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Navy Recruit Seeking Career Advice

  1. Dec 28, 2004 #1
    I'm currently enlisted in the military and I have signed up for the Navy's nuclear school. I've heard that it has challenging coursework and the demands are high, which is why I was initially attracted to obtaining that job rating. Sometime down the road, I'm going to have to make a choice about continuing as career military or using my skills to pursue another field in the civilian sector.

    I want to break into the commericial spaceflight industry and my time in the Navy will mostly be spent hitting the books, but I'm curious as to how I am to accomplish this goal. I don't believe there's any designed degree for such a field so I'm looking for suggestions into what I should study.

    I'll have a tremendous amount of monetary backing from the US government with all the programs they are offering me, so I don't see why I can't just take this route if I end up not liking my career choice.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2004 #2
    Dustnite, I am an ET2 in the Navy's Nuclear Power Program. First thing I'll tell you - I'm sure you're thinking this program is something other than what it actually is. The recruiters don't know too much about what they're trying to get you into, so, if you have any questions, please, shoot me an email at tom@tom-marsland.us

  4. Dec 28, 2004 #3
    I heard the sales pitch coming from a mile away when I sat down with the recruiters.

    Don't get me wrong, I want to pursue this field, I just want to keep some options open.
  5. Dec 28, 2004 #4


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    I realize you've already enlisted with the Navy, but you should look into joining the Air Force after your enlistment time in the Navy. Because the Air Force has abunch of different enlisted careers having to do with space and space travel.

    The reason I say this is because I thought the Navy's Nuclear School dealt more with nuclear power and nuclear energy.
  6. Dec 28, 2004 #5

    Can you enlighten me some as to what a Navy Nuclear tech actually does? Is it nuclear weapons, or some sort of glorified bosun's mate? :yuck: Also, how about the officers? I remember when we were graduating from the Academy (USMA in my case), some of the Annapolis grads told me their classmates who went 'nuclear tech' got a $30,000 bonus straight off for signing up. Somebody's got to run the reactors onboard a submarine, don't they? I would think that whoever that person was would have a skillset NASA would be very interested in for future interplanetary expeditions.
  7. Dec 28, 2004 #6


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    Yes, Cod's right. I spent 20 years as an elisted space operations guy, doing satellite command and control, satellite tracking, space surveillance, satellite communications, etc.

    Quite a few ex-military space operators get by with their experience and just about any type degree (a lot find it hard to give up those CCAF credit hours and wind up settling for pretty weak degrees). Some prior space experience in a few different systems (that usually means at least 8 years) and an Electrical Engineering degree pretty much guarantee a pretty good paying job, since it's a pretty versatile degree - it's useful whether as a satellite operations engineer or whether you're responsible for satellite ground systems. A real engineering degree is usually required for the factory jobs (satellite design, assembly, etc.)

    The Air Force also usually has pretty good re-enlistment bonuses for space operators, since it's a rapidly expanding career field and not that hard for them to leave the Air Force for a civilian job. (I emphasize usually, since, somehow, they wound up with an overage of Tech Sergeants and Master Sergeants.)

    The Navy has a space program, as well, even though their's mostly focuses on space surveillance and/or satellite data applications (tracking, processing data, etc.) with virtually no satellite command and control opportunities. With a good engineering degree, it's still about as good as Air Force experience. (Both AF and Navy have the added advantage that you leave with a security clearance, if you're interested in working the defense contractor side instead of the purely civilian side).
  8. Dec 28, 2004 #7


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    Check these Naval links out (all related to the Nuclear School in some way):

    http://www.navy.com/officer/nuclear [Broken]
    http://www.navy.com/enlisted/science [Broken]
    http://www.navy.com/enlisted/energy [Broken]

    Also, definitely check this one out:

    http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/nucfield/ [Broken]

    From reading all of the links above myself, I've come to the conclusion that nuclear-related science in the Navy is based around nuclear power and energy. There isn't much space related stuff involved, unless I completely missed something while I was reading the links. Regardless, the Navy Nuclear Field seems like a good field fora person to devulge in if that's where their interest lie.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. Dec 30, 2004 #8
    I think you've confused the intent of my post.

    The Navy Nuclear Program has no directly related training to anything in the spaceflight industry. Indirectly, however, I was wondering if any training I gained in this program could be transferrable.

    Coming away with a security clearance and higher math and engineering skills is something I can work with.
  10. Dec 30, 2004 #9


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    Sorry for getting confused by your post and talking about other things.

    As far as the knowledge you gain from the Navy being transferrable, the things you learn will most definitely help you with whatever you plan to do after your enlistment. From what you learn, security clearance you gain, etc. you should be able to find a job with one of the federal or state government's energy commissions. And you could possibly get a job working for the Department of Defense (which does include some space related stuff).
  11. Jan 8, 2005 #10

    I completed Officer Nuclear Power School and Prototype, and currently serve onboard a nuclear submarine, so I could probably help answer any questions that you had.


    Best wishes,
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