Ever since Boo, Marie and I interviewed our sailors, people have been asking us if we could interview more. Well belle’s and beau’s, we have taken it a step further. Each month we will try to spotlight one deserving sailor. This month’s sailor is DC Vicky Smooth. Onward to the interview!
Hello Sailor! For the record, could you please tell us your name and your rate and when you joined the military?
My name is Vicky smooth, I’m a DC in the United States Navy. I joined May 3, 2012.
When you were growing up did you ever fathom that you would be in the military?
Never crossed my mind. Had no family in the military, I’m the first.
What prompted you to look at the armed services as a possible career?
I wasn’t getting anywhere towards my goal with what I was doing. I wanted to be a firefighter since I was young.
Was picking a branch easy? How did you go about choosing the Navy?
Well I signed with the Marines at first. I ended up getting a depth discharge and went through processing, then I went to check out air force and noone was there so I ended up going into the navy office
***What is a depth discharge?
That’s when you change your mind before being shipped to bootcamp
Yes I wasn’t offered any job in my preference. As for air force my patience wore out and I just needed info. So navy recruiter talked to me. He told me everyone in the navy is a fireman.
Is your experience anything like what the recruiter described?
Somewhat but then again I never really knew what to expect
Was it easy to tell your friends and family that you were thinking of joining? How did they react?
It was no easy task especially for my mom. At first she had a horrible reaction and did not want me to and kept telling me not to.I told her its my choice and that anything she said was not going to change it.
Everyone supported me very much and we’re very proud of me
After signing up did you leave for bootcamp right away?
No they gave me 3 months
Did you have to do anything special to get prepared for bootcamp? Can you tell me a little bit about your experience being in the DEP pool?
I was already very athletic so the pre training for bootcamp was a joke. It was fun though
Tell me a little bit about your basic training experience. How did you get through it? What was your favorite part about bootcamp? What was your least favorite part about bootcamp?
Bootcamp was easy. Hardest thing about bootcamp is not being able to talk. My favorite part was the captains cup and my least favorite was P-days.
Please describe your rank, job title, and primary duties with the Navy: (If OPSEC Allows)
Right now I’m a E3 in the navy and my rate is Damage Control so I’m basically a firefighter on the ship.
** Do you like it?
Vicky Smooth: Yeah it’s a great experience! It’s why I joined
What are your goals while in the Navy?
To finish getting my associates and to keep excelling in the navy to gain all the training and experience I can.
Have you been deployed yet? Do you know if you will deploy? Typically how long would a deployment for you last?
Yes I just got back from a mini deployment. I went to Scotland and England and yes, I will be deploying next year. Deployments on cruisers last from 6 to 8 months.
What are you most proud of in your service so far?
Well I would say getting to my ship and meeting my new family for however long I’m on the ship.
How has your career in the Navy affected your life?
Hardest thing about me being in the navy is being away from my fam for long periods of time, other than that it’s pretty easy
Has your relationships with family friends, spouse/ girlfriend changed? If so how?
With family nothing changed, if anything our bond got stronger and same for friends. I have no girlfriend yet.
How do you think your life would be different if you never enlisted?
I would be doing the same old thing I did before joining. Work, and chilling with my family and friends.
What would you tell someone looking to join the military? Would you tell them to join the Navy?
To be successful you need to make sacrifices. There will be ups and downs on all that you do. Just gotta make the best of it.
As for the Navy, it depends on what they want to do. Different branches provide opportunity. I will tell them to see all recruiters and choose what fits them best.
Any last thoughts that you would like to share?
Yes, I would like to tell the future military members not to forget the reason why they joined and to have a plan and stick to it.
Editor’s note: Sailor Spotlight is a recurring feature on the Buoyed Up in which we profile a different Sailor every month. If you have a loved one currently serving or who has served in the past that would like to be showcased, please contact Ollie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org