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Offline fischin

Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« on: May 31, 2014, 04:33 »
After almost two years in the Navy, I'm finally about to graduate prototype as an MM. To me, the Navy was never a career option, just a way to get direction and life experience, and be able to afford an education. In the past two years, my focus was to do the best I possibly could in the pipeline, and I feel I've done well, and now I'm ready to start focusing on things I can do while in the Navy, to benefit myself when I get out. I did well in the pipeline, 3.51 in A-school, 3.64 in power school, and I was the first mechanic in my class at prototype to qualify at week 24. (Prototype took my class an extra 8 weeks due to some "extenuating" circumstances that we have dubbed the "Qualpocolypse") I'm an ELT pick up, starting ELT-T in a few weeks.
My question is, what can I do while in the Navy to make myself more marketable when I get out? What quals/schools should I push for while I'm in the fleet? What steps worked best for you while getting out or what didn't work, or what do you wish you would've done while in?
I'm considering star reenlisting, because I've noticed the 6 and out people are a dime a dozen. I'm also considering SPU, but I've heard mixed opinions about that, so if you were a SPU how'd it work out for you? I'm also going to finish the Nuclear Engineering Technology degree as soon as I have the opportunity.
Any help is greatly appreciated  :)

Offline GLW

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 05:20 »
After almost two years in the Navy, I'm finally about to graduate prototype as an MM. To me, the Navy was never a career option, just a way to get direction and life experience, and be able to afford an education. In the past two years, my focus was to do the best I possibly could in the pipeline, and I feel I've done well, and now I'm ready to start focusing on things I can do while in the Navy, to benefit myself when I get out. I did well in the pipeline, 3.51 in A-school, 3.64 in power school, and I was the first mechanic in my class at prototype to qualify at week 24. (Prototype took my class an extra 8 weeks due to some "extenuating" circumstances that we have dubbed the "Qualpocolypse") I'm an ELT pick up, starting ELT-T in a few weeks.
My question is, what can I do while in the Navy to make myself more marketable when I get out? What quals/schools should I push for while I'm in the fleet? What steps worked best for you while getting out or what didn't work, or what do you wish you would've done while in?
I'm considering star reenlisting, because I've noticed the 6 and out people are a dime a dozen. I'm also considering SPU, but I've heard mixed opinions about that, so if you were a SPU how'd it work out for you? I'm also going to finish the Nuclear Engineering Technology degree as soon as I have the opportunity.
Any help is greatly appreciated  :)

SPU-ELT is a good ticket, so what if it has downsides?,...

SPU-ELT is good for a USN enlisted career, it's good for civilian, live with the downside(s),...

the degree cannot hurt,...

only you can make the decision to re-enlist, you have to own that one all by yourself,...

my only consideration is re-up for the money,...nothing else,...everything after that is gravy if good, and needs of the Navy if bad, but at least you got the money,...

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 01, 2014, 08:07 »
EWS or equivalent would be good. Qualifying is good, but having documentation that you were actually in the normal rotation for 2 years is even better.
Of course, it varies from utility to utility on the value of EWS qualification or EWS experience.
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Offline MMM

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 01, 2014, 09:06 »
If you're looking for direct RO or SRO when you get out, then you need stand EWS/PPWS for at least 2 years. While some companies may not accept that, that is an NRC requirement so they can't accept just qualifying and then transferring/getting out.

Also, QA quals are useful. Once you've had advanced QA for a couple years, look into having the navy pay for your ASQ certifications.

Offline GLW

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 01, 2014, 09:23 »
If you're looking for direct RO or SRO when you get out, then you need stand EWS/PPWS for at least 2 years. While some companies may not accept that, that is an NRC requirement so they can't accept just qualifying and then transferring/getting out.

Also, QA quals are useful. Once you've had advanced QA for a couple years, look into having the navy pay for your ASQ certifications.

EWS or equivalent would be good. Qualifying is good, but having documentation that you were actually in the normal rotation for 2 years is even better.
Of course, it varies from utility to utility on the value of EWS qualification or EWS experience.

both of which will indicate a need for at least a two year re-up (if not more) and both outcomes of which will always be subject to the "Needs of the Navy",...

which can change,...

at one time the "Needs of the Navy" required ELT candidates to be in the top half of both power school and prototype,...

at one time the "Needs of the Navy" did not offer a GI Bill for furthering higher education,...

that's just two of the ever fluctuating "Needs of the Navy" I could list,...

if the OP is married the OP's better half needs to be fully informed and onboard for this full scenario,...

it's too easy to be a really successful Navy nuke,...

as for successful, long term, Navy spouse and parent,...

not so much,...

either way, the OP ends up owning it, the Navy just keeps on being the Navy,...

it can work out well, it can work out not so well, the Navy calls the shots, the OP benefits,...or does not,...but the Navy always calls the shots,...

life outside the USN is a crap shoot too, a crap shoot where the OP gets to roll both dice,...

in the USN; the Navy always rolls one of 'em for ya,...

to the OP; keep your eyes focused, your head on a swivel, good luck, and thank you for your service,...

as for MMM and Roll Tide,...well,...thank you for your service too,... 8)
« Last Edit: Jun 01, 2014, 09:25 by GLW »

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline spekkio

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 01, 2014, 11:54 »
EWS, Leading ELT, and AQAO if you want a future in commercial nuclear or industrial maintenance. The latter may be difficult depending on your boat/ship's culture. On my boat, ELTs didn't touch QA jobs.

Star reenlisting can be a good deal, but recognize that it is not going to necessarily help or hinder you from acheiving any of the above. Worst case is it gets you an extra year or two of sea duty since the CO can keep you for up to 60 months, and LELTs can be in short supply.

If you go the SPU route, your fleet experience will be that of a 6-and-outer because you'll spend 2 years as a prototype instructor instead of operating a plant at sea and earning further qualifications. Not saying that SPU is a bad deal, just that it's not going to help you achieve your goal of padding a post-Navy resume with relevant experience.

Whether you qualify EWS is going to depend on how much you can demonstrate your knowledge and maturity to lead to the EDMC. You pretty much need his blessing before the Eng/CO are going to consider you for the position. Even if you qualify it, you will probably rarely stand it in your first tour unless there is a gross need for it. You're more likely to find yourself on the EDPO watchbill than the EWS watchbill; you'll mostly be an 'on-call' EWS in case the associated section's Chief needs to attend a meeting for an hour or two or oversee emergent repairs to his gear.

Now, this is all easier said than done as most ELTs on a boat stand watch in ERF where they can do their chemistry samples. Transitioning to a competent ERS, which is your senior-in-rate watch qualification, can be difficult, and you'll need to do that before they consider you for EWS.

As I left the boat, a new forward qual instruction came out that said E-5s shall not be allowed to qualify supervisory watches. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that that requirement 'creeps' back to the ER.

My personal advice: You enlisted in the Navy, it's your career until you get out. Make the moves that will enhance it as much as possible. Then, when the time comes, you'll have a choice between furthering that career or getting out with a good resume and plenty of professional recommendations to transition. In other words, keep your options open. If you don't mind the extra two years, the STAR reenlistment for the extra stripe is definitely worth it. Then make sure you work hard to learn your stuff, pass the E-6 exam, and prove to your EDMC that you can handle being a supervisor on watch instead of being 'one of the boys.' If you are set on considering whether to transition to a new career as soon as possible, you can still do most of the above without STAR reenlisting.

Offline fischin

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 01, 2014, 12:26 »
Lots of good info, I appreciate the help!
I wasn't aware the NRC had time requirements for acknowledging an EWS qualification, that's something I'll definitely consider.

I do feel like no mater what path I take in the Navy, I'm going to need an extra two years at least. And the extra chevron would be nice, as I didn't make second class on the last advancement exam, and I have a friend (MM3) who just hit his 2 year mark and starred, and he got $92k, the new maximum is $100k now. Although he wasn't an ELT and I'm not sure the multiplier is the same for ELT's. Maybe someone on here knows?

And I am married, my wife is the one who got me to consider SPU. She has a semester and half left of college, and College of Charleston is a really good school for her major, so she wants to stay and finish. Either way she is okay with me adding two years, possibly 3 if thats what I need to do to get the most out of the Navy, we have no kids and don't want any for at least 7 years, so I don't have to worry there, but thats not to say accidents don't happen... lol

And as far as LELT goes, how does an ELT go about getting that? Is it something you try for or more along the lines of being voluntold? I'm not opposed to it, but it sounds like something right up my alley if I push myself for it. And is it something that not only looks good on a resume, but is it actually a useful asset for post navy employers?

I'm going to do everything QA my boat will let me. I'm from Northern California, I'd like to move back there, but not opposed to moving somewhere near a nuke plant. So I'm trying to prepare myself for a career in either a conventional plant, or industrial maintenance, so I can have my options open to the area I want to live in. Maybe if I finish the nuclear engineering technology with Thomas Edison or Excelsior, when I get out, I'll go back to college and get another degree in Mechanical or Systems engineering.

Thanks for all the help guys! +K




Offline spekkio

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 01, 2014, 12:48 »
LELT is a qualification to basically be the ELT division leading petty officer (LPO). Usually the LELT will be a 2nd sea tour sailor, but you'll be expected to qualify this toward the end of your first tour to make you eligible for the billet. Lots of stuff about check chemistry requirements, casualty diagnosis, administrative procedural stuff out of the WCM/RCFS, etc.

If you are seriously considering transitioning out of the Navy, do not have kids. You can potentially be broke and eat ramen noodles for a few months, but putting your kids through that is much more difficult.

On what basis do you think that you need another 2 years (besides the $92k bonus and extra chevron)? As I mentioned above, the 2 years will either be spent as a SPU on the front-end, an extra year or two on the boat, or an instructor at prototype on shore duty on the back-end. I think you have some delusions of grandeur about how much you'll be allowed to qualify and actually do as a first-tour sailor. Generally speaking, you're going to need some extenuating circumstances to be actually performing in leadership billets, kinda like CJ Cron being called up to the big leagues on the LA Angels at 21 due to injuries. In Navy speak, that means you'll need luck and timing, and adding 2 years onto your commitment is not going to increase your odds of something like your LELT getting fired for boning another guy's wife while you are the next most senior ELT who also happens to be qualified LELT.

The stuff people are talking about doesn't require an extra 2 years, it requires a 2nd sea tour without some sort of luck. That means 12 years in the Navy, not 6-8.

If you are seriously set on transitioning to a civilian career, your best bet is to do the minimum amount of service time required of you and leave. That doesn't mean dog it during that time, but don't commit yourself to a job that you want to leave any longer than you have to. Use the GI bill to get a 4-year degree in whatever field you want to enter, and then go do that.
« Last Edit: Jun 01, 2014, 12:51 by spekkio »

Offline fischin

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #8 on: Jun 01, 2014, 02:13 »
The stuff people are talking about doesn't require an extra 2 years, it requires a 2nd sea tour without some sort of luck. That means 12 years in the Navy, not 6-8.

I see your point. And at 12 years, you get past that point of no return where you might as well just finish off the last 8 years and try to retire.

You're right, I'm a little overly optimistic as to how much I'll be allowed to qualify, but if it can be done in 6-8 years, you bet your ass I'm going to try. I just don't want to be the guy who does his 6-8 and out and then kicks himself later for turning down an opportunity that could've really benefited him later on.


Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #9 on: Jun 01, 2014, 02:59 »

The stuff people are talking about doesn't require an extra 2 years, it requires a 2nd sea tour without some sort of luck. That means 12 years in the Navy, not 6-8.
 

I got out in 11.4, and I agree completely with this statement; the stars would have to be in perfect alignment to be standing EWS for 2 years on the normal rotation before your 10 year point.

But the extra couple of years and just qualifying EWS can help you be selected to an AUO class, and then it is only a relatively time until you would be in a license class anyway (assuming you still want it).

QA is a different animal than OPS in commercial nuclear power. But if you want to work for a living, OPS is a great job!  ;D
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
.....
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Offline GLW

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #10 on: Jun 01, 2014, 03:01 »

You're right, I'm a little overly optimistic as to how much I'll be allowed to qualify, but if it can be done in 6-8 years, you bet your ass I'm going to try. I just don't want to be the guy who does his 6-8 and out and then kicks himself later for turning down an opportunity that could've really benefited him later on.


never regret your choices, just springboard off of them,...

I'm sensing an OP who perceives Navy nuke as a means to an end and not an end in itself,...

that's healthy, you just need to always assess how much to invest in the means versus how far to your ends that investment will get you,...

it appears that SPU is a good investment, for you and your wife,...

two more years of active obligated service?!?!?!?!

I would keep to the tack I posited earlier and do it for the money and only for the money,...


....everything after that is gravy if good, and needs of the Navy if bad, but at least you got the money,...


don't get too hung up on LELT, it's not a biggee, it means you can administer a program at a first level supervisory capacity, maybe,...

I say maybe because a strong percentage of LELTs are carried by the competence of their division, LELTs are crossing eyes and dotting tees, particularly on submarines,...

I have yet to work a CIVPAC union shop where the brotherhood has the predilection to make the supervisor's job easier for the supervisor, so, just because your evals say you were a great LELT does not correspond that you will be a great civilian first line supervisor, maybe a 50-50,...

now, if you were organized and persistent enough to pursue and acquire an equivalent four year degree as a Navy nuke during a 6 or 8 year hitch, well, you can probably cross eyes and dot tees as well as any LELT can plus, better yet, you got the sheepskin,...

EWS/EDPO (or the surface equivalent) is more better, but is a serious more better for the operations end of commercial nuke,...

if commercial conventional is more likely for where you want to live, then a BO/SE license can be had without having to go through the NNPP EWS/EDPO obstacle course,...

those licenses vary by state, Ohio's may be the toughest but California's is no slouch,...

and that EWS/EDPO obstacle course will cut into your time, particularly your in port time because all the senior guys are going to view you as a resource that lets them have more in port time,...

one of those pieces of the scenario that your better half needs to be fully informed about,...

make sure she knows that is likely to happen,...

because some days, even being fully informed seven months before you qualified EDPO, is not going to help her when you always seem to get the start up EDPO/EWS duty during weekly ops,...

and you cannot blame them (those senior EWSs), just like you cannot blame union guys from exercising seniority either,...

and you can never blame the Navy 'casue ( :stupidme: ) 'cause the Navy ain't broke,...

so, these are some of the little pieces of the puzzle you asked about,...

so you can think on it, or watch the NHL,...your choice,...

(sic) for beercourt,...
« Last Edit: Jun 01, 2014, 05:19 by GLW »

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #11 on: Jun 01, 2014, 03:52 »
I thought I was going to hate this thread for being a repeat, but replies #7, 9 and 10 make it a nicely distilled keeper.

It is up to the OP to decide which scenario fits his needs the best. Good luck!

Offline Golly Orby

Re: Fresh out of the pipeline.. what next?
« Reply #12 on: Jun 27, 2014, 06:47 »
the "Qualpocolypse"
Learn vicariously from that.  Culture issues are dealt with on a culture level.
Quote
I'm an ELT pick up
Congratulations!  Seeing "ELT" next to my name at the end of my production qualifications was one of the happiest moments of my Navy-life.
Quote
I'm also considering SPU, but I've heard mixed opinions about that, so if you were a SPU how'd it work out for you?
It was a good time.  I fell in love, I worked for people I admired, I had few responsibilities, I helped a lot of people qualify, and I got sharp on a lot of the theory that's brushed-over in the pipeline.

As far as the career and quals for a SPU at his first sea command go, Spekkio hit the nail on the head.  Your peers from "A" school will have a two-year jump on you for the quals that matter because you put yourself two years behind.  You're also entering a very small community where a "-1" manning is fairly disastrous and your usefulness as an ELT will trump your EWS qualifications more often than not, if/when you have them.  [Edit]  This is from a submarine perspective; I'm not sure how this works out on a carrier.

Side note about "SPU mentality":  You will be surprised by how much former students will remember of your interactions with them when you can't even remember who they were.  Whether that is a good surprise or a bad surprise is going to depend entirely on you.
« Last Edit: Jun 27, 2014, 06:51 by Golly Orby »

 


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