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SenorPabis

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Sub Life
« on: Jul 14, 2006, 03:10 »
I was just curious how the typical nuke life is onboard a sub, like how does a typical "day" go.  How many hours approx of the day are you doing work or work-related things because people say there are polenty of opportunities to take classes etc while at sea but a relative of mine who is currently in the nuke program said that there really isn't too much time to take classes or anything, just curious how much free time is available.

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #1 on: Jul 14, 2006, 07:25 »
The main diff between nuke and non-nuke on a sub is startup and shutdown - nukes work their butts off. Even worse whn they have to "steam" in a port - no time off.
That said, most positions when I was a bubblehead were 3-section - this means you work a 6 hour watch, off for 12 hours. You had to sleep, etc during the off time. Kinda messed up your biorythms, and eventually some dumbass JG would decide to require cleanup in your wirk area in your off time, which meant you lost your offtime.
This is also AFTER you got qualified...which can take a year.
Depends on the sub also - attack boats don't have a set schedule - they are in and out of port at the whim of the Nav. Boomers are on a set schedule, and probably have more time for classes.
My info is MANY years old, but I hope it helps.
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Offline Wirebiter

Re: Sub Life
« Reply #2 on: Jul 14, 2006, 05:02 »
Good question Senor.  I have served on a Los Angeles class SSN and am currently on a Trident SSBN.  A "typical" day is usually anything but typical, sorry to say.  When either submarine type is in port for repairs, your (non duty) day will normally start around 0700 +/- 30mins.  If you have not finished most of your qualifications, you will usually help a more senior member of your division with anything from maintenance, to cleaning workspaces, to paperwork.  Expect to get sent looking for tools or running paperwork/repair parts around to differant work sites for the first year or so.  As you get qualified and learn how to perform maintenance and route the required paperwork, you will recieve more responsibility, ie.. more important taskings, tougher repair jobs, more opportunities to succeed (or fail) on your own.  Every 3rd or 4th day of the week will be your duty day.  This is a 24hour period where you stand watch (if qualified) between 8 to 12hours  throughout the day, depending on your enlisted rate AND how many people are qualified to stand watch.  More qualified people = better quality of life....usually.
If you are attached to a Trident, this repair time will be about 5-8 weeks long on average and it will come along about every 5-6 months.  If your on a Fast Attack, this repair period happens pretty much every time you are not at sea.  Keep in mind that you will have to qualify all your watchstations within 18 months of reporting onboard.  So when your division has finished its maintenance on a motor generator or completed its hydrostatic retest of a seawater system at 1600,1700 sometimes 2100,  you still need to stay and get qualified.  If not, you will fall behind and be ordered to stay 2 hours extra 6 days a week until you catch up on quals.

For Tridents, there is a period of time where the other crew owns the boat and is gone to sea.  During this "off-crew" period, your work day is substantially easier.  You no longer work on the submarine, instead you have a training office where you meet M-F for about 8-11 weeks, sometimes shorter.  This period is filled with department and divisional training seminars, general military training, gun qualifications at the range, command Physical Training, medical/dental check-ups, and of course, qualifications.  Duty is usually limited to a phone watch  for about 4hours a month.  If your command is squared away and has all its crap in one sock, Fridays usually turn into an optional day (if you are fully qualified of course).   Fast attacks have no such training period.  98% of your time is either at sea, or in port doing what I mentioned above.   I bet you can't guess which one has the higher reenlistment rates? ;D

As far as your schedule at sea goes, Pet_snake was pretty much right.  18 hour days broken into 3 blocks of 6 hours.  One block is spent standing watch, the other is for cleaning, training, qualifications, repairs, special watch standing, cleaning, training, and cleaning.  The final block is supposed to be your sleep block, but may be replaced by block one and/or block two at any time.  The cycle will then repeat itself so that in a period of Friday - Sunday (3 days), you will stand watch 4 times, sleep 4 times, etc..

If you are worried about taking college classes while attached to a submarine, your best bet is to try and get orders to a Trident.  Once aboard, and qualified, you will have more oportunities to take local courses, internet courses, and/or telecourses.  You will have to endure name calling to the likes of "part-time sailor", "weekend warrior", "Boomer fag" etc... but those usually come from disgruntled fast boat guys like myself.  These things can be done on a Fast attack, but it will be much more difficult to get the time off and study for your classes, and I do mean MUCH more.  Don't get me wrong, Tridents have there tough times, about one a year, but you will definatley work harder, learn more, and see more of the world on a Fast attack than you will riding a Trident.  It just depends on what you want out of life. 

If you have any more questions, PM me.  I'll be glad to help fill in the blanks for you.  ;D
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

Offline smoothtoaster

Re: Sub Life
« Reply #3 on: Jul 14, 2006, 05:59 »
how hard is it to switch from SSN to SSBN later in your enlistment?

--------------
smoothtoaster

Fermi2

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #4 on: Jul 14, 2006, 06:46 »
It's not. You're a Sub Vol, not an SSN or SSBN Vol. Many switch back and forther, it depends on the needs of the Navy.

Mike

LRM

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #5 on: Jul 14, 2006, 08:04 »
Although I have heard that bommer guys used to get first dibs on bommer billets, I do not believe that is the case anymore.  Your chances of switching are the same as getting your choice the fist time, except that you have a different hand to play.  In prototype, you might be able to influence your first assignment if you are well liked, but not likely (better chance influencing other options of staff, ELT, or welder).  Although, I remember being in the plant master chief’s office with another ELT student when the detailer called.  All students were headed to SSNs, but one was a less desirable billet.  The master chief asked us who should get it, we told him who we all disliked, he told the detailer, orders written.  Now on the second time around, you can use reenlistment or other strategies to influence your orders, remember this when you are thinking about cashing in your reenlistment without using its leverage power.
As far as education, qualify first (12 to 18 months, yes some spend 24).  Then don’t be lazy using stupid excuses like “I have to work too much” to keep you from taking classes.  You can’t take a full load of classes on the boat (at least I can’t imagine), but you should be able to take between 2 and 4 classes a year without too much difficulty.  If you really want the college: stay for shore duty and take a full load on TA (now pays 100%), get out after 6 and use GI bill/College Fund, apply for officer program and go to college.
Sub life is great and it sucks.  There is good and bad, and every command is different, some better, some worse.  Choose to make the best of it and you will enjoy your stint/career.

Lance

duke99301

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #6 on: Jul 15, 2006, 12:27 »
whats a bubble head? Is that the same as squid? or skimmer?

taterhead

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #7 on: Jul 15, 2006, 12:51 »
It's not. You're a Sub Vol, not an SSN or SSBN Vol. Many switch back and forther, it depends on the needs of the Navy.

Mike

Needs of the Navy--- I had a boomer sailor who worked for me at Pearl Harbor who tried to get orders back to a boomer.

He was told that since he had left the boomer geographical area, it was cheaper and easier to send him to a Pearl-based fast attack.   He was not pleased, to say the least.

Moral:  If I was a boomer sailor and wanted to continue to be a boomer sailor, I would try for TRF for shore duty ;D

Offline Wirebiter

Re: Sub Life
« Reply #8 on: Jul 15, 2006, 03:12 »
Yeah, the old boomer life chain.  Trident-TRF-Trident-TTF-Trident.  An entire 20 years on one base, and one class of ship.  Pretty sad IMHO. 

 But here is my fledgeling dogma on sub life...... if you do a full 4.5-5 year seatour on a Fast boat as your first tour (especially in Groton or Norfolk), chances are pretty good that you will not have a tougher sea assignment for the rest of your career.  This excludes spec-op boats, NR-1, and refueling overhaul assignments.  Differant challanges yes, but not as mentally/physically demanding.  The combination of first time quals, fast boat life/schedule, and anal-retentive chain of commands seem to converge the strongest at these two bases.  If you can survive those years, I personnaly belive you can survive just about anything the Sub community can throw at you....with the above mentioned exceptions. 

As far as switching back and forth between the two goes, it depends on several things:
-Like when are you up for orders?  After two years aboard your submarine, you can put in a request to transfer to another sub, providing you agree to stay on that second sub for at least 3 years.  This is rare because your current command usually wont let you go (unless you are not very keepable) and the detailer must have a higher need for you on another boat in order to pull you off your first one.  Remember, it costs the government lots of greenbacks to move people around the country.  Be careful what you wish for and that whole grass is greener thing.  Boats with immediate needs may have poor command climates, nazi CO's or Chiefs of the Boat (COBs), or just bad luck, like the Greenville or San Francisco.
-If you reenlisted to go to shore duty, how much time left in the navy do you owe before your second or third enlistment is up?  Did you agree to keep recieving sub pay while on shore duty in return for going back to sea?  Most shore duties are only 3 years +/- a few months long.  If you finish that duty, and still have a year or two (or more) left, STAND BY! you are now at the mercy of your detailer.  Correct me if I'm wrong Tater, but I bet this is what happened to your guy in Pearl, right?  Only have 18 months left in the Navy and you just finished your shore duty in Groton?....chances are you are going to move down to the waterfront and finish your obligated sea time on a fast boat.  Seen this last case more times than I can remember, lol.  But if you manage your enlistments well, don't get greedy when it comes to reenlistment bonuses, and decline sub pay while at shore duty, you can use the threat of leaving the navy after shore duty as a major bargaining chip for orders.  Thats what I did. 

    Story-time***Myself and another E-6 arrived at shore-duty in Hawaii the same year/month.  We had been in the Navy almost the same length of time, and had qualified the exact same watches.  He came from a Trident, me a Fast Boat.  He obligated extra sea time in return for an extra $375 a month for 3 years, I did not.  Fast forward to 3 years later; he is stuck with two choices from the detailer, Fast boat out of Pearl Harbour or Groton.  Nothing else.  Since my second enlistment was up, I had a choice; call the detailer and pretty much tell him where and on what boat I wanted to go to, or else become a civilian in 3 months.
As of now I am attending college, working what, to me, feels like almost part-time on a low stress enviroment submarine, and I live close to my family and friends.  Meanwhile my friend is stuck in Hawaii, putting up with a harder lifestyle that he is used to, and is seriously debating on leaving the navy with 12+ years served.***

Would things be differant had our roles reversed? Definately.  Did he make bad career decisions? No, he did what was best for him and his family.  But, I do belive had he served on a Fast attack first, his views on staying in the Navy, keeping sub-pay, and  negotiating for a shore duty billet would be differant.

Please don't think that I downplay the importance of our Trident fleet.  They perform an extremely important job in keeping America safe.  They are told to work long hours and leave their families just like every other sailor.  They do the job that the country asks of them, and they do it well.

Duke, to answer your question:   squids are skimmers and bubble-heads, but bubble-heads are not skimmers, and skimmers are not bubble-heads.  There are more former bubble-heads who are now skimmers, than there are former skimmers who are now bubble-heads.  Most bubbble-heads don't want to be skimmers, and I would venture to say that most skimmers don't want to be bubble-heads.  Bubble-heads get paid extra to be bubble-heads, but skimmers just get paid.  I hope that answers your question  :)
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

taterhead

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Re: Sub Life
« Reply #9 on: Jul 16, 2006, 12:56 »
Correct me if I'm wrong Tater, but I bet this is what happened to your guy in Pearl, right? 

Bingo.  He had no bargaining chip >:(

Granted, he is a career-type guy, but staying out on the rock was not in his career plan.  Hawaii can be like that for submariners...You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave... :P

Offline hamsamich

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Bravo to wirebiter!
« Reply #10 on: Jul 16, 2006, 03:13 »
Top Notch info!  Wirebiter's info is priceless.  If you want to be super-challenged, mesh with a great group of guys, possibly go crazy, and go to some cool places, Fast Attack would be the way to go.  I asked my detailer for a Boomer because of the cool time off periods others had told me about after graduating ELT school.  Now I'm glad my detailer forced me to go F/A.  I have never been through anything as hard as that 3.5 years on my Fast Attack.  Anytime things get bad, I just think back to that roller coaster time;  things were crazy, but they always got better (eventually) and there was someone there next to you to commiserate with.  I don't think I could have done it for 20 years.  1 stint was good enough.  I know a couple of my buddies felt like they made a mistake by doing time on a Boomer and not on a Fast Attack.  Like they missed out on something special.  Some didn't feel that way though.  But if you go F/A, just be ready for anything.  If you are prepared mentally for the probability of 100 hour work weeks while in port (sometimes), then it won't shock you when it appears.  When there are important things to do, when you aren't qualified, when people are not qualifed enough of your watchstation ,when your command is below average, when you are in refit, refuel or overhaul; these are the times when working hours approach 100 hours while in port.  You are happy to see rotating 12-hour shifts 7 days a week come about (only 84 hours, sweet!).  But it is not always like that.  There are the good times too.  Trading duty days (to be repayed at home port) with married guys so you can go on a 4-day romp thru Israel, France, Italy and Belgium is the upside.  Holiday stand-down times, where much time is spent lazing around the boat on your duty day watching movies, and the 2 to 3 days between duty day is spent partying or with friends/family.  I would do it again.

Offline Wirebiter

Re: Sub Life
« Reply #11 on: Jul 16, 2006, 11:44 »
Hawaii can be like that for submariners...You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave... :P

I know what you mean.  After 3 years I was ready to leave pronto!  Luckily I could, but now after 18months away, I kinda miss it.......My wife does in a way too.  Must be something they put in the poke' ::)

Thanks hamsamich, you made me blush, lol.  Something about those fast, black, and doesn't come back boats that sets your missery referance point WAY out in left field.  I know it has made me appreciate every-freeking moment with my wife now.  I think I should be set for the next 50 years or so, lol  ;)
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

DanDPU

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Sub life
« Reply #12 on: Jul 24, 2006, 10:53 »
Hey everyone,

Still starting up the paperwork to apply for the Nuke Officer program, and as of now I am highly considering asking for subs rather than carriers or reactor.  Just have some questions about sub life in general.

What is the advantage of choosing to tour with Fast Attack rather than SSBN?  I understand SSN is sometimes more intense work, and some people might choose it just for that, but is the pay better, or more time off?  Anything like that?

Also, how limited are you with what you can do in your free time, while out at sea?  Are there any issues with power supply, and can you bring a stereo or a laptop to play DVDs or anything along those lines?  What do most people end up doing in their free time?

Thanks again for the help.

Dan
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2006, 11:58 by DanDPU »

Fermi2

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #13 on: Jul 24, 2006, 10:56 »
There are about 300 different threads on this very topic.

Even an average nuke should be able to research these questions.

Try using the Search Function for the site.

Mike

DanDPU

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #14 on: Jul 24, 2006, 12:19 »
Thanks for the help.

Broadzilla, sorry, didnt mean to sound rude or unmotivated.  I'd like to think I've read over every post in the Navy:Getting In section of the forums at least twice.  I realize that there is another "Sub Life" thread, although I forgot its name at the time of the first post, and I realize now I should have probably thought up a better post title. :) This forum has been a great help in the past in getting my questions answered and played a large part in my decision to join the Navy. 

To clarify, I understand the disadvantages of SSN (harder hours, more difficult) and the unofficial benefits (working with great people, better navy experience for those who want to work really hard, possibly easier assignments in the future), but I was wondering if the officially recognized that Fast Attack could be more difficult, and gave better pay or official time off due to that.

Fermi2

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #15 on: Jul 24, 2006, 01:02 »
Dan,

I'm not 100% sure SSN was a more difficult life. Granted I was in a very special population of the SSN force known as Special Projects but many of my friends were in what would be the more conventional SSN field.

At sea the watch rotation was the same. Outside of some very isolated circumstances SSNs as a group did not spend much more time at sea than an SSBN. The At Sea time records are held by two ex Projects boats not regular SSNs. Now I know someone will say "Well in this year we spent 9 months at sea". One: That time was not continuous. Two: Its outside normal bounds, usually this happens only when another boat cannot pick up it's scheduled deployment.

In port the 3 month Off Time for SSBN Crews isn't exactly a vacation. Granted they aren't at sea but they're going to training and schools, some of which are not anywhere near their homeport. Your work hours are about the same. On my boat (once I was qualified) I don't remember ever having to work all that hard. A Typical day if you weren't the duty section was mustering at about 0630 or 0700. The oncoming duty section would relieve the off going one. I cannot think of anytime where our off going duty section was still on the boat after 0900. Then everyone would go to breakfast. I can't think of a work day that really started before 0800. Usually those who were on neither the off going or oncoming duty section were off the boat by 1300 or so. That included an hour or so for lunch. We were on 4 section duty. On the weekends if you didn't have duty you didn't come in. From talking with sailors who had been on other SSNs this was pretty typical on most SSNs.

At least then the Navy didn't pay you any differently for SSN over SSBN. You got Sea Pay, Pro Pay and Sub Pay. They were the same regardless of the boat.

Mike

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #16 on: Jul 24, 2006, 02:14 »
After reading Broadzilla's description, I'd have to say that the answer to your question is: "who knows?"  In reality, ther is no hard rule as to what life is like on any "type" of sub.  Even life aboard a single boat will change drastically as the command structure changes.  One Engineer officer will have different policies about libetry from the next.  One XO will have particular rules about when and where you can use your laptop or MP3 player, and his relief could care less.  It's all dynamic.

To illustrate: I was on three SSN's.  One was a brand new SP boat, and one was as old as the sea itself.  We had THREE SECTION duty even when there were enough qualified people to man a four section watchbill with bodies to spare.
Our work day began at 0700 every day and lasted well beyond the 1600 liberty call that was posted on the POD.  The offgoing duty section stayed until the end of the work day (even sometimes on weekends).  While sleeping was technically allowed on your duty day, it rarely happened if there was some repair to be done.  One year, we were at sea constantly, the next year we spent in port and drydock getting refitted a lot.  Sometimes we did "weekly ops" that basically lasted from Monday until Friday.  Other times, we spent a month or two at sea delousing boomers or doing "special" ops (which mostly consisted of playing with new sonar and targeting systems that must be obsolete by now).
The boat in between was a new-construction.  We had liberty whenever possible, four section duty when we could support the construction and testing schedule, and didn't go to sea for the first year and a half.  The CO was a mustang whose motto was, "if you have nothing to do, don't do it here."
You see, my assignments were nearly the same as BZ's but the rules were totally different.  It seems to me that ( this is just my opinion) his officers were smarter and more ballsy than the ones I served with.  I rarely served under an MPA who had the stones to ask the Engineer if we could go on liberty at 1600.  Though the CO on the new-construction boat made liberty mandatory at liberty call unless a Deparment Head had received his permission to delay it.

By the same token, there were plenty of boomer sailors on those boats who either told stories of "telephone muster" for their first month of off-crew.  And there were those who had to report into the ship's office every day of off-crew.

What life is going to be like on your boat depends entirely on the attitude of the officers and chiefs, which in turn depends on the condition of the ship, the readiness of the crew, the qualification levels of the officers and crew, the mood of the XO, the indigestion of the CO, the Engineer's wife making him "happy" the previous night ... etc., etc.


But if your question is limited to how one spends his free time at sea, the universal answer is going to be, "sleep, when you can."
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2006, 02:17 by BeerCourt »
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Offline ChiefRocscooter

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #17 on: Jul 24, 2006, 02:36 »
Ok here is another 2 cents...  If you like to know in advanced when you will be deploying (say a year out), or getting underway for training (say moe that a couple days notice). Then "Hide and sneak" is the way to go (that would be fast guy speak for boomer).  On a fast boat you can come in and be sent home cause your getting underway (surprise!!) that afternoon (at least back in the day you could).  In fact heres a real no _ _ itter!! I once came to work at 0630 and was told go back to barracks and get stuff for a min underway of three weeks, leaving at 0900 that morning.  When we pulled in 2 days before the three weeks were up they made it sound llike they had done us a huge favor!!  If you do go fast make sure you keep that bag packed, unless you keep everything you need on the boat.

oh yeah if you feel regular sleep cycles are overrated you will fit right in on a fast boat,  in fact if you like to walk around in a little red visor a fast boat can do that for you too  :) ;)

Rob
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Fermi2

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #18 on: Jul 24, 2006, 03:42 »
See Dan,

You're getting the gamut here, things on any one boat can change if the command changes. Conditions are not the same boat to boat even within the same command.

I know an SSN Sailor who went to nuke school and prototype with me. We were Instructors together. He went to San Diego, I went to Projects at Mare Island. One day my boat happened to be in San Diego. His boat was to arrive from a WESTPAC and he and I were to hook up for some beers. He never showed and neither did his boat. 4 months later I got a call from him, on his way into port a helicopter showed up and they transferred some freeeze dried food at sea. Enough to hold them over until they could pull into some foreign port. Turns out they had to turn right around and head back to the Western Pacific because the USS Barb failed her ORSE, then they found an issue with her steam pipes so the Salt Lake City had to pick up the Barbs deployment.

A guy I used to work with was a Boomer Sailor. His CO was a hard charger. One time during his 90 some day "off time" they spent 2 weeks on leave, two weeks or so doing some sort of upkeep, and he spent the other 60 or so days travelling to schools. This wasan't uncommon for his boat.

To me it's a wash either way. How hard you work mostly depends on the command, not the type of boat. I suppose the only difference would be if the boat was older since they tend to get cranky and require more crew attention. The SSN687 was older, but we were Projects so had unlimited money. Every summer they'd just replace everything.

Mike

Offline Wirebiter

Re: Sub life
« Reply #19 on: Jul 24, 2006, 07:19 »
Thanks for the help.

To clarify, I understand the disadvantages of SSN (harder hours, more difficult) and the unofficial benefits (working with great people, better navy experience for those who want to work really hard, possibly easier assignments in the future), but I was wondering if the officially recognized that Fast Attack could be more difficult, and gave better pay or official time off due to that.

Well, as an officer, if you do decide to stay in past your intial Junior Officer (JO) tour, you will get to see a SSN.  As told to me by my ENG and XO, any SSBN Junior Officers who return to sea for their Department Head tour will get orders to a SSN.  If your J.O. tour was a SSN, then either platform is an option.

As far as "offical recognition" of difficulty, you would have to get a hold of the Navy's retention numbers for Sub JO's.  That would give you an indication of some sort.....I guess, lol.
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

Offline ChiefRocscooter

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #20 on: Jul 27, 2006, 09:32 »
Think of it this way.... On the fast boat you own it for 24-36 months (assuming you are a 0) and I mean you own it 24 7 365. You own the job, the gear, the maint, the manpower, the .. well you get the picture.  On a boomer you own it for a few months at a time then you give it to someone else.  Now depending on how well you do it is either they spend thier time fixing your problem! or you spend your time fixing thiers.  However you never really own it its just on loan to you!  Bad or good you give it up to the blue/gold guys after a while, you will on average do less underway time and thus less operational experience, but you will more than likely get more training.
From personnal experience (as a fast only guy) senior guy who had only been on boombers in thier time and came to a fast boat had problems.  Its is tough to find out the second class have seen and done more than you in thier 3 years than you have in your 6 or 7.  In fact I saw a staff pickup, boomber (1 deployment then yards), staff tour at NPTU (made chief), went to fast boat (SSN-674) get de-Nuc'ed in just 6 months onboard!!!
Not the norm but.... it can happen, go fast then slow, then pick what you like after that.

Rob   
Being adept at being adaptable I look forward to every new challenge!

Offline Wirebiter

Re: Sub life
« Reply #21 on: Jul 28, 2006, 10:07 »
I wise Master Chief once told me that there are 3 crews attached to a Trident; Gold crew, Blue crew, and the Other crew. 

99% of all the boats problems happen as a result of this last crew..........go figure!  ;)
U.S. Navy Submarine Force; its not just a job, its a job on a boat!

Fermi2

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #22 on: Jul 29, 2006, 06:57 »
I wise Master Chief once told me that there are 3 crews attached to a Trident; Gold crew, Blue crew, and the Other crew. 

99% of all the boats problems happen as a result of this last crew..........go figure!  ;)


Hey does the Other Crew have those infamous sailors MM3 NotMe and ET2 HeckIfIKnow?

Mike

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Sub life
« Reply #23 on: Jul 29, 2006, 11:02 »
Wow, I wish I would have been on Broadzilla's boat.  On my fast attack there was no such thing as "day after duty", which is what he is talking about.  Everybody went home at the same time unless your LPO snuck you outta there at 2.  There was one time when our entire duty section was up all night doing something special, I can't remember what now, but we did get to go home at lunchtime.  Every once in a while (very rare) the command would just let us go home early, like at 2, or maybe even at lunch once.

Boats are different, commands are different, and even boats at different places with the same command will totally change.  For instance, my Fast attack was in Norfolk doing regular stuff, small northern runs and what-not.  We were 3 section duty and things weren't too bad, got to go home 2 nights out of 3 at 3-4 oclock.  But, our boat was sent to Portsmouth NH for a special overhaul called "DMP" (Depot Modernization PEriod), and I will never forget how tough it was.  Especially since I was a "Nub" or non-qual.  There was no day off anymore for about a year (13 months).  Maybe 1 day off a month, but we went almost 3 months one time without a day off.  We worked from 7 to 7 everyday except on Saturday and Sunday, sometimes we got to go home Sunday at 2 or so, Saturday maybe 4ish.  But if you weren't qualified, you stayed until 9 except on Sundays I think?  and on Sunday you stayed until 5 or so.  I, like many others, was almost at the end of my rope after 8 or so months of this.  And mind you, we were doing duty every 3 or 4 days, and a duty day in DMP was not like a normal Duty day...you might get 4 hours sleep if you were lucky.

Of course it can always be worse, but working 100 hour weeks for a below average command with no inspiration was the worst I have personally experienced.

But then we went back to Norfolk in 3-4 section duty rotation, I was now qualified, so went home at 3 or 4 everyday unless we went underway.  The weekends were now days off unless you had duty.  There was never any day-after-duty for us.  We then went on a 6 month med run, which was GREAT.  Got to see Israel, Italy, France....I went on leave during our upkeep in Italy and went across Europe.  So there was a somewhat happy ending for me.

If you get lucky enough to get a good comand, you will probably be ok anywhere, but things can always change on a dime in the military, because you lives are controlled by the whim of another who may or may not care about your quality of life.....and if they do care, they may have hands tied and can do nothing for you.  If you go in knowing this and don't have your expectations dashed, you will be all the better.  I had no idea what was in store for me and life was so unfair....*sob*

Fermi2

  • Guest
Re: Sub life
« Reply #24 on: Jul 29, 2006, 11:45 »
One quick correction. When I posted "This was typical on most SSNs" I meant the part concerning duty on the weekends. Also our duty sections tended to work their butts off.

Mike

 


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