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Author Topic: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?  (Read 14386 times)

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BigWill51534

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I've frequented this forum a few times, never posted though.  I used many of the posts here to help me make my decision to join.  I am enlisted as a Machinist's Mate in the nuclear field.  I have already completed my A-school, and I am about 7 weeks into Nuclear Power School.  I have pretty much experienced everything here that you can imaging (both good and bad) and I've come out the other end.  I can give any information on the basic schooling that anyone might need, and I can give you exact information as to what it is like to live here if anyone would like to know.  I am getting married in a few months, so I could also throw in a view from the married side of the military.  If anyone would like to chat with me about it, feel free to drop me a line on here, or contact me at BigWillc1985 [at] yahoo [dot] com.  I have Yahoo Instant Messenger on quite a bit, so I am pretty easy to get ahold of.  Just feel free to ask any questions from boot camp to this point.  I can give you both the ups and downs of being a nuke (or at least up to this point) and give you a real life perspective of what things are like.  Let me know if I coudl be any help!

~Will

taterhead

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2005, 09:12 »
  I have pretty much experienced everything here that you can imaging (both good and bad) and I've come out the other end. 

Congrats on the easy part.

You've only just begun, the hard part is next. 

Enjoy your schooling, but remember...

The fleet awaits;)


Offline Already Gone

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 07, 2005, 09:43 »
I'd hardly call 7 weeks into NPS "the other end", but you're doing well if you're still there. 

Before you start off giving advice, would you mind taking some?  I know that this is the hardest thing to convince any young person, but you should definitely put off that wedding until after you have been assigned to a sea-duty command for at least one year.
The Navy does you a HUUUUGE disservice by paying you more and giving you more freedom when you get married.  Basically they are giving you big incentives to marry before you are ready.
Since I don't know you or your future bride, I can not comment in any way about your emotional readiness for marriage.  Your level of maturity and financial stability are none of my business.
But you really have no clue about what the next few years is going to do to a marriage.  And NOTHING is going to prepare you for it except living through it.  You and your bride-to-be might be very well suited to adapt to the crap that is coming your way.  You might deal quite well with long separations, low pay, long work hours, transfers to weird places, and all that crap.
BUT---
You owe it to yourselves to see what it is like before you commit yourselves to deal with it together.  It is only fair to her (and you too) that she gets to see firsthand what she is getting into.

Military pay (even with BAQ, BAS, VHA, dependent health, comissary and exchange privileges) is still going to put you on a tight budget.  It has also been my observation that women do not marry with the intention of being lonely all the time for years after their wedding.  Unfortunately, that is what happens in the service.  She is going to have to live on a low income, in a strange town, without her husband, for long lonely stretches.  Before you put her through that, let her try it for a while first.

The Navy has ground many a strong marriage to dust.  Give yours a fighting chance by being prepared at the start.

Best of luck to you, and thank you for serving our country.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

taterhead

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 07, 2005, 11:06 »
Beer Court, you're gonna scare the poor guy right off of the altar-

Some bride to be is gonna come after you...

He is right, but while some marriages haven't made the trip, many more have, and it was likely the stability of my married life that has kept me sane at school and at work.

Of course, I've seen it work the other way as well.

If it wasn't gonna work out anyway, the Navy life (or any military life) will just hasten the process.

Would really be a good thing to have your wife to be talk with a current Navy wife to get a good idea of what she's getting into...
« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2005, 11:09 by taterhead »

Flooznie

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2005, 05:00 »
Just watch out if you reenlist while you are on deployment and you are married!  LOL

Offline Already Gone

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2005, 01:07 »
I had no intention of scaring anyone off the altar.  I do beieve, however, that there is a much better chance of success in the marriage if they don't get slammed with adversities that they did not expect.  No matter how many conversations one has wth a Navy wife, the reality cannot be appreciated until it has been experienced.  After all, a Navy wife only represents the part of the population who has succeeded (thus far) in staying married.  She can give no perspective on what others have endured.
I really want this young marriage to be a winner.  That is why I advise so strongly that they wait.  When you are promising a lifetime, a year or so is nothing to wait.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

taterhead

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2005, 02:22 »
I had no intention of scaring anyone off the altar.  I do beieve, however, that there is a much better chance of success in the marriage if they don't get slammed with adversities that they did not expect.  No matter how many conversations one has wth a Navy wife, the reality cannot be appreciated until it has been experienced.  After all, a Navy wife only represents the part of the population who has succeeded (thus far) in staying married.  She can give no perspective on what others have endured.
I really want this young marriage to be a winner.  That is why I advise so strongly that they wait.  When you are promising a lifetime, a year or so is nothing to wait.

There are certainly two sides, but talking to a ex navy wife is gonna net 0 useful information.  It will be a jaded and hateful view, not unlike the guys who post on the board about trying to get out of the pipeline mid stream and the nuc waste.

Navy wifes are generally pretty realistic.  My wife really doesn't care much for the Navy, but we have been through the hardest part of my career already (junior years).  I have had signed leave chits pulled at the last minute, paychecks missed, bonuses missed, and a long deployment or two.  I have found that , outside of the ombudsman, a Navy wife will tell you straight up what to expect and how they dealt with it.

I was just being facetious about the scaring off the altar part.  When you are active duty, you just have to be that much more sure about the strength of the relationship before you jump in.

Also agree that nothing supplants personal experience.

merlin_the_wizard

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2005, 02:40 »
You and your wife-to-be need to very clear on what is ahead in your naval career.  Seven weeks into Power School is by no means the "other end".  I had classmates dropped from Power School one to two weeks before graduation.  But anyway.......Power School and Prototype are not the "regular"Navy; even with the long hours, you at least get to come home at night.  Once you arrive to the fleet your life will seemingly be upside down for awhile.  It stinks to be the new guy.  Then, the deployments will really test your marriage, but it is survivable if both of you go into it with the right attitude.   I had been married 3 and half years when I went to Power School and my wife and I made it just fine because she was completely understanding of the demands placed on me and supported me 100%.  The two of you should think of your Navy career as something you will do TOGETHER.  There will be many separations, long hours, and lots of stress.  But, with the right attitude it can be the best years of your life.  Joining the Navy was the best decision my wife and I ever made.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2005, 03:45 »


There are certainly two sides, but talking to a ex navy wife is gonna net 0 useful information.  It will be a jaded and hateful view, not unlike the guys who post on the board about trying to get out of the pipeline mid stream and the nuc waste.

Navy wifes are generally pretty realistic.  My wife really doesn't care much for the Navy, but we have been through the hardest part of my career already (junior years).  I have had signed leave chits pulled at the last minute, paychecks missed, bonuses missed, and a long deployment or two.  I have found that , outside of the ombudsman, a Navy wife will tell you straight up what to expect and how they dealt with it.

I was just being facetious about the scaring off the altar part.  When you are active duty, you just have to be that much more sure about the strength of the relationship before you jump in.

Also agree that nothing supplants personal experience.


It's ironic isn't it?  That one can get one side of the story from someone who is still living the life, but the other side is totally unreliable.  The ex-wife (mine, for example) will certainly not give the truth.  Nor, would an ex-husband.  You are fortunate to have been in an established marriage when all the crap fell on you.  But, starting a new marriage in the face of all that career uncertainty is just too much.  It's just not fair to either party that they start a marriage at such a tumultuous time.  A successful marriage takes a lot of dedication that no human can give when faced with the things that a Navy nuke must endure in the first two years.
The good news is that after those first two years, the nuke life is far better for marriage than some other parts of the Navy.  For the most part, the money is giant leaps ahead of anyone else with the same time in service.  Two years from now, our young MM3 will be an MM2/SS (or SW if he takes the easy way out) with sea pay, sub pay (if he is smart), proficiency pay if he reenlists, and almost an MM1.  The guys he went to RTC with will be still trying to make third class.  It's a lot easier to keep up a household for a nuke than for others.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

BigWill51534

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 10, 2005, 08:44 »
Yeah, I completely understand your guys' views and I really do respect them.  I have heard this many times from my instructors and SLPO's.  I am not quite like most guys in the Navy (especially the nuke program).  I grew up in a fairly religious household, and I am planning on doing this for life.  My fiance feels the exact same way.  I have had a few family members in the military that have told my fiance exactly what to expect (on the negative side of things), and she is willing to do whatever it takes to stay with me.  She looks at it as a challange that we can overcome together.  I know that it definately won't be easy, but we are both willing to make the sacrifices to make it work.  Everyone that I have spoken to about it believes that I know what I am doing, and that I can make this marriage work.  I definately wouldn't be willing to start a relationship such as this if I didn't expect for it to last a lifetime.  Oh, also.  I am sorry about the misunderstanding about my other post...  By saying that I've come out the other end, I mean that I have made it successfully through multiple punishments without any harm.  I've seen the good in this place, and the bad, and I am still the same person I've always been (although a little smarter).  I didn't mean to overmind my situation, and I understand that I still might not make it through.  I am going to stay positive, though, and I feel that I can do it if I continue to put in the effort.  I have to say that this has really been the most rewarding thing that I have ever done in my life to date, and I will be damned if I fail out of this due to lack of effort.  I won't let my family, friends, or fiance down by doing that.  Thanks for all of the great advice!

~Will~

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 10, 2005, 08:54 »
Then, Best Wishes to you and your future Bride.  It's not as hard as we make it out to be, but it ain't gonna be easy either.  Just keep yourselves away from anyone who appears to have a negative attitude.  They are as contagious as a virus and just as deadly. 
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

taterhead

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 10, 2005, 10:49 »
With this attitude, you'll be fine.

Just remember...

The fleet awaits.

Taylor (MMC)

ODiesel

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11, 2005, 12:32 »
I completely agree with MMC. If you keep the attitude you have throughout the pipeline, you will have no problems completing it. Occasionally you will have a rough day and question yourself as to what you were thinking when you signed 6 years of your life away, I know I did!! Trust me, when you walk out of the boardroom as a qualified nuclear operator you will know it was all worth it.

You'll do fine. Keep up the hard work!!!

Offline badger

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #13 on: Mar 08, 2005, 12:55 »
Hey, don't forget...
Prototype awaits too.

Rotating shiftwork, 12 hours per day, 9 day long weeks... fun stuff!


- EM3

Offline HydroDave63

Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #14 on: Mar 08, 2005, 10:01 »
Hey, don't forget...
Prototype awaits too.

Rotating shiftwork, 12 hours per day, 9 day long weeks... fun stuff!

- EM3

Not to mention patrol, WestPac or Med cruise, ORSE preps, flight ops, torpedo ex, etc. You will be reporting to a ship of war, so expect to be at sea a LOT, working a LOT, and savor the times when you are not.

Dave

shayne

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #15 on: Mar 08, 2005, 10:10 »
And duty days.

taterhead

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #16 on: Mar 09, 2005, 12:02 »
and "fast cruises"

shayne

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #17 on: Mar 09, 2005, 05:48 »
I forgot about the simulated cruises, certainly don't miss them.

Rad Sponge

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2005, 12:53 »
I don't know about the rest of you but for me the best decision I ever made was for the entirety of the pipeline it was no alcohol and no nookie and no relationships, but by God did I enjoy the night of graduation, 4 or 5 times I enjoyed it.

The pipeline is bad enough, you don't need any BS distractions. Just eat, sleep, study, and exercise. Its only a year or so, its not your whole life!

Almost all of my peers that did not make it through allowed themselves to be distracted by booze and cooze.

brandonfulk

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #19 on: Jun 18, 2005, 03:11 »
i am a student about to graduate power school any advice on prototype? (i am going to balston spa)

shayne

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Re: MM3 going through Nuclear Power School... Any questions?
« Reply #20 on: Jun 18, 2005, 05:26 »
Stay ahead of the curve.  More or less it is go at your own pace.  You will be given a pace that will get you done 2 weeks before graduation. 
For systems, read the system discription in the front of the manuals with the one line diagram system print as you read, then go walk the system down.  Be prepaired for your watches, which will not be for 10 or so weeks after you get there.  Use the staff instructors for any questions that you have or if you need extra help.  Most are willing to help you if you ask.

 


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