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Offline mixon

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STA 21 program
« on: May 27, 2010, 01:02 »
I am currently in the Delayed Entry Program, and I am trying to figure out what my nuke pipeline is going to look like. I understand that if I do the STA 21 program it would start before prototype training and the specific universities i can attend. Only thing that I am confused about is some wording on the STA 21 website:

"The STA-21 Nuclear Option is available only at those specially identified universities, not including cross-town universities (see Education). Selectees must major in a technical curricula and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale."

What does "technical curricula" mean? Does this mean that I need to look into getting a Nuclear Engineering degree or something? I already have over 60 hours of college credits right now, and the nuke recruiter in my district said that I also earn some college credits while in Nuclear Power School.

tl;dr

what does technical curricula mean? (For instance, does a Business Administration degree count)
what type of hours are accumulated at NPS?
Has anyone else gone through the STA21 Program?
Other than going back to college, what else is apart of the STA21 program (other training, etc.)?

Offline MMM

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 01:29 »
First, you're assuming you get selected in the pipeline, which may or may not happen. I'm not saying don't apply, though, if you don't apply, you can't get selected.

Technical curricula means, I think, a couple semesters of calculus and calculus based physics, so, no, Business Administration doesn't cut it, unless you have those as electives. However, I have seen SWO-N officers with degrees in Classical Literature, or something like that (she was the REA on my ship), History, Political Science, Nutrition, but most often some sort of Engineering degree.

It looks like the website hasn't been updated for the three part SAT yet, so be careful about that. Here's a link to the actual instruction, you'll want chapter 8.

http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/01000%20Military%20Personnel%20Support/01-400%20Promotion%20and%20Advancement%20Programs/1420.%201B.pdf

Offline mixon

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 01:35 »
Thanks for that link. Would I have to retake the SAT? i made a 1250 or something on the two part when I was in high school. I'm 21 now.

Also, in the nuke pamphlet it says "automatically accepted" into the STA21 program...all i know is that they reserve X amount of spots for just nukes.

Offline crusemm

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 02:23 »
Technical Curricla= A technical degree program, e.g. Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, maybe Computer Science (not IT garbage, real Computer Science that needs math) or Astronomy. 

There is no "automatic" for STA-21. You have to apply and be accepted.  What they base acceptance on varies as you spend more time in the Navy.  At the point you are at, they will base it on High School performance and SAT's, plus whatever impression you make in the Sailorization process (Boot Camp, schools etc.)

College credits for service schools are determined by the granting institution and vary greatly.  Thomas Edison State College gives a lot of credit for Nuclear Power School and "A" school.  Texas A&M University gives little to no credit.  It depends on the university and the degree program.

Look deeply into the requirements for STA-21, and make sure you follow all of the application guidelines

Have A Day ;D
-Matt
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Offline Duchess

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 09:20 »
I went through the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP) which was discontinued when STA-21 started.  The STA-21 nuclear option is essentially NECP except that they get up to $10K/year for school and don't have to go to OCS.  I think it is a pretty big improvement.  I thought it was stupid to require NECP students to spend 3 years doing NROTC then have them go to OCS.  But to answer some of your questions...

Technical Curricula = Engineering Curriculum (Not Engineering Technology and not Industrial Engineering [I think Civil Engineering is out too but I can't remember]), Math, Physics, Chemistry.  Computer Science does not count as technical but Computer Engineering does.  Biology/physical/earth sciences are not considered technical.  Business Admin is not even close to technical.  Anything that has to do with finance is out the window...don't even think about it.  You can minor/dual major in anything you want as long as you show that you can graduate on time with the required degree.

Basically, the best bet to graduate in the alloted time is to get a Mechanical Engineering degree.  Most universities with large engineering programs (i.e. the schools STA-21 Nuc options are limited to) offer the required courses for ME in the fall and spring semesters and sometimes during the summer semester.  Some other majors will likely have required courses that you can only take in the spring or fall - that makes scheduling a nightmare, especially when you only have 2.5-3 years to finish school.

The number of course hours that you get from NPS varies greatly from school to school.  I only received half of my Physical Education requirement (3 credits) because of boot camp.  Everything I received from NPS was not applicable to my degree program (Geared toward Engineering Technology degree).  So, I actually got a ton of credits but most of them were worthless for my degree program.  The extra credits did give me advanced standing and allowed me to register for classes earlier than I would have without the credits.  That allowed me to actually get into many of the classes that I needed which may have otherwise been full.

NECP was advertised as a college program with little military involvement.  At some schools the NECP students only military obligation was random urinalysis and the PRT.  At many schools the NECP students were fully integrated into the NROTC battalion and did pretty much everything the NROTC students did except take Naval Science courses...I went to one of those schools.  STA-21 will probably be like that.  STA-21 will do everything the NROTC Midshipmen do but you will be called Officer Candidate.  STA-21 will take all of the required Naval Science courses and get commissioned by the NROTC Battalion instead of attending OCS.  There are substantial extra-curricular requirements in NROTC.  I averaged 15-20 hours/week doing random NROTC stuff (mostly on weekends) in addition to the weekly drills.

NECP was a good deal and I suppose STA-21 is as well (probably better with the 10K/year for school).  I didn't get a chance at the "real college experience" but that really isn't the point...is it?  The extra NROTC requirements and the accelerated degree plan helped me hone my time management skills and kept me from spending a lot of time/money on stupid crap.  I found time for beer and women but only a couple of nights/week.  My friends found time for them almost every night but they took 5 years to graduate and incurred incredible student loan debt.  I graduated debt free with enough GI bill left over to pay for an MS.  Since the Post 9/11 GI bill kicked in I have 12 more months of benefits if I want to pursue more education.  STA-21 students should have all of their GI Bill intact after school.  Which is pretty much awesome.

STA-21 is far from guaranteed.  Yes, there are some spots guaranteed for students in the pipeline but there are far more applicants than spots available.  It will be extremely competitive. If you want to get into the program then you will have to play the opposite game with your classmates.  When they are bullshitting in the classroom then you need to go to quiet study.  When they spend the weekend at the beach...you need to be in school studying.  When they are BS'ing between classes...you need to work on the days homework assignment so that you can spend the evening studying.  Your classmates will try to cram the night before a test but you will need to cram every night.  The same goes for prototype...get there an hour early and leave and hour later than required.  Minimize the time you spend BS'ing in the break room.  If you don't know how to study then make sure you really spend a lot of time learning how to study during A-school.  The best method for me was to read/ask questions until I understood.  Then write everything multiple times until I could repeat it verbatim.  Memorization won't work as well if you don't understand the concepts...there were quite a few thermodynamics exams where I would have done poorly because I forgot some equations.  But I used some memorized definitions and unit analysis to jog my memory and reverse engineer the right equation.  Do all of the practice problems that the instructors make available.

If you don't get selected during the training pipeline then just bust your ass in the fleet...same rules apply but you will have to be a lot more sociable.  It is hard to succeed in the fleet/prototype by completely insulating yourself.  You can get away with it to an extent in NPS because it is essentially an individual effort.  That being said...be sure to help others who are struggling and don't be an asshole.  Being an asshole doesn't help anything.




Offline MMM

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 10:27 »
In the instruction I posted, it lists what is considered a Technical Degree and Non-Technical Degree, not all of the Technical ones are Engineering. I think you can also go with the Math-Science Technical Degree.

Offline Duchess

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 11:43 »
In the instruction I posted, it lists what is considered a Technical Degree and Non-Technical Degree, not all of the Technical ones are Engineering. I think you can also go with the Math-Science Technical Degree.

It's pretty funny how they take the time to define Technical, Math-Science Technical, and Non-Technical majors then only use one definition for one educational requirement for one option.

The only two options that seem to have fixed requirements are CEC and Nuke.  The nuke option is the only option that actually uses a defined degree classification per the instruction (CEC is much more narrowly defined).  The nuke option looks like you can only take Technical Majors (since it doesn't specifically say Technical and Math-Science Technical majors). Do technical majors include the Technical Major and Math-Science Technical majors?  If so, why not just lump them all in under technical major since the Math-Science Technical major definition is referenced no where else in the instruction.  The only reason I can see for that delineation is to define the term Technical Major that is used in the education requirements for the nuclear option.  I guess it really just depends on how literally one interprets the instruction. 

Needless to say, it looks different than I remember and the instruction seems vague in places.  Make sure to ask a lot of questions...Good luck.

Offline JonK

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010, 10:58 »
I have yet to go to basic (leaving Wednesday), but I would like to add that it might also be beneficial to do some volunteer work during the nuke pipeline if you can find time. Anything to make yourself stand out from your peers in a good way always helps. Volunteering for leadership positions is another common suggestion to people wanting to become officers. If you don't get picked up in the pipeline then it wouldn't hurt you to take some classes when you have time to further boost your chances as well. I know men are automatic subvol when they sign that paper. Given current policy changes, women may end up becoming subvols as well. This is just what I have gathered from reading several different forum topics on the matter. I hope it helps.

One thing I haven't been able to understand about STA-21 is when exactly you have to apply to college. I've yet to see that explicitly stated. Is it before or after you submit your STA-21 packet? I'm not sure if I want to attempt to submit one or not while in pipeline. I'm waiting until I actually get in there and see what it is like before I go planning that far ahead, but I have been looking at STA-21 just in case. At any rate, best of luck on your application, Shipmate!


Offline Neutron_Herder

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2010, 03:55 »


There's no time to do volunteer work while you're in the pipeline.  At least not if you want to do it right.  Becoming a nuke, and then becoming a GOOD nuke is a full time job.

If you want to join to become an officer, then go to college and try the NUPOC program or OCS.  Don't enlist with the intention of becoming an officer. 

The best way to stand out from your peers is to have the best grade in the class...  Not to be middle of the road in grades with a bunch of volunteer crap on top of it.  Nukes are a different breed, and to be successful will take all of your time.

I know that right now the Nuclear Navy is on a big kick to make sure that nukes are a part of "Big Navy", but it really can't last much longer.  Eventually the people who actually understand the plant are going to retire, and all that's going to be left is a bunch of morons trying to figure out who's going to fix the plant around all of their collateral duties, volunteer work, etc....  That just means that the plant will be broke for longer because no one really knows how to fix it.  Enlist, learn your trade well, and be the one people call when something breaks.  It will be rewarded.


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Offline HydroDave63

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 06:07 »
I have yet to go to basic ... This is just what I have gathered from reading several different forum topics on the matter. I hope it helps.

Virtually everything you "gathered" from several topics was incorrect. How about leaving the advice to those who successfully made the STA-21 leap or are involved in officer programs?!? Bad advice is harmful and distracts the future reader from the correct answer.

Offline Fast Neutron

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2010, 09:27 »

There's no time to do volunteer work while you're in the pipeline.  At least not if you want to do it right.  Becoming a nuke, and then becoming a GOOD nuke is a full time job.

If you want to join to become an officer, then go to college and try the NUPOC program or OCS.  Don't enlist with the intention of becoming an officer. 

The best way to stand out from your peers is to have the best grade in the class...  Not to be middle of the road in grades with a bunch of volunteer crap on top of it.  Nukes are a different breed, and to be successful will take all of your time.

I know that right now the Nuclear Navy is on a big kick to make sure that nukes are a part of "Big Navy", but it really can't last much longer.  Eventually the people who actually understand the plant are going to retire, and all that's going to be left is a bunch of morons trying to figure out who's going to fix the plant around all of their collateral duties, volunteer work, etc....  That just means that the plant will be broke for longer because no one really knows how to fix it.  Enlist, learn your trade well, and be the one people call when something breaks.  It will be rewarded.




I'm here, and they have people dedicated to making enlisted people into officers.  It's their idea and intention to use officer programs as an incentive for enlisted people.  Don't feel bad about the idea of becoming an officer.  Further, they have sponsored volunteer events, and there are ribbons you can get and wear every day if you do it enough.  There is enough time despite the challenging pace of the curriculum.  You will figure it out when you get here.  Good luck in boot.

As far as I can tell, perform to serve is not making the navy dumber.  And most of the "fun" things you could do and get away with when many of the poster-s were going through the pipeline are now banned.  There can't possibly be a lower quality program in place now than there was when they were in.  I can tell there are fail-safes against everything here.  They know what mistakes students and instructors will make and are ready to prevent them.  Really, there can't be a a worse program now than when you old-timers were in, at least by modern standards.  They can't be replacing good people with bad people, not by your sea-stories.

Offline Duchess

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2010, 10:05 »
Quote
I would like to add that it might also be beneficial to do some volunteer work during the nuke pipeline if you can find time

I think this is wrong on two levels.

1.  This advice assumes that NR gives a crap about your extracurricular volunteer work.  My experience as a NUPOC recruiter has shown me that NR's major and primary concern is academic performance.  Intel/Aviation/Supply may be looking for well rounded people but NR wants to make sure you will succeed at NPS.  Therefore, they want to see superior academic performance.  So, anything you can do to increase your Academic/At Sea Nuclear performance will be looked upon more favorably than anything else in your package.  Actually, they will probably not care about anything else in your package (unless it's unfavorable).

This could be wrong if Nuclear STA-21 packages are screened by a bunch of different communities instead of Nukes/NR.  I'd put money on NR being the primary screening authority for the nuclear option.

2.  It sounds like they are really pushing the volunteer work at NPS (according to previous poster).  Remember, if you want STA-21 you will probably want to have a very high standing in your class...not just pass (a 2.5 will not get you an officer program).  You will probably have to study more to achieve the level of academic success required for an officer program. It will be much harder to achieve that academic performance if you are volunteering more than 1 or 2 hours per week.  If volunteering is important to you then fine, go with God.  You should probably be using your few free hours to work out instead (PFA Failure is one of those unfavorable things that NR will care about).  It's not going to get any easier in the fleet. You'll have more time to volunteer if you get to a shore duty with some free time.  I have volunteered and it is very rewarding...but only if you have the time.  You won't have the time in the pipeline or in the fleet (if you want to be good at your job or get into an officer program).  Also, I'm pretty sure that NR doesn't care if you have a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Being "Well Rounded" is great but I think it is often used as a crutch for people who are too lazy to be really good at one or two things.  So, they settle for being mediocre at a bunch of things.  You can focus on a few things and do well...it is a fallacy to think that you can spread your time between a dozen different projects and do well at all of them.

Quote
One thing I haven't been able to understand about STA-21 is when exactly you have to apply to college. I've yet to see that explicitly stated. Is it before or after you submit your STA-21 packet?

No one told me when to apply.  Maybe that has changed (it probably has since it sounds like the process is much more organized).  The command career counselor should be your guide but mine wasn't a lot of help.  I just figured out when I would have to start school and applied before the deadline.  You might have to apply before results come out.  After the results come out you could probably talk to the NROTC unit, they will talk to the admissions office to get your application fast tracked.  At least that is how it worked for me.  The school I went to had spots set aside for applicants in the NECP program.

Quote
I can tell there are fail-safes against everything here.  They know what mistakes students and instructors will make and are ready to prevent them.

I think that is why most "old timers" think power school is easier now.  The students were their own failsafe when I went through.  The students that made too many mistakes and didn't learn from them failed out.  The fail safes are due to an emphasis on low attrition.  The problem is that those "fail safes" don't exist in the fleet.

Offline JonK

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2010, 02:42 »
Virtually everything you "gathered" from several topics was incorrect. How about leaving the advice to those who successfully made the STA-21 leap or are involved in officer programs?!? Bad advice is harmful and distracts the future reader from the correct answer.
I would like to point out that I gathered it from someone who went through the STA-21 program from the nuclear pipeline on the military forums. People there seemed to agree it was good advice. I never claimed to have personal experience in the matter though. If my advice was incorrect then I'm sorry, but as I said, I got it from someone who got picked up in pipeline. Some of the information, I got from other threads on this site as well. You'd think someone would have pointed out that it was bad advice before now. :/   

Offline spekkio

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 09:06 »
I am currently in the Delayed Entry Program, and I am trying to figure out what my nuke pipeline is going to look like. I understand that if I do the STA 21 program it would start before prototype training and the specific universities i can attend. Only thing that I am confused about is some wording on the STA 21 website:

"The STA-21 Nuclear Option is available only at those specially identified universities, not including cross-town universities (see Education). Selectees must major in a technical curricula and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale."

What does "technical curricula" mean? Does this mean that I need to look into getting a Nuclear Engineering degree or something? I already have over 60 hours of college credits right now, and the nuke recruiter in my district said that I also earn some college credits while in Nuclear Power School.

tl;dr

what does technical curricula mean? (For instance, does a Business Administration degree count)
what type of hours are accumulated at NPS?
Has anyone else gone through the STA21 Program?
Other than going back to college, what else is apart of the STA21 program (other training, etc.)?

1) Recruiters like to play up your chances of going officer if you enlist. They are using a salesman's pitch. The easiest way to go officer is straight from civilian. There are a lot of nukes who are aware of the good deal STA-21 gives, so competition out of prototype is fierce. If you enlist, you should be prepared to spend your entire time in the Navy as an enlisted Sailor.

2) As for college credits, yes nuke school can offer some college credits in some universities. You are not universally going to get college credits everywhere by going to nuke school.

3) With 60 college credits, if you have 1 year of calculus and 1 year of calculus-based physics, you qualify for the NUPOC program. If officer is your ultimate goal, why aren't you applying for that?

4) STA-21 nuke requires you to graduate within 3 years, and you must choose a technical major. This also restricts the list of schools you can attend. I'm not saying STA-21 is a bad deal -- it's a great deal -- but be aware of these "quirks."

The way my buddies explained it, it seems like you apply for STA-21 and submit a preference list of schools you'd like to attend. The Navy then places you in one of them if you're accepted into the program.

Offline still_in

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #14 on: Jun 01, 2010, 07:34 »

4) STA-21 nuke requires you to graduate within 3 years, and you must choose a technical major. This also restricts the list of schools you can attend. I'm not saying STA-21 is a bad deal -- it's a great deal -- but be aware of these "quirks."

The way my buddies explained it, it seems like you apply for STA-21 and submit a preference list of schools you'd like to attend. The Navy then places you in one of them if you're accepted into the program.

When I was selected in '06 we were told to apply to several schools. Once you were accepted and had a working Degree Completion Plan your orders got cut to your choice of school.  To my knowledge there are no quotas or limits on how many applicants can attend a single school.  Its actually better for the NROTC units to have more people anyway.

Offline goobs22xx

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #15 on: Jun 20, 2010, 09:07 »
Right now, there is actually lots of time to volunteer while you're on T-Track due to the logjams in the pipeline. When I was at NSI (so I am someone who has been selected and not just passing on info) two months ago, a significant number of the students who were selected in the pipeline had the Volunteer ribbon because NNPTC allowed them to count hours that they did while on duty (instead of sweeping the building for 6 straight hours like we did). I hear that the new Master Chief cut that scam out, though, so who knows?

Does NR care? Probably not. I don't know how much pull the selection board has since NR has to "approve" all the selectees (or they prescreen them, I don't remember). However, it certainly doesn't hurt and if you're not selected, it will look good for whatever board you're up for later (Chief, LDO, CWO). The Navy desperately wants Nukes to play in the reindeer games but I don't know how far reaching those desires are.

As an aside, I'm still chuckling at the guy who knows everything about the history of the people in the nuke program based on his "experience" in nuke school and reading internet message boards. It is absolutely hysterical that you can insult generations of operators who have actually done something of significance. I do hope that you continue your trend of elitism and that your attitude "serves you well" in the future....

But seriously, you're screwed.

Offline HydroDave63

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #16 on: Jun 20, 2010, 08:53 »
  There can't possibly be a lower quality program in place now than there was when they were in.  I can tell there are fail-safes against everything here.  They know what mistakes students and instructors will make and are ready to prevent them. 

Kinda like exams on the Truman, right shipper?

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,22286.msg116145.html#msg116145

Offline jlloyd

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #17 on: Jul 08, 2010, 10:27 »
is it likely that you could get picked up for another program other than sta-21 while in the nuc school pipeline?

Offline DDMurray

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #18 on: Jul 10, 2010, 09:30 »
I don't think so, except for maybe OCS.  My son's ship out date was moved because he's putting in an OCS package.  My advice to him was to put in the package now because once he starts training, it will be more difficult.  I've seen a few nukes get OCS for Supply/Intel, but this was after they had some time on the "big pond" to demonstrate excellent performance outside of school (civilian and Navy).
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Offline MMM

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #19 on: Jul 10, 2010, 01:16 »
If your son has a degree already, which he has to if he's applying to OCS, he's not eligible for STA-21. If he doesn't have a degree, he can go for STA-21 or the USNA during the pipeline. Also, if you want to be a nuke officer, your school choices are even more limited than for anything else, except maybe nurse.

Offline DDMurray

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #20 on: Jul 10, 2010, 03:23 »
If your son has a degree already, which he has to if he's applying to OCS, he's not eligible for STA-21. If he doesn't have a degree, he can go for STA-21 or the USNA during the pipeline. Also, if you want to be a nuke officer, your school choices are even more limited than for anything else, except maybe nurse.

I was responding to jlloyd.  I'd forgotten about USNA. 
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Offline MMM

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #21 on: Jul 10, 2010, 03:28 »
There are fairly strict requirements for USNA, though. I think you have to be 25ish when you receive your commission, have no dependents and be sponsored by your Senator or Congressman, although in the navy, you can get sponsored by the SECNAV, I believe.

Offline jlloyd

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #22 on: Jul 11, 2010, 09:53 »
Thanks for the info but I apologize I meant to ask is it likely that you could get picked up for another option other than nuclear for sta-21 while in NUC school?

Offline MMM

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #23 on: Jul 11, 2010, 11:55 »
It depends. I know a few years ago the CO would give a crappy recommendation to anybody not wanting to stay in nuclear power, but he should be gone by now. Other than that I don't think it would be an issue. Remember you can only apply for two choices, Core and a specialty (i.e. Nuclear, SWO, Pilot, etc).

Offline jlloyd

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Re: STA 21 program
« Reply #24 on: Jul 11, 2010, 05:07 »
O ok thanks for clearing that up, I pretty much thought that who your CO is had a lot to do with something like that.

 


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