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Offline beanjambunny

Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« on: Oct 10, 2009, 03:39 »
My husband is thinking about applying for the navy, but we have several questions that we just can't seem to find answers to, many of which our recruiter won’t answer straightly to.

1. If he were to go in as an enlisted nuke and completes all the courses (nuke school and prototype?), is all the time afterwards that his contract is still going to be in effect, going to be spent out at sea? I've found where in certain cases people will go off for officer's training if they did exceedingly well, but haven't found anything for the "average" nuke.

2. He was thinking of going to college through the navy, getting a degree, and then going in as an officer. Is it possible to do this in tandem with the nuke program? I'm thinking it might be where he goes to school, then nuke school, then officer's school, then out to sea. If that is possible, how long will his stay out at sea be?

3. How often will he be able to come home once he's out at sea? About how many days/weeks could I expect to see him out of the year?

4. What are the navy's policies with how we keep in contact while he is out at sea? Will we he able to call or better yet, will be able to IM with a webcam? How about snail mail? Would I be allowed to send him packages from home, too? What would the limitations on any gifts I sent him be?

5. How much of an option will he be given over which branch of nuke he goes into?

6. I understand that he likely wouldn't be able to attend the birth of our child if I find that I'm pregnant and he's already been sent overseas. But what would likely happen then in that case? If he wanted to go home for paternity leave, what would he have to do? What would the circumstances be in which his leave was approved or denied?

7. It’s very likely that while he’s out, I may end up living in military housing. What are the policies there in concerns to curfew, pets, and visitors? Would I be able to share the house with someone who is a very good friend of ours, but not directly related to us?

8. If the navy paid to move me to the base as well, would they be willing to also transport any pets for me, too? Are there any limitations to what they will and will not move?


Any and all advise is very much appreciated! Thank you so much!

Offline Gamecock

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2009, 07:51 »
My husband is thinking about applying for the navy, but we have several questions that we just can't seem to find answers to, many of which our recruiter won’t answer straightly to.

1. If he were to go in as an enlisted nuke and completes all the courses (nuke school and prototype?), is all the time afterwards that his contract is still going to be in effect, going to be spent out at sea? I've found where in certain cases people will go off for officer's training if they did exceedingly well, but haven't found anything for the "average" nuke.

The typical enlisted nuke will complete training then go to a ship for three to five years.  So, if your husband does not re-enlist, then it is likely that he will spend the rest of his contract time on the ship.  If he does re-enlist, he likely could transfer early to shore duty.

2. He was thinking of going to college through the navy, getting a degree, and then going in as an officer. Is it possible to do this in tandem with the nuke program? I'm thinking it might be where he goes to school, then nuke school, then officer's school, then out to sea. If that is possible, how long will his stay out at sea be?
This is possible.  The navy has several programs to acquire nuclear officers.  Is he already in college?  If so, what is his GPA and major?  Officers career paths are somewhat different from the enlisted folks, and depends on whether you are a submarine officer or surface nuclear officer

3. How often will he be able to come home once he's out at sea? About how many days/weeks could I expect to see him out of the year?
When the ship is out to sea, so is your husband.  He won't come home until the ship comes back home


4. What are the navy's policies with how we keep in contact while he is out at sea? Will we he able to call or better yet, will be able to IM with a webcam? How about snail mail? Would I be allowed to send him packages from home, too? What would the limitations on any gifts I sent him be?
If he goes surface, he'll have virtually continuous access to email.  I even called my wife and kids most days while we were underway on my surface ship.  Snail mail can be sent, and how often he receives it depends on many things.

5. How much of an option will he be given over which branch of nuke he goes into?
He has 100% choice here.  Submarines are completely voluntary, so if he wants to go subs he has to volunteer.

6. I understand that he likely wouldn't be able to attend the birth of our child if I find that I'm pregnant and he's already been sent overseas. But what would likely happen then in that case? If he wanted to go home for paternity leave, what would he have to do? What would the circumstances be in which his leave was approved or denied?
As I stated earlier, if the ship is gone, so is he.  I would not expect him to be home on paternity leave for the birth of a child, though it is a possible. 

7. It’s very likely that while he’s out, I may end up living in military housing. What are the policies there in concerns to curfew, pets, and visitors? Would I be able to share the house with someone who is a very good friend of ours, but not directly related to us?
Policies differ by base.  Look up the housing policies for the base you'll be assigned.  You won't share a hous with anyone.  You might live in a duplex where you have neighbors on both sides, but your house will be your house.

8. If the navy paid to move me to the base as well, would they be willing to also transport any pets for me, too? Are there any limitations to what they will and will not move?
Navy won't move pets unless they send you overseas or to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


Any and all advise is very much appreciated! Thank you so much!


See answers above in bold.
“If the thought police come... we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die... holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and the US Constitution in the other."

Offline NukeLDO

Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #2 on: Oct 10, 2009, 01:40 »
To expound on GC's answer:

Someone who enlists will not get to do college in parallel with the nuclear training pipeline.  If he enlists, he won't have time for college for about the first three years.  And once at a sea-going command, opportunities to attend a real college campus are limited by the ship/boat operational schedule.

When I first got to the boat, we were on three section duty, so I spent two of every three nights at home when in port.  At sea means exactly what it says....at sea....Of my first 365 days on the boat, 276 were spent at sea, with the longest separation being 99 days.  However, be aware ships operational schedules usually include at least one 6 month deployment in a 5 year period....and deployments are getting longer...some of the carriers are now out for 9 months at time.

Once at sea, the mission comes first.  Although I have seen people transferred off for humanitarian reasons, the birth of a child is not one of them.  If on a spec op, don't expect to get off...period.
Once in while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

withroaj

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2009, 04:13 »
Keep in mind that sea duty doesn't mean that you're at sea the whole time (though it'll feel like it sometimes).  Think of it as an opportunity to have a honeymoon every few weeks/months.  At some point your (husband's) ship will also enter a maintenance period during its cycle, and that he/you won't be going to sea during a maintenance period. 

Samabby

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #4 on: Oct 12, 2009, 02:48 »
Dear Bunny,

In addition to these answers, I suggest that you ask these same questions on www.submarinewivesclub.org to get the ladies point of view. Even if your man goes surface, the general info will apply, although in general, boat life is much more challenging to all concerned. Good luck, young lady

Offline beanjambunny

Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #5 on: Oct 13, 2009, 12:26 »
The thing is....I actually already live in Hawaii. If he gets shipped to somewhere in the mainland, is that considered an overseas move?

And NukeLDO...so the longest time you've been at sea was about three months? About how long are individual oversea trips, anyway? Does the boat always come back to its home port after that time, too?

And thank you for the secondary site, Samabby. I really appreciate it.

JsonD13

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #6 on: Oct 13, 2009, 08:55 »
NukeLDO must be a submariner, surface boats (where you can email and talk on the phone almost every day while hes gone) go out for up to 10 months a pop. 

Keep in mind that sea duty doesn't mean that you're at sea the whole time (though it'll feel like it sometimes).  Think of it as an opportunity to have a honeymoon every few weeks/months.  At some point your (husband's) ship will also enter a maintenance period during its cycle, and that he/you won't be going to sea during a maintenance period. 

As far as having a honeymoon while hes home, thats all fine and dandy, but remember that otherwise you will feel like you are on your own having to take care of all the household responsibilities (bills, cleaning, appointments for the kids if you have any).  When he is in port, especially in a maintenance period, you will hardly see him and will pretty much be like he is at sea.  The navy is notorious for scheduling maintenance periods and overhauls in an unrealistic manner and keeps the sailors on board once they know that they will not be able to keep the schedule.  In fact, no carrier has ever completed a nuclear refuel on time.

Just trying to keep this from being sugar coated. ;-)

Jason

Offline NukeLDO

Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #7 on: Oct 13, 2009, 10:16 »
NukeLDO must be a submariner, surface boats (where you can email and talk on the phone almost every day while hes gone) go out for up to 10 months a pop. 

Guilty as charged.  Re-read my original post....in the first 365 days on the boat, I was at sea for 276.  That included an 88 day spec op northern run and two foreign port calls.  It all depends upon when your husband arrives on the boat relative to the operational cycle.  Six month deployments are in that cycle. 

As previously stated, those carrier deployments are increasing in length, but the amount of communication, fresh vegetables, and real cows can't compare to the submarines.
However, compared to the old days, the submariners today have an unprecendented level of communication with those left ashore.  (Remember the days of three 40 word family-grams during a whole 90 day deployment?!!!  Which was what I got on the first northern run.)



Once in while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

Offline Gamecock

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #8 on: Oct 13, 2009, 10:39 »
In fact, no carrier has ever completed a nuclear refuel on time.


Are you sure?
“If the thought police come... we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die... holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and the US Constitution in the other."

JsonD13

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Re: Questions from a (maybe) navy wife
« Reply #9 on: Oct 13, 2009, 02:12 »
yep, sure am ;-)

 


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