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HELP! Trapped at NNPTC, I want out!
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HELP! Trapped at NNPTC, I want out!

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Author Topic: HELP! Trapped at NNPTC, I want out!  (Read 47001 times)
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Wareaglesvf
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« on: Sep 04, 2004, 05:38 »

Hey,

Well I just got out of boot camp and I'm at NNPTC. While I was at boot camp I saw everybody else got to change their rate, except for the nukes. I was excited about this program, but then it hit me that no this isn't what I want. Well anyway my recruiter told me I could change my rate at boot camp, he didn't tell me that once a nuke always a nuke. But I chose to be an MM. So my idea was to finish A school and try and get as high of a GPA as possible and tell them that I don't want to be in the program anymore. I just want my MGIB benefits, do my 4 years as an MM in the fleet, and get a degree in Physical Therapy. As you can tell the career I want has nothing to do with nuclear propulsion. So could somebody please help me and tell me the route I need to go to accomplish this. I'm not a quitter, but it's just not for me. Thanks for the comments and I hope you guys can help.
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IPREGEN
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 04, 2004, 06:57 »

Promising  Uncle Sam, six big ones means you will do it. You signed lots of papers making a promise. Try to make the best of it and maybe you'll like it after all. Good Luck.
 
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 04, 2004, 07:55 »

Wareaglesvf:
(By the way, interesting "handle". What's it mean?)

Ipregen has made a valid point. You committed to Uncle Sam's canoe club, so you'd better make the best of it for the time being. Sadly, you've learned a hard lesson early-on in your life: "Don't believe everything you hear" (a reference to the recruiter). May I give you a little insight?
Most nuclear power plants have been renewing their operating licenses for another 20 years, while still having 10 years on their exisitng 30 year license. Given that, once you've done your tour of duty, if you sign on for Operations at one of the nukes, you can very well make a career out of being an operator, progressing from Non-Licensed Operator, to Reactor Operator, to Senior Reactor Operator, with your final  salary being in the upper $70-80K range if not higher. Much better than a Physical Therapist.


« Last Edit: Sep 04, 2004, 07:59 by SST » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 05, 2004, 07:47 »

Hey,

Well I just got out of boot camp and I'm at NNPTC. While I was at boot camp I saw everybody else got to change their rate, except for the nukes. I was excited about this program, but then it hit me that no this isn't what I want. Well anyway my recruiter told me I could change my rate at boot camp, he didn't tell me that once a nuke always a nuke. But I chose to be an MM. So my idea was to finish A school and try and get as high of a GPA as possible and tell them that I don't want to be in the program anymore. I just want my MGIB benefits, do my 4 years as an MM in the fleet, and get a degree in Physical Therapy. As you can tell the career I want has nothing to do with nuclear propulsion. So could somebody please help me and tell me the route I need to go to accomplish this. I'm not a quitter, but it's just not for me. Thanks for the comments and I hope you guys can help.

We don't always get what we want, "whom the Gods wish to destroy, first they grant all their wishes"
I feel your situation. I had two choices ---- wait to get drafted, or join up to get some kind of choice. I went Navy Nuke and ended up a MM in Subs, Fast Attack, ELT. Not what I thought I wanted but seemed the lessor of two evils at the time. Turned out, it worked out for the best---good job when I got out---great fun----got married, got kids---paid for my house, etc. etc. etc.
The adventure hasn't ended yet............

The definition of an adventure is: Some poor sap a long way away having a hard time of it.
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ramdog_1
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 05, 2004, 07:50 »

you got what you picked live with it , I got a job and did not have to let service make choices for me, I worked my way through life. so when you get done make the most of your life and have fun with what you are doing.
Bubble heads humm( you know what they say) LOL
« Last Edit: Sep 05, 2004, 08:01 by ramdog_1 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 05, 2004, 08:13 »

You don't want to turn back now.  You have to do the six either way.  If you quit, flunk out on purpose.. etc., they're going to take away all those free paygrades that you haven't earned and put you in Diego Garcia.  You need to finish the "A" school to ensure that you even get to have a rate.  If you fall out there, you might end up a Botswain's Mate, hanging over the side of an aircraft carrier with a paint brush.

Hey, here's a thought - keep your word, live with the choices you make, and make the best of a damned good opportunity.  Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you're all grown up now.  Act like it.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 05, 2004, 10:05 »

Wow what gall. You come to a forum that's basically a home to many nukes who sucked it up and gutted their way through the program, and you ask advice on how to get out of it because it's "not what you wanted".

To tell you the truth I'm insulted Sad My advice to you is grow up.

SST, 70 to 80 K is a low ball for an SRO position. I've been an SRO since 1997 and in a low year I've made 100K.


Mike
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 05, 2004, 11:33 »

I'm not going to pile on here, I think the point of living with the choices made has been better said than I can.  Let me give a different tack.  I came to nuclear power by accident 6 years ago and not very happy about it.  I wasn't in the Navy, but I'm thankful for the many who have served, including yourself.  What I've found since getting into it is that it becomes what you make of it, just as your Naval career will do.  The biggest regret I have now is that I didn't make the move 19 years ago when I first had the chance.  Not only would I have more seniority, but I'd also know so much more than I do now about it. 

I believe, like SST, that this industry has quite a future ahead of it.  I'd hate to see you throw away a chance to be part of that now and possibly regret it later.  Even if you change your mind when you get out of the Navy just having been Navy nuke shows any future employer that you have perseverance.  Best of luck, PM me if you have any questions.  I'd be happy to answer them.
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wolf459
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 05, 2004, 12:50 »

here's a thought, do the best you can at all your schools and while you are serving your time take the courses for what ever you want to do after the Navy. The Navy will pay for your school and you will have a standby career if things go sour in your other career path. I had to leave the nuke industry in 92 and was very glad that I had something to fall back on (diesle mechanic) now I am back as an RCT makeing really good money. There is a reason you made your first choice, just try and look at the positive.
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 05, 2004, 04:48 »

If you dont like the Navy you will hate Nuke Power.  You only have a Cief to answer to now, we have Contract people, Power Plant people, NRC, etc.  You will also have to be a worker and someone who knows how to commit and follow through.  Take my advise, forget nuke and go into politics or some other weenie field.
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20 Years Gone
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 05, 2004, 08:23 »

   You know, there are ways to get out, and honorably... True... The Navy will not let you transition sideways.  Once a nuke, always a nuke, and nukes need not apply are tried and true sayings in the field..  The way down is fraught with peril.  It's damn hard to get disenrolled due to academics nowadays, which leaves captains mast, etc.  And you don't want to go that way... "Hey Mom, I'm not in school anymore.. I'm in a brig, and when I get out, I'm going to be sent straight to deck gang on an underway destroyer."  No, that really dosen't sound like the path to physical therapy.  Which leaves... Up and out.  Work your ass off in 'A' School.  Be the perfect nuke, student, and sailor.  NEVER let them know you're not delighted to be a nuke and serving your country. (probably too late for that, though)  If you've already spilled the milk, then tell them you changed your mind, and let your performance show them it's so.  Then, when you've proven you're the sharpest pencil in the pack, apply for ROTC or NECP, or whatever seamen to admiral 21 program you think will get you a degree, and out of nuclear power.  Serve the navy as an officer, put in your payback for them sending you to college, honorably, and then do what you love in life.  (It's not all about the money)
   Nuclear Power isn't for everyone... I'll concede that point.  But you gave your word, and if you didn't do your homework before hand, it's now up to you to play well the cards you partially dealt yourself.

   My 2 cents. 
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 06, 2004, 06:55 »

AMEN, Beer Court!


What he said......
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 07, 2004, 11:36 »

Welcome to the adult world.  If your reasons to apply for the program were genuine, they should still apply--hold yourself to them.

The nuclear power path is along the top of a high mountain ridge.  Stepping off the path at any point leads to a long fall, and nothing pleasant will come from it.  Do your best, stay on the path, reach the end (at 6 years or 30), then move on.

And a hearty "Well Said!" to 20 Years Gone, Fermi2 and Beer Court.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 07, 2004, 07:00 »

Wareaglesvf:
(By the way, interesting "handle". What's it mean?)


I think I could guess, but I would rather not falsely accuse someone! Wink

WarEagle,
I believe the best choice for you is to go over this mountain. Even if you never work nuke again in your life, it will be better preparation for college than any other thing I can imagine!
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ET3Workman
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 08, 2004, 02:04 »

Hello all this is my first post on these boards...I happen to come across this site a couple weeks ago and have been reading them off and on ever since. I am on T-Track right now and am set to class up 0407 on Sept. 30. I graduated ET A-School on Aug. 13.

Ok Wareagle, this is my advice, coming from someone who is right down the sidewalk from you maybe this may help you out some. When I first started reading you post it was like I was reading something I would have written myself about 7 months ago. I signed up for nuke, but because I failed to do my homework I found out I wanted CT(not the interpreter one thought)  instead, I tried everything before I left for boot camp to get out of nuke, and when my recruiter told me I couldn't, I said well then I don't know if I want to be in the Navy then. He proceded to tell me that because I had already taken that first oath the day I DEPed in at MEPs that I was in, and I can't get out. He told me that I could probably get my job changed at boot camp....
Believe me if there was a way to get it changed at boot camp, I sure as hell would've found it. I tried just about everything. I explained to the nuke field advisor my dilemia and pleaded, I mean PLEADED, with him to see if there was anything I could do to reclassify. He then proceded to tell me about how if my attitude didn't change then life at NNPTC was going to be very difficult for me, and I could even be punished with disciplinary action.(i.e. spending a month with the Marines in Florida or something like that). Then came the day I left Great Lakes and arrived at Charleston airport...keep in mind that I am still really depressed about being a nuke. We pulled in through the gates on the big white bus. We passed a lake on the left, and then I saw Rickover Center. And it hit me, I had an epiphany(sp?). All of the sudden things didn't seem so bad, I made some of the best friends in my life right here, and there are times that we all hate it here, but you know what? We keep going, because this is the best possible thing I could've done with my life. I am paying my dues now at 19 years old instead of when I older. I take one day at a time, and you wouldn't believe how fast time is going by. I can't believe I'm already starting Power School. Does it suck here a lot? Hell yes, my friends and I complain just about everyday about how pointless T-track is, and how pointless 25-4 study hours are, but we suck it up, and we roll with it. Because even though there are times we hate it here, we keep a good attitude. If you get nothing else out of what anyone says on this board get this: Attitude is everything. The Nuke program is what you make of it, if you want to pass up the best opportunity of your life then go ahead, but I guarantee you that the CO can make life really, really bad for you here if you don't put forth an honest effort, trust me I see those people mustering for a uniform inspection 8 times a day. But if you put forth the effort, keep a good attitude, and for God's sake don't be stupid and get sent to mast for something like underage drinking then TRUST ME you'll begin to like it here. There are so many opportunities, I myself am putting in a package to the Naval Academy, and I'm really hoping I get picked up for it. Funny thing is if I do, then 4 years from now I'll probably be right back here at good ol' NNPTC going through NPS as an Officer(hopefully).

It's not really a bad place man, just give it a chance. If you need someone to talk to I'll try and make myself available so just let me know. Good luck to ya bud!
« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2004, 02:07 by Workguy23 » Logged
jeepgirl1
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 08, 2004, 07:33 »

I tried everything before I left for boot camp to get out of nuke, and when my recruiter told me I couldn't, I said well then I don't know if I want to be in the Navy then. He proceded to tell me that because I had already taken that first oath the day I DEPed in at MEPs that I was in, and I can't get out.

Your recruiter really said you couldn't get out once you had DEP'd in?  That is sooo not true ... http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/joiningup/a/dep.htm.  I got out of Army DEP to enlist in the Navy.  It can be done ... it just takes time.  I can't believe a recruiter would honestly tell someone that  ...
« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2004, 07:34 by jeepgirl1 » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 08, 2004, 01:02 »

Fermi2: I was trying to make an "educated guess" as to what a "starting"  SRO annual salary would be, never having been one myself! But your point is well made, the potential is there for upwards of $100K per year.
Workguy23 & Wareageslvf: Most everyone who is currently employed in civilian nuclear power, has been so for 20 years or more. We're getting ready to retire. The plants will need replacements for us in order to operate for the next 20 years. You'll be needed in Operations, Radiation Protection, Instrument and Electrical, Chemistry, Emrgency Planning, etc. The plants look for navy nukes for you are trained and disciplined (somewhat harder to do with "johnny-off-the-street" college graduates who is prone to question everything!). "Stay-the-course", for I believe you've made a good career choice for yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 08, 2004, 01:16 »

Workguy, I loved your post my friend. Good luck to you!

Chief, thanks for you comment on my post.

SST it's cool Smiley

There is a future in this industry. Most plants are getting 20 Liicense Extensions.
We hire new operators every 18 months

In fact

Go to www.dteenergy.com we have an Operator Bid out right now. We hire Non License Operators in at about 24 or 25 an hour with LOTS of OT after youu qualify.

Mike
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boobcheese
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 09, 2004, 02:26 »

I've been in 6 years now and felt much the same way you do.  I didn't (and still don't) want to be a nuke.  However realizing that there wasn't a whole lot I could do to change things I studied hard so I could remain on voluntary hours.(i.e. maximizing my time away from things nuclear).  When I got to my first boat I worked hard on my quals and tried to get my work done quickly so that when we were in port I could get the hell off the boat (and maximize my time away from things nuclea)r.  When the STA-21 program came out my hard work paid off and I am now at Auburn University getting paid as an E-6 to go to school and get a degree.  When I'm done I go to flight school in Pensacola to become a naval flight officer.  Two other nukes off my boat got picked up for nurse option which sounds like it might be more to your liking.  The only good way out at this point is to bust your ass and put in a package.  But if you are determined to get out ASAP you can cut one year off your six year obligtion.  At the end of A-School they will have you sign a what is essentially a contract where you agree to give them an extra year in return for them making you an E-4.  Don't sign and your six years as a nuke just got cut down to five.  You will probably be able to make E-4 the first time you take the exam anyway.  Good luck which ever route you take.
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nukeMM1
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 10, 2004, 03:03 »

Here it is plain and simple. I did not want to be a nuke when I first joined either. I looked for ways out but ultimately it boiled down to the fact that I signed up to do something and I could not let myself fail. Now here I sit, I am a first class, just went over 8 yrs and I am up for chief in Jan. Do I absolutley love this job...not always. Another key point for you is to make it to the fleet before you start crying too hard. There are amazing things you will be able to do and see as a nuke in the fleet...YOU MAY EVEN LIKE IT!!!! Then do as others say, put in an officer package. As many as you can. I will have my degree next june and I am looking at 4 different options. Remember you can apply for any branch too!! Anyhow...suck it up, it will get better. DO NOT QUIT OR FAIL!!!! It looks bad period. Anything else just ask me I have friends who are instructors out there right now.
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shady88
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« Reply #20 on: Sep 13, 2004, 11:45 »

im currently an em3 at nptu charleston, i went through nnptc, and i actually liked, it kinda sick but i did... in the beginning i hated it, long hours, stupid material, but i busted ass, got on reduced hours and went home everyday at 5pm, scored ~3.6 on tests, even have my name on the honor board on the a-school doorway, look at the top em class (0336M) FN Jeremy S Prater, yeah, how did it get there? my class pulled together as a team and helped each other, i look back and i kinda wish i was back there because we were a team, but im almost out to the fleet to join another team!! Good luck and i hope to see you on a ship! -- Jeremy
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« Reply #21 on: Sep 18, 2004, 08:12 »

I think you will need a serious attitude adjustment before hitting prototype or life is going to really suck while you're there.  I've seen people work 16+ hour days on rotating shiftwork (which IMO makes 25-4's look like childsplay).  Prototype is not anything like NNPTC and is strongly dictated by how well you're liked by the staff.  If you have a bad attitude they are going to make life hard for you, so I suggest what others have suggested above and make the best of it, make them think you love it, and life will be easiest for you.
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damad1
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« Reply #22 on: Sep 24, 2004, 02:37 »

Chicken wings and beer help also if you happen to bump into staff while out on the town! Atleast it did with the crew I was staff on! Not that we favored people who bought us rounds, but it is always hard to concentrate the next day on a checkout when hung over! Wink
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rj21live
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« Reply #23 on: Sep 24, 2004, 12:03 »

I think a good majority of us felt at one point what you have expressed in words--How the hell did I get myself into this?Huh

I was no top notch student in A school or Power School (3.14) with 30 - 4's to do.  When I got to Charleston for Prototype, I absolutely HATED it--seriously.  However, even though I didn't like it, I stuck it out because, really when you think about it, who the hell else can say they did what you did 6 years from now.  There really aren't that many nukes out there. 

I wanted to goto film school, to be quite honest.  Instead, I found myself in the Navy nuke program because of the bonuses and advancement in rate, and getting the hell out of the Midwest.  You have to remember something, that the fleet is VERY different than school.  School is just a way to weed out those you don't want sitting at the power plant (and even some that sneak through are kinda scary).  It's like advanced bootcamp on crack.

But when you're through, it does get better.  If you're having this rough of time, don't volunteer for subs, because the culture for new guys can be tough on the mental state for the first few months.  It's kinda like Lord of the Flies on speed, except its adults and not children acting manic at times.

It's pretty simple.  Finish the six and get out.  Don't even consider reenlisting.  But after you qualify all required watchstations on your ship, start taking NPACE classes, or whatever is available.  Take the GI BILL and the extra kickers they have.  When you're 6 years is up, you'll have a good trade background to fall back on, you'll be wiser and more experienced than most people you know that are your age, you'll be far more passionate about what you want to do after the military, and you'll hopefully, enjoy life much better because you'll have a deeper appreciation for the things you've worked hard for. 

Trust me, the nuke program definitely has it's benefits.  If you purposefully fail, it could be the worst mistake you ever make.  All the cones on my ship had to stand hours and hours of topside watch in Bahrain in August when it's 120F out--no nukes were doing that.  As a nuke, you have a better chance of being picked up for an officer program.  We had a guy on my ship that was an E-6 (10 years), he had finished his B.S. on his own, then decided he wanted to fly.  He got picked up for OCS, left a few months later, then went to flight school in Pensacola. 

When you are finished with the Navy, the Nuke program experience will open more doors than any other enlisted program in the military. 

I run a student organization at my school that I founded for veterans, and the VP just so happens to be a nuke to.  She was on a carrier, but got out before I did, and she's in the Optometry doctoral program, doing exactly what she wants to do.  Me... have all my film gear, and have been doing small film production for the last year or so, and I'm starting to expand my business on the side - doing what I love to do, and not missing standing port and stbd watches as AEA or SRO!!!!

Good luck and hang in there,

Jeff

  http://www.indiana.edu/~iuvet/index.htm







   
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Ommetikklan
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« Reply #24 on: Sep 25, 2004, 02:01 »

The Navy abuses you from time to time, so take them to the cleaners whenever you have a chance.  Here's one recommendation for you when you get to the fleet. Suck up to some officers, then when you have to take leave,  start on a Friday (but don't have it signed out till Monday), then return next week on the Monday (but have it signed in for Friday). It's called the 9 for 5 program (9 days leave, 5 only counting).  Kissing ass always has it advantages.  Try to put the Navy on the receiving end from time to time, that way, things don't seem quite as bad.
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