Life as an active Reservist

I have been in for about three years and have been associated with five different units across two states, each one drastically different in organization, leadership quality and how they go about accomplishing the mission of their unit.  Imagine my confusion and my troubles of adapting to the ways of each one.

In most cases, unless you are lucky enough to meet someone that genuinely cares to take their time to help you, everyone looks down at those in lower ranks, that is E-4 and below.  To gain the respect of others, like you deserve, you must make rank.  However, this is clearly easier said than done, depending on many factors including your rank, rate, and how you get evaluated. 

If you get evaluated poorly, it does not mean you are a horrible person.  Either you simply don't have the "military bearing" expected of the person evaluating you or you were evaluated unfairly by a petty officer or officer that looks at you with disgust yet in no way could be bothered to send you in the right direction but to continue to sneer at you for no apparent reason.  I have received a perfect 4.0 in one unit and being praised as a perfect, detail-oriented, serious sailor only to be given a 0 less than a month later by another unit I got transferred to with negative comments that I am lazy with a bad attitude.

Often times, the problem is that you will get the runaround as in petty officers that think they rule over you will tell you to do contradicting tasks.  If you question them, you are questioning authority and will be regarded as "unsat" with a bad attitude with disregard to the Navy's mission.

Common phrases from some of your shipmates you will hear include "Don't worry about it; I got your back; You're good to go..."

This is a red flag, especially if they are telling you something that is not in writing or does not hand you a copy of something you have turned in.  It is the job of the admin department to keep all papers submitted in orderly files, but often times, papers get misfiled, lost, or even accidentally shredded.  You will want to make copies of everything.  Do not accept anyone's promises that they will keep your papers for you.  You will be told time and time again that it is your responsibility to keep all papers you submit and those that are provided to you.  This includes papers in your service and medical records.