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Posted: 11/23/2003 9:20:13 AM EDT
Well since I've been such a slacker in college and since I'm out of money I'm enlisting in the Navy. Hopefully since I'll be competing with 18 year olds fresh out of high school, I'll have a huge advantage over them with my 4 years of nuclear engineering + physics. I'm hoping to be able to be at the top of my class and get picked up for the officers program right off the bat. Also I'll be able to transfer my credits from PSU and finish getting my degree in nuclear engineering from RPI while in the Navy's power school. So does anyone have any experience with enlisting in the Navy or in general? Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 3:21:43 PM EDT
im in the nuclear power program right now(enlisted)...pm me if youd like.

might also want to try Paul, he went through the program some years ago, he is currently a Master Chief. i can give you specifics here, but if you want real advice, Id ask him.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 3:48:56 PM EDT
once you enlist, it is difficult to get a commission. there is a college program where they pay you to attend school. then they have you fulfill some niche in the Navy. i think he was going to be a nuclear instructor.

good luck
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 4:03:27 PM EDT
yeah that is NUPOC, but you need like a 3.5 gpa to get into that.

Here is the scoop: my gpa is only average, I'm 2 semesters away from getting a B.S. in nuclear engineering from Penn State, however I am totally out of money and am pretty much burnt out. The recruiters here were telling me that I should enlist in the Navy. I can transfer my credits to RPI and finish my degree with the credits I need from the power school and maybe a couple other random classes. They also told me that if I had a B.S. in nuclear engineering and because of it was one of the top of the class, then the chances of getting a commission were like 95%. Now I just wanted to verify how accurate this info was. Also it'd be nice if you could describe to me what the power school is like, etc. Thanks!
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 7:00:49 PM EDT
Nuke field is the way to go as far as education and $$$.  If you have any dilusions of enlisting and then becoming an officer "right off the bat" forget it.  It'll take years.  Talk to an officer recruiter or go into the PSU NROTC unit and ask about BDCP (Bachelor Degree Completion Program, not the same as NUPOC).   Power school will keep you busy, it will be difficult to work on a degree at the same time.  
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 7:18:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/23/2003 7:19:46 PM EDT by MDC85]
wait...if you have a bachelors cant you just go to OCS and become an officer in the nuclear field?

dont let recruiters make false promises. i heard that if you go officer from their station they dont get to claim you as a number. this could be completely false, but just remember, if they recruit you as an enlisted nuke...YOU COUNT AS TWO NORMAL RECRUITS FOR THEM....i didnt learn this until after basic


if i was you id suck it up and find a way to finish your bachelors, just DO NOT get in debt, thats the #1 security clearance buster here
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 8:05:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SlimHazy:
Power school will keep you busy, it will be difficult to work on a degree at the same time.  



Well that's the thing, since the power school counts for 31 credits towards my degree (according to RPI's website), that plus one or two general classes should be more then enough to finish my degree.

I already have a decent amount of student loans and I don't want to have to borrow any more unless I really had to. The career path that the recruiters (one of whom was the officer's program recruiter, who works at the same place) were telling me about seemed very appealing.

Now my main questions are:
a) will I definately be able to get my B.S. in NucE from RPI while in the power school?
b) how would I go about becoming an officer (either commissioned or non-commissioned), and how long would it take?
c) if I can't become an offier right away (i.e. before my first assignment), what will I be in for as an enlisted submariner?
d) if I wanted to make the Navy my career and wanted to eventually become a sub captain, what would be the best way to persue this?
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 8:28:26 PM EDT
i cant give you specifics on your questions because i dont know them.

i however do know that while you are here you may apply for the USNA or the STA-21 program, which would both get you a commission as an officer in the Navy.

if you go in the nuke program as enlisted, you will either be a machinists mate(my field), electronics technician, electricians mate. the divide up is 50% MM, 30% EM, 20% ET...highest ASVAB usually go ET.

if you want to someday command your own sub, im pretty sure you HAVE to attend this school at some point. as of now three students here are commanders.

i dont think you understand what a NCO is...youll become an e-4 right after your first school(3-6 months), which makes you a non commissioned officer.

are you considering going to nuke school as enlisted and trying to finish your degree and make officer while in school? im a tad confused by your line of questioning
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 10:04:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MDC85:
are you considering going to nuke school as enlisted and trying to finish your degree and make officer while in school? im a tad confused by your line of questioning
View Quote


yes, exactly. what I want to do is finish my BS degree with the credits I get from the navy power school.
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 9:21:01 PM EDT
One of my best friends went in guaranteed nuke enlisted 6 year program (rent a crow), made it through power school and other schools (a helluva lot of schools), was an instructor, and now got chosen for OCS.  If you are interested in talking to him, give me a yell.  I almost guarantee he can answer any questions you might have.  He's a sharp cookie.

And he owns an AR. [:D]
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 10:46:27 PM EDT
that 95% chance of becoming an officer once enlisted is horseshit. you want the BDCP, that's the one i was thinking of. BUT you only want it if they do not make you enlist upon completion. if you want to become an officer, do NOT enlist first. once on active duty, it will be difficult to find the time to go to school and do too much more.

the whole thing about USN schools counting towards degree is also horseshit. BTDT. yeah, you get "credits" ... and all those "credits" do is promote you from freshman to sophmore or maybe junior standing. when i attended a real university, i had all these credits, but you couldn't get out of taking the course unless you talk to the professor, who basically gives you the final exam for the course.

get a loan, get a job, do something, but DON'T join the frikkin military and throw away your school. once you're in school, there is no other time better than now to get your degree. OH, and when a nuke on watch on the boat, you're spending 100% of your waking moments trying to qualify for different "Watches" or to get your SS (SubSurface warfare) qualification. you need this to advance.

i *was* going to be a nuke MM, but i ended up going "normal" ET. best move of my life. i ended up switching because on the "Truth" day or whatever it's called during basic, i realized that my recruiter had me lie about my traffic tickets when i joined the navy. they handed me these 5 oversized playing cards and said to "pick my future".

back to my first statement... i know a LOT of folks that applied for the NROTC program as enlisted folks. and a LOT were turned down. me, too. [:)] i was only a 4.0 sailor that scored maximum possible points on my E-5 exam. once enlisted, there are a few avenues to become a commissioned officer, but they are massively competitive. ECP, where you springboard from AA or AS degree to a full time (and full pay on active duty) "job" at NROTC "host" school. your job is to go to school. you keep your E4~E7 pay, but you pay for school.

you definitely need to talk to more navy people; people that aren't recruiters. go to the NROTC unit. if your school doesn't have one, go find one. find out how to talk to a sailor that IS a nuke MM or ET and talk to them about the job. ask for a tour of a sub. MUCH of this can be arranged. the recruiter should be able to do this for you, just make sure you tell him you expect to be able to talk to the guy privately without the recruiter there. or better still, for the recruiter to arrange everything and then not be there at all.

good luck. and, btw, thank you for considering service to our country, even if i think you should stay in school and possibly be of greater service to our nation in the private sector.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 7:34:13 AM EDT
im pretty sure they wont let civilians in a sub engine room...
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:54:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MDC85:
im pretty sure they wont let civilians in a sub engine room...
View Quote


i *know* that you can't get back there without TS clearance (or "need to know") but that's beside the point. he needs to at least spend an hour in the can. [:)] and talk to the people that live there, too.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:08:52 PM EDT
Advice on joining the Navy?

If you drop the soap, leave it!
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 6:19:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wsmc667:
Originally Posted By MDC85:
im pretty sure they wont let civilians in a sub engine room...
View Quote


i *know* that you can't get back there without TS clearance (or "need to know") but that's beside the point. he needs to at least spend an hour in the can. [:)] and talk to the people that live there, too.
View Quote


i went on some old WW2 diesel boat here in charleston a few months ago....talk about small!
but the submariners at the school say the space is alot better in SSN and SSBNs.
were you a submariner? im pretty interested in life on a sub(particularly SSBN) because i havent signed my sub vol yet and am still debating on what to do
Link Posted: 12/6/2003 10:08:00 PM EDT
Well after looking at RPI's website I think it would be way way too much trouble to try to transfer and finish my degree while in the power school. So, now my plan is to finish uni here and then enlist. After 4 years is up if it doesn't look like there is any chance of becoming an officer then I'll leave and then get a good civilian job with ease.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:58:51 AM EDT
Nukes sign a 6 year contract
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:58:09 PM EDT
Finish college!

GUT IT OUT!!

If I could roll back the clock, I would have gone to college and gone the Comissioned route.  Life is much better when your paygrade begins with an "O" then with an "E".
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:06:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MDC85:
Originally Posted By wsmc667:
Originally Posted By MDC85:
im pretty sure they wont let civilians in a sub engine room...
View Quote


i *know* that you can't get back there without TS clearance (or "need to know")
View Quote

View Quote


I've never been on anything but SSBN's. Not too much work for MT's (Actually old FTB) on SSN's.
The engine room is not TS, It's only Confidential. I try and stay out of there myself. Too hot and noisy for me.

As for enlisting, stick it out and finish school. If you still want to join, go officer.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:52:54 PM EDT
I'd love to go in as an officer, but the problem is that my gpa isn't good enough to get into NUPOC's stringent requirements. My gpa is only ~2.7 and they require like a 3.2 minimum to even be considered. Is there another way to get in as a nuke (or regular) officer that doesn't require as high of a gpa?
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 5:57:42 PM EDT
NUPOC is not the only way to go.  You can try BDCP, or stroll into your officer recruiter and ask about OCS.  Conventional Surface Line has different requirements that all the nuke programs, and you can apply for Surface Nuke once you're in the fleet.  It'll take longer, and you do risk not getting the nuke thing, but at most you'll owe 4 years, the same or shorter than most nuke enlistments.  
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 10:58:49 PM EDT
Well I think I would rather be an enlisted nuke on a sub, which is where I want to be, rather then an officer in something other then my field. My perceptions may be wrong though as I am still ignorant on the subject. Is it really that bad to be an enlistedman? The recruiters told me that the living conditions on a sub are pretty much the same for enlisted and officers unless you are one of the senior officers anyway, although I have no idea if this is true or not.

And again, since my gpa is not that good, the chances of starting out as an officer are pretty slim I think, realistically. How hard is it to get a comission once I am enlisted as a nuke, if I already have a degree?
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:37:36 AM EDT
do you not even read my replies? If you can just score decent (i know someone here who got a friggin 77) on your ASVAB, you can get in. USNA applicants from here last year got 100% admission, either to NAPS or USNA.
I don't know how officers live, but we have it VERY good here. I can share some pictures of my living quarters if you'd like...as much as I bitch, we live in a Hilton compared to the guys I know goin out for aircrew in Pensacola.
And don't even worry about boot camp, its a fuggin JOKE. The thing I hate the most here is the long hours. I go to school from 7-4 mon-fri on top of 4 study hours per night. I also usually put in 4 hours study saturday and sunday and 4 hours on holidays as well. Some folks can get by on 10 hours a WEEK while im pulling 26+ hours of study a week, just depends on who you are. I really can't answer your specifics on going to OCS from nuke school and then back to nuke school as an officer because I honestly have no idea. But if you want to go to USNA it is VERY likely youd get in from here, and the STA21 program got like 21% admission i think from here.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:04:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Delta_3_63:
Advice on joining the Navy?

If you drop the soap, leave it!
View Quote


OOOOOT !
P.S.  Learn to tread water.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 8:57:31 PM EDT
Damned Squids are everywhere on this board!

Can't say much about the Nuke program, but Naval Aviation is cool!  How do I know?  I'm one of those there Airedale Squids.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 7:24:34 AM EDT
the whole thing about USN schools counting towards degree is also horseshit. BTDT. yeah, you get "credits" ... and all those "credits" do is promote you from freshman to sophmore or maybe junior standing. when i attended a real university, i had all these credits, but you couldn't get out of taking the course unless you talk to the professor, who basically gives you the final exam for the course.
View Quote

Horseshit is an understatement, but I think you're a little overly optimistic on what real colleges will award in terms of actual college credit. In this region of the country (southwest), a student can generally expect six credit hours, sometimes eight, regardless of how many or what types of schools you've attended. You can beg, plead, grovel, yell, write your congressman, and you'll get six or eight hours (PE, health & wellness, and other mind-numbingly stupid courses).
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 3:50:32 PM EDT
Finish college!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did the six year Nuke tour and it was less than desirable.  I was lucky enough to get picked up as an instructor at prototype, so that slashed two years off my sea time.  Was on SSN660, USS Sandlance.  You probably shave with part of its hull in the morning (HY80 makes good razor blades from what I hear - haha).  Luckily (or not depending on your viewpoint), I landed a job at a commercial nuke.  I still deal with the same BS nuclear politics but it is a pretty decent paying job.

I also combined all the credits I could and along with a few CLEPS, DANTES and a few other credits, I was able to get an Associates Degree.  ANY SERVICEMEN WHO READ THIS TAKE NOTE:  Most of these tests are free to you.  Not many people advertise this, especially senior people, because this makes you marketable to the outside world; ie: you won't reenlist.  As I understand, it has gotten better, but when I was in, this stuff seemed to be top secret.  Get as much credit for your training and take as many of these tests as you can WHILE YOU ARE IN.  It is alot easier to access your records, and get credits, than working through the painfully slow VA record system.

Far be it from me to discourage me from anyone entering the service.  A small part of me believes this should be mandatory, but who wants to live in a socialist society.  I don't regret my decision.  I just ponder the alternatives (grass is always greener).

BTW, don't go into the Navy with a holier-than-thow attitude.  While it is likely true that you are more educated than most of the guys and girls out there, it would be much easier for you if you keep an attitude like that in check.  It won't be as easy as you think.  Put it to you this way - power school is like two years of full credit hours of college crammed into six months.  There are guys there for their 40 hours of training and on mandatory 40 hours study time after the fact.  If you were a slacker in college, it won't help you there.

And there is no guarantee that you will get an officers program so you may have to work with some of the people you train with, and even if you do get an officers program, remember that you will likely work with or have these people work for you and they will remember you.  Some of the best officers I worked for dove bilges with me during field day, and some of the worst never saw the bilge.  Being a good leader has much more to do with people skills than technical knowlege.  I believe that this is a major drawback to the military advancement system.  Many advance without "clue 1" on how to manage, motivate and lead people so they have to fall back on their rank and position to make things happen rather than appealing to peoples basic wants and needs and allowing them to make things happen for themselves.

My rather lengthy two cents.  Take out of it what you will.
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