First off, I would like to introduce myself. I am a masters student pursuing my degree in Engineering Management with one semester left. I got my undergrad in Chemical Engineering with about a 3.6 GPA. My passions are business and engineering, particularly in the nuclear field as I find the prospects of gen IV powerplants to have enormous potential. I am highly interested in the NUPOC program and already have everything submitted and am waiting on an interview but questions still remain... I was hoping some people on the forums could help me out. I apologize in advance for the wall of text.
1. Could someone give me a no bull **** description of what it is like being a nuclear trained officer. I have read some very unappealing things on the internet about the program but I dont know if these are from voluntolds or malcontents that somehow made it into the program or legitimate candidates who wanted to be in the program. I dont want to be part of a workplace culture that will sacrifice integrity. This blog (http://blog.electdave.org/2009/12/31/should-you-join-the-nuclear-navy-nupoc/
) gave me some pause as did some of the comments on "The Stupid Shall Be Punished"
2. I was told by someone that had gone through the program that "everybody regrets joining at some point when they are on the sub" when I asked him if he ever wished he wouldnt have joined. But he also said he appreciated it later. Is it always bad for everyone?
3. I had a friend who went in during undergrad that had a higher GPA by .1 or .2 than me and was a pretty sharp guy (book wise at least). However he never PTed and never seemed to have a passion for Nuclear stuff. For a long time he couldnt even tell me what kind of reactor a sub used (which I found on wikipedia). However he said he was working as hard and as diligently as he could in prototype. He recently failed out of prototype and is being reassigned to a new community... should this worry me? I have talked to guys who were non-technical majors who made it though but that was several years ago in the program and they were academy guys which apparently is a little different. I just never expected my friend to fail out considering how good his grades were in Chemical Engineering.
4. Have you legitimately made life long friends in the program? The brotherhood aspect of the program is very appealing to me.
5. If you could improve just one thing about the nuclear/sub program what would it be?
6. Do you feel like you actually served your country during your time in?
6. Any particularly insightful knowledge of the future of the civilian nuclear power industry? As I said before the prospects of gen IV nuclear power plants interests me greatly but the rising construction costs and extremely complicated permitting process give me pause. It just always seemed strange to me that France and Japan could build nuclear power plants on reasonable schedules and cost effectively but the U.S. cannot. That is one thing that drew me to NUPOC. It is one of the few areas in which the military seems to be on par or even a leg up on their civilian counterparts... but I could be wrong. The impressive safety record and impressive innovation demonstrated when the program was created impressed me the most.
7. Related to the question above... I have seen the civilian job prospects for former enlisted detailed on this site but could someone tell me more about the opportunities for a Nuclear Sub Officer?