption that you're not getting another rate. Still try for a DAR to get your #1 choice, but don't sign for something you're not willing to do for 4-6 years... no matter how much they promise you'll be able to switch later.
This is true. I guess I had a special situation. I got a guarantee on the next open spot from the classifier at MEPS due to my score.. My recruiter had nothing to do with that, although I would have put my faith in him if he had.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:41 PM   #10
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I signed CTI back in April. Had to do the ASVAB then go back for the DLAB. I was told as long as you qualify for CTI there will be a spot since it is in demand. I was never offered anything else.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:07 PM   #11
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Yeah I've been warned repeatedly against signing as "undesignated," both here and by my IRL Navy friends. I'm going to make sure I get a specific rating before I sign anything.

Thanks for the input, guys!
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:30 AM   #12
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Yeah I've been warned repeatedly against signing as "undesignated," both here and by my IRL Navy friends. I'm going to make sure I get a specific rating before I sign anything.

Thanks for the input, guys!
I just switched to CTI recently and I'm almost positive you're not going to be able to sign for it until you successfully complete the DLAB. Apologies for beating a dead horse, just wanted to chime in and definitely get a rating and talk all of this out with your recruiter.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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I was going to go into a quick talk about taking my ASVAB last Monday and the DLAB yesterday, along with how they made me sign a contract for MC until I took the DLAB to find out if I could switch. I passed the DLAB and successfully became a CTI depper yesterday afternoon, so I was going to post a big "don't lose hope" post with more details.

Then I saw that it's Thursday.

How did you do?! Are you a CTI now? Give us an update!
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:49 AM   #14
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I was going to go into a quick talk about taking my ASVAB last Monday and the DLAB yesterday, along with how they made me sign a contract for MC until I took the DLAB to find out if I could switch. I passed the DLAB and successfully became a CTI depper yesterday afternoon, so I was going to post a big "don't lose hope" post with more details.

Then I saw that it's Thursday.

How did you do?! Are you a CTI now? Give us an update!
Congrats!
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:06 PM   #15
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Thanks, Classified! I'm having a blast researching and working out for future service, haha.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:41 PM   #16
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Thanks, Classified! I'm having a blast researching and working out for future service, haha.
It's gonna be a good time for sure!

And for everyone else I just changed my username, so that's what that's all about lol
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:20 PM   #17
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Default MEPS and CTI spot

My ASVAB and DLAB qualified me for CTI but was told by my recruiter (he's also a CTI) that they had to get me into MEPS (last week in fact) and into the system in a temporary rate. Then, when a CTI slot appeared, they will then DAR me into a new contract. I had some reservations as there were virtually no rartings to pick from that day but trusted them.

The PN1 at MEPS took me to their C.O. when I was concerned and he reiterated they could DAR me into CTI in November or December. However, the day before MEPS, my CTI rercruiter said it would be next month??? Big difference in windows.

I went into MEPS with 10 backup ratings and all they had was AV and it was not one of the ratings.

Anyhow, the main point of concern was feeling shot-gunned to pick a rate and then DAR later?

I understand the needs of the Navy and also understand my recruiter has a job and chain of command pressure so I trust that this is all the norm.

I can't see taking that second oath and ship-out as an AV on some sort of promise they can change it at basic.

Thank you for any comments and guidance. I have made 4.0' grades my last four years in foreign language. I also have been in Honors English plus picked-up survival Russian just for fun.

I know that you don't pick your language at DLI; the point is I'm a linguist by nature and naturally adept to languages.

Thank you again for your time.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:29 PM   #18
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As they say, a verbal promise is worth the paper it's written on.

I'm not saying they're flat-out lying to you, but if you swear in as something other than CTI and the DAR does *not* come through, you're going to have to take what you signed, or back out entirely. I doubt the CO you talked to is going to lose a minute of sleep if what he promised you doesn't happen. And no, do not under any circumstances accept some "we'll change it at boot camp" line.

Is this standard procedure? I dunno, maybe it is, but I don't like it. If you DO take it on faith, at least make it crystal clear to your recruiter that if your contract on ship day doesn't say "CTI", you will just turn around and go home.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #19
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I have a question about the DLAB as well, if I failed the DLAB in March and will be in boot camp in September can I retake the DLAB in bootcamp?
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KDearing View Post
My ASVAB and DLAB qualified me for CTI but was told by my recruiter (he's also a CTI) that they had to get me into MEPS (last week in fact) and into the system in a temporary rate. Then, when a CTI slot appeared, they will then DAR me into a new contract. I had some reservations as there were virtually no rartings to pick from that day but trusted them.

The PN1 at MEPS took me to their C.O. when I was concerned and he reiterated they could DAR me into CTI in November or December. However, the day before MEPS, my CTI rercruiter said it would be next month??? Big difference in windows.

I went into MEPS with 10 backup ratings and all they had was AV and it was not one of the ratings.

Anyhow, the main point of concern was feeling shot-gunned to pick a rate and then DAR later?

I understand the needs of the Navy and also understand my recruiter has a job and chain of command pressure so I trust that this is all the norm.

I can't see taking that second oath and ship-out as an AV on some sort of promise they can change it at basic.

Thank you for any comments and guidance. I have made 4.0' grades my last four years in foreign language. I also have been in Honors English plus picked-up survival Russian just for fun.

I know that you don't pick your language at DLI; the point is I'm a linguist by nature and naturally adept to languages.

Thank you again for your time.
This is not meant to belittle you or say you won't do well at DLI, but take from me (I've been at DLI about a year and a half now) there isn't a school in the country that will adequately prepare you for DLI. The volume, pace, and and standards are all very different from a high school or even college course. Expect to feel like you're drowning from time to time.

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I have a question about the DLAB as well, if I failed the DLAB in March and will be in boot camp in September can I retake the DLAB in bootcamp?
The short answer is no. I've heard of people who already have a CTI contract retaking the DLAB to see if they can get a better score in bootcamp, but if you ship to bootcamp as a different rate you don't get to switch unless something comes up where you don't qualify for the rate you shipped as. (And that's a) rare and b) is going to be needs of the navy, you get whatever we have available.)
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:37 AM   #21
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My ASVAB and DLAB qualified me for CTI but was told by my recruiter (he's also a CTI) that they had to get me into MEPS (last week in fact) and into the system in a temporary rate. Then, when a CTI slot appeared, they will then DAR me into a new contract. I had some reservations as there were virtually no rartings to pick from that day but trusted them.
I processed at MEPS 20140631 and told the NCs there that I wanted CTI first, and anything else intel-related second. I walked out the door with a contract for MC. There were other cool jobs available, but nothing I really wanted stuck with if I failed the DLAB and couldn't switch. They did promise me that if I failed the DLAB, they'd switch me to IS or another CT rate if I wanted it. They said that they didn't want to put me into an intel field and start a security clearance process and then I switch jobs and they'd have to start over. Personally, I think photojournalism is pretty sweet, so I rolled with it.

Almost two weeks later (had to work around the busy-ness of MEPS around July 4), I passed the DLAB pretty nicely and walked out the door with a contract for CTI.

What they kept telling me was "man, if you qualify for CTI, you've got it. We always, always need them. Just pass the test." So, there's some encouragement for you.

One last heads up: pay attention to the ship dates of the other temp jobs that they offer you. I was under some stress because my ship date for MC was Aug 4, roughly a month after signing the MC contract. My wife had a kid in the meantime, and that would've given me about two weeks before shipping out to the Navy. Now I've got until December with the li'l one. Wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't passed the test and passed it fast.

Good luck! Please let us know how it goes!
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