Navy Dads

As we live not to far (Fl) from SC we elected to skip graduation in Chicago and will be going to GCreek for Labor day weekend.  Any hints?  Horrible hotels to avoid?  Advice?

My son is just turned 18 and did well through basic but sounds a bit overwhelmed by everything now.  He starts MM-A on the 14th of September.

Thanks

Bill Hadley

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Bill,  The hotel choices are limited in Goose Creek.  I recommend staying in or around Charleston as the choices for hotels are much better.  Goose Creek has only low end budget motels.

 

Listen, boot camp is nothing compared to what your son will be doing for the next year or so.  Nuke schooling is extremely tough and if your experience is like most of ours on this site you will have to be the head cheerleader for your son.  My son graduated  the Nuke program as an ET a couple of years ago and is now in the fleet and serves on the Enterprise.  For the two years that he was going through the schooling and then prototype all I did was try to keep his spirits up and keep him focused.  It is very tough for most of these kids, but extremely rewarding for those that make it through. (And not all do...my son had a room mate who was only two weeks from completing prototype training and they washed him out!  No behavioral issues or anything.  After all that schooling and training, and with just two weeks to go the Navy decided that he was simply not Nuke material!)  It was only then that my son finally came to realize how fortunate he was to get through the program.  

 

So I wish you and your son the best of luck.  Keep the faith and keep your son focused and encouraged.

 

Larry D.   

Chris:  Our boys may well end up in power or prototype together by that time.  Good to know.

John, thanks for the link to Hampton Inn.  Nice to have a choice somewhere between "enlisted liberty party motel" and downtown super fancy @ way over my budget. 

Larry:  Thanks for the experiences from a Dad who helped one get through.  I served in the Navy as a GSE (gas turbines- destroyer engines, etc) and we received a few "nuke waste" guys onboard my ship.  One was an obviously "not all there" ET, but the other was a brilliant electrician who like your son's friend, was tossed 2/3 through prototype on a fuzzy reason. We became fast friends when he joined our engineering dept. and we heard many nuke school stories, albeit, circa 1988/9.

 

Cars:  Pat wants his car asap, his gaming computer tower, netbook; all the distracting stuff which I wonder if I could have made it through BEE and A school had that technology existed back in 80's.  I am stalling him on the 4 week rule, but...it is his car, and I did buy a motorcycle in A school myself once I figured out I was going to ace the school.  He has a history of high distract-ability.

I am hoping that the indoc classes snap him closer to reality on how tough nuke is. He has been warned.

 

We made it up and having a blast in Charleston.  Staying at the Hampton inn off Ashley Phosphate  and I 26, just a bit further from base but decent area.

The CSS Hunley submarine restoration was worth the hunt through the port area to find and the eating our way around the historic district and some shopping was great.

The slave market museum was a sobering and emotional stop.  Definately put a different spin on the old knowledge of people being bought and sold like livestock.

I told my son that the opportunity to go to school here is awesome compared to Great Lakes. We had Milwaukee andChicago, but both a 40 mile  hike from base.

 

The Quality Inn on Red Bank Road is quiet, cheap, and very near the base.

Avoid the area around River and the freeway near Ashley Phosphate Road.

MM A-School is not that hard, but when your son gets to Power School -- it's really tough.

Best wishes -- take care.

 

Oh, and at the Power School graduation ceremony -- your kid will get there, it just takes a lot of hard work --

I heard one of the Chiefs say to one of the parents --

"If I didn't have your kid here, two or three of my trainees wouldn't have graduated"

 

That means -- they don't only expect your son to work hard and graduate -- but if he can support and encourage classmates -- that's a big plus.  And a lot to ask for -- but I bet he can do it -- with your support

 

Meaning -- they really expect a --lot-- from our kids -- not only to pass the school, but if they can help others -- so much the better.

 

When your son gets to the fleet -- it's all about teamwork.

 

Love them kids, they work so hard and do so much for us

 

P



Bill said:

We made it up and having a blast in Charleston.  Staying at the Hampton inn off Ashley Phosphate  and I 26, just a bit further from base but decent area.

The CSS Hunley submarine restoration was worth the hunt through the port area to find and the eating our way around the historic district and some shopping was great.

The slave market museum was a sobering and emotional stop.  Definately put a different spin on the old knowledge of people being bought and sold like livestock.

I told my son that the opportunity to go to school here is awesome compared to Great Lakes. We had Milwaukee andChicago, but both a 40 mile  hike from base.

 

 

R

The CSS Hunley museum is a must see. The ship itself is just a bunch of iron in a chilled deionised water tank.  The artifacts on display -- they navigated this ship by candle light from a conning tower only a foot or so above the sea using a magnetic compass -- it's amazing.

 

Finding your way to the Hunley museum is a bit difficult, it is in the old Navy yard area that is being redeveloped -- industrial wasteland area.  Recommend walking this area and the park area upstream

 

Well, my sailor got classed up a week early and they are on the way.  He loves the support system, the way everybody there is genuinely interested in them passing, chaplain and CO "talk to us" policies, and the on base liberty rec areas, etc.  While we were on Skype the other night he showed me his room and all I can say is WOW.  Anybody who did time in Snipes Castle in GLakes, or the old ET/EM/GS barracks will know what I mean.

He has his confidence, and has been tutoring his mates in math, as he nailed AP Calc and AP Physics in HS, and I told him every time he is helping, it will be remembered when times get tough for him by both his mates and the instructors.

My cool nerd is gonna make it.  The fact that he will be a fellow snipe just makes it sweeter.

Son started 2nd week of bootcamp, at least they will start the physical part which he likes. Does anybody know how they determine which rating they get? Is it a test while in bootcamp or from the testing they did before going in? Would like to know also when they get this rating. thanks to everyone writing it helps ease the mind some.

My understanding is that the needs of the Navy (how many of what flavor nukes they need) is bounced off the test scores, and the recruit sailor's request.  If they are sharpest in electronics, and they need ETs, that's what he gets. 

Mine was high in all test scores, requested EM, MM then ET.  He got MM.  This was told to him before finishing boot camp.

Something I learned long ago when picking a duty station after graduating at the top of my class way back when:  the Navy sends you where THEY want ya.  Same with everything else.  They try to match wishes with Navy needs, but...

 

"Needs of the Navy"  that's what you need to consider.

But nobody knows what that will be next month, next week, next year.

That's one thing to think about.  That's one thing your offspring just committed to.

-- from the time my daughter said "Dad -- I'm enlisting" almost 4 years ago -- until now -- when the Navy trusts her to run the main engines on a carrier -- through boot camp, power school, prototype, deployment --

What a long strange trip it's been. 

And worth every stressed-out minute, I think.

How many times has my daughter told me "she'd rather be decks and chip paint" ?

But she busted her butt anyhow -- very last to shake the Admirals hand at Power School grad ceremony.

(not very sorry to be so boastful)

So -- what can a dad do to support such a dedicated hard-working kid?

Not a lot -- your don't need to -- your son/daughter is doing an amazing job of being super-competent totally dedicated hard-working amazing SOB.

Just let them know you understand and value that.

And don't get a fat head about how wonderful example you are.

Just be there -- they know what to do -- hey they're doing it.

 

R

@Ric Pallson...Could not have said it better myself.  My son has been in five years now.  He barely made it through the rigorous nuclear program and wanted to quit more times than I can remember.  It is a very tough road, but very much worth it. You mentioned stress...so true for everyone in the family as well as the sailor.  My job for two years was to try to keep my son focused and motivated during the lowest of times when he really wanted to give up.  I laid awake many nights thinking that I was going to get a call from my son telling me that he either quit or was washed out by the navy.  Fortunately he hung in there and made it through and is now serving on the Enterprise as a reactor operator.  Like your daughter he complains that the Nukes have it worse than any other rate in the navy, and he says he would rather be doing almost anything else.  I think that most of it comes from the fact that the job can be pretty boring most of the time.  But, the fact remains that they are doing something that most people can not do.  I hope that one day my son realizes what he has accomplished and will be as proud of his achievements as I am.   

since I dont have any experience in the Nuke area I'm thankful the Navy is so tough on them....considering the consequences of poor management of nuclear equipment I'm glad they only pass the best!!!  HooYah to your sailors!!

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