Career Path > Navy Nuke

Pro's and Con's

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SN Bass:
Hey guys I recently enlisted into the Navy Nuclear Field and I would like to know, what are some of the bad and the good things about this program after I get out of the schooling.  I heard that there is a lot of work involved which does not necessarily bother me much, but, I would like to know if that is shifts being longer, more days a week, or just harder work with a normal shift.  Also, I have heard that we get an entirely different pay scale, is this true?  Also, is it good or bad.

I just would like to hear the answers to those particular questions plus whatever else you guys might think I should know about the program.

Well having just gotten out in the past two years I will do my best to keep this as balanced as possible. 

-you get more money than other people in the navy that are the same rank.  You get ProPay for being a nuke and you get really big re-enlistment bonuses. 
-You make rank much faster than other people in the Navy.  Avg. time for promotion to 1st class for a star baby was about 4 years when I made it.  The fun part is attempting to keep that rank.
-Plenty of opportunity on the outside for work when you get out.
-you know what type of ship you will be on, either CVN, SSBN, SSGN, or SSN.  Compared to the dozens of other types in the conventional world.
-You will be put in positions of leadership or expertiese when placed to work with non-nukes.
-Nukes respect knowledge more than rank(although the rest of the Navy operates opposite of this)

Cons(There are a lot in my book but I will try to keep them to a minimum)
-You will work more than anyone else in the Navy  First ones on, last ones off.
-That measily extra pay you get will not compensate for the BS you will incur on a daily basis from regulations, to exams, to ORSE, to interpretations.
-Your shore duty choices are very limited.  Basically it is prototype or stay on the boat these days
-The turn over rate is so high, the nuclear navy refuses to use any criteria in selecting new students(sorry cold hard fact, easier to replace than to retain) therefore, really bad nukes stay in and cannot be gotten rid of.
-When the S*$% hits the fan, the command will always find a nuke to fix it but will never give them the credit they deserve, but will instead give it to a guy who does ok just to continue breathing without further instructions(see NAM for polishing deckplates for SK vs. rebuilding a SSTG and getting extra work for doing a good job)

Like I said there are a lot more both pro's and con's and I am sure other people will chime in.  For the most part, most nukes hate their life but would not trade the experience or their friends for the world.  Something about going through hell to bring people together.  Just remember it always gets better after _________(Insert Event here E.G. ORSE, MTT, FastCruise, PEMA, PIA, etc.)

Loffy Muffin:
Basically, you will work the hardest and get treated the worst.  Sorry kid, I wish I could tell you differently. The Navy is like bizarro world.  Everything is reverse logic.  Work the hardest, be the smartest: get treated like crapola. 
But, if you make it through the 6 years without punching some sadistic lifer out (get them on the beach after a lot of beers.  Plausible deniability I think its called. Its harder then you can imagine going 4plus years without blowing up on one of these clowns) you should be able to score a nice gig making good money. 

And that isn't bad. 

SN Bass:
Do that many people actually like the job and stay in for 20+ years?  I don't really mind busting my butt in working, nor getting treated s****y that much as long as I have a paycheck to come with it.  I am also planning to become an officer later on through an ROTC program or OCS or something.  Will it be possible to switch jobs then?  Like if I decided to try out for pilot.  The guy who talked to me on the nuke field told me he loved it, he gave me some of the same bad sides to it you guys told me. But, he said he pretty much enjoyed what he did.  Well keep the answers coming I want to be prepared for what I will be facing.

Also, does anyone know the dropout rate for the school?  I'm not that worried about it though because I made a 74 out of 80 on the test.  I know it will be hard and such but I believe I will get through.

Modified for language.

Loffy Muffin:
I didn't know anyone that liked it.  Zero.  nada.  The people that reenlisted did it for 20,000 reasons as in bucks.  It is more now.  All of the senior nukes were pretty much a mess.  Serious character flaws.   But, this is just one dudes experience on one boat a long time ago.  I'm sure it has changed.

Don't mind getting treated like crap, working long hours as long as they throw you coin or two?  Well, you have definitely choosen the right field. 

look up other threads for ogang vs enlisted. 


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