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Registered Dietitian

Navy Sailors condition with stationary bikes aboard a ship

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Responsibilities

As a Navy Dietitian, you’ll deliver general nutrition education and wellness programs for servicemembers and their families, wherever they’re stationed. You will also have the opportunity to participate in field and shipboard patient care and food service operations at home and abroad. You’ll provide:

  • Inpatient and outpatient medical nutrition therapy
  • Nutrition counseling and education
  • Food service management

Work Environment

The Navy employs approximately 34 dietitians who are stationed in any of more than 250 facilities in the U.S. and overseas – from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

As a Dietician, you could also work at one of the highly acclaimed national medical centers in Bethesda, MD, Portsmouth, VA or San Diego, CA. You could provide support to pilots and air crews aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

Training & Advancement

Those pursuing a Dietitian position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.

Once that training is complete, you will learn the ins and outs of life as a Dietitian at your first assignment.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.

Post-Service Opportunities

It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.

Education Opportunities

The Navy offers generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs. You can finish your education with little or no debt, and learn to lead others, further distinguishing your career, enhancing your credentials and expanding the boundaries of your expertise.

Practicing Professionals

Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education.

All offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Medical Recruiter contact you.

Qualifications & Requirements

A degree from a four-year college or university is a minimum educational requirement to become a Commissioned Officer. You must also attend Officer Training. There may be exceptions to the degree requirements based on extensive service experience. Additional qualifications include:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a currently practicing Registered Dietitian for at least 2 years
  • Completed a bachelor’s degree by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university
  • Completed an a Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Completed an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI)

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

Serving part-time as a Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Dietitians in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your medical experience in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.

For annual training, Dietitians may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or in bases and camps in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Dietitians in the Navy Reserve serve in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here you will learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette. There may be an option for attendees to request to split the five-week program into two sessions.

With flexible training options, Medical Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own practice – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.

The Navy Medical Corps offers you a truly diverse variety of academic, clinical and operational settings in which to practice. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian hospital or setting you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.

As a Dietitian in the Navy Medical Corps Reserves, you’ll receive a first-rate benefits package – including your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:

  • Up to $50,000 per year in specialty pay
  • Up to $250,000 in medical school loan repayment assistance
  • An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $10,000

Reservists joining the Navy Medical Corps as residents can get monthly stipend in excess of $2,200 while completing your residency. Offers based on service commitment. Contact a Navy Reserve Medical Officer Recruiter for complete offer details.