We always say that the Submarine Force is made up entirely of volunteers, but there are some people who really aren't. Every once in a while, the Naval Academy doesn't make quota, so they have to "force" some graduates into the Submarine Force. According to this Navy Times article, they're looking at getting an additional 33 "volunteers" out of this year's class. Excerpts:
In a message to the Brigade of Midshipmen on Tuesday, the academy’s director of professional development, Capt. Stephen Evans, wrote that the academy this year was required to send 125 officers into the nuclear submarine training pipeline, but that only 92 had been accepted by Naval Reactors. That meant 33 midshipmen would be asked to volunteer or told to become sub nukes.I knew a couple of Academy guys who were ordered into the Sub Force against their wishes, and they ended up being good officers. Still, I think it's better when everyone who's on the boat knew they had volunteered at some point (even though there are plenty of Submariners who, if they had it to do over again, might have not volunteered in the first place). For those Academy guys who do get lassoed into the Sub Force, I say "Welcome", and if you have hard feelings about it, I can only pass on the words of one of my wise old LCCs at prototype when ship assignments came out and some people were complaining: "Tough shit, why do you think they call them 'orders'?"
“If you are subsequently identified for a submarine interview, understand that you were released from your preferred community after serious consideration,” Evans wrote. “Be professional and focus on the positive aspects of serving your country in the submarine force.”
Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said it wasn’t uncommon for academy officials to move midshipmen from preferred warfare areas to areas where they were needed, although he said there weren’t records showing when or for which disciplines. The academy’s mission to provide the officers the Navy requires means the school must sometimes supercede mids’ wishes, he said...
...In last year’s graduating class, 78 percent of midshipmen entered the warfare area they selected as their first choice, and 92 percent got their first or second choice, Carpenter said. The first midshipmen this year who will be urged to choose submarines are those who picked it as their second choice, he said. They are required to serve at least five years after commissioning.