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Navy Nukes

Navy Nuke: Questions and Answers to what your Sailor will be doing as a "Nuke" in the United States Navy. This support group is for the families and friends with Sailors serving in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Program / Power Nuke School.

Members: 454
Latest Activity: Nov 10, 2022

Discussion Forum

Nukes: How They Got There

Started by Jerome May. Last reply by Rocco A Cavallo Mar 29, 2018. 1 Reply

Cliff's Notes on Prototype Training

Started by Scott Henry Nov 21, 2017. 0 Replies

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Comment by Scott Henry on June 6, 2017 at 9:33pm

Going on "crew" at Prototype means she has transitioned to the "in-hull" phase of training. She is assigned to one of 5 different crews that maintain the prototype running on a rotating shift. The shift schedule is 7 days of swing shift (3-11 PM), a couple of days off, 7 days of mid shift (11PM -7AM), a couple days off, 7 days of day shift (7 AM-3PM), a normal weekend off, and then 5 days of day shift again (known as T-week) followed by a 4 day weekend. Then the cycle starts over. Students are required to come in 4 hours prior to their shift on swings and mids, and stay 4 hours after their shift on days until they are qualified. Once they are qualified then they work the normal 8 hour shift. On crew is where they actually start to stand watch in the plant and get qualified. It is pretty rough because they spend a lot of time at the site and don't have time for much else when they are not at work. Aside from the long hours, Prototype was my favorite part of the pipeline because you get to see everything you learned in Power School in action. As far as things getting worse, I would disagree. As a student, once you qualify, life gets exponentially easier. I would advise her to stick it out and try to qualify as quickly as possible. The rotating shifts suck, for sure. After the structured Monday through Friday work weeks in A-School and Power School, and the first few weeks of Prototype, crew can be a real shock if you're not prepared for it. My shipmate Tim Murray (he is a member of this group) was a Leading Crew Chief at the Charleston Prototype. He can give you a bit more insight into life there than what I can. I will say this. I used to tell my students that you will have the experience you decide to have, meaning if you decide you are miserable, you will be miserable. Attitude plays a huge part in a student's success in the Nuke pipeline. I have had students on the verge of failing out of the program that decided they were going to make it through, and they did. I won't lie to you and say that it's all sunshine and roses, and being in the Fleet is not easy by any means, but she needs to not listen to "everyone" that says it only gets worse. It's all in what you make of it. Definitely, though, the faster she qualifies, the faster her life will get better. As far as getting out, she would have to be evaluated by medical personnel for anxiety/depression and they would make a determination based on the evaluation as to the course of action. The end result may not be a complete discharge from the Navy, but a conversion to a different career field. If a discharge is warranted, it would be Administrative under Honorable conditions. 

Comment by Grant Miller on June 6, 2017 at 9:29pm

I know a young man who made it pretty much to the very end and then had anxiety issues. I think he got completely out, but more often "drop outs" just go into another rating, I believe. They are still known to be bright and capable for other Navy jobs. 

Comment by Peter Quast on June 6, 2017 at 9:04pm

Oh yea, one more thing.. She says whatever this "crew" is she got into the wrong one...  everyone is negative, etc.  She tells me that so far she has only met one Chief that truly seemed to love his job.

Comment by Peter Quast on June 6, 2017 at 9:01pm

I'm looking for help or advise.  This may be a little long.  My daughter is in Prototype in SC.  A little while back she started this thing called "crew" whatever that is.  To make a long story short, she is hating life now.  Tells me she's gone to see the Chaplin and thinking she wants out.  After 2 hours, Chaplin thinks she has anxiety.  I'm like "what"?   A quick background.  She graduated A school with honors.  She graduated Power School with distinction.  She's only been in Prototype for about a month or so.  Up until then she has always been positive and was loving it.  What in the world?  She says that everyone tells her it only gets worse.  So besides advise, I'm looking for some answers.  Do they just let them out if they have these type of issues?  If so, what kind of a discharge would that be?  I've already told her I think she needs tough it out.  But no matter what mom and I say, she reminds us that she's an adult now and makes her own decisions.

Comment by Mike K on June 4, 2017 at 9:13pm

My son went through NNPTC in '09-'11 and from what I have read things haven't changed that much.  He said while he was there few failed because of the course work, rather personal issues were the biggest culprit.  Behavior outside of NNPTC was the downfall.  For many this is their first time away from home and truly being on their own and fully responsible for their own actions.  They have to grow up fast and some just don't.  Personal responsibility is big and unfortunately some do not understand this until it is too late.

Comment by Tim Bates on June 4, 2017 at 8:12pm

Having read what Scott said about drinking issues being the biggest problem at the NNPTC. There seems to have been a rash of these incidents recently. I think a lot of these kids think and hope this is college life (enlisted track). This is a serious place doing training about about very serious subjects. I know there is pressure to perform and the instructors can help a lot to deal with it.

Comment by Grant Miller on June 4, 2017 at 9:50am

Get those Dolphins! prepared for "needs of the Navy". My son (Los Angeles class) had a buddy who or two who were sub vols that got assigned to carriers. 

Comment by Jay Crawford on June 4, 2017 at 5:27am

Jim, yes he is going to be on a submarine after Nuke Power School. He did say it would be 24 weeks. Thanks for all the help

Comment by Jay Crawford on June 3, 2017 at 5:57am

I am sorry I was not clear on my original post.  I am new to this.  LOL  My son will commission after graduation from Texas A&M.  He does not have to go to OCS since he has participated in the NROTC program at TAMU. He has been offered and accepted a Nuke School slot.  

Comment by Scott Henry on May 31, 2017 at 10:42pm

Most students that do not make it through the Nuclear Pipeline, don't make it due to something other than academics, like Tim Murray alluded to earlier. The biggest culprit is underage drinking. It is almost impossible to drop someone academically. 3 course failures is an automatic academic drop but, other than that, if there is a mathematical possibility that the student can attain enough points to pass, they will be kept in the program until the bitter end. I have even seen students who were recommended for disenrollment by an Academic Board be retained in the Program. The ultimate decision lies with the NNPTC Commanding Officer. If a student decides he or she wants to make it through, the instructors will do everything in their power to make that happen. (See my Nuke School success story post)On the flip side of that, though, if a student has given up and is just going through the motions, instructors can spot that from a mile away. They will still help these students as it is their job, but they will not go above and beyond like they will with a student who is making a genuine effort. I would say that making it through Nuke School is about 25% academics and 75% attitude. As hard as it is to do, you have to keep a positive outlook to make it through Nuke School. And, like Tim said, if you don't make it, it's not the end of the world. The vast majority of Sailors that do not make it through training go on to have very successful careers in the Navy, whether they stay 4 years or 24 years.


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