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Offline Tylor

Quality of life after the pipeline?
« on: Apr 24, 2015, 05:49 »
Hey, I'm about to graduate prototype in NY, and I was wondering what sort of quality of life I can look forward to, compared to the rest of the pipeline. I've heard a wide variety of responses, but if I'm going to a submarine is there going to be any sort of downtime? My schedule right now is pretty much sleep and work, with the few and far between "weekends" only being used to catch up on errands. Also how does qualifying on a sub compare to prototype?
Thank you!
-EM3 Buchanan
"There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with." -Admiral William Halsey

Offline spekkio

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 24, 2015, 11:31 »
Your qualification phase:
You'll start out cranking in the mess, since you're not qualified to do anything else. Underway this involves a 12 hour shift of getting constantly yelled at by the cooks while doing dishes and cleaning. After your shift, you'll be expected to get checkouts /prac-facs and then you can maybe get 4 hours of sleep before you repeat the next day.

After ~60-90 days you are done cranking, and you better be qualified something to contribute to the division or else your division will make your life a living hell.

In port you'll be placed in a 3 section duty rotation and have to sleep on the boat every 3 days because somehow immediately making a new guy miserable and tired is the way to make him qualify faster. You'll still have to crank when you are new, so your duty days will involve doing that until after dinner, at which point you'll be expected to get several checkouts from the SRO once things calm down (typically after 2100-2200).

Pretty much every nuke Sailor goes dinq at one point or another because the qualification timelines in the EDOM are very aggressive, plus you have to qualify dolphins (many nukes ignore the dolphin quals early on to focus on in-rate watch quals, this is probably a wise choice even though you will get ridiculed from the coners for doing so). Oh, and you have to qualify maintenance PQS cards. In addition, the EDOM doesn't allow lattitude for ship's operations so if you experience a lengthy in-port period then you will be on the dinq list for AEA/EO/SRO and there's nothing you can do about it.

Post-qualification phase:
After about 14-18 months when you are fully qualified, life gets better because you get treated like a human, but you will still be working a lot. 3-section watch underway (about 56 hours of work a week) and 3-section duty in-port are just a way of life. You will probably be port-and-stupid SRO on that duty day because qualifying SRO is ridiculously difficult and it takes a near 100% qualification rate on a boat to go 3-section for that watch just based on RC division manning. That means you get no weekends off unless you count the 8 hours you spend on the boat from 0000-0800 on Saturday morning a 'day off.'

The easiest time you'll have underway is on deployment (if you're on an SSN). The boat has to remain very quiet and the Eng will be busy as a mission OOD, so you'll pretty much stand watch, do your after-watch PMS which doesn't take very long, and maybe do a couple hours of training/monitored PMS a week. You might 'walk-through' some drills to stay sharp. So there's lots of down time for nukes on mission. Even as an officer, my favorite time was on mission because we didn't have a squadron staff picking a scab and requiring immediate corrective administrative actions every off-watch period. You get into a routine and there's actually time to hit the treadmill and still get 5-6 hours of sleep between watch.

The hardest time is ORSE workups. Many Eng's will employ Vulcans to maximize drill time. In case you're not familiar with that, Vulcans are when the day's watches are split into multiple mini-watches. So it goes like this:

0000-0600: Normal section watch (say, section 1)
0600-1000: Section 1 drill set
1000-1400: Section 2 drill set
1400-1800: Section 3 drill set
1800-0000: Normal section resume the watch (section 2)
0000-0600: Section 3 watch...

This doesn't seem so bad, except that it never ends on time. You usually go until about 2000 when everything returns to normal, and if you're the unlucky soul in section 3 then you get a whole 2.5 hours of sleep before your wakeup at 2230 to take the watch at 0000.

Then between that you'll do monitored evolutions out of your ears, lots of training, exams, and oral interviews, etc. so that you are ready to pass ORSE. As an EM the only record NR really cares about other than your PMS sheet is the battery log, hopefully you don't get that short straw.

Some in-port periods are worse than others - if you are doing breaker maintenance checks that require shutting down half the boat's electricity for 2 days or doing the monthly SSMG cleaning then you are going to be working a really long time those days.  Keep in mind though that NR imposes strict training requirements that CANNOT be waived no matter what the boat is doing, so you essentially lose a work-day a week to training (1-2 hours dept training, 1 hour division training, 1 hour of supervisor training when you make E-6, and a 4 hour FIDE session). So now you've got to compress the rest of the in-port routine into 4 days to meet the aggressive timeline for getting the boat ready to get underway. That means you may have to come in on Saturday or work until 2000-2100 on weekdays, depending on how your Chief wants to manage it.

If you're not doing those things and IF your division is organized (a big IF) then you can get liberty by 1800. The other bane of your existence is going to be fixing all of the appliances in the forward part of the boat (the dryer, the deep fat fryer, etc) which seem to always break and cause everyone a headache.

I hope that explains what you can expect more than 'it's great' or 'it's shitty.' How you rate your time is going to be subjective. Just don't expect a lot of time off during most phases of the operation. It's really difficult to stay involved with healthy activities outside of work, especially when you become an angry walking zombie, but I would encourage you to try to make friends and get together to play a sport rather than drink or play video games and get fat like many nukes do.
« Last Edit: Apr 24, 2015, 12:00 by spekkio »

Offline xobxdoc

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Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24, 2015, 01:48 »
Your qualification phase:
You'll start out cranking in the mess, since you're not qualified to do anything else. Underway this involves a 12 hour shift of getting constantly yelled at by the cooks while doing dishes and cleaning. After your shift, you'll be expected to get checkouts /prac-facs and then you can maybe get 4 hours of sleep before you repeat the next day.

After ~60-90 days you are done cranking, and you better be qualified something to contribute to the division or else your division will make your life a living hell.

In port you'll be placed in a 3 section duty rotation and have to sleep on the boat every 3 days because somehow immediately making a new guy miserable and tired is the way to make him qualify faster. You'll still have to crank when you are new, so your duty days will involve doing that until after dinner, at which point you'll be expected to get several checkouts from the SRO once things calm down (typically after 2100-2200).

Pretty much every nuke Sailor goes dinq at one point or another because the qualification timelines in the EDOM are very aggressive, plus you have to qualify dolphins (many nukes ignore the dolphin quals early on to focus on in-rate watch quals, this is probably a wise choice even though you will get ridiculed from the coners for doing so). Oh, and you have to qualify maintenance PQS cards. In addition, the EDOM doesn't allow lattitude for ship's operations so if you experience a lengthy in-port period then you will be on the dinq list for AEA/EO/SRO and there's nothing you can do about it.

Post-qualification phase:
After about 14-18 months when you are fully qualified, life gets better because you get treated like a human, but you will still be working a lot. 3-section watch underway (about 56 hours of work a week) and 3-section duty in-port are just a way of life. You will probably be port-and-stupid SRO on that duty day because qualifying SRO is ridiculously difficult and it takes a near 100% qualification rate on a boat to go 3-section for that watch just based on RC division manning. That means you get no weekends off unless you count the 8 hours you spend on the boat from 0000-0800 on Saturday morning a 'day off.'

The easiest time you'll have underway is on deployment (if you're on an SSN). The boat has to remain very quiet and the Eng will be busy as a mission OOD, so you'll pretty much stand watch, do your after-watch PMS which doesn't take very long, and maybe do a couple hours of training/monitored PMS a week. You might 'walk-through' some drills to stay sharp. So there's lots of down time for nukes on mission. Even as an officer, my favorite time was on mission because we didn't have a squadron staff picking a scab and requiring immediate corrective administrative actions every off-watch period. You get into a routine and there's actually time to hit the treadmill and still get 5-6 hours of sleep between watch.

The hardest time is ORSE workups. Many Eng's will employ Vulcans to maximize drill time. In case you're not familiar with that, Vulcans are when the day's watches are split into multiple mini-watches. So it goes like this:

0000-0600: Normal section watch (say, section 1)
0600-1000: Section 1 drill set
1000-1400: Section 2 drill set
1400-1800: Section 3 drill set
1800-0000: Normal section resume the watch (section 2)
0000-0600: Section 3 watch...

This doesn't seem so bad, except that it never ends on time. You usually go until about 2000 when everything returns to normal, and if you're the unlucky soul in section 3 then you get a whole 2.5 hours of sleep before your wakeup at 2230 to take the watch at 0000.

Then between that you'll do monitored evolutions out of your ears, lots of training, exams, and oral interviews, etc. so that you are ready to pass ORSE. As an EM the only record NR really cares about other than your PMS sheet is the battery log, hopefully you don't get that short straw.

Some in-port periods are worse than others - if you are doing breaker maintenance checks that require shutting down half the boat's electricity for 2 days or doing the monthly SSMG cleaning then you are going to be working a really long time those days.  Keep in mind though that NR imposes strict training requirements that CANNOT be waived no matter what the boat is doing, so you essentially lose a work-day a week to training (1-2 hours dept training, 1 hour division training, 1 hour of supervisor training when you make E-6, and a 4 hour FIDE session). So now you've got to compress the rest of the in-port routine into 4 days to meet the aggressive timeline for getting the boat ready to get underway. That means you may have to come in on Saturday or work until 2000-2100 on weekdays, depending on how your Chief wants to manage it.

If you're not doing those things and IF your division is organized (a big IF) then you can get liberty by 1800. The other bane of your existence is going to be fixing all of the appliances in the forward part of the boat (the dryer, the deep fat fryer, etc) which seem to always break and cause everyone a headache.

I hope that explains what you can expect more than 'it's great' or 'it's shitty.' How you rate your time is going to be subjective. Just don't expect a lot of time off during most phases of the operation. It's really difficult to stay involved with healthy activities outside of work, especially when you become an angry walking zombie, but I would encourage you to try to make friends and get together to play a sport rather than drink or play video games and get fat like many nukes do.

In other words, quality of life starts at EAOS.

Offline GLW

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 24, 2015, 02:02 »
Wow, things are different,...

You'll start out cranking in the mess, since you're not qualified to do anything else....

I never cranked in the USN, not even on the destroyer before nukedom,...

eeeach!!!

....In port you'll be placed in a 3 section duty rotation and have to sleep on the boat every 3 days because somehow immediately making a new guy miserable and tired is the way to make him qualify faster.....

Used to typically be four section duty in port on the SSN and port & stbd on the SSBN,...

I guess that could average to 3 section in port, but 3-section was synonymous with underway watchbills, and underway didn't seem to matter, except underway port and stbd, and even that had the advantage of;

if, you were stuck port & stbd underway, then, nobody messed with you for much of anything else when underway,...

....Pretty much every nuke Sailor goes dinq at one point or another because...

whatever contributes to THAT paradigm is a BIG change, it ustabe nukes rarely went dinq except for the perpetual dinqs, which was more about the person than the program,...

....That means you get no weekends off unless you count the 8 hours you spend on the boat from 0000-0800 on Saturday morning a 'day off.'.......

that is definitely not Squadron 1 in Papa Hotel in the 80's,...

nope, nope, nope,....

...The easiest time you'll have underway is on deployment (if you're on an SSN). The boat has to remain very quiet and the Eng will be busy as a mission OOD, so you'll pretty much stand watch, do your after-watch PMS which doesn't take very long, and maybe do a couple hours of training/monitored PMS a week. You might 'walk-through' some drills to stay sharp. So there's lots of down time for nukes on mission. Even as an officer, my favorite time was on mission because we didn't have a squadron staff picking a scab and requiring immediate corrective administrative actions every off-watch period. You get into a routine and there's actually time to hit the treadmill and still get 5-6 hours of sleep between watch.....

well that seems more familiar,....

keep in mind that although 1980's Squadron 1 in Papa Hotel had some seemingly better aspects to it there was this unspoken but palpable goal of being underway on nuclear power about 300 days per year, I cannot attest to that being a formal goal, but my Captain at the time sure did seem to believe in it,...

so maybe my perception is because my Captain was old school,...

work hard, play hard,...

you play in port and work at sea,...

mebbe,...

...The hardest time is ORSE workups. Many Eng's will employ Vulcans to maximize drill time. In case you're not familiar with that, Vulcans are when the day's watches are split into multiple mini-watches. So it goes like this:

0000-0600: Normal section watch (say, section 1)
0600-1000: Section 1 drill set
1000-1400: Section 2 drill set
1400-1800: Section 3 drill set
1800-0000: Normal section resume the watch (section 2)
0000-0600: Section 3 watch...

This doesn't seem so bad, except that it never ends on time. You usually go until about 2000 when everything returns to normal, and if you're the unlucky soul in section 3 then you get a whole 2.5 hours of sleep before your wakeup at 2230 to take the watch at 0000.

Then between that you'll do monitored evolutions out of your ears, lots of training, exams, and oral interviews, etc. so that you are ready to pass ORSE. As an EM the only record NR really cares about other than your PMS sheet is the battery log, hopefully you don't get that short straw....

Yup,...ORSE is hard on nukes, it's supposed to be,...

then again weapons load for nukes is pretty much stand watch or play cards,....

nice n easy,...

...Some in-port periods are worse than others - if you are doing breaker maintenance checks that require shutting down half the boat's electricity for 2 days or doing the monthly SSMG cleaning then you are going to be working a really long time those days.....

yeah, but really now,...

that's about as bad as it gets for EMs and it does not seem to have changed much,...

....Keep in mind though that NR imposes strict training requirements that CANNOT be waived no matter what the boat is doing, so you essentially lose a work-day a week to training (1-2 hours dept training, 1 hour division training, 1 hour of supervisor training when you make E-6, and a 4 hour FIDE session). So now you've got to compress the rest of the in-port routine into 4 days to meet the aggressive timeline for getting the boat ready to get underway. That means you may have to come in on Saturday or work until 2000-2100 on weekdays, depending on how your Chief wants to manage it.....

that's just sad,...

less Rickover and more Big Navy than once upon a time,...

worse yet, more nuclear Big Navy,...

a bureaucracy unto itself, finding ever more inventive ways to justify itself,....

.........It's really difficult to stay involved with healthy activities outside of work, especially when you become an angry walking zombie, but I would encourage you to try to make friends and get together to play a sport rather than drink or play video games and get fat like many nukes do.

still the saddest part of all,...

amongst the best SRBs,...

and the best pro pays,...

and the best rate advancement opportunities,...

and still chock a block full of angry walking zombies,...

some of whom just keep expanding at the waistline (or hipline nowadays) until the fat seawarrior ejector blares out:

"no more nuke for you!!!!",...

ah well,.... :) ;) :P 8)

sic for beercourt
« Last Edit: Apr 24, 2015, 02:10 by GLW »

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

Offline GLW

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 24, 2015, 02:05 »
In other words, quality of life starts at EAOS.

yup, unless the Navy just suits you,...

ya know dakine,..... those sick, sad bastids,... ;) :) :P 8)

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

Offline GLW

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 24, 2015, 02:21 »
Hey, I'm about to graduate prototype in NY, and I was wondering what sort of quality of life I can look forward to, compared to the rest of the pipeline. I've heard a wide variety of responses, but if I'm going to a submarine is there going to be any sort of downtime? My schedule right now is pretty much sleep and work, with the few and far between "weekends" only being used to catch up on errands. Also how does qualifying on a sub compare to prototype?
Thank you!
-EM3 Buchanan

DO NOT RE-ENLIST UNTIL YOU GO TO SEA FOR AT LEAST A YEAR AND KNOW YOU LIKE IT!!!

or

Re-enlist early and often, but please own it and don't come 'round bitchin' later 'bout Navy sucks this and Navy sucks that,...

'cause you has been warned,...

and you can't fix the Navy 'cause the Navy ain't broke,...


The dial has been turned back on The Wayback Machine.

It is now 1980. Hope you enjoy punk rock.

The Navy is considering raising Nuclear Reenlistment Bonus cap from $15,000 to $20,000.

The Bureau of Personnel believes their desired retention rates of 40% first term, 50% second term, and 60% third term will be achieved - which will man all nuclear billets, by rate, in the proper proportion.


The Wayback Machine is now set to 2008.

The Navy does not now, and never has wanted everyone to re-enlist.
They want the truly disgruntled to leave. They want the truly motivated to stay. Plain and simple. Money won't do it. A new poster slogan won't do it. The Navy knows that.

So, dudes... and dudettes...

If you like it - stay in. I appreciate your service.
If you don't like it - do your time and get out. And I'll enjoy working with you.

Notice the positive energy? We make energy.

You can't fix the Navy, it's not broke.

You can enjoy the ride.


8)

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

Offline spekkio

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #6 on: Apr 24, 2015, 03:07 »
Used to typically be four section duty in port on the SSN and port & stbd on the SSBN,...
Four section can happen sometimes when there are lots of qualified bodies, however it's much more likely for M-div than E-Div (qualifiying SRW is much easier than SRO). Four section duty also entails guaranteed Port/Stbd SRO and Maneuvering Assistant for the duty day, which most people gladly trade for actually having a full weekend off a month.

Quote
that is definitely not Squadron 1 in Papa Hotel in the 80's,...
We have fewer boats than the 80s and they are still required to do the same thing. Had a TMC who would speak of glory days where a boat would pull into pier and you essentially were on stand-down for the week. That simply doesn't happen anymore. When a boat is in-port, it is always in either a pier-side or dry-docked availability, the only exception to this is the few weeks following deployment (which in Groton will usually also overlap with Christmas stand-down, so you actually lose 2 weeks of R&R routine, but at least you are in-port for Christmas).

Quote
whatever contributes to THAT paradigm is a BIG change, it ustabe nukes rarely went dinq except for the perpetual dinqs, which was more about the person than the program,...
I didn't make this up - my EDMC on ustafish did a survey and found something like 70-80% of the eng dept had been on the dinq list at one point or another.

I haven't seen a qualification card from the 80s but I'd wager that it has expanded considerably, both in terms of checkouts per cards and then added PQS requirements as pre-reqs or side qualifications. So suddenly you can have a guy getting hung up on something as dumb as phone talker because someone wants to be a dick about one of the checkouts. So when I'm talking dinq I'm talking dinq something, whether it be fish, in-rate quals, maintenance PQS, whatever. All that stuff piles up and sometimes there is 'higher guidance' for qual timelines that are based on check-in date and not qualifying another watch date, so the boat can only do so much to try to untangle and streamline the process for Sailors - again, something the aforementioned EDMC tried to do to the maximum extent possible. Not only that, but as I said you get thrown into cranking and a duty section where no one is going to leave you alone to study.

I know one non-nuke example on the officer end my XO told us how there used to be no scope operator qual card for officers... you reported aboard, a JO showed you what the buttons did, you looked out the thing and called the OOD if you saw something... everything else was just OJT and the CO drilling you until you 'got it.' That was probably early to mid 90s, so yeah...

Quote
still the saddest part of all,...

amongst the best SRBs,...

and the best pro pays,...

and the best rate advancement opportunities,...

and still chock a block full of angry walking zombies,...
Well, you could see from my post how throwing more money at someone isn't going to drastically enhance their quality of life. When you are not sleeping once every 3rd day in port your body just gets tired.
« Last Edit: Apr 24, 2015, 03:19 by spekkio »

Offline GLW

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #7 on: Apr 24, 2015, 03:11 »
........Had a TMC who would speak of glory days where a boat would pull into pier and you essentially were on stand-down for the week. That simply doesn't happen anymore........

well,...

saddest of all,....

I may actually,....officially,.....be a dinosaur,.... :-\

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

Offline Higgs

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Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #8 on: Apr 24, 2015, 04:36 »
Hey, I'm about to graduate prototype in NY, and I was wondering what sort of quality of life I can look forward to, compared to the rest of the pipeline. I've heard a wide variety of responses, but if I'm going to a submarine is there going to be any sort of downtime? My schedule right now is pretty much sleep and work, with the few and far between "weekends" only being used to catch up on errands. Also how does qualifying on a sub compare to prototype?
Thank you!
-EM3 Buchanan


If the Navy wanted you to have a quality life, it would have issued it to you in your sea bag.

Justin
"How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.” - Ted Nugent

Offline GLW

Re: Quality of life after the pipeline?
« Reply #9 on: Apr 24, 2015, 05:11 »

If the Navy wanted you to have a quality life, it would have issued it to you in your sea bag.

Justin

 ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL

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

 


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