I've been a member and avid reader of the nukeworker forums for a long time now and have a situation that I need some expert advice on, and yes I've used the search function many times
. I've recently gone back on a medication that I was on before the Navy which disqualifies me from maintaining a nuclear NEC (FYI I didn't go "sad"). I tried to submit a waiver to keep my NEC while staying on my medication which I was told by my Rad Health Officer and CRA would be disapproved. I will be on this medication for many years to come which eliminates the possibility of a waiver to regain my NEC. I have a little over 3 years left on my contract which leaves me with two decisions, to convert to a different rate and finish my contract or decline conversion and be separated due to the loss of my NEC with either an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
I'm afraid that if I convert to another rate and finish out my contract my value to prospective employers will decrease due to being out of the field for 3+ years. On the other hand, I'm worried about the consequences that not completing my contract would have in attaining a job. Furthermore, I'm married with a one year old daughter which throws medical insurance in the equation. I've also heard there is a possibility I will be required to payback a portion of my bonus. My question is will my job opportunities suffer more by getting out now instead of finishing my contract in another field? The thought of not being able to find a job with a comparable salary to provide for my family scares the crap out of me. But not continuing my career in the nuclear field that I love and have all my experience/education in doesn't sit well with me.
Here is a condensed version of my experience for background info:
6 years of service, Bachelor's of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology (Excelsior), active Top Secret w/SCI security clearance (expires May 2015), Primary Workcenter Supervisor (through 5 MTT's and ORSE), senior most Electrician in Reactor Training Staff, Drill Team Load Dispatcher, ORSE Load Dispatcher, was 75% complete with PPWS qual's when TLD was taken, and 2 NAM's (one for performance during ORSE as WCS and LD the other for rescue efforts after being hit by a tornado)
Thanks ahead of time for any advice.