Register to reply

So I joined the Navy to be a Nuke.

by physicscrap
Tags: joined, navy, nuke
Share this thread:
physicscrap
#1
Jan28-08, 08:34 PM
P: 49
I just joined the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. I was in college before majoring in Nanotechnology. I had failed calc III (lazy) and was feeling out of place. I had so many options in my face that I didn't feel like I could dedicate myself to something. I am fascinated in physics, neuroscience, nanotechnology, etc...

I suppose being entered into this program will allow me to not worry on nonsense and follow orders. Since thinking for myself allows too many roads to *think* about traveling. Nuclear fission is cool and all so I believe it will be an interesting time in my life. I have researched the life of a Navy Nuke and realized it isn't all I thought it would be.

To tell you the truth... The only reason why I slacked in college is because nothing was challenging. Sure, the math was hard. But I never got to discuss anything in person with a professor. Everything was too general. I wish I could be working in a MIT lab right now doing complex quark research or something that fascinates me.

But anyways, yea I joined as a Nuke.

Discuss.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Hoverbike drone project for air transport takes off
Earlier Stone Age artifacts found in Northern Cape of South Africa
Study reveals new characteristics of complex oxide surfaces
theCandyman
#2
Jan28-08, 09:13 PM
P: 395
Self motivation is very important. Even if you are given orders to do something, it won't make the task any easier to accomplish. Doing some of your own research that applies to what you're learning is a good way to keep motivated and gives you the opportunity to get a more specific education. College is mostly what you make of it.

A general education is given so that after completing a course of study, you have a broad sense of your field. There's no way you could learn a little bit of everything and call that an education.

Another point, you probably won't be working in a lab unless you are near the top of your class. If you don't end up in a lab, you'll have to do another couple years learning to operate the nuclear reactors on submarines and ships and then spend another couple years doing that out at sea.
Integral
#3
Jan29-08, 05:11 AM
Mentor
Integral's Avatar
P: 7,315
The Navy, cannot and will not make you a Nuclear engineer. You will be qualified as an OPERATOR, this is a long ways from an engineer. You will learn how to operate a nuclear reactor, you will NOT be taught how to DESIGN a reactor.

The school is very challenging, but even getting to calc III means you have more then enough math to get you through the Navy schools. Good luck. (Request aircraft carriers, bubble-heads are forever changed!)

On an aircraft carrier you get to see the world, on a sub you get to see the inside of a submarine.

stewartcs
#4
Jan29-08, 08:15 AM
Sci Advisor
stewartcs's Avatar
P: 2,283
So I joined the Navy to be a Nuke.

Quote Quote by physicscrap View Post
I just joined the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. I was in college before majoring in Nanotechnology. I had failed calc III (lazy) and was feeling out of place. I had so many options in my face that I didn't feel like I could dedicate myself to something. I am fascinated in physics, neuroscience, nanotechnology, etc...
I hope you realize the irony in this statement...because you just seriously dedicated yourself for the next 6 years!


Quote Quote by physicscrap View Post
I suppose being entered into this program will allow me to not worry on nonsense and follow orders. Since thinking for myself allows too many roads to *think* about traveling. Nuclear fission is cool and all so I believe it will be an interesting time in my life. I have researched the life of a Navy Nuke and realized it isn't all I thought it would be.
Sounds like you got the cart before the horse. Probably would have been better to do the research first before committing. The good news is until you swear in the second time at MEPS, you can still get out. Although the Navy won't tell you this and will try to get you not to do it, you still can.


Quote Quote by physicscrap View Post
To tell you the truth... The only reason why I slacked in college is because nothing was challenging. Sure, the math was hard. But I never got to discuss anything in person with a professor. Everything was too general. I wish I could be working in a MIT lab right now doing complex quark research or something that fascinates me.
That sounds like a typical excuse..."it wasn't challenging enough so I failed at what I was doing". Sounds like you weren't motivated enough instead. That may sound a bit harsh, but get used to it, those Navy guys don't pull too many punches!


CS
russ_watters
#5
Jan29-08, 05:22 PM
Mentor
P: 22,234
Quote Quote by Integral View Post
The Navy, cannot and will not make you a Nuclear engineer.
Caveat: unless you are to become an officer, in which case the navy can pay for and engineering college.
turbo
#6
Jan29-08, 06:42 PM
PF Gold
turbo's Avatar
P: 7,363
I was recruited by General Physics Corp as their prime talent in Pulp (4 years as a process chemist in a new Kraft pulp mill) and Paper (6 years as lead operator on the world's most advanced on-line coated and calendered fine-paper machine) when they decided to start a division concentrated on training/consulting to that industry. The crew that they assembled for that start-up division was almost entirely drawn from the Navy nuke sub service. VERY sharp, level-headed guys with multiple skill-sets, steady personalities, and can-do attitudes. I have never before or since worked with a staff that I could trust as implicitly.

If you can take advantage of the Navy training and use it to your advantage, it will make you pretty darned employable, especially if you go into subs. In the sub service, you'll have to take on a lot of extra training and duties (no substitutes if another crew-member gets sick or dies) and you'll have to be pretty darned stable and strong, emotionally. Those are pretty positive qualities when you're looking for work after your military service. BTW, if you are looking for work after a successful career in subs, contact GP - they LOVE hiring ex-sub-service vets.
delta_moment
#7
Jan30-08, 06:30 AM
P: 24
Quote Quote by physicscrap View Post
I just joined the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. I was in college before majoring in Nanotechnology. I had failed calc III (lazy) and was feeling out of place. I had so many options in my face that I didn't feel like I could dedicate myself to something. I am fascinated in physics, neuroscience, nanotechnology, etc...

I suppose being entered into this program will allow me to not worry on nonsense and follow orders. Since thinking for myself allows too many roads to *think* about traveling. Nuclear fission is cool and all so I believe it will be an interesting time in my life. I have researched the life of a Navy Nuke and realized it isn't all I thought it would be.

To tell you the truth... The only reason why I slacked in college is because nothing was challenging. Sure, the math was hard. But I never got to discuss anything in person with a professor. Everything was too general. I wish I could be working in a MIT lab right now doing complex quark research or something that fascinates me.

But anyways, yea I joined as a Nuke.

Discuss.
Yeah, the nano-threading would have been my choice. What with so many new interests.

As, far as Navy Nuclear Engineering, I've awared myself of it, a little. And, I do know not to ever create a 'Breach of Trust'. It's along the lines of speculative cast of knowledge, and will lead to life-term detachment from society. Possible at a brig or definitely within confines.
Given the 'Human' Element, this is what I feared of the program. When I was told to have interest, it was the Cold War era. We have reached that level again.

If someone where to take a disinterest in you, or be of a general thwart nature, then you could be black listed.

Other than that, enjoy yourself. I hear the parting gifts are excellent, nice cash bonus and all. But, of course, you'll be monitored on some level for the duration by someone/thing that can keep 'tabs' on you.
physicscrap
#8
Jan30-08, 07:23 AM
P: 49
Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
I was recruited by General Physics Corp as their prime talent in Pulp (4 years as a process chemist in a new Kraft pulp mill) and Paper (6 years as lead operator on the world's most advanced on-line coated and calendered fine-paper machine) when they decided to start a division concentrated on training/consulting to that industry. The crew that they assembled for that start-up division was almost entirely drawn from the Navy nuke sub service. VERY sharp, level-headed guys with multiple skill-sets, steady personalities, and can-do attitudes. I have never before or since worked with a staff that I could trust as implicitly.

If you can take advantage of the Navy training and use it to your advantage, it will make you pretty darned employable, especially if you go into subs. In the sub service, you'll have to take on a lot of extra training and duties (no substitutes if another crew-member gets sick or dies) and you'll have to be pretty darned stable and strong, emotionally. Those are pretty positive qualities when you're looking for work after your military service. BTW, if you are looking for work after a successful career in subs, contact GP - they LOVE hiring ex-sub-service vets.
Sounds good!
cmc21us
#9
Mar12-08, 03:00 PM
P: 8
The Navy Nuclear Power program is a great source of training. I personnaly have found it very rewarding as well as personnaly challenging. There are many opportunities for success and higher education.

My story started very much like yours. After 20 years I have made Lieutenant but there are other ways to do that more rapidly.

BTW, more than 60% of engineers work in operations.
renigade666
#10
Mar12-08, 04:09 PM
P: 25
cmc21us,
Did you initially go straight into the Nuclear program? Or did you have to spend xx amount of time in the navy before eligible to get accepted into the program? How long did you spend in the program as well?

I've always thought about going into the Navy after I get my Nuclear Engineer degree, but never thought about going through the Navy to getting the degree (if you can call it an actually 'degree' from the navy, or would it be equal to a community college degree ??)

I know it depends a lot of where you work, and what type of work you do, but I wonder how big the pay difference is between working in the industry compared to work for the Navy.
stewartcs
#11
Mar12-08, 04:19 PM
Sci Advisor
stewartcs's Avatar
P: 2,283
Quote Quote by renigade666 View Post
I know it depends a lot of where you work, and what type of work you do, but I wonder how big the pay difference is between working in the industry compared to work for the Navy.
The base pay rate in the Navy is the same regardless of your rating. It only depends on your rank and years of service. I'm not sure if you get any perks for being a Nuke unless of course you are on a sub then you would get sub pay or whatever they call it now.

CS
renigade666
#12
Mar12-08, 08:49 PM
P: 25
Would it be to general to ask what the base rate is? A ball park figure would be A-OK.
stewartcs
#13
Mar12-08, 08:57 PM
Sci Advisor
stewartcs's Avatar
P: 2,283
Quote Quote by renigade666 View Post
Would it be to general to ask what the base rate is? A ball park figure would be A-OK.
I'm sure it has changed since I was in years ago and I'm not sure where you could find a pay scale other than at a local recruiting office.

CS
russ_watters
#14
Mar12-08, 10:14 PM
Mentor
P: 22,234
http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/mili...ayCharts35.pdf
stewartcs
#15
Mar12-08, 10:34 PM
Sci Advisor
stewartcs's Avatar
P: 2,283
Wow, they have basically doubled since I was in!

CS
cmc21us
#16
Mar13-08, 08:58 AM
P: 8
cmc21us,
Did you initially go straight into the Nuclear program? Or did you have to spend xx amount of time in the navy before eligible to get accepted into the program? How long did you spend in the program as well?


You do go straight into the program. As enlisted the path is like this: Boot Camp, 2 months; 'A' School, 3-6 months depending on the rate; Nuclear Power School, 6 months; Prototype (NPTU) , 6 months.

One important variable here is the rating. There are machinist mates, electricians and electronics technicians (machininst mates may also get training as an Engineering Labratory Technician or as a welder). Everyone learns a technical rating as well as theory and operations of the nuclear power plants. Electronic's Technicians get teh closest to the reactor operations specifically but everyone plays a part. The equilizer between the ratings comes after you get some operating time and qualify Enginneering Watch Supervisor (EWS).

I've always thought about going into the Navy after I get my Nuclear Engineer degree, but never thought about going through the Navy to getting the degree (if you can call it an actually 'degree' from the navy, or would it be equal to a community college degree ??)

If you htink you can wait to finish your degee then that is a fine way to go. You can enter the program as an officer. As an officer you get paid better and enter with a higher expectation of capability and a corresponding level of supervision.

If you cannot wait for whatever reason, there are opportunityies from the enlisted side of the house. Nearly everything has been rolled into the STA-21 program. Top performers, and it is competitive, may be selected to go to college for 30 months to finish your degree and gain a commission.

There is a particularly grueling path not often taken. If you have some Engineering coursework done (I would say at least one year) and you enter as enlisted you may, no promise, find yourself at prototype in Ballston Spa NY. If you can arrange a staff tour (3 years after our first sea duty) or a staff pickup tour 2 years commencing immediately after your prototype tour as a student there is an opprotunity to attend the RPI Nuclear Engineering Program in your off hours (there are not many so it is difficult). That is a unique opportunity to complete your Nuclear Engineering degree at a top 3(?) engineering school.

If you do go to a boat, work hard and qualify EWS as early as possible. Your first shore duty should be NPTU (everyone will tell you otherwise). Going to NPTU as a hard charging 1st class qualified Engineering Watch Supervisor sets you up to qualify Engineering Officer of the Watch. Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) is the qualification that sets you up best for entry into the comercial nuclear power program. Many EOOW qualfied people are able to roll into commercial Senior Reactor Operator training programs (which all pay very well).

I know it depends a lot of where you work, and what type of work you do, but I wonder how big the pay difference is between working in the industry compared to work for the Navy.

Navy enlisted pay is not much but gets better with time. You are after all in an entry level position with no college degree. There is special duty assignment pay for nukes as well as submairine duty pay and sea pay for guys on 'boats'. Bonuses are pretty nice and will continue for some time as there are always good jobs available to those who do not wish to continue thier enlistment. Officer pay is not too bad, initally it is not much better than a standard engineer salary; about O3, 4 years, it becomes difficult to get out and make the same money.

Hope that helps...


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Well, I joined the Navy! General Discussion 38
Making My Nuke Look Like Your Nuke Nuclear Engineering 7
Joined Spring problem Introductory Physics Homework 6
Joined Springs Introductory Physics Homework 2
Navy Nuke Student lookin for information Academic Guidance 1