9 Common Mistakes To Avoid During Navy Officer Applications

Last Updated on September 15, 2022

This guide provides useful information that will assist in the successful completion of your Navy Officer application while avoiding the most common mistakes.

In order to finish your application package, you will need to show some basic proof of eligibility and fill out some documents. 

There are some things to look out for that will help your application process go more smoothly, so you do not have to make corrections or get set back. 

The list below includes the items on which we found applicants make the most errors.

Social Security Card Name

All documents should be completed using the name as listed on your Social Security Number (SSN) card.

For instance, if your given name is John Charles Smith but your SSN card lists you as John C. Smith, then all of your documentation should reflect John C. Smith.

Social Security Online Services Image-1 704X396
Source: Social Security Administration

If you officially change your name due to marriage, divorce, a court order, or any other reason, you must notify Social Security so that you may get a corrected card. 

You cannot apply for an updated card online.

To get a revised Social Security card, you must first show the necessary documentation. 

You will need to provide identification. You may also be required to prove your current U.S. citizenship or legal non-citizen status.

Naturalized U.S. Citizens

If you have been naturalized, you must use the name that appears on your naturalization certificate.

If your name appears differently on your SSN card, you must get it corrected.

The exception to this is if you officially changed your name after naturalization, such as by marriage, or if you underwent a legal name change.

Please note that naturalized candidates whose names have changed as a result of marriage may modify just their last name.

If you use your maiden last name as your middle name after marriage, you may do so only if you have had your full name legally changed.

Also Read: Navy OCS Guide for Officer Applicants

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Medical Screening

You will be required to undergo a physical examination at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to determine your physical fitness for the Navy.

Note that MEPS is not controlled by the Navy. MEPS is directed by the Department of Defense.

This process begins with the completion of several medical forms.

USMEPCOM FORM 680-3A-E (Request for Examination)

Request For Examination Image 704X396

This form asks for some basic information, like where you live and what you do.

Before you answer, make sure you read each section.

Take particular note of the following blocks:

Block B. Prior Service

Pay attention to the fact that it wants your time in days. As an example, if you have three years of previous service, you will enter 1095 (365 x 3).

Block 3. Current Address

It asks for a street name, city, county, state, country, and ZIP code, so make sure you list all of this information. 

When you write in Block 4, you can say, “Same as current” when appropriate.

Block 12. Education

Please use the following codes to indicate your level of education:

DegreeCode
Bachelor’s16K
Master’s18N
Doctoral20U
Undergraduate students16K

Blocks 26 and 27

Simply hand sign your name in Blocks 26 and 27. Do this whether you have insurance or not.

Blocks 28 and 29

Leave Blocks 28 and 29 blank. Do this whether you have insurance or not.

DD FORM 2807-2 (Accessions Medical History Report)

This form will ask you Yes-or-No questions about your medical history. It is critical that you respond honestly to this. It’s not worth hiding anything.

The medical process can be the most time-consuming part of the process, and failing to accurately report your medical history or list the information according to the directions on the form can potentially cause you a lot of headaches and significantly slow down the time it takes to get through the medical process and complete your package.

More importantly, the majority of “Yes” responses will require you to provide medical documentation for that condition.

Your recruiter will inform you of which criteria need the submission of records.

Accessions Medical History Report Image 704X396

Pay particular attention to the following:

Page 3-Section IV. Applicant Comments

Any “Yes” responses will need an explanation in Section IV. It is essential that you adhere to the directions included in that section.

Failure to submit the necessary information will result in the section being re-filled.

Ensure that you enter the complete dates. These dates should be available from your medical records.

For instance, if you visited the emergency room on January 2, 2010, use 1/2/2010, not January 2010 or just 2010.

Additionally, if you report multiple conditions, be sure to include an entry for each.

For instance, if you fractured your arm, went to the emergency room, and had screws inserted, you would check yes for 78, 84, 157, 159, and potentially 158 if you were admitted to the hospital.

If you are unsure, consult your recruiter or processor.

Medical Records

If you are asked to provide medical records, please keep the following in mind: 

MEPS needs all documents relevant to the concern indicated, beginning with the initial doctor/ER visit and continuing through all follow-ups, labs, x-rays, test results, and so on, until the final appointment and medical clearance. 

If you have never had medical clearance, you will almost certainly need it.

If the records are no longer accessible, you must get an official letter from your doctor’s office indicating that they are no longer available. 

All records must be sent in chronological sequence, from oldest to newest.

Prior Service Applicants

MEPS and your recruiter will require a copy of your DD214, long form, with your RE code on it. 

Furthermore, if you have a claim with the Veterans Administration (VA), even if it is a 0% claim, you must provide MEPS with your full military medical record as well as all VA documents. 

If you do not have a VA claim, you will need an official letter from the VA stating that you do not have a claim on file; your recruiter may assist you in obtaining this. 

Keep in mind that any applicant with a VA claim must have their physical done at MEPS.

Female Applicants

All female candidates aged 21 and older must produce a copy of a recent PAP test obtained within the last three years. 

This is not required for MEPS (unless the findings are abnormal), but it must be sent to the Navy along with your MEPS physical.

Navy Accessions Security Information System (NASIS)

Login details for the NASIS website will be sent to you. NASIS produces entries on the form SF86.

You will be required to submit information about your background inquiry into this system. 

Please take your time and fill out all the fields. 

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The majority of kickbacks occur in this section of the application, so please read carefully.

When inputting addresses, be careful to include the whole address, including the street suffix (IE, Dr, Rd, Blvd, St, etc.). 

Keep in mind that the information you provide will be utilized for both your background check and your Navy Officer application. As a result, it is critical to highlight a few significant elements.

Section 5: Other Names Used

In this part, you must note any changes to your name. 

As in the previous example, if your birth name is John Charles Smith, but your name is recorded on your SSN card as John C Smith, you will need to add an item in this box for John C Smith and enter “name as listed on SSN card” as the reason. 

If your name appears on your school transcripts as John C Smith or John Smith, you must provide an entry for these names as well. Put “Name as listed on (school name) transcript” as the explanation.

Section 10: Dual Citizenship/Multiple Citizenship

If you are a naturalized citizen or your parents were born in another country, you must include the following declaration in section 10 comments: 

“If necessary, I am prepared to renounce my citizenship in (name of country). I realize that traveling on a foreign passport or getting a new foreign passport is reportable and will have an impact on my eligibility and/or assignment to work in a sensitive job.” 

Even if you are not a dual citizen, this is essential since certain nations give derived citizenship, making this sweeping remark necessary.

Section 12: Where You Went to School

Ignore the instructions that claim you only need to go back 10 years in the education area; you must record all schools, post-high school, attended, even if it was just one class. 

Double-check that your attendance and graduation dates correspond to those on your transcripts.

Section 13a: Employment Activity

Make sure there are no gaps in your timeline.

All time for the last ten years, or until your 18th birthday if younger, must be accounted for. 

Make an entry for the unemployed if you were unemployed at any time. 

The Navy will be able to tell whether you were in school during this time period based on the education section. 

Also, be sure to provide your supervisor’s entire first and last name. 

Your recruiter will be unable to accept incomplete names or “unknown.” 

Your job recommendations should come from the person you have designated as your supervisor. 

If you are including military time in this part, please do not enter it separately for each duty station; instead, aggregate your time into one entry and utilize the duty station/supervisor information from your most recent station. 

However, if you changed the components (for example, from active to reserve), you should separate them. 

Keep in mind that being deployed or activated while in the reserves does not count because your component did not change even though you were on active duty.

Section 18: Relatives

All information about your relatives must be filled out completely. You must give their document numbers if they are naturalized or permanent residents. 

“Unknown” entry is unacceptable. 

Include details about your spouse if they are also in the military.

Section 22: Police Records and Section 23: Illegal Drug Use

Ignore the time constraints listed here. 

If you have had any police activity or drug use (even marijuana, even if it occurred in a state/country where it is legal), it must be stated, no matter how long ago it was. 

It should also be noted that even if the records have been sealed or expunged, they must still be listed. 

Tickets for traffic violations, including parking violations, must also be mentioned. 

Any police involvement or drug usage will need a separate statement letter outlining the facts (what, why, when, where, and how), as well as the ultimate outcome.

Aptitude Testing

Schedule/Timing

Some applicants fail to consider that they might have to take the Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR) or the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) more than once because of low scores.

This means that the application might be delayed by many months.

This can be problematic if the applicant does not have a stable income, like students graduating from college, for instance.

Applicants may only take the OAR or ASTB three times in their entire lifetime. Those who wish to take the exam again must wait 30 days before retaking it.

Test Taking

The OAR and ASTB are computer-based exams.

The advantage of this is that you get to know your score as soon as you complete the exam.

The downside is that some applicants fail to practice the timing of the test. 

The main difference is that you may skip questions on paper exams, whereas you have to answer the questions promptly on computer-based exams.

Studying

The common studying issue is not the lack of preparation: It is improper preparation.

Some applicants focus their preparation on studying only the material covered in the exam.

This is a mistake because, like all other standardized exams, the objective is to beat the exam.

Prepare by gathering as large of a sample question pool as you can. This will allow you to categorize and get familiar with the types of questions likely to be asked on the actual exam.

You will not have time to solve every question, so you have to get to the point that when you see a question, it is either you recognize it and know how to answer it, or you do not.

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Resume

The application process starts with the review of your current resume or curriculum vitae, but a lot of applicants do not have this ready.

It is important to note that all the information on your resume must match what is on the NASIS/SF86. 

This includes the sequence in which the entries are listed, the entries themselves, and the dates. 

If you included five employment entries on your NASIS/SF86, those same five positions should be listed on your resume in the same sequence and with the same dates. 

However, you are not required to provide the unemployment entries. The same is true for all schools.

Military Service (Prior or Current)

Prior service candidates must provide their DD214s as well as all FITREPs/EVALs, along with any adverse personnel action documentation.

Applicants who are still under their 8-year Naval service term must receive a conditional release.

When submitting your EVALs/FITREPs, make sure they are in chronological sequence from oldest to newest. A statement must be submitted to account for any missing evaluation periods. Applicants who are currently serving or drilling must get a letter of recommendation from their Commanding Officer (or the Executive Officer as a proxy).

Tattoos

Normal tattoos are straight-forward, and your recruiter will provide you with the necessary forms for compliance.

However:

If you have any cosmetic tattoos (eyebrows, eyeliner, etc.), they must also be reported, and a statement explaining the tattoo, its location, and its significance must be completed for each.

Cosmetic tattoos are something that is commonly missed in applications and later becomes problematic, especially at MEPS.

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College Transcripts

Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be provided. 

Keep in mind that your recruiter cannot accept transcripts submitted by students. 

Ensure that they are submitted to your recruiter directly by your school. 

Official e-transcripts are acceptable if delivered directly from the school to your recruiter.

More Information

If you want more information about becoming a Naval Officer, the next logical step is to contact a Naval Officer Recruiter – if you have not yet already.

Other people also read our complete guide: How to Become a Naval Officer.

Hope you find this useful for your career planning.

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