Navy Dads


"Nuclear Sub vs Nuclear Aircraft Carrier"


My son is still at boot camp then off to Nuke school. He is considering signing up for sub duty preferring to be "on/off 3 months" at a time vs carrier "6 months on/off". He is engaged (to a wonderful young lady that we all love) and will be married by the time he graduates nuke school. Of course they want to be able to see and communicate with each other more often. Are there any resources you can suggest, that can shed light on the sub vs carrier? Specifically;

1. Are there any videos that might show life on each?
2. Are there any members who know sailors that served on both?
3. My son has also mentioned higher pay on a sub...any idea what the difference is?

I want them to have as much info as possible before they make this decision. My concern is that before leaving for boot camp my son stated that he could not imagine being "cooped up" on a sub, not being able to see the light of day, smell fresh air, etc, and we all agreed. Now that they have been apart 2 months, they are thinking that being apart 3 months vs 6 seems more tolerable. I am sure there's more to the decision than the time and pay difference. Thank you for any input. Mark 



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Replies to This Discussion

Well he is still early for that decision. He has all the way up until prototype to volunteer for submarine duty. So tell him to wait until then!!! As for basing the decision on wanting 3 months on and 3 off that isn;t going to work. As you have read that is a boomers schedule, although not exactly correct. If he gets a fast attack he will be out for the same 6+ months a carrier is, cramped and with none of the perks the carrier has like phones, satellite tv and what not. he also doesnt get the pick of which type of submarine he gets, it is a roll of the dice.

But also even if he volunteers for sub duty he may even still end up on a carrier. i got lucky and was accidentally given orders to a boomer when i was not a sub vol. so i pretty much had the option to keep the orders and sub vol or turn them down and go on a carrier. because i was just about to get married and wanted the better schedule i stayed with the boomer orders

My son asked me many times which way I would go if I had been faced with his choice when I served. Since I was a GSE, we were surface, but 200 man crew max depending on type of ship.

Many things I read above are true regarding subs, and we shared that in destroyers:  Small crew is awesome since you are part of a tight team out there all alone. Short chow lines, easy off the ship for liberty, small town style where you could be rescued from local LEO by a chief after a drinking overdo or late to work moment and have nobody know beyond your div-o, who may happen to be your scuba buddy too.

We often looked at the "bird farms" as a horrible way to serve, just a cog in a giant machine...and gangs and cliques and people you've never met.

That said, surface:  More liberty ports, but for the bird farm, it has to be a BIG port.  Kinda limits things.  Liberty call can distort the local prices of everything from beer to "local entertainment" just due to the # of people dropping into a 3rd world small port.

The value of watching a sunset in the tropics, the Milky Way on the weatherdecks at midnight, or the sight of an albatross following you for days:  priceless after a horrendously stressful day.

Swim call:  I don't thinks subs do that as surfacing is sort of verboten.

My son's answer was I will go surface and stick around long enough to be a plankowner on the first nuke destroyer!  I told him to not hold his breath on that...

My son is a nuke,he is in power school. We are so proud of him he is doing great.

My son is a sub volunteer and an ET, he graduates from power school in 3 weeks.  He has been a sub volunteer since the day he entered the DEP program before he enlisted.  I sure hope he gets chosen to be on a submarine because that is what he wants; he wants an attack sub in the Pacific.



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