# Navy Nukes and the Navy Nuclear Program

Updated on August 21, 2014

## The Navy Nuclear Power Program

Photo is of the USS George Washington (photo taken by US. Govt employee in the course of their duties and therefore public domain)

## Navy Nuclear Power School

### Navy Nuclear Power School, "Nerd Capital of the World"

U.S. Navy Nuke School

They come with IQs off the charts and ASVAB scores that number higher than their life expectancy, but that's what a 22-year-old needs to succeed when he's asked to run a nuclear power plant on a U.S. Navy warship

Gibberish. To the average "idiot," this talk is nothing more than gibberish: "Twenty k is 2R and 20k in parallel with 20k is 10k," says the man in a white lab coat, scribbling on a chalkboard as fast as he talks. Twenty-five students look on, seemingly absorbed. "To determine the voltage out we consider that the step is Vin over 3R, times one half to the N, times feedback resistance. N is equal to the number of nodes slash digits; therefore, the Vstep is equal to (Vin/3R)(1/2)n(RFB). Based on that, who knows what the step voltage is?"

A dozen hands go up. For these young men and women - students at the Naval Nuclear Power Command, Charleston, S.C. - the gibberish is decipherable; for them, digital to analog conversion is easy. They could do it in their sleep.

This is a great article about the Navy Nuclear Program and Navy Nukes. You can read the rest of it here: US Navy Nuke School

## US Navy Nuke, If You See Me Running, It's Already Too Late

### This is my most popular Nuke design.

We know that the Naval nuclear reactors we operate are some of the safest in the world, but your friends don't! Generate some interest among your friends with this hilarious shirt.

## Eligibility for Nuclear Power Program

### How to qualify for the Navy Nuclear Power Program

The Nuclear Power Program allows those who qualify to gain a solid understanding of science and technology as well as the ability and confidence to operate advanced nuclear propulsion plants around the world. Only the most qualified candidates are selected. Basic qualifications for the Navy Nuclear Power Program include the following:

U.S. citizenship;

High school diploma or college degree;

Successful completion of one year of high school or college algebra;

Qualifying scores on Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and an advanced placement test if necessary;

No older than 24 years on date of enlistment;

Meet physical standards;

Sound moral character.

Source: United States Navy

## Tell me about you! - Are you a service member? Do you have a loved one in the military? Veteran?

This isn't really a poll, maybe more of a survey. Take the survey and feel free to leave me a comment in my Guestbook about yourself or your loved one in the military.

See results

## Specialties in the Nuke Field

### EM, MM, & ET

Want to support your rate? Show your loyalty with these unique rate specific T-shirts!

## The Nuclear Training Pipeline--An Overview

### What you can expect in the Nuclear Power Program

Recruit Training, Great Lakes, IL

2 months

"A" School, Charleston, SC

Electronics Technician (ET) - 6 months

Electrician's Mate (EM) - 6 months

Machinist's Mate (MM) - 3 months

Nuclear Power School, Charleston, SC - 6 months

Math Review

Math (Algebra, Trig, Etc.)

Thermodynamics

Reactor Technology

Intro to Physics

Nuclear Physics

Metallurgy

Reactor Operations

Rate Instruction

Nuclear Prototype School,

Ballston Spa, NY or

Charleston, SC - 6 months

Nuclear Propulsion Systems

Nuclear Plant Operations

Qualifications

From Prototype some MMs will go to Engineering Lab Tech School or Nuclear Welder's School Program

From Prototype some will go to NROTC, Naval Academy or BOOST Program and then into the Officer Training Pipeline

The rest will go to a Nuclear Carrier or Submarine. They are assigned to the Engineering Department of a Nuclear Powered Carrier/Submarine for Nuclear Operations Advanced Qualifications and Training.

After 21 months of service and completion of training they are eligible for re-enlistment and up to a \$60,000 bonus.

Source: U.S. Government Publication

## What is a Nuke?

### According the the Urban Dictionary:

A definition of "Nuke" from the The Urban Dictionary

Nuke

A US sailor, either enlisted or commissioned officer, who has successfully finished the US Navy nuclear power pipeline and is qualified to operate the nuclear power plants aboard aircraft carriers or submarines.

Prospective nukes are subjected to intense scrutiny and higher standards of behavior and technical knowledge than your standard sailor. They are the elite of the elites.

Nukes often advance quickly through the ranks due to the amount and intensity of training they are subjected to while as a student.

Nuke school is widely considered to be one of the toughest schools offered in the military.

A: So, what do you do in the Navy?

B: I'm a nuke.

A: Wow.

B: (with much hubris) Yeah, it's tough being the best of the best.

## F.A.Q.

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for more Q & A in the comments section.

Question: What's the difference between them MM, EM, and ET rates? -Thanks to Nate's Mom

Answer: Machinist Mates (MM) are responsible for piping systems and turbines, and any other mechanical systems, if you know which way to turn a wrench you'll fit in here. Electricians Mates (EM) run the power distribution system and make sure the lights stay on all over the ship, if you like breakers and transformers, this is the rate for you. Last but certainly not least Electronics Technicians (ET) arguably the smartest of the Nukes, they control the reactor and the safety systems, if you're comfortable with circuits, wires, and control boards you'll be at home in this challenging rate. It should also be stated that you may not be able to choose your rate, you get an input but they may put you where ever your ASVAB score suggests you would preform the best. If you score especially high on the mechanical portion for example, you may ask for ET and get MM.

-Thanks go to my son for this answer

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Question: Are Nukes able to get off the ship in foreign ports or are they stuck on the ship? - a great question from Thinking of Nuke

Answer: While Nukes are always on a tighter duty rotation than the rest of the ship, and may get less days off than other rates, I never visited a port I didn't get a chance to see and thoroughly enjoy. - answered by Tahoehawk

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Question: My boyfriend is joining as Nuke, how much time will I be able to spend with him? How long will he be gone once he gets to his ship? Can I live with him on base? Will I have base access while he is out to sea? -driving questions from navygirlfriend89

Answer: Unfortunately during the pipeline, your boyfriend will have very little time off. It is very difficult on couples. Out to sea time varies greatly, deployment is 6-8 months long on average, but there will be several underways of different durations for a myriad of reasons. As a girlfriend you will not be able to live with him on base, however if you at any point get married, he will be able to move off base with you. Additionally you will not have base access as a girlfriend, as a wife you can receive a dependent ID and have base, Nex and commissary access. -These complex and important questions answered by ET3 B. L. Gay

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Question: Can anyone give my son advice on joining the Nuke field? -question from Craig

Answer: If he can get ET he will in all probability advance faster, and have better options at civilian plants should he so choose. The nuke field can be challenging, so he should be certain he wants to do it. Don't let your recruiter talk you into a job you don't like, look at all the facts and pick what works best for you. -comprehensively answered by Daniel, Kathy A Vines , and Derek

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Question: What can I expect going in as a Nuke? -Asked by FreeJayPatches

Answer: First, you will go to bootcamp, it can be tough, you would be well served to keep your head down and not stand out here. After bootcamp you will be assigned a job (Rating as its called) and go to A School, 6 months for EMs and ETs, 3 months for MMs. After that 6 months of power school and 6 months of prototype. Then to your first command. If you work hard and stay out of trouble this will be challenging but not overly so. -Thanks go to kathystauffervines, Steve, and Derek for the prompt replies.

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Question: How are the sections arranged in power school? -asked by Heather

Answer: The sections are arranged in a logical order, they lay a ground work with a math review, the add a knowledge of physics Thermodynamics and Chemistry, Materials, and Radcon, then move in to Reactor Principals, and your rate specific class covering what you'll need for your specific job. -Answer well covered by Wends and Derek

____________________________________________________________

Question: Is it normal to have to wait for an opening in the Nuke program? -from George Totherow

Answer: It isn't normal and I would absolutely question it. After talking with my son however, he had this happen. He was initially contracted as Advanced computer and electronics field, until they got the new numbers from his detailer. -Answered by ET2 McFarland, Derek, Kathy A. Vines, and input from my son.

____________________________________________________________

Thanks for all your great questions and helpful answers. Be sure to keep them coming and we'll get as many answered as possible.

## I'm a Navy Nuke. What's Your Superpower?

Yeah we know we're awesome. Let every one else know it too!

## Transitioning out of the Navy?

### Check out URS Energy and Construction

Are you a Nuke transitioning out of the Navy and looking for a civilian job? Here is the contact information for URS. Patricia tells me that what they are searching for in the Navy Nuke program is Electrical / Mechanical Repair Troubleshooters that can work in their Industrial Plants as Repair Specialists.

Patricia Neuhalfen, PHR

Six Sigma Black Belt

Recruiting Division

URS Energy and Construction

411 Hamilton Blvd, Suite 1810

Peoria, IL 61602

(309) 676-0699

(309) 621-3300 (Cell)

(309) 676-5068 ((Fax)

## Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division

### Looking for Transitioning Nuke EMs

Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division is looking to hire transitioning Navy Nuke EM's for Field Technician positions across the US. Interested applicants should send their resumes to pi.hr@mt.com you can also visit our website at www.mt.com for further information on open positions.

## Life Aboard an Ohio-Class Trident Submarine

### What can I expect while serving on a submarine?

A nuclear-powered Ohio-class Trident ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) (also known as a "Boomer") is one of the most modern and complex ships in the Navy. The largest of the submarine fleet, the SSBN has a crew of 15 officers and 148 enlisted men.

Each Trident sub has 14 nine-man, U-shaped bunkrooms, serving as the crew's main living and sleeping areas.

A closed-circuit television system shows prerecorded network programming, sports, and movies. The library can accommodate about eight people. The lounge is big enough for 15 crewmen. Physical fitness is still a priority and hydraulic weight equipment, pulleys, treadmills, rowing machines and stationary bikes are available. Excellent meals are served in a spacious dining facility.

Source: Government publication

## What is Power School like? - US Naval Nuclear Power Training Command

### Nukes are working hard and deserve your support!

There is the idea that Nukes have it easy, playing golf and eating dinner with the captain. We can lay that myth to rest. They are the first ones on the ship and the last ones off. Are you a proud Mom, Dad or Wife of a Navy Nuke? These guys and gals are working super hard to get through their training or they are working hard in the fleet.

## Navy Books - The Bluejackets' Manual

The Bluejackets' Manual is a popular book, written in 1902.

The Bluejacket's Manual

In 1902 when Lt. Ridley McLean first wrote this "sailor's bible," he described it as a manual for every person in the naval service. One hundred years later, it continues to serve as a primer for newly enlisted sailors and as a basic reference for all naval personnel--from seaman to admiral.

## My Heart Belongs to a Navy Nuke

### For the Wives, Sweethearts, and Doggies

Show your support for the Nuke who holds your heart with these beautiful T-shirts and gifts! Doggies love their Navy Nukes too you know.

## Navy Nuclear Power School

### Information on the Navy Nuclear Program

Are you thinking of joining the Navy in the nuclear program? Here's some information on Wikipedia that might help you make your decision.

--------------------------------------------------

"Naval Nuclear Power School is a nuclear engineering school operated by the U.S. Navy to train enlisted sailors, officers, and KAPL and Bettis civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance on surface ships and submarines in today's nuclear navy. Due to its depth and fast pace, it is regarded as one of the most difficult academic programs in the world rivaling nuclear programs at such universities as Harvard and MIT."

Naval Nuclear Power School

## Power and Light, For Nukes Working on Aircraft Carriers

### Available For All the Carriers

The airwing gets most of the credit, but lets be honest, its the Nukes who keep the lights on! Everyone on a ship thinks their job is the most important, but without the Nukes, the ship never leaves the pier! The nukes make the steam that powers everything on the ship.

## Got Zoomies?

### What are Zoomies?

What are Zoomies? Perhaps the Urban Dictionary can be of some help. "Slang for the invisible particles and energy emitted by radiation at Nuclear Power Plants. 'I picked up a lot of zoomies today at work. The little suckers are everywhere.'" Nukes are regularly tested for radiation to make sure they are within safety limits.

For all those proud Zoomie collectors, there are these cool T-shirts!

Not planning on joining the Navy anytime soon? Here's a sneak peek into the life the Navy leads.

## "Carrier" A Series on PBS

### Doesn't deal much with the Nukes but you can see what life on a carrier is like.

My husband and I watched all 10 hours of Carrier. We enjoyed it immensely as we were able to get a glimpse of what life will be like when our son joins the crew of a nuclear aircraft carrier as a Machinist's Mate.

It seems that a lot of it is about attitude. It is what you make of it, as are most things in life. Some of the crew were unhappy and thought they had made the wrong choice by joining the navy. Others loved their jobs and all the benefits that go with it. The separation from family and friends was hard on all of them. Some families and relationships couldn't stand the strain of separation while others seem to manage.

Near the end of the deployment they made a stop in Hawaii and those that wanted to participate could fly their spouses, parents and children out to the ship to cruise with them from Hawaii to San Diego, the home port. This is called the Tiger Cruise.

## Attack Submarines (SSN)

Attack submarines are smaller, but faster and more operationally flexible than the ballistic missile submarines. The stealth and versatility of attack submarines provide an opportunity to be involved in exciting military operations.

If you see an aircraft carrier group sent by the President to a hot spot around the globe, chances are a submarine is already there.

## Sailor's Bible (Leather Bound) - This is the Bible I sent with my son to basic training. A Bible is one of the few things they are allowed to bring with them.

HCSB Sailor's Bible

Horace Greeley, founding editor of the New York Tribune, said "it is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people."

## A Place For Navy Moms to Connect

### There's even a section for Nuke Moms.

Are you wondering what your son or daughter is in for now that they have joined the navy? Do you have questions about where they'll be going next, what you can send them, or what they can take with them? Maybe you are a long term Navy Mom and can answer these questions. There is a group for every type of Navy Mom that you can think of from submarine moms, frigate moms, aircraft carrier moms, and moms from every state. Check out Navy for Moms for information and support.
Visit Navy For Moms

Thank you for visiting my Navy Nukes page. For any clickouts, voting, comments left, or thumbs up awarded, I thank you! I hope you enjoyed reading about the Navy Nuclear Program. I love reading your comments in my guestbook!

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## Navy Nuke Feedback - I hope I've given you enough information on the Navy Nuclear program.

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• Tgoss1

2 years ago

My son just auto qualified for nuke with his asvab score.

My main question is what the real story is about need for navy nukes. The recruiter keeps telling us the navy ALWAYS needs them. But then I read things here about how kids are having to wait to get in and there are hundreds graduating the program. What is the real story TODAY?

My son still has 10 months till he turns 18 and another year of high school, but seriously looking at enlisting next month.

I see nobody has commented in almost 2 years. Is anyone still paying attention to this page?

• Braxton

4 years ago

Thank you for this amazing article!!!! I leave for basic training to be a navy nuke in about two months! I've had the same girlfriend all through high school. She is a great girl and I hope we make it through me being away.

• wrfip

4 years ago

• ourhomecc

4 years ago

What happens if you fail comps?

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

4 years ago

@anonymous: My understanding is that this fluctuates.

• LeeCLS

4 years ago

Great page! Im hoping to see more people from all nuke rates on here to help fill in any gaps on information (though there is a substantial amount here) and also give a true opinion of there experience in the nuke program. Once again, amazing page very informative for those reaching out for insight in what we do.

• LeeCLS

4 years ago

@anonymous: Right now the lowest SRB zone cap is 75k, and it doesn't matter whether your a smag or a real MM or any other nuke rate. In 2009 SPU's were getting 100k flat, the bonus amount all depends on timing, budget, your rank, and how long you want to re-enlist for. It's not a set amount.

• LeeCLS

4 years ago

@anonymous: It's based on budget not on rate, in 2009 Staff pick-ups were getting exactly 100k. Also based on rank and time in. But the lowest zone CAP is 75k right now for anyone.

• Doc_Holliday

5 years ago

Interesting lens. Loved it.

• seodress

5 years ago

Great one.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: A School is more of a rogue memorization. This was the hardest part for a lot of new nukes since you have to try to remember a lot of information word for word. This is the part where you learn how to learn effectively. After that the pipeline becomes more theory in Power school and hands on in prototype. So to answer your question there is a little of both, class if for putting out information mostly and after hours teachers are available for assistance.

• anonymous

5 years ago

You stated you can get up to \$60,000 in bonuses, but you can get up to a \$90,000 bonus if you're an ELT.

• anonymous

5 years ago

I understand that the Nuclear Program may be difficult, but is the A School similar to college, where what the professor says goes, or is it more like a strict High School setting, where the teacher is there to do a job, not share their opinion.

• Tahoehawk

5 years ago

@anonymous: You get a generic certificate of completion, not really worth anything. What you want to look at is your Smart transcript, it will keep track of all the schools you go to and is updated via Bupers online. It will take what you've done in the navy, such as Nuke school and convert it into estimated credits and course break downs as a college would look at them. It is however ultimately up to the school you wish to attend as to whether they accept your credits or not.

• mariacarbonara

5 years ago

Wow. Really interesting info on nukes that I knew nothing about before

• anonymous

5 years ago

Hey what's that certificate they give us at the end of all of that training? Anyone know of any companies looking to hire any navy nukes transitioning out of the navy?

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Are you saying that the people that are at basic, right now, will probably stay there until they can get enough to go to A school? My son is there, he left on the 1st of April. Would he graduate from boot camp and if so, what would he do if he has to stay there?

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Non Nukes like their jobs more (generally speaking) they seem to enjoy themselves on a day to day. I've posted above that I can't even remember how many nukes ive seen commit suicide, attempt it, or become an alcoholic, or severely depressed.... The work is hard, long hours and if you're the type of person that tends to be stressed out about stuff, it will not be a very good fit b/c you'll have a heart attack lol. I genuinely am not trying to be a hater, I just feel like there is a semi rosey picture about nukes, when in reality we hate our lives... Until we get out... Which becomes the time we reap the benefits by getting a great job..

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I do not envy you... I never want to see that school again! Here's some advice for you.

-In bootcamp, don't tell anyone you're a nuke (they'll likely make you work harder and stuff because they think its funny lol.. kind of messed up, but they pick on nukes)

-DONT be stupid about drinking.. go ahead and drink, but in the nuclear program they do noottt mess around, if you're underage and someone said they saw you drinking. you'll be kicked out.

-think like a zombie.. wake up. go to class. eat. study. sleep. repeat.

-DONT volunteer for submarine duty (they work way harder and longer)

-get stationed on the west coast if possible.. (its further from DC so less political BS to deal with)

-don't star reenlist... wait until your three year point, this will give you way more money, and allow you to go to shore duty without extending your contract for free.

-Go to college.. go to college.. go to college.. take CLEPS, and DSST exams... (actually suupperr easy and count as classes..

-don't think the Excelsior or Thomas Edison degrees are chump degrees.. I just finished mine, took the GMAT and applied to a top 20 MBA program and have an interview(meaning I'm a final candidate).. so, dream big.

Lastly, its not too late when you're in DEP.. if you change your mind, don't let the recruiter tell you you signed up so have to go.. until you're in bootcamp, its not too late :)

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I barely knew what a wrench was when they put me into the MM program.... It really just boils down to manning, and your scores... If you're INSANELY smart, you're an ET and have zero social skills(generally).. When I went through in 2006, MM was where the lower scores went, EMs were in the middle.. However, I believe the fleet is a little bit overmanned at EM, and undermanned at MM and ET...

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: DONT DO IT! In my entire career i've never met a person that swapped over to being a nuke... it may happen, but INCREDIBLY rare. Unless you are talking about being an officer, in that case he would need to be exceptionally better than his peers to be selected for the STA 21. If his asvab score is above 80, he should be able to be a nuke. don't fall for recruiters tricks, if they have certain billets to fill, they will try to fill them however possible.

On a side note, Nukes generally hate their lives... So that's something to think about. I can't even tell you how many people i've known to commit suicide, attempt suicide, or get really depressed and get out of the navy because of it. Just something to think about. As a parent, if you're able to pay for his college, you'll be serving him better by doing just that.

I don't mean to be a downer, but there are realities about the Nuke program that are often never told... Theres a reason they offer ridiculous reenlistment bonuses, it's not just because we're smart.. think about it like this; if every nuke enjoyed his job and stayed in, they wouldn't need to offer a lot of money to "persuade" you, they could just save their money.. they offer the bonuses because Nukes get out of the navy as fast as they can after reaching a ship.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Generally they don't like to let a nuke not be a nuke.. He'd likely have to finish his commission and negotiate the med school as a requirement for him to stay in. The majority(large percentage) of nuke junior officers get out after their sea tour, so he may just have to wait until then... However, with the military background, he'd have a favorable advantage to get accepted to a good school once he finishes with the navy.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

• anonymous

5 years ago

This is a great site with lots of good information. However, I do not see any mention of the brave individuals who work with the real nukes - the Navy weaponeers! I spent several years working on nuke weapons in the Navy during the Cold War. My weapon system (Mk 48) has since been decommissioned but it is a rewarding and very interesting career choice. Why isn't there more information about this specialty?

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: The school is so backed up that it's a waste recruiting nukes. Theres 600 people in line to go to prototype with around 300 graduating power school every 2 months. Indoc is getting so overloaded and can't class up enough people for A school that nukes have to stay at Boot Camp longer on hold because of the back up.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

@choosehappy: Thank you!

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

@anonymous: I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe a nuke will see this and have the answer for you.

• Vikki

5 years ago from US

I really didn't know anything about this program, but now I do. Really interesting and such a great resource page.

• anonymous

5 years ago

I'm curious, I have a relative that will soon graduate from this Nuclear program. His original plans were to go to medical school. How long will he have to serve in the nuclear field before he can be considered to go into the Navy medical school? Is it difficult/common for someone to graduate from this program and then go to medical school? He already obtained a B.S. in Biology while in the navy. He is currently an ensign. Is he "locked into" the nuclear field now while he's in the navy? Thanks

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I signed up as an MT and then switched over to nuke just last April. The nuke field is very full. We have holds lasting more than a couple months now. You are never guaranteed into the nuke field if you sign up for another rating so be wary.

• ManfromModesto LM

5 years ago

I knew it! They have ETs working for the Navy.

• Michey LM

5 years ago

come back to say Happy Valentine's Day to you and to people you love. All the Best!

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Rx Divisions are all under manned, and will stay this way for a really really long time.

Nukes don't really have compelling reasons to stay in with the jobs available afterwards.

• FastSecrets

5 years ago

Really good lens. keep it up!

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Hi George,

Your son needs to tell the recruiter to contact him when he can sign up specifically for Power School. It sounds to me like perhaps the recruiter is just trying to get a slot filled. Also, your son should contact other recruiters, and see what they say about allowing him to enlist for Nuclear Power School. If I was your son, I would do just that. Advise him not to hastily make a decision based on what only 1 recruiter says. In 1992, my oldest son contacted a recruiter 50 miles away, and SPECIFICALLY said that he would enlist only for Nuclear Power School. He was tested and met all requirements, and he signed his contract which guaranteed his chosen training (Nuclear Power). Two years later, my younger son, upon HS graduation, did exactly as his brother did, and was also tested and then he signed his contract which guaranteed his chosen training (Nuclear Power). My oldest is still serving in the Navy; his brother was discharged following an injury which disqualified him as being fit for ship duty. Both sons are doing very well. Both are very, very impressed with the Navy and the Nuclear Power Program. Your son will find a Navy recruiter that will "assist" him the way he is supposed to.

• sittonbull

5 years ago

Great information on the Navy and the Nuke program. Pretty amazing stuff!

• Nancy Tate Hellams

5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

I didn't know much about the Navy Nuclear Program so appreciate all this great information. Thank you.

• Michey LM

5 years ago

I come back to this lens to spread Angel dust....great info!

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Our son scored well also, and after MEPS he got paperwork for the Nuclear program showing he will be in the Nuclear program. I would get a second opinion.

Hope this helps.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

@anonymous: Thank you! I'm proud of him too!

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I did know a guy who considered Power School to be easy - but he also had both a college degree in Engineering and nearly an eidetic memory, he just didn't want to be an officer; perhaps wisely. Nuke Officers are some of the few people to make Nuke Enlisted impressed with workload. Sometimes.

To clarify on the process of it, as some people seemed a bit confused:

Two months of RTC

Six months of A-School

Small period of time on "T-Track" may be a week to several months.

Six months of Power School

Power School Hold - may not occur at all, may be two or four months.

Six Months of Prototype

This period of time often amounts to nearly two years.

At the first command, the "settling in," previous mentioned is the qualification process. There are series of watchstation qualifications that you have to complete, often taking about a year and a half pending on how well you take to them.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: No. Your son shouldn't do this. It's not standard - it's the unfortunate sign of a poor recruiter. At this point, the recruiter needs to be treated as a tool and nothing else - not a source of information, not a friend, not even a good sailor. He's not trying to get your son what he wants, he's just trying to meet his quota - if he denies it, he's either lying or too dumb to know that what is called "Meeting Mission" is just a quota.

What your son needs to do is walk away. If there are no other recruiters in the area, tell the recruiter to call back later when, and only when, the job he wants is available.

I don't see how there aren't spots available unless the training command is just that backed up - though he should be able to sign for later on, though it may be as far as October or November. Likely, the recruiter needs someone for this month and is trying to get a sign on without concern towards your son.

I also encourage your son to think about the decision. Being a nuke is quite stressful. It's long hours - underway on a ship, 120 hour work weeks are not unheard of. The job satisfication, however is wonderful.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

@anonymous: Thanks for posting this here! Transitioning Nuke EMs this is for you!

• anonymous

5 years ago

Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division is looking to hire transitioning Navy Nuke EM's for Field Technician positions across the US. Interested applicants should send their resumes to pi.hr@mt.com you can also visit our website at www.mt.com for further information on open positions.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I have to agree. After his ASVAB test he was told they wanted him to be a Nuke. He waited 9 months for an opening at SC.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: Our son left on Jan 15th for RTC and is also going to SC, so i'm sure they are in this together.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I would not trust that recruiter. If there is an opening for Navy Nuclear Program, he will get it if he qualified. However, sending him to a completely different A school in another field will make it VERY difficult to request another school. My son qualified for Navy Nuclear Program and went straight in. Our Recruiter said there is several opening in that program because it is so hard to qualify, as well as keeping Nukes on active duty because they can make a very good living as a civilian.

• anonymous

5 years ago

This is an awesome Website! My son, Zepplin is currently completing RTC, then going to Charleston, SC to begin his Nucluear Training. I AM SOOO PROUD!!

• anonymous

5 years ago

@anonymous: I'd tell them that you aren't going to join without a school guaranteed. If he can get another good non-nuke school like Electronics Tech, go for it.

• anonymous

5 years ago

@Dianne Loomos: We were told you have to sign with the Navy in another field - then get your Nuke contract later before going to boot camp.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

@anonymous: I'm surprised that he would have to wait for an opening. It's my understanding that they are shorthanded in the nuclear department. Also the recruiter gets a double bonus for signing a nuke. At least that used to be true. Maybe a recruiter or someone with more knowledge will check in here and answer your question.

• anonymous

5 years ago

My son is looking to join the Navy and wants to be part of the Navy Nuclear Program. His recruiter is telling him that he has scored well and qualifies for Nuclear - but he has to join the Navy and sign up for another position then wait to see if there is an opening in Nuclear. There is no promise of acceptance into the Nuclear program before commitment to the Navy. Is this standard? Have others heard the same and were qualified for Nuclear but told they could not sign in as Nuke immediately?

• norma-holt

5 years ago

A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

5 years ago

5 years ago

As a Navy Nuke out of the 1970s, I see that this program is a challenging today as it was in the 1970s. No point in my writing a Lens about the programs benefits, as this is very good. I do plan to write about my personal experiences. Perhaps you will follow me so you can see what that Lens is done. Nice job on this.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: I'm with you! Glad to hear their deployment is over.

• anonymous

6 years ago

My son returns from deployment in the next few weeks. He is an ELT on a fast attack sub. Bless him and his crew for a job well done!

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: I'm an ex-Nuke EM1(SS), with 11 years in. I can attest that I ONLY produce boys. I also absorbed less radiation in my time on board than you did on shore.

• AstroGremlin

6 years ago

I think you missed a few key details about the Navy Nuclear program. I'm kidding! Talk about a comprehensive lens. Thank your son for his service. Re: a life after being a nuke, Jimmy Carter seemed to make it work.

• Tony Bonura

6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

Very, very interesting. Thanks for all the great information. I'll still not get on anything but a bass boat or a bateaux in a river or calm lake, not matter how big. I get sea sick too easily. I had to learn that the hard way, of course. I do have great respect for those who are crazy enough to get on them and serve our country.

TonyB

• anonymous

6 years ago

I actually have a plethora of family in the Navy. Of all the males in my family for the last 5 or more generations, seems my father and I are the only ones that did not serve. We both tried. He enlisted too young and my career got in the way in my case.

• athrunzala

6 years ago

these are so coool stuffs

• TheJVilleKid

6 years ago

I watched the video on Power School....WOW, what a change! My last tour in the Navy was in Charleston as an Instructor at the first Prototype there. The school part of prototype was on a barge next to the floating prototype. Glad they made the conditions there a lot better than they were!

• norma-holt

6 years ago

Back with a fresh blessing and to feature on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Aircraft and Aviation in Motion. Hugs

• steph-naylor

6 years ago

This Lens was just what I was looking for! Thanks for the useful info!

• anonymous

6 years ago

thank you for this!!!!

• RuralFloridaLiving

6 years ago

Tons of information here - Thanks from a military family where everyone I can name was in the military; husband, kids, nieces, nephews, in-laws, aunts, uncles, etc, etc.

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: That's actually a common misconception. while there are statistics suggesting this phenomenon, just because you have an outcome does not mean you can determine a finite causality. other studies in this area have found correlations to stress levels and production of X chromosome sperm cells. while you didn't directly say radiation was the cause, it was implied. it just kills me to see nuclear radiation rumors and propaganda spread like wildfire.

• anonymous

6 years ago

You sure have, thank you! What a great lens :) USA

• shreeve21

6 years ago

i am trying very hard to qualify for the NUPOC program, I would LOVE to tech future nukes! Great lens!

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: I just returned from my sons graduaton in sc.. was beautiful so proud of him and you are right .. all about the attitude..

• anonymous

6 years ago

I was a nuke EM back in the mid 70's - I ended my Navy career (after 8 years of service) in late '81 and went to work for an electric utility as a Plant Equipment Operator at a Gas Turbine Combined Cycle power plant. I never felt the need to be an operator at a civilian nuke plant. Physics is physics - only thing different is the heat source...and NRC oversight. Congrats to those who stick it out. There is life after the USN and jobs are waiting unfilled in many generating plants...so many of us old dudes ready to retire soon.

• Peggy Hazelwood

6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

Wow, very comprehensive! Thanks to your son for being a Navy Nuke!

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@kathystauffervines: Thank you!

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: As a machinest mate I made E6 in 5 years. If you work hard, keep out of trouble, and have the go get it attitude you can make rate very fast in all three; you have to want it worse than the rest of the guys. The important thing is to figure out what you will enjoy the best, because if you love your job then it will show in all areas of your work and therefore evals.

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: two sons and a daughter here

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: If you have specific questions, please post and you will probably get some answers. In general, boot camp is boot camp and you will catch some extra crap for being a nuke, but mental games is what boot is about so don't sweat that part. When you start your A school, try to pay attention. This was the easiest school of the bunch but you need this information more than a year down the road and you will have plenty of time to forget it as you study thermodynamics and rx. physics. Hint on power school .. DO NOT get behind. You have 7 hours of lecture every day so if you get behind today you will be sinking tomorrow. We call the second 3 months of power school "the dark side" because it is dark when you show up and it is dark when you leave. There were a few weeks I spent over 100 hours in one of two classrooms. Once you make it out of power school, prototype is a little easier. You will go through a classroom phase when you get there learning the specifics of the reactor system you are working on then go to the plant phase where you stand watch. My hint here is to make sure you learn your classroom phase well because it will bite you in the butt when you get in the plant if you don't learn it and just cram enough for the system checkout. I worked hard and was the top MM in my class so I was able to stay at prototype and teach for a couple of years before going to the fleet .. best time I had while in Navy. Once you hit the ship, it is basically a repeat of prototype with a classroom phase followed by qualifying all the specific watch stations. As a MM that was about 5, depending on weather you go primary (Reactor Mechanical) or secondary (support systems, propulsion, and electrical generation) side. After you stand an ORSE (Operational Reactor Safegards Exam) you will qualify CRW (chief reactor watch) or its equivilant on the secondary side. After you have stood an ORSE as CRW and are deemed ready you will begin your quals for EWS (Engineering Watch Supervisor). To reach this point you will have to do probably 6 or 8 years and make rate (think rank) quickly. Hope this helps and is still accurate since I did all this in the late 80's and early 90's

• Bob Zau

6 years ago

Another great lens stargazer00

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: Thank you!

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: Good to know. Thanks!

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: I'd just like to profess that this statement is quite false. In my plethora of years doing this job, I have had many, many shipmates who've had healthy baby boys. One of them, an MM1 with 15 years in, has six boys - his wife and him are dancing for joy because they've /finally/ had a baby girl!

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: Yup, there sure is!

I'm an ET1, doing this job for 12 years now. The sections that we take during Power School are there to better inform us how nuclear power actually works, so we develop an understanding of what forces we're actually dealing with when we stand watch and operate our plants.

Math is necessary to understand the concepts of rate calculations (it's actually calc that we get to), so the determination of startup rate (which is used heavily in reactor physics and kinetics equations and theory) isn't a complete mystery. Thermodynamics teaches us how the pressurized water reactor truly functions, how heat is managed and generated, how we can operate at the temperatures we operate at without boiling every ounce of water in the core, what 'saturated' vs. 'subcooled' and 'superheated' actually mean, etc. Physics is nuclear physics - we learn the means by which different particles react with matter, how different energy stages and bound energy levels affect the ionization probability of different atoms, etc.

All in all, it's a 'welcome to how nuclear power works' course that teaches the fundamentals of reactor theory and why we operate as we operate. :)

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: MM2, Yes, this is a rate with a very difficult school and they do work long hours. First on the ship, last off. The mechanics that wash out of Power School, if they become traditional mechanics, will do very well.

I don't know anything about the stats on non judicial punishment so I can't address that.

You're right that it's a challenging program and it's not for everyone, but there are some great rewards too.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: Heather, I really don't know. Sorry! Hoping someone will chime in and let you know.

• anonymous

6 years ago

My son is getting ready to start Power School. He is an MM. Is there any logic to the sections they are in during Power School?

• anonymous

6 years ago

Great view into the prestige and glamorous side of the navy nuke's life. I just want to add a little info to highlight reel. The life of a navy nuke isn't as wonderful as you made it sound. You forgot to mention working 120 hours a week. That we are held to the highest standard of any military member in world. Because of this 12% of nukes receive non judicial punishment in their first 2years of service. You also fail to mention that the school has a drop out rate of over 30%. Not trying to bash your very informative page but this school is not for the faint of heart. The rewards that nukes receive and to be where they are in no way reflect the sacrifices made to get there. There are some amazing joys to being a navy nuke as this page suggests. I however strongly caution anyone who thinks this will be easy. No one ever looks back on naval nuclear power school as says "wow, that was easy". If you're up for the challenge of your life and willing to give the very soul from your body to prove you can achieve the greatness that is a navy nuke? Then go for it. I did and I have no regrets but you couldn't pay me enough to go through that again.

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@KimGiancaterino: I'm glad to hear your nephew is having a positive experience. The Navy can be a great stepping stone for getting started in life. Yes, the downside is that we miss them!

• KimGiancaterino

6 years ago

My nephew joined the Navy a year ago. It has been a positive experience in so many ways, even though we miss him terribly.

• kathystauffervines

6 years ago

@anonymous: James, I am so sorry about the delay. Their ship had left for deployment on 11 March, and I did not forward this to my son until recently, when I began to get news and such from him. I know that the start of a deployment is so busy. Here is his response to your very important questions: BEST OF LUCK TO YOU! I KNOW YOU WILL DO Well!

"Below is a brief description of what to look forward to. He should ask his recruiter to give him the phone number/email of the Nuke Recruiter for his district who will be able to answer specific questions.

-Following recruit training, he will be sent to Charleston, SC for one of three ratings within nuclear power. These are Electronics Technician (ET), Electricianâs Mate (EM) or Machinistâs Mate (MM). He can submit his preference in choice order, the counselor at recruit training will make the final assignment to which rate based on his desires and needs of the program. These are called âAâ schools and vary in length.

-ETâs primarily work on reactor control systems, detectors, monitoring devices and perform the many maintenance requirements necessary to ensure safe operation of our nuclear reactors. They stand watch in the Enclosed Operating Space and control certain parameters on the reactor themselves. The training school for this rate is 6 months.

-EMâs primarily work on electrical distribution systems, backup power systems, electrical generators, switches, motor controllers, motors and other monitoring equipment. They rove the reactor control spaces and engine rooms, as well as control the distribution of electrical load throughout the ship. The training for this rate is about 4 months.

-MMâs primarily work on mechanical systems, pumps, valves, compressors, heat exchangers, main propulsion units and electrical generators. They stand watch in the engine rooms to maintain and control all of the above equipment to support the reactor plant and steam plant systems. The training for this rate is about 3 months.

-Following âAâ school, he will attend Nuclear Power School where several subjects are learned in rapid fashion. 2 years of college-level material are learned in 6 months. Such topics as thermodynamics, reactor physics, mechanical and electrical theory are learned.

-Following Nuclear Power School, he will attend a prototype training unit in either Charleston or New York. Here he will take what he learned in âAâ school and Nuclear Power School and apply it hands-on while operating under the instruction of a trained operator. This course lasts 6 months.

-Once complete with the training unit, he will receive orders to a submarine (if qualified and volunteered for it) or an aircraft carrier. He will be able to submit his preference of coast or shore base, the detailer will attempt to match the desires of the member and the needs of the Navy.

Ok, this should answer a good portion of training pipeline questions. There are many variables. My advice is to focus on the schooling and training at this time. All three milestones must be met in order to be fully qualified and assigned to a nuclear powered vessel."

MMCM(SW) Ron Thames

Engineering LCPO

USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65)

J-6626/H-5003

757-445-6381 (Office)

757-513-6043 (Cell)

• anonymous

6 years ago

@anonymous: Hello James,

I am so sorry not to have contacted you sooner. My son is out-to-sea, and I just forwarded him your questions a few minutes ago. He is prompt....and I am sure I will be forwarding to you some answers very soon. By the way, both of my sons totally enjoyed nuke school. Much studying, though!!!!! I hope you will come back to this site and let us know how Nuke School is going when the time comes!

• FreeJayPatches

6 years ago

@Dianne Loomos: Thank you for the quick reply! I was just wondering about things one can expect going in and I guess things to watch out for. If you don't mind me asking, has he gone to his first command yet?

• AUTHOR

Dianne Loomos

6 years ago

@anonymous: I'm not sure what kind of information you are looking for. If you will post some specific questions I'll try to get hold of my son to answer them for you. Thanks for reading!

• anonymous

6 years ago

I am a nuke in DEP waiting to leave in December and was wondering if I can get general information about what I can expect from either you or your son. I've been trying to get a hold of my cousin but he hasn't really been a guy to talk to family. Any help would be appreciated

• aksaini007

6 years ago

Thanks so much for this post. There is very good and helpful information in this post. Keep up the good work.

Regards:

placement training

• Michey LM

6 years ago

Just come back to spread Angel dust on this lens for a proud Navy Mom.

• MelonyVaughan

6 years ago

Great information and a very-well written lens!

• Cauger

6 years ago

Love the lens. I am a former Navy Nuke.

• CCGAL

6 years ago

Proud to have been Civil Service at MINS 1984-1991. Only regret, besides the shut down, was not getting my clearance in time to board Nautilus before she left for Groton. I am sooooo gonna get back there to see her before I die. Love this lens.

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