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  • Navy Nuclear

    Probably bragging a little, but my Son just enlisted in the Navy, into their nuclear program. I understand it is a very instense 18 month schooling after boot camp. One of the options he has is what part of the nuclear field he pursues. It sounds like one of them is nuclear welding in the mechanical area. Has anyone gone through this or am I just confused. If he does pursue this, would this be good training for a civilian job later on in life?

    Thanks -- Kelly
    Thanks -- Kelly

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  • #2
    Congrats to you on your son.Its a smart move on his part.Dont know a thing about the Navy schools.I went thru boiler school in the Air Force back in the 70s.Best move i ever made.Whatever part he chooses he will get the best schooling WE can pay for.

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    • #3
      Kelly,

      I wish him good luck and Godspeed.

      I hope things are different now that when I enlisted in 1959. The idea was to serve my country and learn something to boot! I enlisted in New Jersey, went to boot camp in Chicago, and then they gave me the BIG QUESTION: what duty do you want? I listed Carrier in the Med, Cruiser in the Med, Destroyer in the Med. Guess what I got? Radar picket out of Pearl!

      Ahhh, well. It turned out to be all good.

      Hank
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      • #4
        Congratulations to your son. You have a right to brag. The Navy nuc program is an excelent program. There are many feilds to pursue. Don't know about a nuclear welding program though. I am ex Navy and my son qualified for the Navy's neclear program out of high school. they told him the only other place he could get the education offered was at MIT. He told them he would go to MIT if he wanted to go that route. He is absolutly not the military type. Way too layed back. I just looked at him and thought, Hope he's not building his future on me sending him to MIT. One of my freind is ex nuc. Had a real good job working at a nuc plant in Colarado. Your son may just want to make the Navy a career. Not a bad way to go. Just get him on an air craft carrier, those submariners are a different breed of cat.

        Kelly

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        • #5
          A simple answer to your question is,yes, nuclear welding does have a huge career base outside the military. With military nuc welding certs he should be able to get a job in just about any aspect of manual tig from structural to pipe and with a little further education he'll be able to get into manual welding of some of the exotic materials(haynes alloys and others).On the off note hope he doesnt plan on coming to connecticut, their shutting our sub base down and im sure Electric Boat wont be far behind. Its a sad thing that oversear manufacturers get tax breaks to import goods, and manufacturers here in the states still have to pay huge amounts of money on taxes, safety, and enviromental friendliness, with no help from the USG.
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          • #6
            Under Water

            Originally posted by Kelly Aitken
            One of my freind is ex nuc. Had a real good job working at a nuc plant in Colarado. Your son may just want to make the Navy a career. Not a bad way to go. Just get him on an air craft carrier, those submariners are a different breed of cat.

            Kelly
            Actually he did sign up for the sub duty, but he is 6'4" and I guess if he grows another 2" they won't let him on. I am very proud of him, only 16 more days in boot camp and then a drive to Chicago to watch him graduate. I guess from there he goes to Charleston, SC for 18 months of training. He had to sign for 6 years, but get an E4 pay rate starting off. He had made section leader and also religious petty officer of his section. He is making us very proud, but still can't help but worry. I appreciate everyones positive comments and with young men & ladies like him in the military, I sleep better at night.
            Thanks -- Kelly

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            • #7
              "those submariners are a different breed of cat"
              (requires a very "adaptable" psy profile)
              I'll agree - spent 2 yrs on one... stationed out of Guam. The new 'boats' are much larger than those used in the 60's & 70's. They do eat well !!! I'm sure he'll fit... ducking the hatchs will become routine. Do they still have Sub School in Groten, Conn???
              Congrats of your Son, wise choices will follow him.
              Russ
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              • #8
                I think its a good move and will help in the future career arena as well.
                Commercial nuclear power is poised to make a come-back. There hasn't been any new plants in 27 years and now, those that originall opposed are reluctantly in favor of new ones due to global warming and cost of fossil. Just about the time he gets out, he should be all set to step into that job market....if all goes well, it will be in full force by then..... I think he's pretty smart for choosing that.

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                • #9
                  No reason not to feel proud. Congrats to you both.
                  I don't have any first hand knowledge but I imagine that the training he is about to get would give valuable skill-sets once he gets out. Of course he could stay in a career. My new father-in-law makes pretty good money (unrelated field but still Navy) just from his contacts. It seems that when these guys retire or leave the network the develop works pretty well in the civilian world. I would just tell him to make as many friends as possible because one of them might start a business ... get into a business that does government work and could get him in.
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                  • #10
                    I'm currently a Navy Nuke, been in 15 years next month.

                    There are three main types of Nukes:
                    Electrician's Mate
                    Machinist's Mate
                    Electronics Technician

                    Within the MM rating (machinist's mate) there is another offshoot he can pursue. That is Engineering Laboratory Technician (ELT) basically he's in charge of keeping the water parameters for the reactor in specs.
                    If he's going to be an MM, he can go to Nuclear welding school, but his primary job will still be MM. ELT's are primarally ELT's, then MM's.

                    EM's and ET's have some other schools they can go to but they still do their jobs, but with added skills.

                    I was a recruiter as well, so be wary of talk of 100K bonuses and such. They are out there for us Nukes, but just think of it this way: If the job was so good, why would the military pay you so much extra to stay instead of leaving after your training and getting a MUCH better paying job?

                    I'm still here for medical benifits for my 3 yr old son. Other than that, I'd be gone.

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                    • #11
                      welding school only if a MM

                      His basic Nuclear Training will not include welding. To get to the Navy's welding schools he will have to become a Machienest Mate either Nuclear or Non-Nuclear to be able to get a welding school. He will beging with a basic A school then go onto a specialty C school then the advanced courses will be as available traning later on. Because of the high demad for the welding schools they are restricted to ratings that need the training.

                      I spent 20 years in nuclear powered submarines and spent a lot of time as a division LPO working with the training schools as well as having been an instructor and am somewhat familiar with what to expect.
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                      • #12
                        I lived at Charleston Weapons Depot 2 years ago. Let me tell you, the Navy historically has a reputation of not taking care of their people, nice ships thou. To make this short, he will be staying in First Class accomadations, unlike the regular surface sailors who live like rats. They treat the nuke boys well. Brand new barracks, (hotel) excuse me. Tell him to see Charleston and surrounding area and all that it has to offer. You should be proud, Navy nuke takes some smarts upstairs....
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                        • #13
                          Lots of experiance - Thanks

                          Sure is a lot of experiance out there and it is good to hear from those who have been there. He is getting out of boot on July the 8th and then has another 3 weeks in the Chicago area, then off to "A" school. I don't know when he has to make his decision on the path to go (MM, Et, Etc). It is good to hear that it sounds like he has made a wise choice either way.

                          I think he is looking forward to Charleston and I have never heard anyone say a bad word about the area. I'm sure the training will be first class and it was Ironic to hear President Bush talking about Nuclear power today on TV. I'm sure whatever path he takes will help him in the future.

                          On the area of recruiters. The one who signed him up actually lived up to his word, but I did caution my Son that not everything is as it seems. It does appear that any bonuses get really elusive and hard to pin down when he will get them. The best thing is that this appears to of gotten him onto a track or at least a starting point for his life. I think some of us (Me included) took awhile to figure out what to do. It doesn't sound like he is having to make that choice now, they point him and he goes.

                          Very proud Dad -- Kelly
                          Thanks -- Kelly

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                          • #14
                            As far as his decision to go EM, MM or ET, that decision is already made and in his enlistment contract. Order of precidence from highest scores needed to lowest is ET, EM then MM. That just means that a particular person may QUALIFY to get in the door to choose ET, but he can still choose either EM or MM. If he left a copy of his contract somewhere, it will say near the top, along with any bonuses he may get.

                            The enlistment bonus is paid upon completion of all training for the program.

                            Wish him good luck from us and keep his spirits up.

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                            • #15
                              If it is still the same...

                              If things have not changed over the years. When it comes time for A school graduation, the class standing determines what C school he gets a choice of. The instructor who is in charge of the class will come in with a list of C school quota's for each of the Nuclear Power Ratings and then the student who is first in class standing gets to pick from what is available. This goes in order from the top of the class to the bottom. Getting what you want is partially luck as to what is available and class standing.
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