Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NR Recruiting Video

The Navy posted a video featuring a Naval Reactors engineer -- in uniform! It's fairly interesting; it actually shows her going to a ship in civvies, and she explains why they do that.

While she doesn't seem to know the number of active aircraft carriers (she says 10 vice 11, although I suppose the interview could have been filmed before the Bush was commissioned a year ago), she comes across as kind of having a clue. Not sure how effective it is as a recruiting spot, since they seem to be a little more honest than normal in this one -- probably because NR had to approve it (which makes me wonder how they missed the error in the number of CVNs).

As I've said before, I never really had any problems with the Electric Boat NR guys -- they were mostly helpful. It's the standard waterfront and prototype guys (and I guess gals now) who generally seemed to be power-hungry jerks. Have they gotten any better in the 5 1/2 years since I got out?

Update 0821 28 Jan: On further reflection, it's fairly clear that this LT is one of the desk-bound HQ NR types who generally only go out to the ships during RSEs or on familiarization tours as part of their initial indoctrination, so I still don't know if there are any female engineers in the field offices. The headquarters type of NR engineer are, in my experience, generally more helpful than not.


Blogger Don the Baptist said...

Oops. Surprised me there. The POINT is a female officer at NR. When I first saw the pic I thought I was looking at a Sea Cadet.

1/28/2010 8:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious - I know at NRHQ they are, for the most part, design engineers, but can anyone there actually perform a fast recovery startup?

1/28/2010 9:05 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

The guys in the "Line Locker" can.

1/28/2010 9:14 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Although it may be hard for some to believe, Women are just as smart and capable as men, if not more so. I am surprised that NR is in the "recruiting" mode since, in the old days, the NR engineers were hand picked through the informal network that Rickover had with the major engineering schools in the US such as MIT and RPI and overt recruiting was discouraged. Again, in the old days, the waterfront NR reps were mostly Warrant Officers who had been senior enlisted who really knew the plants - that is why they were always able to find that improper red tag or the missing bolt, etc.

1/28/2010 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago I was able to stand senior supervisory watch for some important plant testing as a JO. First thing that happened (of course) was NR type presence. To be honest the guy was more helpful than I imagined possible, his comments were reasonable and actually improved what we were doing. Later on though the same guy was present for a tagout critique and was the most unreasonable jerk I have ever observed. My personal feeling was that when the CO, XO, and Eng were around he was trying to make an impression. With just a JO and a bunch of nukes he was interested in making a difference.

1/28/2010 9:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember her from PNEO interviews.

1/28/2010 10:11 AM

Anonymous LT L said...

Just curious - I know at NRHQ they are, for the most part, design engineers, but can anyone there actually perform a fast recovery startup?

No. It's a vital tactic at the PNEO interviews: dazzle the desk-jockeys with sea stories until "and back to your question, oh look at the time!"


1/28/2010 10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, that works surprisingly well. I think I talked for 15 minutes about a stuck flapper valve and all the cool things you can find in a main condenser. Left 2 minutes for a brief drawing of SJ system.

1/28/2010 10:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is an O-3 without a warfare pin so does that mean that hasn’t had a sea tour? How do NR types advance without time at sea?

1/28/2010 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NR Engineers can only be active duty in that capacity for 5 years then they have to lateral transfer or get out. Many become civillian engineers at NR.

1/28/2010 12:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's cute for an NR type. I'd hit that.

1/28/2010 12:31 PM

Blogger William said...

I will never bash an NR rep. In my career they have saved my butt more times than I care to remember. Just one story...

As JO on TUCSON during newcon at Newport News Shipbuilding we were building up to some testing period. I can't remember if it was pre-core hot or cold ops. I had just crawled into the rack well after midnight following a very long day processing more tagouts and valve lineups than anyone should ever have to do when the maneuvering watch calls me up to inform me that Naval Reactors was on board. "Damn!," I mutter to myself; crawl out, dress and head aft. I make my way through the tunnel, up the ladder to ERUL, walk past the starboard maneuvering room door (blocked for some reason I can't remember) and turn to cross ERUL forward of maneuvering. I meet the roving watch centerline when I quip, "where's the damned rep." I then hear from around the corner near the NI cabinets, "right here."

Suprisingly, the next 90 minutes or so were quite pleasant (helps when all your ducks are lined up properly). He pointed out a few administrative errors then left. Never heard anymore about it.


1/28/2010 12:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad she likes the job...they tried to get me to consider working there when they changed my interview date. Showed a nice tour of the Navy Yard...heard all about working there. I asked "what does this have to do with being a sub officer?" They told me this was the interview for NR. I said "WHAT!" I certainly didn't know or cared for that interview.

They came back and told me that based on my college performance that they "invited" me to interview.

I told them I wasn't interested. They looked kind of a loss for words I would say no thanks. It finally took me telling Bowman I signed up to wear dolphins and not civilian clothes.

I think only the line locker guys and the Admiral could understand.

As for the field offices...some really great guys, and then some I would love to see fall overboard in NWUs. I think the guys in the office I liked would have felt likewise about those select few.

1/28/2010 1:05 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NR Engineers can only be active duty in that capacity for 5 years then they have to lateral transfer or get out. Many become civillian engineers at NR.

1/28/2010 12:24 PM

Are there any female NR types attached to locations that are submarine-only facilities (Bremerton, PH)?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's cute for an NR type. I'd hit that.

1/28/2010 12:31 PM

+1 :)

1/28/2010 2:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, she was one of my interviewers for PNEO. Day ended up with an invitation to take my shore tour at NR, although I end up not being able to accept due to the nuke contract requirement.

1/28/2010 3:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those asking about female reps at NRRO Field Offices - the head of the Groton Field Office is female.

1/28/2010 3:23 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

As for the field offices...some really great guys, and then some I would love to see fall overboard in NWUs.

Agreed. I had one guy at PSNS (“Brian”, pretty sure he was an LDO LCDR) who was unusually helpful. He did four watches with me where he went through the typical post-visit laundry list, then tells me “but none of these are really significant, so tell your skipper no deficiencies; you’re doing a good job here – fix these things and you’ll be doing great”. My CO called the NRRO office the first time because he found it inconceivable that you could have an NR watch with no dings. Once I was notified that NR was aft at 0-dark-30, stumbled back to find Brian shooting the shit with my SRO, SEO, and SRW in maneuvering, and upon my arrival he said “good, you’re here! Do you have fresh coffee anywhere?” (the only correct response being “would you like cream and sugar?”). The best was when he stopped by one afternoon with some new reps in tow and announced “no official inspection today – these guys have never seen an S5W before; mind if I show them around?” I caught up with them in ARM@LL 30 minutes later and spent an hour dragging them around the ER showing them the crazy that was the 683.


1/28/2010 7:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the local office 90% of them are LDOs or CWOs, the only ones who aren't are either the head of the local office or are training to be. I think that most of the guys are trying to do a good job but there are always bad ones, just like in any other job. A couple have saved me from doing a few stupid things, and a few were just a pain in the butt.

1/28/2010 7:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She has affected me at the molecular level.

1/28/2010 8:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say...the NR field reps are generally very helpful. Worked with a couple great guys at NNSY, and I really learned alot from them. The funniest thing was when I worked with one rep on solving a problem...he goes and tells my ENG that I was doing an outstanding job...and the ENG blows a lid wanting to know why I was talking to him so much. He didn't like my answer of "because he knows more about this than you do?"

On a side can this gal be caught working out in something than the new, official, poorly sized PT gear for an official recruiting spot! Come on! Some TASK FORCE UNIFORM guy must be blowing a gasket right now!

(If you can't sense my sarcasm, you might be THAT guy.)

1/28/2010 9:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definately would hit it. And for the Sonatech in another thread, I would hit it right in the septic tank!

1/28/2010 10:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care enough to go back and count, but did anyone check how many times she used the word "actually"?

One of the things I get to do in my current position is give the new NR Engineers tours of the old prototypes when they finish BRES and come out to visit our site. I can say without reservation that these are some seriously bright kids.

1/28/2010 10:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She could have been NR the whole time, or she was a Nuke School Instructor that got picked up by NR, via a MS at NPGS (the video shows her NPGS diploma). I don't know the current career paths of the Nuke School instructors but too many of them had no viability in the old General Unrestricted Line community, a great loss to the Navy when they left. Hopefully she has an EDO designator now. A friend of mine was a Nuke School instructor that managed to transition into N6 and she did great.

I worked quite a bit with the civilian NR OPS folks when I was with N77/N87 (all since retired I'm sure). A great few folks – meaning NR is only a few deep in each area. It is strange going into NR to work with them, rather than being evaluated by them.

During my PNEO I only had one real interview as my ship had been doing some experimental stuff for NR, so my other interviews were conversations with folks I'd talked to on the AUTODIN phone a few times (OK, one useless easy question, then discussion). Come the next ORSE the PNEB was upset that we talked directly to NR of course. We had a stack of informational incident reports (to make a record) that the board member couldn't understand. We finally said, OK, NR told us to file them, do you question NR? So we got the comment of not following the chain of command.

As for the waterfront NR Reps, some are good, some are %^&*^. The guy in San Diego in the early 90s with the Corvette was top notch – he was there to help the fleet (and maintain standards of course). A certain shipyard one, I loathed.

I will put the folks at SSP in the same category of competence, outstanding competence.

As for NR HQ, as someone I knew who got orders to the Line Locker said, “If you see me wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie, please shoot me.”

Oh, and +1

1/29/2010 1:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the linked MTS story, wish I could have seen the ET1 blow a gasket :)

Thanks to said ET1, I spent most of a maintenance shutdown as port and re-port EDPO.

1/29/2010 4:41 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Of all the necessary 'evils' in the world, NR has absolutely the best benefit to pain ratio out there.

Practical experience or no, the men and women in that building are experts on systems and procedures and they always provide exquisite support.

1/29/2010 6:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry from EB Groton was my favorite by far. I hope he's enjoying retirement.

1/29/2010 6:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have internet video access so cannot see an image of the babe in the video some of you are wanting to boink.

What's her name?

Maybe there's a Google image of her out there.

1/29/2010 10:35 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

Her name is Jean Barmell or something close to that according to the video (maybe someone could freeze & close-up on her name tag but I didn't really care that much).

I thought it was funny how her complex nuclear problems could be solved by a 20 minute jog during lunch.

She did a great job and the producers did a good job too. Coming across as intelligent, enthusiastic, and professional. Good PR for the program.

My guys would get in trouble for calling down below when they showed up on the brow at midnight. I told them to take that hit every time and I would back 'em as DCPO.

1/29/2010 11:16 AM

Blogger SJV said...

I don't think anyone who hasn't qualified and operated at sea should be involved in operational level evaluations in the program. Design and engineering involvement is fine for non-qualified engineers, but there is no substitute for a stint at sea.

That being said, this officer shows why we need to open submarine service to women. She seems intelligent, professional, motivated, and patriotic.

1/29/2010 1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its amazing how intelligent you can sound when your reading from a cue card....just because a person sounds and talks intelligently doesnt mean they belong on submarines.

1/29/2010 2:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/29/2010 2:41 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Perhaps we can make some conclusions based on her graduation from MIT with good enough grades to get hired by NR? Takes a little more than cue card reading 101. If ya wanna question her ability to turn a wrench or cook, that's okay, but there is no question that she's intelligent.

Hopefully the FB link will go away.

1/29/2010 7:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been stationed as an instructor at the charleston prototype i worked with and around those NR reps and some of them were dumber than a box of rocks....a college degree and a job at NR doesnt mean your the best. I sure as hell dont want a woman telling me how to do my job on a submarine....and you know they arent gonna put some nublet on there it will be a senior officer or chief. Just what the sub force needs...

1/29/2010 9:58 PM

Anonymous Mark said...

newsflash for you, anon@9:58 - you come across as dumber than a box of rocks...

1/29/2010 10:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean Barnwell, btw. She still works there.

The line locker, the CMC, and the ADM and his aide can actually perform a fast recovery startup. As for the rest of NR, who knows?

1/30/2010 6:05 AM

Blogger SJV said...

Never met an officer that could PERFORM a FRSU. Most think they could, but reality is quite different. Could they do it safely at a prototype? Yes. Could they do it in time to save the ship? Don't bet your life on it....and since that could be what we're talking about, best to leave it to the guys who practice.

1/30/2010 9:15 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

SJV said...

Never met an officer that could PERFORM a FRSU. Most think they could, but reality is quite different. Could they do it safely at a prototype? Yes. Could they do it in time to save the ship? Don't bet your life on it....and since that could be what we're talking about, best to leave it to the guys who practice.

1/30/2010 9:15 AM

Wait a minute here. Even the actual performing of the FRSU, one just grabs the rods, and pulls to the previous CRH. It's not exactly rocket science.

I'm sure that Ms. Barnwell would be able to recite the procedure correctly, and would probably be able to handle everything in the box, and probably everything that the RT does, but would probably have a difficult time with the 'MM' part of the ER. I suspect it's more difficult to find a valve in the outboard somewhere than it is to turn a switch on a big PFD.

And for all you CRD folks out there, please see DOE-HDBK-1019/2-93 (Vol 2, page 7 to be exact) before you start talking about classified this or noforn that.

1/30/2010 11:37 AM

Blogger SJV said...

Sorry ELT, you just dropped 'em again.

Just push your head to depth of previous ass insertion and prepare to snorkel.

I do agree with you about finding the right valves, though.

And I'm not saying that a design engineer or admiral (or ENG) can't do the FRSU, just that they'd need to practice with some experience guys to keep them from screwing it up badly.

1/30/2010 12:32 PM

Blogger Mark said...

As for the comments about the female rep, grow-up you sound like a bunch of jr. high school kids.

"SJV said... Never met an officer that could PERFORM a FRSU." Yes, that is why we have a watch team. Everyone does their job. As an EWS I might not be able to start up an SSTG as fast as the ERS or ERUL watch, but I could tell if he forgot something major, same with the other watch stations. And pray to God I’m not in the Box when the SCRAM goes down, I hate the 2MC and 7MC.

"a_former_elt_2jv said... Wait a minute here. Even the actual performing of the FRSU, one just grabs the rods, and pulls to the previous CRH. It's not exactly rocket science." I’d knocked you across the head with an RPM, long before you got the rods to the previous CRH, rock gets cold CRH changes. Stay in the rack where you’re safe to the rest of us.

Math Teacher in NY

1/30/2010 1:25 PM

Blogger Tom Williams said...

As someone new to your submarine world (I work for NMCI @ PNSY), I will say that it's a pretty decent commercial. I guess you can never have too many qualified people.

1/30/2010 8:22 PM

Anonymous Future ENG said...

@Math Teacher: You sound like a great EWS. You're right, it does take a whole watch team. Former EOOW here, and after I got to be good at it, the 2MC and 7MC were my favorite parts. It was a good feeling when you could keep everything running smoothly with just a switch and a microphone. And when you know your lines, you get a lot of respect from the guys at the panels and out in the spaces.

And as for the officer-bashing, certainly there are bad ones as well as good. But saying none could PERFORM a FRSU would be as unfair as saying no EWS qualified blue-shirt could DIRECT one. One of the most challenging and fun drills was when I was on my tour for a FRSU. Sure it didn't go as smooth, but I held my own.

Also, as the MPA, I felt obligated to learn how to startup the 10K. It wasn't smooth, but it made good water when all was said and done. Never got the hang of the 1.6k though...

1/31/2010 10:17 AM

Blogger SJV said...

Not intended as bashing. To say that an admiral and his assistants can perform a FRSU is simply not true. That ability is a combination of education, experience, and proficiency. Two out of three ain't bad, but still not all it takes. It's not like riding a bike. If you don't use it, you lose it.

1/31/2010 12:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SJV - wouldn't the admiral's aide be a recently PNEO-qualified guy? Line locker guys probably haven't touched that stuff in years

{Also, as the MPA, I felt obligated to learn how to startup the 10K. It wasn't smooth, but it made good water when all was said and done. Never got the hang of the 1.6k though...}

Good for you, but it does seem a touch masochistic. Its been 10 years and I still hate evaps. They suck.

1/31/2010 6:59 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

I know I couldn't do a FRSU (or many other things) as well as the operators..but then again I have never trained to do so.

Of course, an RO (and most others) should never be allowed inside the sink.

Not sure why that matters though...

2/02/2010 12:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it matter?

Since when have submariners ever needed a reason to argue about something completely unimportant? Its almost a sacred rite.

2/02/2010 6:58 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Your're right, it doesn't really matter. The question about performing a FRSU just kinda grated on my nerves as a guy who actually performed them. Just sending a poke back.

For sure, it takes all colors of crayons to make a box, but khaki crayons saying that they can be blue "if they trained for it" is just as pointless as pointing out that performance isn't supervision. Maybe it's just my perception.

I guess I should just shutup and get back in line.

2/03/2010 9:57 AM

Blogger Lou said...

@Future ENG

Don't feel too bad about the 1.6k, most of the M div types on my boat couldn't get our 2k running. I think the few that did had to provide an offering to the rain gods or something, possibly one whole chicken...

(for those of you who don't get the reference, Major League was the most burned flick during my 2nd patrol)

2/03/2010 6:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's so hard about the 1.6K? If you run her weekly like you're supposed to, have some patience with her, and treat her nice, she'll make drinkable water by the end of the watch. At least, that's how ours was.

2/03/2010 8:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Admiral's Aide was an Eng on his last boat. I know this because I know him, and I know his last Aide who is an XO on a boat as we speak.

2/04/2010 10:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's a professional actress.

2/16/2010 11:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, anon guy upstairs, clearly you don't read what you post! From the site you posted, it states,

"Currently she is a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "

Nice try harboring agenda masking as unbiased info.

9/28/2010 1:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's her profile in MIT community.

sorry about acting overly aggressive. upon reflection, the poster upstairs only misstated halfway.

9/28/2010 1:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean *was* a professional actress. She is a MIT graduate and NRHQ engineer. I know because I passed her on the way to lunch today. It is my pleasure to work with Jean and the many other multi-talented people who make up NRHQ.

2/15/2011 4:50 PM

Anonymous Doris said...

This will not truly have success, I consider so.

9/08/2012 1:50 PM

Anonymous Marlena said...

I think every person ought to read it.

9/14/2012 6:48 AM


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