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Background Check

My son, age 23 holds a AA Degree. At the conclusion of this semester he will have 6 Fire Science classes under his belt for a total of 18 units. His Fire science class cancelled one night last year and he and several classmates went to the bar. You guessed it! He was arrested for a DUI with a .09. Should he do one of the following:

Enlist into the United States Navy. They have promised him by contract being a Fireman/Damage Control for four years starting at a E-3 Level AND the opportunity to earn a BA Degree in Fire Science. or

Continue his education at California State University Los Angeles and earn a BA in Fire Science with the hope of landing a job with the CDF or any other department.

What do you think?

I think he should go into the United States Navy as he will accomplish several things: A) Experience being a Firefighter - four years B) BA Degree in Fire Science C) TIME - about five years to show that he improved himself D) Military always being a plus and many departments give additional points.

Responses will be appreciated.


Only time will tell in regards to this situation and either way is a course of possible action. (What the heck did he just say?)
The DUI will pass in time unless it was a felony conviction. If it was, the fire service is out of the career question.
While the US Navy is a good place to learn responsiblility. authority and accountability, it is not for everyone. If you are not mature, or do not mature fast enough, you are going to be in a world of hurt when you find yourself at Captain's Mast,restricted to the ship, or doing time in the brig, or even booted out with either a "less-than-honorable" or "dishonorable" discharge.
I must also caution you that there are NO FIFREFIGHTERS in the Navy, or rather, every Sailor sailor is a firefighter. I was a Radioman in the Navy but I was the Damage Control NCO for my section/divison. I never sat around as a dedicated firefighter or performed soley as a firefighter.The duties I performed as a Damage Control NCO was checking/maintaining equipment. If the Navy now has dedicated firefighters (Other than Crash Rescue), it is news to me. The Navy is giving your son the E-3 Rank based on his AS degree. Anyone with an AS degree should be offered that rank.
CDF&FP can be a good place to work if you don't mind long hours/days and the a Winter schedule where you could be assigned to a non-fire mission and work four days a week with very long hours. I can also tell you that if there is a DUI conviction, CDF&FP has hundreds of other applicants who do not have DUI's.
Lots of candidates have BA/BS degrees and are not firefighters just because of that. Best Wishes

This message was edited by tomdeltazulu on 2-27-03 @ 11:02 PM

Thanks for your reply. Thank God, the DUI was not a felony. In fact, it may be reduced to a wet reckless. Ventura County is very tough when it comes to DUI's.

I was provided a job desription for a "Fireman" in the Navy. The term is used because of tradition. Fireman were required to keep the fires burning in the ship's boilers which were used to make steam. Currently, the term "Fireman" (FN) in the Navy is associated with engineering, electrical or power plant operator.

Damage Control (DC) in the Navy is a little different than in past years, I was told. The job consists of fire fighting duties as well as repair of damage control systems and equipment.

And you are absolutely correct on the mental aspect of joining the Navy. Again thanks for your comments.

If anything have him join the Air Force for sure!
I did it for 4 years and you are definately a firefighter ( not just called that). you still have to do all the other junk but atleast he will go to a good academy and then be stationed and a base fire station in which most of them are civilian contract!
The best thing to do is go to MEDIC SCHOOL for sure!
military is good experience but doesnt help nearly as much as a P.M license!!!!!

I cringed when I read this posting. This is why:

No department wants one of their firefighters cited with a DUI. If you have already had a DUI, it's difficult but not impossible to get hired. Candidates who have been cited with wet and reckless (less than a DUI) can also have problems getting hired. A candidate who seldom drinks was stopped after his wedding reception. He was cited for wet/reckless. Even though nothing happened before this incident, over one year later, this paramedic is still having problems getting hired.

If you do a psych, the doctor could DQ you because he might feel (I have actually seen this written on a report from a psychologist) because of the pressures of the job; you could end up drinking more.

You could try and get the record expunged. You can find our more DUI's getting a "Background Expunged" under the "Application and Resume" title of the Free "101 Inside Secrets How to Get a Badge" off our we site @


Fire "Captain Bob"

This message was edited by captbob on 3-4-03 @ 3:43 AM

I would like to thank everyone who replied to my post. This is a great forum and valuable tool to obtain information, advice, suggestions, and recomendations.

My son will be at the Air Force Recruiter shortly. Thanks again, this is a painful experience!