Navy Dads


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: 440
Latest Activity: Feb 7

Discussion Forum

Cliff's Notes on Prototype Training

Started by Scott Henry Nov 21, 2017. 0 Replies

when will my son need to volenteer for subs.

Started by andy winkler. Last reply by Scott Henry Sep 28, 2017. 7 Replies

What will new arrival nukes need?

Started by andy winkler. Last reply by Nolan Johnson Sep 20, 2017. 5 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Scott Henry on July 12, 2017 at 8:02am
There are a multitude of things to keep Nukes occupied when the boat is in port and the plant is shut down. There are certain things that still have to be monitored and that is the responsibility of the duty section. Every Nuke will be part of a duty section. Usually there are 3 or 4, depending on manning. So once every 3rd or 4th day they will spend 24 hours on the boat monitoring the plant. Nukes also have a very robust continuing training program so training happens in port also. The vast majority of a Nuke's in port time, however, will be devoted to performing preventive and/or corrective maintenance on the equipment that they are responsible for.
Comment by Scott Henry on July 12, 2017 at 7:44am
Diving is a collateral duty that is performed in addition to his regular duties as a Nuke. The divers on the boat will do things like perform security swims and hull inspections. They also serve as "lifeguards" for topside personnel during the maneuvering watch.
Comment by Tony Goss on July 12, 2017 at 7:43am
What kinds of things do nukes typically do while not deployed? Odd jobs? Get training in other areas? Pursue education?
Comment by Steve on July 12, 2017 at 7:33am

Question.  Son has been out of the pipeline for about a year and is a ET2 (SS) serving on a fast attack.  He qualified and received his fish in ~6 months and his chief seems to have taken him under his wing. He has pushed for him to go to Navy dive school (he actually has already been accepted and will head down to Panama City, Fl in October).  Anyway, other than the extra pay - what does a navy diver do on a sub?  How will this work with his his nuke duties and watches?

Comment by Anish Patel on July 6, 2017 at 12:20pm

Thank you, Scott and Jeff. I will wait to find out I guess the dates and plan something. Have a great weekend.

Comment by Scott Henry on July 6, 2017 at 5:31am

NNPTC does a Holiday stand down every year during the Christmas Season. Students will normally get to take leave during that period. They will have the long weekend at Thanksgiving but if they have to travel outside of the liberty radius they will, most likely, not be permitted to go home. The NNPTC staff and the surrounding community do conduct an "Adopt-A-Sailor" program at Thanksgiving to give interested students a place to go if they can't travel home. My wife and I participated in it while I was on the staff there. We usually had a group of 4-6 sailors for Thanksgiving dinner and we enjoyed it as much as they did. I would encourage your son to participate in that program if he is unable to travel home for Thanksgiving. 

Comment by Jeff Ciaccio on July 5, 2017 at 5:05pm
Anish, there is no guarantee that he will be able to go home. We saw our son for thanksgiving but had Christmas a few days late.
Comment by Anish Patel on July 5, 2017 at 5:00pm

My son is graduating boot camp this month and moving to Nuke A school, to begin with, and then power school. He is an MMN.

Does anyone know if they are given Thanksgiving and Christmas break to come home? If so would anyone have dates for 2017, please? I am planning to see if I can take him on a vacation. Thank you very much.

Comment by Peter Quast on June 6, 2017 at 10:04pm

Thank you Scott Henry for the response.  She tells me that her crew does 6:30am to 6:30pm. 

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. 


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