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Author Topic: Advice Needed - Nuclear Machinist Mate - staying in or get out?  (Read 5954 times)

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Offline Knicole2018

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I have been searching the threads for hours and haven’t found my question so asking to all! My husband is 31 years old and is currently an e-5 (first class petty officer) - sorry if I get terms mixed up! - we are wanting to start a family in the next year or so and he’s schedule to get out in March 2021. He (we) are trying to figure out if re-enlisting or getting out will be better for our future. He enjoys the hands on work and we’ve done a deployment and made it just fine. We think civilian life would be so much better but now are thinking is that really true? If he got out he’d want to do similar nuclear work. He’s in the STAR enlistment program. He’s also one class away from a mechanical engineering degree but he does not enjoy office work. I figure if he gets out we’d have to relocate anyways so what is the big difference between that and re-enlisting? We are trying to weigh the pros and cons and factor financial stability and quality of life. I too have a career in accounting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

thenuttyneutron

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Thirteen nuclear units are scheduled to be shut down between now and 2024.  The industry is shrinking.  If he can get a job in a growth industry like decommissioning, he would have plenty of work between now and retirement.

Things are very tough in the industry.  Tomorrow Oyster Creek shuts down for the final time and that is the first plant of the 13 planned for decommissioning.

Offline Knicole2018

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Yes that was another thing we were worried about - it went on the pro side of re-enlisting. Thanks for your input!!

Offline scotoma

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I think you know the question, you just haven't found your answer. You did not say how long your husband has already served. There is a lot of advantages to staying in for 20 and retiring. You start getting your pension immediately. You also get medical benefits & other perks. If your husband stays in and advances to CPO, the contacts that he makes will open doors to civilian opportunities when he does retire. There will be opportunities for a couple 3 year duration billets during the career. The civilian world is not what it used to be. Medical benefits for a family can cost over $1500/month. Your employer may cover 70%-80% of that cost. Several companies are eliminating pensions and just providing 401K plans with some matching funds. As Nutty said, nuclear plants are shutting down. Most plants are well over 20 years old. If your husband did get a job with a utility, it will not last him until his retirement. The decision is yours. You are trading current income for job security and deferred income. If you are emotionally okay with your current situation and can last the time 'til retirement, you may be happy when that time comes.

Offline GLW

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Yes that was another thing we were worried about - it went on the pro side of re-enlisting. Thanks for your input!!

there may be a way to go civilian and get what you want out of life,....

check your PMs,....

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

Offline Knicole2018

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. You did not say how long your husband has already served. 


Thanks so much for your input, what you said definitely addressed a lot of our reasons why he would stay. He’s served 6 years, will be 7 come March 2019.

Offline scotoma

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He is a third of the way there. If you can handle the BS and he is willing to handle the BS, the end is in sight. Those re-enlistment bonuses really help out as well. Make sure that he treats all his comrades well, both up and down the chain of command. You never know who you are going to meet again in a different situation. The goofy ensign or petty officer today could be a manager in the civilian world someday. Good Luck and may the force be with you.

Offline ipregen

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Even though the commercial nuclear world is shrinking there are plenty of non-nuke utilities where a former Navy nuke would be welcome. A degreed ex-nuke should have no problem getting a job. I am an former Navy ELT who worked commercial nuclear power as a contractor then a nuke house tech before switching to the conventional power side. I live very comfortably.

Druid

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Even though the commercial nuclear world is shrinking there are plenty of non-nuke utilities where a former Navy nuke would be welcome. A degreed ex-nuke should have no problem getting a job.

Agreed. If he is willing to look beyond the power generation industry there are opportunities as well. You would be surprised how many nukes I run across here in the medical device industry. Attention to detail and compliance is just as important to the FDA as it is to the NRC.

D

TVA

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CoGens and Gas Turbines

Offline MMM

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So he'll have 8.5-9 years in at his current EAOS. If you could handle that, it may be worth it to finish 20 to collect the roughly $1800-2500/month retirement (depending on his final rank), plus free medical (assuming that doesn't change in the near future), which is worth $300-400/month.

TVA

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Rate not rank..
Also my medical is free.

Offline MMM

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Rate not rank..
Also my medical is free.

Nope, your rate, or rating, is your job, e.g., MM, EM, etc., your rank is the pay, e.g., E-5, O-2, etc. Retirement pay is based on rank.

TVA

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Incorrect rank is for officers. Rate enlisted.
Rating is the specialty
Rate is the E-

HeavyD

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Slightly off topic, the MILPERSMAN uses rate and rank interchangeably in relation to enlisted personnel.

 


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