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  • Guest
Former enlisted nuke/future nuke officer here...
« on: Sep 27, 2005, 08:38 »
Hey all... I'm a product of the nuke pipeine (Electrician's Mate, 1st class) and I'm currently in a commissioning program... STA-21 to be exact. Anyhow, I'm studying nuclear engineering and I graduate/commission in 3 terms. If anyone has questions about the pipeline or the new commissioning program, I'd be glad to answer. And, if any engineers want to talk technical, I'd be down with that too (I've taken all engineering mechanics and fluid/thermo/heat transfer courses, along with sophmore nuclear physics and instrumentation. I'm currently enrolled in 1st term reactor core design, shield design, and thermal hydrauic design.)


  • Guest
Re: Former enlisted nuke/future nuke officer here...
« Reply #1 on: Sep 29, 2005, 03:12 »
My son is in RT right now and will be going to South Carolina soon.  Can you tell me from experience how it all works.  He was told it was alot like College.  He shared a dorm room, he got to come home for holidays and possibly long 3 day weekends.  And we could visit maybe 1 weekend a month if he gets homesick as long as it isn't the weekend he is on duty or watch.  Now in Boot he is being told differently.  He was told he couldn't come home for Thanksgiving and would only have a few days for Christmas.  There was no Spring break week to come home and he would be lucky if he got 1-2 weeks in the summer... This is nothing like a normal University so now he is freaking out a bit.  He choose this over going to UofA with an NROTC scholarship thinking that 2yrs schooling instead of 4 would be better then he could apply for an Officers program and get to the same Goal.  An officer in the Navy.  What do you suggest and how does this Liberty or time off actually work once you get to A school.  Any Information from someone who has actually been threw it would be greatly appreciated... I have heard they tell them things that are untrue in Boot to try and break you down.  Could this be what they are actually doing?     Thank you for anything....  I would be very Greatful.   NavyNukeMom  :)


  • Guest
Re: Former enlisted nuke/future nuke officer here...
« Reply #2 on: Sep 29, 2005, 07:47 »
Well personally, if I had a ride to be an officer by going to school for 4 years I wouldv'e taken that route.  Being an enlisted nuke does not by any means guarantee someone to be an officer, even after they graduate with their bachelor's (again, i have first hand knowledge of this).  If all he wanted to do was be an officer, I think he mightv'e made the wrong desicion.  But he can apply, and if his application is strong, I'm sure he will get accepted.  With two years of college behind him, he should have no problem applying for STA-21, which is a degree completion program that will give him a commission at the end.  Without that program, he will not be able to take any college courses while on active duty untill he graduates through the entire nuclear pipeline, which is about a year and a half.  Again, a few colleges do recognize the coursework that we do in the pipeline and award some credits for it (some schools as much as 80).  As far as time off is concerned, it is based upon how he is doing in school.  If he is doing well he will have more time off at the end of the day than someone doing poorly.  This is contingent upon his section leader. He will get time off after A-school is over, if Christmas coincides during this time, he will get time off for that too.  He will also get time off after Nuclear Power School, and again after prototype.  In some cases (like if you live within 4-500 miles of south carolina) he will be able to come home during long weekends, etc.  There is no such thing as a spring break in the military however.  This is a job and sometimes a career.  Think of his schooling as full-time on the job training.  While he is in training his leave will be very controlled, pretty much as I said earlier.  When he makes it out of training (if hes not an officer by that time), his leave will be controlled by his superiors and the amount of people his division can support taking time off.  The Navy does tell you that we get 30 days paid vacation a year, this is true, we earn that time.  However, we don't always get to take that time off every year, it does build up.  I hope my ramblings help.



  • Guest
Re: Former enlisted nuke/future nuke officer here...
« Reply #3 on: Sep 29, 2005, 11:17 »
Here we go...first post! Been lurking in here a while and saw this post and decided to clear up some misinformation!

Im currently in Powerschool right now. As for time off goes:

1. Generally speaking...if it is a holiday we have it off. During my time in Powerschool I am going to have off Thanksgiving (about 4 days I believe), Christmas stand down (Dec 22-Jan 4th i believe) and I believe 2 three day weekends. Christmas is the only period that will go against your leave days but they dont have a problem with you going in the hole on leave, being that we are attached to this training command for so long. For example I had 15 days leave after A school, im getting the 10 days or so of leave for Xmas, and after I graduate powerschool I get about 17 days leave in order to allow me to move into an apt. or up to NY for protoype. I will be going pretty deep in the hole on leave.

2. During A school you will be in the E3 rooms. You will be two people in a room with a common head connecting to another room. Your own eparated racks, closet, desk, and dresser. Once you make E4 after A school you get your own room with a desk, entertainment stand, dresser, walk in closet, and a head connecting to another room. I have to admit the rooms are pretty nice, all things considered. You have the option of purchasing high speed internet and or cable for your room as well.

3. As for weekend liberty. I strongly advise against going home for any regular weekend. Even if you live within a few hours of here. I have friends whom live within 2 hours of here that go home every weekend. IT DEFINATELY had a negative effect on their schooling. They were too worried about what was going on back home too focus on the material at hand. Grades dropped dramatically. You really cant live two lives here. Hell its hard enough just living the one. HOWEVER for the occasional 3 day could be just what he needed to come home for a day or two. It really does have a refreshing effect. Anyways as you have probably heard...time is limited. The only people with time to themselves during the week are those whom dont have to study and get 3.8s none the less. Everyone else is usually in the building studying until 8, 9, or in my case 10-11 oclock at night. Stuff you would think you could take care of on weekdays (Laundry, uniform maintenance, heavy cleaning, personal matters such phone calls to loved ones, ect) really have to wait until the weekend.

4. As for Officer programs. Everything I have read or heard says that the Nuke program has the highest acceptance rate from any other special program in the Navy. I myself am putting together a packet for the Academy. He definately has a higher likelyhood of getting picked up than the average enlisted, AS long as his grades stay up and he stays out of trouble. A lot of people get in trouble at this command and ruin things for themselves (We have weekly occurances of 1 or 2 people going to mast and getting knocked down in rank and all sorts of bad things for stuff like underage drinking, supplying to a minor, ect. Tell him to be smart. What you may have done as a civilian that was illegal doesnt fly in the Navy, even if everyone else is doing it. The law is the law and the Navy upholds it (along with their own standards!)

5 Lastly, this program isnt easy. Its not designed to be. Youve got to try to maintain a positive attitude about your decision in life. There are a lot of people here that are very bitter about their decision to join the Navy and the feeling can be contagious. Truth is...everyone gets like that at one point during their stay here. Just remember, you came in openly accepting a challenge, and well, here it is. Make the most of it and do your best, and dont let others bring you down.

If you have any other questions feel free to email me and I will do my best to give you an unbiased, up to date, view or answer from a current powerschool student.

Oh yeah and one more thing. NO ONE at RTC knows ANYTHING about this program. They will say all sorts of stuff not knowing, generally because they dont like the fact that in 4-6 months you will be a 3rd class. There is a lot of rate bashing back and forth between nukes and non nukes. Rest assured the people there do not know what they are talking about.


  • Guest
Re: Former enlisted nuke/future nuke officer here...
« Reply #4 on: Sep 30, 2005, 02:58 »
These guys speak the truth. But I'll address one issue: The STA-21 nuclear option commissioning program has a very high acceptance rate, because the fleet NEEDS nuclear submarine officers right now. But you can only apply to it from the nuclear field pipeline. I applied while I was a staff instructor at the New York prototype training unit. The STA-21 program is a great opportunity for your son... for anybody, really.

However, he should buckle down on power school while he's there. Long days await him. It's really not all that HARD, but the sheer volume of it can be a little overwhelming. But, even if he doesn't go the officer route, being a nuke will make himevery marketable. Nukes are highly trained, and highly trainable. When I go back to the fleet as an officer, I will work with nukes a great deal, and I wouldn't have it any other way. They're very dependable, and some of the cream of the crop of the military. I graduate from college in the near future, so he and I will probably by in power school at the same time. I'm looking forward to my second time around. It's a challenging program.


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