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Nuclear Programs - Cost vs Benefits

JWL

New Member
From what I have read, the nuclear programs for both subs and swo appear to be quite lengthy and stringent in nature, especially with the academics.

For all this trouble, does completing the nuclear pipeline really give an officer an edge in terms of assignments and promotions?

Apologies for the ignorance, but are all subs of the nuclear variety? I thought they were not. If so, do all prospective sub officers go through nuke (power?) school nonetheless?

And, why is there a nuclear option for swo? I did not believe any surface ships had nukes. But, then again, I am not this forum asking questions for a reason.

Thank you.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
Are you applying for NUPOC? All these questions can be fielded by your OR if that's the case.

If you want more in-depth questions ask when you attend the Nuclear VIP trip in San Diego.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
From what I have read, the nuclear programs for both subs and swo appear to be quite lengthy and stringent in nature, especially with the academics.

For all this trouble, does completing the nuclear pipeline really give an officer an edge in terms of assignments and promotions?

Apologies for the ignorance, but are all subs of the nuclear variety? I thought they were not. If so, do all prospective sub officers go through nuke (power?) school nonetheless?

And, why is there a nuclear option for swo? I did not believe any surface ships had nukes. But, then again, I am not this forum asking questions for a reason.

Thank you.
No.

Yes. Yes except the Supply Officer.

Ever heard of an aircraft carrier?
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
@JWL I think I see your confusion. Nuclear weapons =/= nuclear propulsion. Navy "nuke" programs are for the latter - running nuclear power plants aboard subs and aircraft carriers. All USN subs and carriers are nuclear powered.
 

JWL

New Member
@JWL I think I see your confusion. Nuclear weapons =/= nuclear propulsion. Navy "nuke" programs are for the latter - running nuclear power plants aboard subs and aircraft carriers. All USN subs and carriers are nuclear powered.
Yes, Uncle Fester, thanks for the clarification. My understanding is that all subs and carriers are nuclear powered, but only certain subs carry nuclear weapons as part of the nuclear triad. Other subs are attack subs, correct? Nevertheless, all officers that want to go subs go through a year nuclear power school? Is this the same year long school SWO - nukes go through?
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Have y'all read this blog? I have a feeling it may have been posted here in the past. Anyways, here it goes. Any thoughts on how accurate it is?

http://dave.purdone.com/2009/12/should-you-join-the-nuclear-navy-nupoc/
He has some bad gouge, selection rate is not high, the interview he is talking about is the last step in the screening process, by then applications have been reviewed, and transcripts scrutinized, applicants are screened out at many points before that this guy wouldn't know about.

There are nukes that do design, there are few of them they are NR Engineers

He is correct there isn't much excitement, but you really don't want that, because that means extra work, something has failed, etc....

Most of the nuke officers I worked with didn't go into anything related to power generation, except for one exception all were offered good jobs and have good salaries, the other one was an idiot and she was lucky to hold a job at Victoria's secret.
 

subreservist

Well-Known Member

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
As a sub guy myself, I found myself nodding in agreement to a lot of the points made. Not necessarily a bad thing, if you're ok with it. But there are some cool things he left out about sub life, but granted those things are infrequent.
There is a ton of bad gouge in this article.

Most glaringly is his cynical take on leadership from a JO who had his cup of coffee in the Navy then left and pursued a career as a worker bee. From his own account, he frequently participated in his watchstanders' bitch fests, saw his job as a glorified secretary, and was frustrated by being frequently corrected by his leadership. I don't know him from Adam, but what he wrote in his manifesto tells a story that he was closer to "not cut out to be a department head" than "JO of the year." I'm glad he found happiness post-Navy, but the point is that he's not a SME in quality leadership, and most JOs who get out have a more positive reflection on their impact on leading sailors, their deployment experiences, and impact on their command. The most common reason for leaving is due to work/life balance issues.

His second point of being off is his comparison of pay. By the time you are nearing the end of your JO tour, you are in around the 85 percentile of personal income. That's without any added tax benefits. If you stay nuke and make it a career, that will boost you to the 90-95th percentile with the bonus and sub pay increases that come with seniority.

I haven't collected raw data on it, but I follow Lucas Group on Linked in and the earnings he gets post-JO nukes are significantly higher than non-nukes, and they considers it a failure if you work in civilian nuclear power. However, many people take a pay cut, at least initially, when leaving commissioned service in the Navy.
 
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