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.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

We Get Letters

I got an E-mail from a young man a few days ago that I just got around to answering. Here's what he said:
I am considering the NUPOC program and I have been doing a lot of research about it. There are a few questions I have. How much did you enjoy your time while you were in? Was going out to sea exciting or boring? What percentage of your time in were you at sea? Would you recommend the program based on your experience?
How would you answer this young person?

88 Comments:

Anonymous STSC said...

If you are smart and unafraid of being horrendously overworked and underappreciated much of the time - then go for it.

The financial incentives really are outstanding. Undergraduate & graduate degrees paid for, excellent salary and if you can survive the crucible of your first sea tour you should be able to handle just about anything afterwards as a civilian and will be sought after in the job market.

Do not make the decision lightly, and talk to as many 1120's as you can to get a good idea of what exactly you are signing up for.

2/09/2010 4:16 PM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

Some general advice I've given to those considering the sub force:

1. Your recruiter is a fantastic liar.
2. It's probably not going to be nearly as exciting as you think.
3. If you're interested in the sub force because of the opportunity to see the world, stop being interested.
4. On my boat, approx. 80% of the crew and 30% of the officers counted down the days until they transferred off the boat, or get out of the navy.

If they still show interest, I then let them know that even though I was one of the crew who was counting down the days until I got out, the people skills (dealing with BS) and work ethic I learned on the sub have played a huge part in the success I have achieved since I got out.

2/09/2010 4:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most rewarding thing I never want to do again.

-JO on the way out

2/09/2010 6:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster at 1803. A good place to be from, set me up on a career path that I love, but I cringe at the thought of repeating my JO sea tour.

2/09/2010 6:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the answer is as follows.

I think, clearly in the 1960s through the 1980s, the submarine force had an important military function.

As the 1990s progressed, the mission became less important.

At the present, the submarine force seems primarily occupied conducting missions that were considered unimportant and non-essential as recently as the early 1990s.

My view, having watched the progression, is that the current mission set was crafted and is being used to justify a force level well above what could be justified by military necessity.

If you want to contribute something to society, or national defense, submarines aren't the place to do it.

Would also point out that level of automation and technology remains archaic, especially aft. It will bother you to allocate so much time dedicating yourself to mastering the best ideas of 1962.

I'm proud to have served. I am honored to have taken a place in the long line of people that contributed more and far better than I ever did, but I wouldn't choose submarines again.

Nor should you.

2/09/2010 6:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what your situation is, but here is what mine was.

Thirty years ago I faced a similar decision. As the oldest child of a family with four children in college and high school there was financial pressure for me to start paying my own way. I am not sure that I could have continued to be a full time student without the financial benefits that the NUPOC program provided. I became one of the first two year NUPOCs. I was financially independent and that allowed my parents to concentrate on my brothers and sisters. I paid off my student loans and was debt free at graduation.

The Navy is making an investment in you and there will certainly be pay back. You will have to do things that won't be easy, but many have gone before you and made it - so with effort you can too.

As for whether you decide to make it a career or not, it it way too early for that. Even if you get out after serving the minimum amount of time required you will have gained invaluable experience that will help in the civilian world.

While some who have posted question what is being done since the end of the Cold War, the Submarine Force provides a valuable contribution to our Nation's security.

Everyone and their situation is different - only you can make this decision. Talk with your family and anyone you might know with military experience. Take the trip to see the submarine if it gets offered.

2/09/2010 7:06 PM

 
Anonymous 1120 to 1800 said...

I went NUPOC in 2001/02 timeframe, after already having a B.S. If you want to be a nuclear officer, it's the best deal you can get, especially if you can milk it for the last 2 years of college.

As for being a submarine J.O. (and being on this site I'm guessing you're not thinking surf nuke), there are a lot of variables. If you have a family, then asking for an SSBN is a good idea. If you're a single guy wanting to do things, an SSN is much better.

The command climate is the biggest thing, and that is truly a crapshoot with either. If you have a good chain of command and/or a good chief or two, it can be a rewarding experience. It will still be the most difficult thing you've ever done. On the other hand, even a bad experience will make you stronger and set you up in the future. I had a tough time made worse by being in the shipyard my last 2 years. I would still do it again because of the personal growth I can attribute to the experience. I'm in a different community now (and I miss the bonuses), and I'm using a lot of the skills I learned on the boat.

In conclusion, if you're willing to work hard, and take your chances on some bad periods (same as any other job, in the Navy or out), do it.

2/09/2010 7:20 PM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

What's with the dude wearing a female officer's uniform on the navy's nuclear home page

http://www.navy.com/nuclear/

Wait, really? That's a chick?

2/09/2010 7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I became a NUPOC on a whim 24 years ago.

Since then I've served on 4 submarines, been to many ports, met a lot of amazing leaders, and was given two years in Monterey with nothing to do but get my masters.

The Good: Your job (and often your location) changes every few years.

Good compensation.

Great bennies.

Amazingly talented co-workers.

You get every increasing responsibility and authority.

Challenging and relevant service to the national defense.

Every job on a submarine will develop you for the next one.

The Bad: Your job changes every few years. (once you achieve a level of comfort, you are kicked up a notch)

You earn every penny of that compensation.

You have to be a little more talented than your talented co-workers to make it to the next level.

As you get more responsibility, knowing how to manage it becomes much more art than science.

The challenging service and long months at sea will pressure test your personal relationships.

Every job on a submarine, including Command, is a rite of passage.

To summarize, I have rather enjoyed service in the Navy. I have had a few regrets along the way, but the opportunities and challenge are well worth it.

2/09/2010 8:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like going to work in
your blue man jammies, dealing with
mad bull dykes, and don't mind
having a fag pickup on you,
Go right ahead!

GIFR!

2/09/2010 8:39 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

I became a NUPOC in my Senior year and thought I would only do the minimum. I have now retired and had a long and very interesting career. I would recommend the job only to people that really enjoy being task oriented and are insanely internally driven because otherwise it can be a miserable experience.

Seeing how this kid is researching and asking a damn fine sub guy, and personnel mentor, these questions his geeky butt will do fine. Go and sign the dotted line enjoy 6 or 20+ years of service to your country.

Plus, you never know where it will take you. I served on the National Airborne Operations Center and flew regularly on an AF jet and then later spent a year in Iraq with the Army, so you have no worries about not contributing to the greater military effort.

With all that said, recruiters lie, so get everything in writing because if it isn't then it never happened.

2/10/2010 3:41 AM

 
Blogger ret.cob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/10/2010 3:50 AM

 
Blogger Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em said...

The only thing I can say is go for it! Otherwise, you'll never know. I'll still in because I haven't gotten to do what I wanted to do yet in the Sub Force, and I'll stick around as long as it's fun after that.

We need every willing volunteer we can get these days, before they start sending more non-vols our way.

2/10/2010 5:23 AM

 
Blogger ret.cob said...

If not you, then who? Someone who cares less? Would you rather he stand the watch while the nation sleeps?

Read these entries and take them to heart. They are all true. The job is as hard as it is rewarding. The money and the benefits will support you and your family. That is not the issue.

You will work, and live, with the finest people this nation has to offer. They are hard working and dedicated men. They show up, pay attention, do their work, behave like officers, gentlemen and ordinary Sailors, and go home again to enjoy their families.

You have read for yourself: they are smart, they know how to write well and they can form a logical argument. They will do well whether they stay in the Navy, or go home to call themselves veterans - better yet, "submarine veterans." The only guys in this country who can do that are the ones who stepped up, signed up and got underway.

And getting underway, believe me, is one of the most thrilling things you will ever do in your life. To stand the watch on the bridge of a silent killer like a nuclear-powered submarine headed out to sea to defend a nation such as this, yet again, is an honor and a priviledge the likes of which few men ever feel. Let them drive their minivans to the cubes where they work; you have ships to drive and missions to lead.

I am not an officer. But I met a few in thirty years of active duty. Some were tough to get along with; others I wish my daughters had married. All who were worthy to be called officers and gentlemen looked after the needs of their Sailors first, their ship second and their families always. And you can be one of them. Or you can sit on the porch at home with those "cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." The choice, as always, is yours, but if not you, then who?

2/10/2010 6:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't mind rooming or bunking with Luke Sissyfag in the near future, go for it

2/10/2010 6:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with much that was posted here. It does depend on what boat you get. I have found that nuclear power, or the military, does not advance your standing in the civilian world. While it might look good on your resume, your colleagues will be in their fields for at least 5-7 year before you enter it and will always be senior to you. In the end, it's better to start out in a civilian job young rather than doing the military and retreading in a civilian field later. This idea that you go nuke and the world will be your oyster is totally not true.

Also, if you are single and a family is important to you, know that you can sometimes go months without laying eyes on a real woman. It's a monastic life.

2/10/2010 7:12 AM

 
Anonymous AC said...

I started NUPOC as a college junior in 2001, and recently separated after five years as a Junior Officer.

In short, I'm extremely glad I did it, and I'm extremely glad I'm done with it.

I served under 3 COs (we had a collision so my first CO was fired, then we had a temporary CO for a few months, then the long-term replacement came). The first was an excellent engineer and a poor manager and motivator of people. Life and duty were difficult and frustrating under his command. The temporary CO was a great, charismatic, gung-ho, cowboy type, and I got my dolphins under his short command, and it was a great time. The final CO was a smart, reserved, capable leader and motivator. I enjoyed serving under him, though this included a demanding shipyard period.

Why I'm glad I did it: while it's true that the "world is not my oyster", there are certain fields (such as working for a Naval contractor in DC) that will pretty much ALWAYS be available as long as the US Navy makes and operates submarines, at good pay and quality of life. In my job right now (submarine Logistics, for a defense contractor in DC), I work 40 hours a week, NO weekends, very little travel, pretty low stress, and very good pay, good benefits, and good work environment. I could not have gotten this job without my Navy service, and this job allows me to live the life I want right now. Also- I have stories and experiences that I will always be able to tell and relate, I've learned how tough and capable I can be, and that will always set me apart from most Americans.

Why I'm glad to be done: Chiefly, the working hours. At times I was relieved to be underway, because in port I might be working 7 days a week, around 100 hrs/wk. Even when there's not a lot of work to do, I would be working 55-65 hours per week, not including duty days. Also, the chance of working for a total douchebag. In addition to the 3 COs, I served under 3 XOs and friggin' FIVE ENGs (one was fired after the collision, one was temporary, and the next one had a mental breakdown). Of those five, two were absolute nightmares. Perpetually angry, stupid, uncompromising, irrational, obnoxious, disrespectful, I was absolutely elated the day the first was fired and the other broke down crying and quit. When the last one (who was our WEPS previously) started as ENG, and was awesome, it was a dream come true. Life SUCKS if you're an Engineering Div-O under a bad ENG, and it's GREAT under a great ENG.

In short again, I think back fondly on a lot of things I did, and am so glad to be finished. My life is very good now, and much of that is because I did NUPOC and served as a Sub JO.

2/10/2010 7:43 AM

 
Blogger Jay said...

The young man probably has enough to make a decision, but, I'll relate my experience as a jealous ROTC guy. I always thought the NUPOC program was one of the best deals going, financially and personally it allows you to remain a normal college student and you even get credited service time for your NUPOC years in college (hence, the source of my frustration).

Boring? When you're qualifying EOOW and then OOD, you're too busy to be bored. Afterward, depends on what the boat does (SSBN=mostly boring; SSN=less so).

As for the amount of time questions, which no one has really addressed - it's because it depends. If you're a SSBN guy, you can count on about 50% of your time being spent at sea. The SSN guys can talk more about their experiences - the 50% is probably about the same for an SSN, but, the length of time between ports is usually shorter than SSBN's (with obvious exceptions for certain missions). So, you're going to spend some time at sea. Your home's a 9x6 room shared with 2 other guys, so if you have a problem with that...well, think twice.

The absolute best part of submarining - OOD on the surface at night (doesn't happen often, so enjoy it when it does), and just the thrill of standing OOD and knowing you were in charge of a $2B piece of equipment of the crew, and, hell, you're what, 24/25? Who else gets to do that at that age?

No one. It's fun. Of course, you have to pay some dues to get there, but, once you pin on yoru dolphins and have the trust of your CO, it really is worth all the hassle.

It's a difficult life if you have a family or girlfriend, so it takes a special woman to put upwith it for too long.

The pay is good, the job security is great, the satisfaction is real, and the guys in the crew (and I mean the crew, about half the officers I could have lived without) are the best at what they do and if you do choose to become a submarine officer, find out how those enlisted guys came to be submariners (their stories are a lot more interesting than the officers). You'll discover that most of them are just as smart as you and only for slightly different circumstances, they could be sitting in your seat and you in theirs.

Would I recommend NUPOC? Absolutely, but decide you want to be a Nuke first, then a submariner, then take the money.

2/10/2010 9:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of good comments here; most line up with my experiences as a JO on a Trident from 93 through 97.
The major contribution to your quality of life onboard is the quality of the CO. A bad CO can make a 3 month rotation feel like a year. A good one can make it feel like 4 months.
I personally had a lot of trouble adapting to insane level of attention to detail required for success. It is not enough to just know the job. You must learn it well enough to react perfectly in an emergency – lives literally on the line.
The Navy knows the importance of this, so it trains and tests and trains and tests until you know it, then trains and tests to make sure you don’t forget it. If you don’t know how to study before the Navy (and believe it or not, you probably don’t) you will when you get out.
I decided it wasn’t for me – I would have been a terrible department head – but I wouldn’t have traded the experience or the camaraderie for anything. There is nothing like the Wardroom in the civilian world.
There are a lot of companies out there that really value the experience. I had four job offers when I left the Navy (only one from a defense contractor). I was making more money than my peers at the job I ended up accepting.
I believe that there is no disadvantage to going Navy first then civilian. Going through the crucible provides you the skills to quickly catch up and surpass the folks who went straight civilian – even if you end up (like me) being a less than stellar nuke.

2/10/2010 12:00 PM

 
Blogger Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em said...

"I have found that nuclear power, or the military, does not advance your standing in the civilian world."

Really? Tell that to all the officers and CPOs (heck, and almost all the E-6's too) that I served with at NPTU that got out. I think you didn't want to work in nuclear power if you feel that way. The SRO licensing exam is difficult...only 50% pass it the first time. But, of the 50% that do, 90% are Navy trained nukes (officer and enlisted). The power companies know that, and they pay well for people like us.

And if you don't want to go commercial nuclear power, then the other job offers are pretty nice. I know a couple fellas working in with big oil making an easy $115k. Yeah, being a Naval officer, training the way we are trained, went a long way. If you had a master's, add about $5k to $10k on top of that.

So, I don't know what happened in your case, and you are the first I heard that from. As for me, I don't anticipate any problems finding a good job should I leave after my DH tour.

Like I said before, this young man should give it a shot. Rarely do many get the opportunity to do anything like we do.

2/10/2010 12:32 PM

 
Anonymous Bill said...

What submariners do is prepare for war. And we're expected to win. There is no acceptable alternative. Everything else we put up with, the long hours, the constant tension, the "training and the testing", the drills and the hours spent sucking rubber, the family separations, are all endured with that end in mind, winning the next war.

That's what makes those Sailors in the LOUISVILLE video so special. They fairly vibrate with enthusism for what they do and what they know and they want to show these guys how this thing works. They can make this machine dance. It's where they live, in the machine, surrounded by an ocean environment few other men know.

Submariners are members of an elite fighting force. Why? Because they act like they are members of an elite fighting force. And if the President ever tells them to shoot, they will be in the right place at the right time and they will shoot with precision using weapons of unimaginable power. They will win the war they're asked to fight, and you can be one of them or not.

A wise old man told me once, "It wasn't so much what I did as what I didn't do that I regret. Do."

2/10/2010 4:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So come follow us then and go down to the sea and slip into the depths where few men go and return to tell the tale. Sound the ocean floor so far below the mountain seems. Ride beneath the tumult above in a silent rehlm where Neptune reigns. Come listen for danger and seek it out, come venture afar in the home of the brave. Pull rods and let neutrons rip, heat water to steam, spin turbines whine and rinse water from brine and drink. Let go the shore, no good be done there anyway, and sail away on stealth patrol with us brave soul. And be glad you dared; ahead lies the best and behind, lesser dogs play.

2/10/2010 7:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing I ever did, and would never repeat.

Not sure what advice I would give to you. I've never met a group of people that is so proud and so bitter at the same time.

2/10/2010 9:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a nuke officer doesn't really help you that much in the corporate world.
It helps you with a lot of jobs, but in the true suit wearing corporate world it does not really help.
This much I know from being in the corporate world, not from being a DH on a sub and listening to what all the other people that have always been on a sub have to say on the matter.

2/10/2010 9:29 PM

 
Anonymous LT E said...

It is something you will always be proud of, and glad you did. With that being said, you would never do it again.

2/10/2010 9:38 PM

 
Anonymous Squidward said...

{This idea that you go nuke and the world will be your oyster is totally not true.}

And yet, for many of us, it is true. Nothing is for sure in this life, but I have encountered many successful nucs in civilian life. I sat across a conference table from one today. He makes a six figure salary and is well respected in his industry, because his job, while very tough, is not even close to the toughest thing he's ever done. Oh, and that goes for me, too.

It also goes for the other dozen or so former nucs, officer and enlisted, I've run into, professionally, over the past year.

None of them work in civilian Nuclear Power, either - it will be far from your only option, if you don't make a career of the Navy.

2/10/2010 10:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What field do you work in, if you don't mind me asking? I'm getting ready to transition and am curious as to what industries might be good to get into.

2/10/2010 10:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

50% optempo on an SSN? These boomer guys must be smoking a little crack to go along with the pole. Specific answers to your questions:

-Hated it while in. Had fun maybe 15% of the time (surfaced OOD, laughing at some exceptional misfortune to befall a shipmate, Engineer's school)

-Sea is pretty boring. Fun at times (surfaced OODs, some exercises/drills, port calls) but mostly sitting in a 10x6ft room trying to stay awake while staring at a massive panel of gauges/ meters.)

-Time at sea is ~50% for SSBNs, 70-80% for SSNs. If you want to have a life outside of the Navy in your early twenties, don't go to a fast boat. (I didn't realize how isolated from the real world I was until I went to grad school.)

-If you can get a civilian job with a good career path now, I would not recommend the NUPOC program based on current trends. I agree with the previous point that subs are largely a platform in search of a mission, so from a long-term perspective it's a bad move. If you want to look at the military as a personal development opportunity, then it might be worth thinking about. (But trust me it will hurt.)

Everyone talks in abstractions, but I'll be concrete about my story. I entered NUPOC in 1999, got out in 2005, went to a big-name business school, and am now very comfortable in the bidness world. I was living in a penthouse apt in Manhattan 2 yrs after I walked off the boat for the last time.

So, the military obviously doesn't screw your civilian career like some have suggested. It doesn't give you any huge advantage either. What it will do is give you a certain amount of intensity/mental toughness that is both an asset (focus, discipline, ability to stay awake for 36 hours straight) and a liability (hard to relate to people who are more normal/decent human beings).

No one here can make your decision for you, but these are the questions I would ask myself if I had to decide on the NUPOC program again:

1) Am I ready for a desk job?
2) Do I care about service to my country?
3) Do I need to develop my discipline/focus/stick-to-itiveness?
4) Can I get a good job right now?
5) How important is it that I see family/friends/women regularly?
6) Am I willing to live in places like Kings Bay, GA, Norfolk, VA and Agana, Guam? (Alternatively, how badly do I want to live in places like Hawaii, San Diego, Seattle.)

My last piece of advice is to just to delay the decision until your last year. Get all the job ofers you can can, and THEN see if the Navy looks as good as it does now. $25-$50k a very cheap price to pay for decision authority on your early- to mid- twenties.

Good luck either way buddy.

2/11/2010 1:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guys who love it, who intend to make a career doing it, aren't here to tell you about it. Most of these guys went home at the end of their obligation. Of course you're going to hear a little more negativity that way. Doesn't mean these guys aren't being honest, they are. It's one of the limitations of a sample like this.

2/11/2010 4:03 AM

 
Anonymous AC said...

Someone above said something quite important that I'd like to repeat (at least from my own experience as a sub JO)- one of the greatest advantages that I have from my Navy experience is that now that I'm out, literally EVERYTHING seems easy. No matter what happens at work- they want me to stay late? come in Saturday? take a 3 day trip for a conference? chastise me for screwing up? ALL OF IT is easy. For anything that happens at work, I can say "well, that was not nearly as bad as the time on the sub that x happened", and smile. It can be a huge advantage, and keeps me from complaining about my current job (which is pretty good, actually).

2/11/2010 6:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this isn't as hard as getting a nuclear-powered submarine underway!

2/11/2010 7:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heinlein said it best;

"Better to die young than be an old man, staring into the fire, sucking your gums and dreaming of the girls you never tumbled and the places you never saw.

Remember what Sam said in the Two Towers:

"There's some good in this world, and it's worth fightin' for!"

Joe Alferio

2/11/2010 7:49 AM

 
Anonymous subwife said...

Okay, I don't know if you plan on getting married at some point, but you probably do, so I wanted to give a spouse perspective just in case that may be part of your decision-making process (even if you don't currently have a girlfriend).

My husband and I didn't meet until right before he showed up at his fast-attack as a JO, and we spent the better part of last year trying to plan our wedding around that boat's schedule. Fast-attacks will deploy for 6 months one year, but on the "workup" years they're out to sea just as much but not all in one stretch.

The benefits really are great though. Once we got married, it was very apparent that I could easily quit my decently-paying but dead-end job and stay home because our pay was good enough and we're banking enough BAH to let me travel and explore while he's gone. There are also educational benefits even for the spouses with the advent of myCAA, which I do plan on using. And the health care (for me) is better and cheaper than what I was getting in the civilian working world. For him, his health care is showing up to "sick call," but we did have to take him to an emergency room in his hometown and didn't pay a dime for it.

My husband actually really does not like his job and whines about it a lot, the hours are pretty crazy even when he is home. He stands duty every 3rd night (yes, up to 3 times per week), but once I got my magical dependent's ID, I could go down and eat supper with him.

My unofficial Navy spouse motto is "Hope for the best, but plan for the worst." And we've done a lot more of the latter. While one couple was totally shocked and angry when they got extended for an extra 6 months, it really didn't phase either my husband or me when it happened to us. Basically, be prepared to be screwed - but you never know if that's really a shut door or an open window. Because we got extended, he's working under a great CO and I get to take a trip abroad to see him that I would've never even thought of taking.

We're about ready to leave the boat life and head to our shore duty and then separate. The adventure that the Navy is providing us - paying our move across the country to do a job he'll get to come home every day and (hopefully) not whine about- almost makes a 40-month sea tour worth it.

Also, we've already been contacted by headhunting agencies ready to scoop him up and place him in something great the minute we separate. The economy isn't really hitting these nuke jobs the way it's hitting everything else, and the starting salaries are good enough for me to never work again if that's what we choose.

I'm glad we're doing it but I'll also be glad when it's over :)

2/11/2010 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with everything subwife wrote. My wife and I had the same experience when we try to get married the first few times. Eventually, we just gave up and waited to get married on shore duty.

Another note: The lack of geographic stability makes it especially hard for your spouse to pursue a career (and live with you). Some employers allow tele-commuting or have offices all over. I've seen Navy Wives that have very successful engineering and corporate careers that way. But they were the exception. Geographic stability is not guaranteed in the civilian sector but it is far more common than in the Navy.

It is the primary reason that I'm getting out. The job was great and I think I would have been very successful in the Navy. But I'm not willing to put my success ahead of my wife's (due to the teamwork mentality developed in the submarine force). Now, we have a better chance of succeeding as a team - I can always stay in the reserves and look back without regret on a very interesting part of my life.

2/11/2010 9:40 AM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

subwife, please stop saying "we" when you refer to your husband's service. He's the one doing the work, while it sounds like you're the one reaping most of the benefits.

Being a kept woman is tough work; hang in there.

2/11/2010 9:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been able to figure out what goes though some men's minds. I've seen several submariners who would not tolerate someone on the boat who was not pulling their weight (and go to great lengths to make sure the other guy knew he was a piece of crap and should get off his butt and do his job) but were perfectly happy with a spouse who's biggest daily accomplishment was taking a spin class. I imagine those spouses are "contributing" in other ways. I would just caution that such contributions are eventually better served by a younger model.

But that's just me. I'm a little picky. I don't even have much respect for olympic athletes that don't at least have a UPS gig on the side.

2/11/2010 10:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those last 2 post were a little harsh. But it is part of what you get into as a submariner. There is a lot of blunt and honest communication. The hardest part is that most of it is true and accurate. You'll have to be able to take criticism well if you want to succeed in the sub force.

2/11/2010 10:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But that's just me. I'm a little picky. I don't even have much respect for olympic athletes that don't at least have a UPS gig on the side.

You probably feel that way because you are fat and jealous.

Fatty Fat. :)

2/11/2010 11:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since we're drawing lessons from everything: Remember, there is a vast difference between junior officer pay and junior enlisted pay. And the one guy works for the other. Never put yourself in a position where you are taking money from a Sailor.

2/11/2010 11:31 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

subwife, please stop saying "we" when you refer to your husband's service. He's the one doing the work, while it sounds like you're the one reaping most of the benefits.

Being a kept woman is tough work; hang in there.


Interesting. Nowhere in her post did I read of her taking credit for anything her husband did. All I read was a wife who stood with her husband in decisions in life, much like my own.

2/11/2010 12:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would everyone just please leave me alone. WE are getting upset,

Sincerely
Mrs Mulligan

2/11/2010 1:09 PM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

Interesting. Nowhere in her post did I read of her taking credit for anything her husband did. All I read was a wife who stood with her husband in decisions in life, much like my own.

Really? Since you didn't actually read what she wrote, I'll go ahead and give you the highlights:

Because we got extended...

We're about ready to leave the boat life

place him in something great the minute we separate

I'm glad we're doing it but I'll also be glad when it's over

2/11/2010 1:17 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

My wife has survived my time on 4 different submarines. From having just 1 child to 4, she was with me every step of the way. The fact she didn't earn a paycheck during most of that period doesn't mean that she didn't work.

The job of a Navy sub wife is not easy.

Using 'we' is appropriate since the family has to work together to be successful as a family.

2/11/2010 1:26 PM

 
Anonymous Bill said...

"Your wife didn't come in your seabag, Sailor!" (Remember that? Do they still say that out loud?)

2/11/2010 1:42 PM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

stsc, nowhere in her post does she say she stays home to take care of children. What she does say is that her husband's service allowed her to quit her job and "travel and explore". Also, his service and potential civilian job will enable her to "never work again".

My issue is that she keeps using the term "we" in connection with the hard work that her husband is doing, while she is clearly a leach.

I have nothing but respect for a wife who doesn't work because she has small children at home and wants to actually raise them; rather than throw them in daycare.

However, I have zero respect for someone who is not working because they're a lazy slob and their husband is too p-whipped to stand up to them.

2/11/2010 2:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) :
A little bitter there chap. Don't worry they are working on repealing the law, you will be fine soon.

2/11/2010 2:18 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

QM3 (FTN),

I read every single word. She was there with him for every one of those events. I have to wonder: Where you married during your service? I have no problem whatsoever sharing my accomplishments with my beloved wife. In many cases, it was her prodding that kept me going, and she is an equal partner in my success.

Sorry you feel different.

2/11/2010 2:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,

The trend is becomming obvious. At about the 30th comment some asshole veers away from the topic and makes a comment that has exactly the same tone as a bunch of bitchy submariners on the mess decks at 2:30am a week before end of deployment.

Submariners are the bitchy-est bitches that ever set sail (reactor).

In order to keep up the quality of the comments, maybe you should limit them to the first thirty.

Son of Mulligan

2/11/2010 3:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submariners are the bitchy-est bitches that ever set sail (reactor).

In order to keep up the quality of the comments, maybe you should limit them to the first thirty.


I say keep going. A posts entertainment value is inversely proportional to the posts quality.

2/11/2010 5:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...bitchy submariners on the mess decks at 2:30am a week before end of deployment."

Were those the same bitchy submariners that were there at 0230? Is that why those red lights were on? I get confused.

2/11/2010 6:32 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Pretty funny that it's a QM3 shooting his mouth off about a wife who isn't in a position to fully understand what it's truly like serving on a boat, so should be allowed some slack. At least she has a valid excuse...Jackass.

2/11/2010 6:43 PM

 
Blogger ret.cob said...

Keep it up and I'm going to have to take back all the nice things I said about you guys earlier.

2/11/2010 7:26 PM

 
Anonymous Here's what I said...

QM3 and subwife conspire to make a very important point, junior officers make enough bank that their wives don't have to work while junior enlisted Sailors' wives need to work just to make it from payday to payday. Except, finding work that pays enough to afford the inevitable childcare bill is supremely difficult. There is just huge disparity between the two paychecks on payday that shouting matches like this are not surprising. What is surprising is they don't happen very often on the boat.

2/11/2010 7:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank the fuck Christ I'm not married. Now, I agree with what Subwife has to say. But, Ladies like her with such a level mind and who clearly exercise a more than fair amount of reasoning skills in life is to be revered. Whoever the man she's married to, is one lucky happy bastard. In the fleet, we don't find women like her very often.

Subwife seems to realize that every decision her husband makes career wise, effects the both of them. That is why she says "WE."
She's smart and knows what teamwork is. Since she knows how to keep a marriage functioning in a positive manner, I begin to wonder if she has a sister.

BZ Subwife...Don't worry about some of the asshats around here.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

2/11/2010 11:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another strange thing about the military. It's so socially backwards that many people think it's perfectly reasonable for a wife to openly say "I like the Navy because it means I don't have to work."

Maybe a lot of women would like to be in that situation, but none of them in my acquaintance would dream of saying it openly.

2/12/2010 2:39 AM

 
Anonymous A smoothy from the Green Mountain Power & Water company said...

Well, I guess it's time for me to chime in...

As one of those guys back aft who could have been in a NUPOC's shoes (had I not gone out drinking instead of studying for my college classes), I feel like I can provide another opinion.

1. SUBWIFE is 100% correct in stating things in the plural. QM3, who do you think takes care of the BS at home while you play with your markers, tape, and colored pencils? Are you going to run out to the hardware store when you're in the middle of The Bay of None of Your Business to buy the parts to fix the sink? Are you going to board up the house from the depths of the ocean when a hurricane threatens? Are you going to return from that port call in Rota to plow the driveway when old man winter decides to dump a couple feet of snow on your lawn?
Think about those things the next time you say a Submariner's wife is taking credit for the things he has accomplished. As the Senior Chief Shower Tech. said, it's a team effort to make a marriage work.

2. To the NUPOC:

There is a reason people say PRIDE RUNS DEEP!

Read and head the advice of those who have gone before you, but make your own decision. There are so many people who wear dolphins that don't pay them the proper respect that they deserve. Yes, the job is tough. Yes, the hours can suck. Yes, we are all very blunt about our feelings, (so you'll have to be thick skinned). Yes, most of us back aft with crows and anchors on our lapels are as smart or smarter than you. But, we won't throw that in your face, instead we'll teach you what you need to know to be an effective leader and supervisor.
No, Lt. Lake (Down Periscope) will not be your diving officer.
No, it's not like The Hunt for Red October (all the time).
No, Crimson Tide is not a good example of life on a boomer (but who cares, they're all fags!).

In hindsight, I can look back on my time in that 360' long sewer tube and smile. I made some great friends, and had some amazing experiences. I don't regret the experience. I will say there are moments that I could have done without (clean because it's Friday, not because it's dirty), but as a total experience, I will cherish the memories.

In conclusion, WORK HARD, STAY POSITIVE, MAKE THE BEST OF IT. (And yes, standing watch on the Bridge of a surfaced submarine is by far one of the best experiences you'll never get in a cubicle)

2/12/2010 5:18 AM

 
Anonymous ret.cob said...

Anybody remember the grocery bags at the commissary that said, "Navy Wife: Toughest Job in the Navy"? Aside from implying that the wives were the only family members who went shopping for groceries, they did concede a role for the whole family in the military. We recruit single Americans and retain families. Every single person involved in the life a sea-going submarine Sailor plays a role in the success of that Sailor, some roles are major, some minor. The organization shows appreciation for them all or our Shipmate walks across the street and gets a job with the power company, or Google, or whoever. Families matter, a lot.

2/12/2010 6:44 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Really, Google!?!?! I'm ready to go if someone knows how a NUPOC or other Nuke can get into Google!

2/12/2010 7:26 AM

 
Anonymous ret.cob said...

2jv: I saw somebody mention Google in this thread, I thought. But you know, I'm getting all senile and shit.

2/12/2010 7:57 AM

 
Blogger SJV said...

One of the likely alternatives for a person who's got the grades for NUPOC is Google.

Joel, I'd tell the young man that by far the smartest and most capable group of guys you've ever worked with was in the sub force, and that whether he stays for a career or leaves after five, he will gain experience that he would not get anywhere else. He'll miss out on some things, for sure, but when you look at the money that's being offered, it's a great choice for a person who is smart but still not too academic. The program is great for types that can't stand the academic BS that comes with going for a PhD, but are smart enough to do it.

On another note, I live in a major college (Engineering school) town. I was an enlisted nuke that was smart enough to get out and use GI Bill to get my BSEE. If they had the NUPOC program then, I'd have jumped on it. If any of you enlisted nukes reading this are interested, get in touch with me, get out at 6, come here and stay the first year with my family. Get a 3.8 or above and then go NUPOC. I'd love to be able to put some enlisted nukes back in the officer pipeline.

2/12/2010 9:34 AM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

@ELT_2JV

I interviewed with Google after getting my MBA; they were a bunch of self-important , almost as bad as the i-bankers. But they seemed pretty impressed with the sub/nuke thing.

-LT L

2/12/2010 9:42 AM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

After "self-important" there should have been "[REDACTED]", except I used HTML style breackets by mistake. Lesson learned.

-LT L

2/12/2010 9:45 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Actually, I'd settle for a paid position with "The Stupid Shall Be Punished". I hear they have some good medical benefits!

2/12/2010 11:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who do you think takes care of the BS at home while you play with your markers, tape, and colored pencils? Are you going to run out to the hardware store when you're in the middle of The Bay of None of Your Business to buy the parts to fix the sink? Are you going to board up the house from the depths of the ocean when a hurricane threatens? Are you going to return from that port call in Rota to plow the driveway when old man winter decides to dump a couple feet of snow on your lawn?

I wonder how the hell single submariners possibly get along without a wife (sarcasm). Everything in this list can be done by a property managment office. And they won't cost as much since they aren't spending your paycheck to travel and explore.

2/12/2010 12:22 PM

 
Anonymous Former Smoothy from Montpelier said...

I wonder how the hell single submariners possibly get along without a wife (sarcasm). Everything in this list can be done by a property managment office. And they won't cost as much since they aren't spending your paycheck to travel and explore.


Most married submariners are also homeowners, not renters. I agree, when you rent, it's easy to call the property manager and get something fixed. However, for those of us who don't believe in throwing money away each month, as homeowners, we are the Property Managers.

WRT the "travel and explore" comment, that's between SUBWIFE and her husband. How they budget is up to them.

2/12/2010 12:32 PM

 
Anonymous ret.cob said...

"Everything in this list can be done by a property managment office."

There's a novel approach...any idea how they are in bed?

2/12/2010 12:37 PM

 
Anonymous Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) said...

Joel, please be sure to ask the young man who wrote you the letter re: NUPOC to read this thread thoroughly; there are many lessons to be learned. Among them:

1. There are more than a few females who will latch onto a man in the military because of the opportunity for her to "travel and explore" and "never work again". If you do end up in the military, remember this and keep it in mind whenever you meet a prospective girlfriend/wife.
2. Political correctness has surgically removed the balls of some in the sub community.
3. A submariner will argue you with you for the sake of arguing; even if he knows you're right and agrees with you.
4. Mark is a douche.

2/12/2010 1:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wonder how the hell single submariners possibly get along without a wife..."

Easy. They rely on getting laid by wives of Sailors at sea!

"Navy Wife: Toughest Job in the Navy (While She is on Her Back)"

And yes, submariners are a crude, disgusting, smart, intelligent, socially reviled, elite group of guys!

If you think you can fit in, go for it. Whether you do 4, 6, 10, or 30, you will never regret it. You might never do it again, but never regret being a submariner.

2/12/2010 8:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most married submariners are also homeowners, not renters. I agree, when you rent, it's easy to call the property manager and get something fixed. However, for those of us who don't believe in throwing money away each month, as homeowners, we are the Property Managers.

You can own a home and have a property manager. Basically, they make sure the grass is cut/snow is removed and respond to any alarms while I'm away. Costs about $50/month (when I'm not home) not really throwing money away. Maintaining a home is a pretty easy thing to do. I do it easily without a spouse...that's why I know the whole Navy Wife Toughest job thing is just BS. Navy Wife w/kids and/or career may be another story.

For those of us who don't believe in throwing money away each month...we don't share joint bank accounts with the unemployed.

2/12/2010 10:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd never buy a house knowing that I'm likely to move in 36 months. I've seen too many people lose their ass when moving, or paying double mortages for 6 months or whatever to even consider putting up with it unless I was pretty damn sure I was staying in the same place for at least 5-10 years.

Especially *right now* owning a house is a pretty piss poor investment. You still pay a premium over renting and its very unlikely you'll be able to end up ahead in after closing costs, repair costs, etc after 3 years. You'd do better to just rent a similar property and dump the extra money in some other kind of investment...

There's other benefits to owning a house, but I think they're kind of lessened when you know you're only going to be there for a short while.

2/13/2010 8:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's other benefits to owning a house, but I think they're kind of lessened when you know you're only going to be there for a short while

Not true. Just don't buy a $400,000 house and it kind of works out. I bought a cheap condo at my last two duty stations (I could still afford to pay both mortgages and my current mortgage if I were unable to sell them.) In the end I sold them both very quickly at at an overall loss. However, the loss averaged out to about $150/month both times. I don't think your going to find cheaper rent outside of your mom's basement. So, yes...it wasn't a good investment. But I wasn't expecting a large return just a lower overall cost of living. Just be smart...you can't avoid risks, just mitigate them.

2/13/2010 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About subwife: "Traveling and exploring" sounds like a better way to use some time without her husband than sitting behind a desk doing something trivial while having her soul sucked away by corporate America. Or running back to mommy and daddy's house to live in the bedroom she grew up in pining away for him.

Each couple is different. If they can swing the budget in her favor, then why not? We experienced something like this - he hated his job and so did I. Why have 2 unhappy people in a marriage? Since I could change my situation and he couldn't, what was the best way to go? Just keep on being miserable and hardly seeing each other? No thanks, we have a rather happy Navy marriage after that even if some saw me as a "leech" for that last leg of living in that location. Let 'em think it if they want. Life sometimes puts you in situations that aren't always "conventional" or even where you expected to go, but you just ride it and enjoy it as much as you can.

And everything in a marriage is a "we" decision - that's just how it works (y'know, two becoming one and all that junk they said at the wedding). Just because you don't see your wife for 9 months a year because of your job doesn't mean she's any less a part of the equation.

2/13/2010 5:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Traveling and exploring" sounds like a better way to use some time without her husband than sitting behind a desk doing something trivial while having her soul sucked away by corporate America.

Unbelievable. If the coming generation of women has this little desire to contribute to productive economy in America, China is going to be running the show within 30 years. Those trivial jobs in corporate America are the ones which generate wealth, and make it possible for the US to do things like like build submarines and pay married BAH rates.

Emotionally supporting your military husband does not count as productive economic activity. If you're lazy and entitled, you're lazy and entitled. Don't dress it up as "doing the best thing for your marriage" or "rolling with the punches."

WORTHLESS.

2/13/2010 9:17 PM

 
Blogger Rick said...

If the question is NUPOC vs. NROTC, NUPOC wins hands down. The time between "signing on the dotted line" and commissioning counts towards your time in service. If you get the magical 2-year ride, you have serious pay seniority.

As far as taking the plunge goes, being a nuke JO was the most exciting job I held. Back in '90, I did 6 unsupported cold startups over the course of the summer. There was something truly remarkable about bringing the beast to life with a team of 20-something kids (plus my crusty old MMCS Watch Sup) and knowing that the only reason it worked was because you were good at your job.

I know this is a sub-centric blog, but there are benefits to being a surface puke. Sleep is not in as short supply and you don't have nearly as many demands on your time as the sub JOs do. Also, the carriers get MUCH better port visits.

2/13/2010 10:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually... my guess is married BAH is going to go away as soon as don't ask don't tell is repealed. I don't see how they can argue fairness with that.

I've always thought married BAH was B.S. anyway. I'm married now, but hated getting paid 250 less a month because I wasn't married, even though I was doing the same job as my peers.

2/13/2010 10:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No thanks, we have a rather happy Navy marriage after that even if some saw me as a "leech" for that last leg of living in that location. Let 'em think it if they want. Life sometimes puts you in situations that aren't always "conventional" or even where you expected to go, but you just ride it and enjoy it as much as you can.

Sadly, contributing to society is becoming less "conventional". You can live your life any way you choose but don't get upset just because someone calls you out for taking more than you contribute.

I have a "happy marriage" but we didn't have to remove all responsibility from one partner in order to have one. Hopefully, the same values are not passed on to the children. Doc Brown won't take you to the future in his suped up Delorian to fix the damage your special brand of exceptionalism will cause.

Just because you don't see your wife for 9 months a year because of your job doesn't mean she's any less a part of the equation.

I doesn't mean she can't contribute either. The money from that job you hate (if managed correctly) could help both of you retire earlier -BUT, BUT, BUT- "I'm the special one, he has the ability so he should make the money, I have the NEED, so I should get to use it".

Together, you could both stop working earlier. I think that is a much better use of resources and a more equitable way to run a marriage (if equality is REALLY what you are after). Imagine that...sacrificing for the good of the team (the marriage team in this case). You could chill out, reading, drinking soy lattes, and attending spin classes - OR - You could be doing something to help you AND your PARTNER succeed.

Your method is not a good plan for a happy marriage. It just makes life SEEM easier for you (and him I suspect, since he doesn't have to listen to you complain) RIGHT NOW. Life and Marriage will be harder later due to such short sighted decision making skill.

Contributing doesn't mean that you have to hate your life. Just find a PRODUCTIVE way to contribute that you can live with and help your husband out. Making dinner and cleaning the house is not enough. We all did that on our own before we got married. We don't need you to be our mothers. In fact, I don't need my wife at all. I'm pretty sure that she doesn't need me. We WANT to be together and We WANT to help each other. I don't need to be taken care of in order to be happy - because that kind of need is selfish and childish. I'm glad my partner feels the same way.

But - live the life you choose - just remember there aren't any fusion powered Delorians to help you correct the mistakes you make.

2/14/2010 8:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,

My best piece of advice for the kid:

DON'T get liberal arts degree. Total waste of money. Those degrees only qualified you to do two things:

1. Jack
2. Shit

2/14/2010 8:53 AM

 
Anonymous Wife (not sub anything) said...

sitting behind a desk doing something trivial while having her soul sucked away by corporate America. Or running back to mommy and daddy's house to live in the bedroom she grew up in pining away for him.

1. That is pretty insulting to women. I know we have more than just those options.

2. "Travelling and Exploring" are actually pretty trivial unless you spend large amounts of time in one location. It's called being a tourist. You learn little and contribute less. But you get some good pictures for the wall and some inane stories to tell. Maybe live and WORK in another country...I'm sorry for using a 4 letter word.

3. Soul sucked away by corporate america...really. You mean light work in exchange for pay (that can be used for goods and services) is really that bad for you...really. I guess if you worked construction you would call it "bone crushing".
Stop whining. Get a job.

4. You don't have to run back to Mommy and Daddy - You married a new "daddy". Now, you're just using another "method" to earn your allowance.

Good luck.

2/14/2010 9:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently there is a special website for NUPOCs looking to get married:

http://establishedmen.com

2/14/2010 9:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys - I just found this site and it is wonderful...this discussion is really taking me back to my JO days (I can even smell the naugahide (sp?) in maneuvering). Everything about being able to get a job right out of the Navy is true...don't accept less than 90K unless it's your dream job.

Apparently there is a special website for NUPOCs looking to get married:

http://establishedmen.com


HA!

From the website:
"Established Men connects ambitious and attractive girls with successful and generous benefactors to fulfill their lifestyle needs"

This is exactly what is going on with some of the posters in this thread. It is just on a smaller scale.

I'm sorry but I don't think an O-9 over 30 could afford to maintain the "lifestyle" of some of those "girls".

And yes, standing watch on the Bridge of a surfaced submarine is by far one of the best experiences you'll never get in a cubicle

And standing contact coordinator in the control room of a surfaced submarine is not.

Srvd_SSN_QM3(FTN) :
A little bitter there chap. Don't worry they are working on repealing the law, you will be fine soon.


Gay Jokes...yes!

That's what makes those Sailors in the LOUISVILLE video so special. They fairly vibrate with enthusism

Gay Jokes...yes!

You have read for yourself: they are smart, they know how to write well and they can form a logical argument.

Thank you message routing chain!

Submariners are the bitchy-est bitches that ever set sail (reactor).

More importantly - submariners are better at bitching than most people are at their jobs. And we do our jobs better than we bitch.

2/14/2010 11:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever said to consider the NUPOC program for Surface Nukes should think again.

Almost all of those slots are filled out to 2012.

2/14/2010 11:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Joel,

My best piece of advice for the kid:

DON'T get liberal arts degree. Total waste of money. Those degrees only qualified you to do two things:

1. Jack
2. Shit"

I had this exact same argument with my XO as a JO. Turns out he had a liberal arts degree and did not see things my way. I know too many "liberal arts majors" still struggling to find a niche in their careers, several years out of college. Of course, now they have nearly as useless law degrees as well. (yes, I know *some* lawyers do very well, but that is the exception, not the rule).

As far as Navy nuke sub JO or not. If I knew what I knew now, I never would have done it. That said, I think it was a valuable experience, and now that I'm nearly out of the Navy, I can't say that I regret it. That said, it was several years in the navy before I reached pay parity with my peers from school. The NUPOC money makes up for that somewhat, but not completely. Now as post JO shore tour guy on the rent a nuke bonus, I'm probably mid upper half of my college friends pay-wise, but most of those I make more than are bunched up pretty close behind me.

In other words, don't do it for the money or the chance to travel, because you honestly can make just as much money doing something else, and there's many of us who have been to zero or few ports.

2/14/2010 3:22 PM

 
Blogger Justthisguy said...

This is so funny. All of you junior officers, as "If I knew what I knew now, I never would have done it.That said, I think it was a valuable experience..."

sound EXACTLY like the enlisted guys on this site: http://www.mooj.com/rxdept.htm

I am glad that y'all spent yer time keeping watch on the ramparts, so to speak, so that I didn't have to do that. I'm sorry that it sucked , and am happy that y'all were (somewhat) well paid for that.

2/15/2010 9:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'm sure that I'll get blasted for this, but I'm going to say it anyways.

Is there a single JO, or even senior officer out there who isn't so wrapped up in themselves that maybe they think that being a submariner was a good thing because it means you, at least once in your lives, participated in something bigger than yourselves?

Is there anyone left in this country who thinks that giving a few years to a cause bigger than yourselves might be an admirable thing?

Why is it always about what the Navy can do for you? What the country can do for you?

I have been out 21 years this year. I remember almost everyone on the boat having the same attitudes exhibited by the commentors on this blog. Including myself.

I remember my Dad and my late uncle, both WWII veterans, telling me that they volunteered because they would have been embarassed to be left out. Nowadays, we are embarassed be be left IN.

I hope that some of this made sense to someone besides me!

Joe Alferio

2/18/2010 7:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe:

I am a submarine officer, who's leaving the Navy and I get what you're saying. I probably felt that way when I decided to join the Navy, but no longer really feel that I'm part of something bigger. I do feel part of something bigger, in a way, at shore duty, but on the boat I felt more like I was part of an endless inspection machine.

I also felt overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. I also never really felt that what the submarine force *really* seemed to care about was what was really important nor that was I doing generally made much of a difference.

I can't say that the submarine force as a whole has always treated me poorly, in some ways they've been very helpful and understanding about some things, but overall I think I can have a better quality of life and do more important things (or at least equally as important things) by leveraging my talents in the civilian world.

I plan to remain as a reservist and would gladly stay on if I thought the Navy *really* needed me, as in we were about to go sink some ships.

2/21/2010 12:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the above poster. The economy has helped the subforce meet it retention goals...they don't need me. And honestly never made me feel like I made a contribution (unless you count the 15 minute command check out interview with my old CO).

I would sign a 10 year contract if we were at war with a legitimate naval force.

It seems like we're in some kind of holding pattern right now and the leadership doesn't know what to do. They just don't want any bad news to come out of the force and are making busy work to fill the gap between cold wars.

I would equate being a submariner right now with being an astronaut right now. There is a lot of work/risk without a lot of gain. All submariners do is go to sea and train. All astronauts do is go to the space station and run experiments. Both jobs aren't worth the hassle right now.

Once we decide to sink some commies or go to mars - it will be worthwhile to be a submariner or an astronaut.

2/22/2010 8:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re my comment of 02/18/2010:

It seems that everyone around here is very career oriented.

You know, not everyone needs to be MCPON or CNO. Maybe it's enough to give your country a few years while you're young and that's that.

You sign up, officer or enlisted, volunteer for subs, get qualified, stand your watch in a manner which allows your shipmates to trust you. Then, you get out when your time is up and you go home and do something else.

Maybe you get a good CO or a good boat and have an enjoyable experience, and maybe you don't.

I know what I remember most about my time. I did my duty, and that is not a small thing, even in this day and age.

Joe Alferio

2/23/2010 7:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I promise, this is my last comment in this thread.

We should all hit our knees tonight and Thank our God that we live in a country that produces people like Robert Howard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Howard

My advice, do the time. Do your duty. If you find it doesn't suit you, suck it up and go home when your time is up.

Joe Alferio

2/23/2010 12:29 PM

 

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