Some quick info on the program

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    Hello all, well let me first say that I’ve always wanted to do this since I figured out about the military side of it. I unfortunately couldn’t finagle my way into the program that way. I have been approached by Raytheon about a job as a mechanic and told to put in my resume. So what do you think about my chances under those circumstances. I’m basically near the top of my field. From what I understand there’s far more people wanting to go than get to, so does this basically mean I’m strongly being considered?

    Do the mechanics work outside a lot.

    Anyway I’m used to C17 and C130 flights, 8 x 8 rooms with another person in them and no personal space, and I managed to survive it with two guns with full ammo added into the equation 😉 so I think I’ll be alright with that aspect.

    Just how much room do you have for personal stuff, how long does the mail take, and how in depth is the whole psyche eval and physical stuff, am I going to have to go to Denver or is this stuff done where you’re from? Basically walk me through the process from the time they say ok you have an interview. Thanks.


    My name is Atlas.  I work in the IT department at McMurdo.
    Before any of us can answer your questions, you have to answer some of ours:
    1)  Did RPSC tell you what station you’d be working at (there are three)
    2)  Did RPSC tell you how long your deployment would be for (could be from 4 mos. to 14 mos.)
    3)  What do you work on?  (light or heavy vehicles, furnaces, refrigeration, generators, etc.)
    4)  Do you like the cold?
    5)  Why would you come here when you can probably make more money in the Middle East?
    Just to get you started, please read through previous posts.  Even though alot of them ask about jobs unrelated to yours, the processes and descriptions are the same.  There’s alot of good info in this discussion board.
    I’m sure Mike will chime-in, soon.  It’s his website.  🙂
    Take care.  Might see you here soon.


    1. Nope

    2. They just said “Due to your qualifications we would like to consider you for a contract as a light vehicle mechanic in the Arctic Program”

    3. I am an ASE Master Certified Auto Technician, I have an ASE Heavy Truck Certification also. I work on vehicles only, but basically I can fix anything with an engine pretty easily.

    4. I don’t LIKE the cold, I didn’t LIKE 130 degree heat in Iraq already, it doesn’t affect my job performance however.

    5. I have already been to Iraq. I’m adventurous I have always wanted to join the program but couldn’t get it done while in the military. It’s not about the money, I could make 100k or more in a dealership in the states.


    Wow, 100K? I think I chose the wrong career field.

    Hi MechSoldier, welcome.

    Most of the vehicle mechanics I know do not work outside that much, except for emergency repairs out in the field. As you might expect, it’s a lot easier to work on things back in the shop. Having said that, the jobs differ depending on the station and your duties, so it’s hard to give a complete answer unless you know where you’ll be.

    And the question of liking the cold, IMO, is a non-issue. Yeah, it’s cold. Whee. But they give you decent clothes, and so long as you’re prepared it’s not too bad. We all get tired of the cold sooner or later (me: sooner) which makes the return home all that much sweeter.

    If RPSC has asked you to throw in a resume, and if you want to go, I’d get right on top of it. (Did they give you a contact name or email address? Pester the heck out of them!)

    You can do the medical/PQ where you live. The psych is only given for McMurdo or Pole winter-overs, and they fly you to Denver for it. The mail takes forever, longer if you’re at the Pole. But eventually it gets there. You’ll have enough room for everything; I would suggest packing light the first time around until you know the ‘lay of the land’.

    >> Basically walk me through the process from the
    >> time they say ok you have an interview.

    1. They interview you over the phone.
    2. You wait. (Sounds like the military, eh?)
    3. They call back and say they want to hire you. Or not.
    4. You wait.
    5. A FedEx pack arrives with an offer letter. You sign it and fax it back. Or laugh hysterically at the pay and go on to something better.
    6. You wait.
    7. They send you a blood/urin test kit, and info about how to fulfill the PQ requirements. As of this year all the forms are downloaded via the Internet.
    8. You send the forms back, do the PQ process.
    9. You wait.
    10. Wait some more.
    11. Someday you get PQ’d. Or not.
    12. Soon or later (probably later) they contact you with flight information. It’s mostly electronic now. You will probably be flown to Denver for a day-long sleeping session (oops! I meant orientation) before flying out the next day. They pay for all this.
    13. Repeat the above forever, because you can’t function anywhere else after a couple seasons on the Ice.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.



    Wait and wait huh? Ugh I want to do this upcoming 13 month winter over contract but from what I understand that has to be pretty much complete by Dec…The waiting everybody talks about makes it seem like that won’t happen. Did ANYBODY here get picked up quickly?


    Yo, Mech —
    If the need is bad enough, people have been processed, and down here, in about a week.  However, the summer season has just started, and winter is four months away. 
    So, if I read you right, you’re going to come down here for 13 months, starting in January?  Normally, you’d do a summer first, then a winter – It’s an easier transition.
    Wintertime, you’ll get your own room.  In the summer, you have to share.  It’s dorm style, with TYPICALLY two people to a room.
    Well, if you don’t mind cold…and dark…then good on ya.  See you down here in January.


    I just want to get down there, I would rather just do the year straight away. I dealt with a direct transition to Iraq for a year, I can deal with it…Only two people to a room? I was in one with 40 people separated by plywood cubicles. : )

    On a weird not the other resume I put in the other day doesn’t say anything next to it in the rayjobs site in my submissions area, but the two that I just put in like an hour ago say in review….I wonder what this means?


    Well I just called Raytheon and talked to Mr. Kershner and he told me what I already knew. Basically, “It looks like your resume is under review, I would expect a response this week and hopefully we can move forward from there”

    So I guess I just wait, my least favorite thing ever.

    If I don’t hear from them by next Monday I guess I’ll call again.


    They are probably hiring for next year, but it might be the winter season as well. If you don’t get the call, make a stop in at the Job fair in Denver in March or April. Try for a face to face with somebody, impress them, and get permission to call them back.


    I want to go in winter. But the thing is, if I don’t get the job offer, then I have to go and buy like $5,000 worth of tools and get a job at a dealership….At that point it’s unlikely I’ll quit a $30 an hour job to make half that much in Antarctica (as much as I want to go). This is especially true if I get in with a higher end automaker.

    I’m confident they’ll give me a job offer. I doubt they get many mechanics with my credentials.


    Well Mech, You are in a bit of a bind. Chances are if the person you are trying to reach is stressed about work issues, he/she will blow you off at this time of year. People from the outside can only call certain phones and it’s somewhat discouraged. It would not be a normal thing. On the other hand if they are desperate for help you might have an in.
    I think the person who gave you the phone number should give you the email address and have you send an email and some warning that you are going to call.


    This probably isn’t the best year to be looking at a winter position. It’s a scaled back season and all the depts are hiring at minimal levels. I’d say try for next year at Winfly in August.


    They approached me and gave me a salary quote which is more than people usually make….

    They’ll offer me a job, and I’ll be there by winter.


    Can’t wait to have you in the heavy shop. Exactly what we need here are more people full of themselves!


    Congrats Mech. Honestly I would not have thought you would have gotten through. The next step is to get your medical appoints asap. As soon as the packet gets to you make the appointments. The forms for the doctors and dentists to fill out are all on the Program websites. You need to do this pronto because tests by nature are variable. If they fall outside the norms, you will be asked for a retest. You will undoubtably pass the second one, but it does take time and if you wait too long for the initial tests you won’t have time for a retest.
    Dental is the same. Dental problems are hell in the winter. They want everything fixed before you get here. Problem teeth have root canals, extractions ect.
    Again it all takes time so get it done early.
    Pick a nice low cost hotel in Cheech. I like the YMCA. others like the  Windsor, Thomas’s, Stonehurst etc. More on that from the others.
    Again congrats

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