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Last night I watched a show on WSKG about a documentary on board the USS Nimitz.  They didn't talk much about the reactor but the one thing that I did notice was the officer in charge of the plant.  He said that he had a degree in political science and history.  I don't know if it is just me or if  that position would be better left to someone with an engineering degree.

Any comments?


Naval Reactors screens and personally selects all nuclear officers.  They allow both non-technical and technical majors into the program.  The common denominator is that all officers receive the same training....nuclear power school which is the theoretical stuff, and then prototype which is the hands on portion. 

A good watch officer doesn't need a technical degree.  He needs to be smart and needs to be good at multi-tasking.

So, to answer your question....No, the watch officer job doesn't need to be left to those who possess  technical degrees only. 

While I have no place to comment here, some of the best watch officers I have seen have had Art and History degrees.  I honestly think that the Navy's way of approaching engineering concepts might work better for generally smart guys without too much formal background in engineering.

Eh it goes both ways, and I am glad they don't limit it to engineers. I had history/art students way out perform engineer students, and vice versa. Even had an LT on the boat with an MIT engineering degree couldn't pass the navy engineering class. So I agree with gamecock, its the person... not the degree.


PS There will be many more "I knew/saw a guy with *** degree do this stories..." point is, it doesn't really matter.

Also, on CVN's, E7 and above can qualify Watch, in some cases, no degree at all required to be the Watch Officer.


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