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Any Navy MM nuke vets in here?

  1. Dec 14, 2012 #1
    I'm suggesting to my nephew that he enlist and go for nuclear-qualified machinist mate position. I'd like to hear about post-Navy job opportunities in this field. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Why not sonar tech? Get to work with sonar on land, sea and undersea.
  4. Dec 15, 2012 #3
    That's a possibility but machinist mate would give him some good skills even w/o the nuclear qualification. However, the kid's mom quashed the idea of the military...period. My information operations campaign is now going covert.
  5. Dec 15, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Can you blame her? Many recruiters will sell you a load of baloney and call it sirloin.
  6. Dec 15, 2012 #5
    I don't blame her because she's the mom. However, he is old enough to at least discuss it. I'm a 22-year vet and would sit down with the recruiter and make sure he gets every perk in the contract.
  7. Dec 15, 2012 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    After service jobs, consider Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors who do naval contract work. Some universities have applied research labs that also do contract work for the armed forces.

    I'd suggest you talk to him about becoming an MEch Eng and take advantage of the service sending him off to do training. Basically think long term with service being a stepping stone.
  8. Dec 15, 2012 #7


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    My oldest nephew is a Navy lifer, and he progressed from being a machinist mate to supervising on-board machine shops, (mostly on nuke carriers) etc, and is now a Master Chief. He has so many stripes on the sleeve of his dress uniform... I am very proud of him.

    He and his (also lifer) wife have been ported out of San Diego, Honolulu, and other places so distant that my little sister could not afford to visit with them and their daughter. Lately, he has been re-ported to Virginia, and they will be at my father's place for Christmas Eve.
  9. Dec 15, 2012 #8


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    I should mention that this is not an ideal life-style for many. My nephew and I communicate by emails, since those are free. He can't afford to have long rambling telephone communications, so we "make do".

    If he ever decides to retire and be a "civvie" he will have more work available than he can possibly handle. Maine is loaded with machine shops making parts for subs, jets, tanks, etc. We are a poor state, but with a lot of skilled talent. Best of all, he won't have to start at the bottom. If you have served as the machinist chief on the Connie, chances are any shop in the state would love to have him, and make him the COO
  10. Dec 15, 2012 #9


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    As a machinist mate, he'd pick up some practical experience. Has he attended university and obtained a degree? Or otherwise, has he done well in school?

    In my nuclear engineering program, one of my colleagues had experience in the Navy before attending university. I believe he was an officer. He later went on to become a program director at North American Rockwell, then Rocketdyne. Another colleague went into the Navy after school, became an officer and ended up commanding a submarine. There were others from the Navy or Air Force who were getting MS degrees.

    There is plenty of opportunities for someone with experience in the military, particularly in the Naval or Air Force propulsion programs. Manufacturers/suppliers and utilities like to hire folks with the kind of discipline one obtains in the military. I know quite a few vets.
  11. Dec 15, 2012 #10
    No, he is a senior in high school. I think he gets B's in math--I'm pretty sure he's no John von Neumann. ;-) In any case, as an enlisted man he would be more of a technician using basic technical maths skill (I think just the officers go to grad school for nuclear engineering.)

    I do know he can get MM in his enlistment contract but he would have to apply for the nuke career track later.
  12. Dec 15, 2012 #11
    Master chief on a carrier! That's excellent. I love how not even the ship's captain can enter the chief's mess without an invite. :tongue: He'll be well situation for a post-navy career. BTY, this is a pretty good machinist site you might pass on to him:

  13. Dec 17, 2012 #12


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    Well, I was a Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program person as an enlisted Machinist Mate. I worked in the submarine force for many years, prior to my career change to physics.

    The nuclear power industry likes Navy Nukes. I know there are several utilities that actively seek persons who have this experience. The majority of nuclear power plants operating in the United States are of the Pressurized Water design. This is the design used by the Navy. The operational experience and similar design makes Nukes attractive. Another huge factor that is often overlooked is the utilities invest quite a bit of money and time to qualify someone to operate these power plants. Nukes have a much higher probability to pass the licensing exam. The income once becoming licensed is usually in the 6 figure range with good benefits. The down side is that most operations persons work shift work. Some persons do not mind this other abhor this type of work. Usually there are opportunities to move out of shift work later.

    I should point out that the title is a bit misleading. A nuclear machinist mate often does not receive training as machinists. This may be because I was on submarines and we did not have the space for the equipment. I cannot speak for the surface fleet. I did quite a lot of work on steam valves, heat exchangers, pumps, etc. I did not machine anything in 10 years of service.

    Currently I work for a federal agency. My career in the Navy got me this position. The 11 man team I work with consists of 8 Navy Nukes. Most have worked in the commercial nuclear power industry. Consistent throughout the group is that the experience in the Navy was the key to getting into the nuclear industry.
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