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.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nuke School Stories

Got to thinking about how Nuclear Power School was ran back when I went through in the mid-80s, and thought it'd be interesting to see how it's changed over the years. This post will focus on my memories of the Enlisted side (I was single then, so I have more interesting stories from that time) but feel free to put in your inputs on the Officer experience as well.

I got to Orlando in May 1984, right before we classed up. Back then, all Nukes went to boot camp and "A" School in Great Lakes, and I had my "stash" duty there while all my friends went down for their useless "wait to class up" make-work jobs in Orlando. My friends had hooked up with a group of women from the Recruit Training Command, so I got assigned a girlfriend from the least desirable member of that group. She was a Company Commander at the RTC (an AZ2, if I remember right), and was just finishing up with a company. We went out on the town on the night her girls had their Pass-in-Review, and they kept sending champagne over to our table. I had told my friends where the girl recruits were going to be that night, so they had easy pickings. They appreciated it a lot. The CC never let me come over to her house; she said it was because her three roommates (also CCs) were militant lesbians, and she had to "pretend" to be one in order to live there. (She estimated that about half of the women in the Navy who were past their first enlistment in the mid-80s were lesbians.) We stopped dating after a month or so, and I later heard that she was being discharged for homosexuality. I ran into later, and she said one of her recruits had accused her of coming on to her (which she denied) and said she wasn't fighting the charge because they were giving her an Honorable Discharge, and she was going to be forced out for medical reasons anyway. She ended up marrying another guy from my Nuke School class (8406).

When I got to Orlando and went to Cocoa Beach, that was the first time I'd ever seen an ocean. I think there are a surprisingly large number of Sailors who never saw the sea before they joined the Navy.

They had stopped the Carter experiment with female Nukes by the time I got there, but they still had some female Nukes running around on shore duty. There was one who everyone had to see for some sort of radiological screening, and everyone -- I mean everyone -- talked about how big of a bitch she was. When I saw her, sure enough, she was a bitch for no reason at all. I thought about how sad it must be to go through life being such a jerk.

Back then, Enlisted Nuke School was divided into 14 sections -- 3 for ETs, 4 for EMs, and 7 for MMs. They assigned you to a section based on your Nuclear Field Qualification Test (which I think is now called the Navy Advanced Placement Test) score, so the highest scoring ETs were in Section 14, MMs in Section 13, EMs in 12. Sections 1 and 2, as I remember, were for the lowest-scoring MMs, and those sections frequently merged about halfway through due to attrition. Back then, they did most of the attrition (I think it was about 1/3) in Nuke School, which meant the guys who failed out ended up having a hard time moving into a new rate, since they were already a PO3 (or, frequently, an ETSN/EMFN/MMFN, because they tended to mast guys in conjunction with disenrollment). By the time I got back for Officer NPS (8904), I'm pretty sure they had instituted the Nuke Field "A" School in Orlando, and they did most of the attrition there, before the students start Nuke School proper.

They tended to give less homework and mandatory study time to the guys in the higher-numbered sections, so my group of Section 14 geeks tended to have a lot of time to be stupid. We hung out at a bar called "O'Brothers" about a mile off base on the main drag (I think it was Colonial). They had a 2-for-1 Happy Hour from 5-7 every night, and we'd order 3 or 4 extra drinks just before it ended. (That six months marks the drunkest period of my life.) They had a Breathalyzer in the bar, and we used to let whoever blew highest drive back to base. It was a different time back then; I'm glad we, as a society, have gotten smarter about that.

If you're interested in what Nuke School is like now, you can get an "official" version from this video that's a few years old:



What good Nuke School stories do you guys have? And would anyone who's been there more recently like to share how it's different now?

Bell-ringer 1251 10 Oct: From the comments, here's a new blog by an Ensign currently at Nuke School.

80 Comments:

Blogger Anon @ 6:51 said...

During nuke school, a lot of guys from my section (8407/EM 12) hung out at many of the local bars on the weekend nights. I spent many a drunken night at O'Brothers, or Casa Gallerado, or even the ABC lounge right there on the corner when funds were low ($.075 draft beers was hard to beat, even back then).

I remember one particular time that myself and 3 of my NPS classmates drove down to Tom's Point After to see the "Miss Point After" competetion. When we arrived, they gave us plastic beer mugs to keep, and we either kept buying pitchers or they filled them up at a ridiculously cheap price (I can't remember which). Well we were there drinking for a while, and maybe we had stopped at a place or two on the way there, and my friend Chris was getting pretty hammered (I think I drove that night so I was probably not drinking quite so much).

Meanwhile, up on the stage they were weeding out contestants by audience vote. The host would ask them all sorts of quasi-beauty contest questions and they would answer blah blah blah blah, I don't think any of the guys in the audience were actually listening.

Then Chris started yelling out "Show your tits!". The audience seems to like it quite a bit, so everyone started chanting, "Show your tits! Show your tits! Show your tits!" (and on and on and on). They got down to the final few girls, and then one of them actually flashed her tits for the audience, and we all erupted in thundering applause and cheers. This is the girl who ended up winning the "Miss Point After" competition.

After the contest was over, one of the final contestants walked by our table, obviously upset about not winning. Chris said to her, "You would have won if you had shown your tits." She whirled back at him and screamed "F you, I am NOT a slut!" My other roommate shrugged his shoulders and said, "I'm sorry!" and she stormed off.

Five minutes later Chris turned to me and said, "It's time to go." The rest of us were having a pretty good time, and I couldn't believe he wanted to leave. I asked him why, and then before he answered I realized that he had puked into his plastic Tom's Point After beer mug, which he had placed on the floor. No arguments from me at that point.

Good Times!

10/10/2010 9:23 AM

 
Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

This should be a good thread, Joel - I'm also interested in what's changed, including how they've toughened the "A" school curricula to weed out the bulk of the dead wood before Power School. I was close to you time-wise, in section 13 (MMs, as you said) in 8302. Unfortunately, I was too clueless and gutless to tap the female RTC pipeline like you and your buddies did, but pissed away some bucks out on the S. OBT in Orlando. We loved the theater they opened on Colonial that served beer and sandwiches, showing previously released movies, Ben-Hur was cool on the big screen, and we caught the first "Rambo" there as well. I also dug the sailing center on base, which was very beginner friendly, and was able to become a reasonably competent fresh-water windsurfer while I was there, since with college physics and calculus under my belt, Power School was mostly a breeze. I recently visited Charleston, but didn't see much; though I did play a round of golf on the Navy course there, where you get a peek at the two MTS units on the waterfront. The nuc pipeline definitely pumps a lot of bucks into North Charleston's economy. That area seems to be the retail core for the greater Charleston area. I'm a bit curious about apparent generational differences between use of "nuc" vice "nuke" that seem to be in place, also. My recollection is that "nuc" was more common back in our day; my impression was to distinguish ourselves from the weapons community.

10/10/2010 9:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orlando had more strip bar than you could shake a stick at. All the women that danced at them claimed to be working their way through college.

A number of the strip bars in Orlando were very nice, but the one right outside the base gate was a real dive. It was incredible dark, but you could still tell that the women there were butt ugly.

10/10/2010 9:56 AM

 
OpenID lifeloveliberty said...

I wonder if you saw my comment from last night, and saw my post about nuke school and that's what led to this reminiscing...

In any case, I am currently at the illustrious nuke school, living the dream. Loving the fact that I have to go in as soon as I'm done writing this to study, on Sunday. Joy.

I wrote my response to this and continued my own thoughts at my blog: http://lifeloveliberty.wordpress.com/

These are the thoughts of a current JO, and more will be coming. If anyone has any questions about what it's currently like, please direct them there, and I will be happy to blog away like a good little procrastinating JO.

10/10/2010 12:02 PM

 
OpenID lifeloveliberty said...

The submarine draft will probably take up some more time later, as well as thoughts on surviving nuke school and anything else anyone wants to hear about.

10/10/2010 12:06 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

A comment from an E-mailer. If anyone else isn't able to use the word verification and wants to comment, please E-mail me and I'll get it put up eventually:

"Well I was in class 7302 at Mare Island. I don't recall them splitting the classes up into blocks the way you mention it. The attrition rate was much higher then too, especially for MM since the Navy needed a lot more MM3s in those days in the fleet. So they got them by flunking them out of nuke school. I think we ended up with less than 35% making it all the way thru.

I don't recall any major excitement at Mare Island. We did lose on guy to a traffic accident, he hit a stop sign at over a 100 mph on his Kawasaki 750 motorcycle. But the graduation ceremony followed by the race to Idaho Falls was memorable. Hundreds of young guys jumping in their loaded vehicles, all at the same time and racing 800 miles to IF. Something like the start at a NASCAR race. We did it in my 340 Duster in a little over 10 hours aided by the no speed limit policy in Nevada.

We had three suicides in IF at S1W alone. Two guys tied their sleeping bags to their running vehicle's tailpipe. An one jumper from the high head tank inside S1W, who was rumored to have targeted one particularly despised instructor when he jumped. He missed by 15 feet.

I graduated first among the MM class. Didn't get an offer to be an Instructor tho since I was tagged with having an attitude problem. I really really did not want to be a MM....heh. I went to ELT class from there also at S1W.

We did have a fly by visit from Admiral Rickover. No stories about a hair cut however. People did run into him walking around the site and were subjected to the third degree. There was no formal ceremony or announcement of his visit.

During ELT class three guys at S1C got involved with having been in a water fight with primary coolant. One of them threw a beaker full of water not knowing what was in it. The Bettis guy walked in when they were trying to clean up the spill. That was at maybe 0900, they were transferred off the site by 1600. Rumor had them going to places like Diego Garcia, but I doubt it.

BK (Scamp and Pintado)"

10/10/2010 12:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8506/EM - many weekends at Cocoa, Daytona, Tampa, Clearwater. Loved the "smurf" work waiting to class up. One bar we frequented was Off the Wall - had a plane fuselage stuck in the exterior wall. Going thru nuke school forced me to learn how to study. Once I got out of the Navy, I breezed through my BSNE w/ a 3.96.

10/10/2010 12:49 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

@lifeloveliberty - Actually, it was an E-mail from a guy who had seen what Nuke School class I was in from the previous thread that got me thinking about this comment. I did add your blog to my blogroll under "Submariners" (I assume you are one); I look forward to seeing what else you have to say.

10/10/2010 1:00 PM

 
Anonymous Laughter in Manslaughter said...

Wow, I apparently missed all the crazy cool things in Nuke school (2004-2005) My funniest memory was being woken up at 1 in the afternoon while on T-Track to get told: put some pants on, get your badge, get out of your room until told otherwise.

Wish I would have grabbed a book, they marched everyone out of the school building and had them stand by their rooms as every staff member began a room by room inspection. Three straight weeks of mastings for everything from knives, to hand guns, to alcohol in the rooms. The only thing they found in my room was a stack of old FHM magazines my friends would send me. The DILDO checking out my room found one he hadn't read, stuck it in his pocket, made the sign of the cross, then walked out.

10/10/2010 2:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6902 At Mare Island. Came from the land of no Quakes to Quake central. Standing outside next to the Commissary at 0700 starkers because the ground was shaking and everyone feared the old WW II barracks would fall.

Also Being awoken by the guys training to drive the riverboats as they ran by singing during their morning run.

10/10/2010 4:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Nuc School in Mare Island in mid 71 and other than strip bars, Vallejo did not offer much (pre Winnie and Moo)

I recall the attrition rate as being high, on the order of 50% not making it with a disproportionate number of MM's going. My recollection is that about a 25% drop rate a prototype (S5G in my case).

Some recollections:

My biggest WTF? was seeing the semi-trucks with the “cattle cars” to haul the baby nucs to the south end of the base for chow.

Some one phoned in a bomb threat and we had to evacuate the school with all our classified materials. When it became obvious how long the search was going to take, they sent us home with orders to “guard them carefully.”

After much prodding about morale, swearing my wife to secrecy and telling her about the female “Morale Petty Officer” on board submarines whose job it was to keep the men happy. Needless to say, she shared the info with other wives causing considerable upset until, in the interest of safety, I told her I had lied. Us baby nucs had a good laugh over that one!!

I have a fond memory of about 5 of us wrangling a tour on Guiterro following her repair from sinking at pier side. She was fueled but had not been started so we had the privilege of touring the RC as baby nucs.

A guy showed up in class with an electronic calculator – add, subtract, multiply and divide – that he had paid around $300 for. We were still using slide rules until I got my second boat in 79!

Old Chief from the dark ages
Jerry

10/10/2010 4:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the late 1970s, an officer trainee at S1C was put on extra hours for lack of qual progress. He figured out how to leave and then come back in with the offgoing/oncoming shifts so that he didn't actually spend more than the normal amount of hours on site. That worked right up until he was caught. Unrepentant, even during a phone call with Admiral Rickover, he was reportedly shipped to Turkey to coordinate the salvage of household goods from Iran after the downfall of the Shah. The Navy didn't have a lot of money in those days, but there's always enough money to screw one guy if he pisses off the wrong four star.

10/10/2010 5:30 PM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

I was 8507, the bottom 1/3 cutoff was in "A" school in Great Lakes, smurfed at Millington, don't recall sections, do remember the blonds rackalicious ET2 at Internal Monitoring, had wraparound sunnies on my badge photo, had some suggested hours but only a few mandatory. Did some OBT (got jumped by a drunk who followed us outside; my fellow ET buddy hid behind a car while the EM's didn't have time to react before the bouncers boiled outside), did beaches and Church Street Station; saw the Challenger's last flight from there. Also a very special accomplishment I will not brag about.

Went to A1W, during which Chernobyl happened. Since my bus was barely earlier than the late bus, I would take whatever bus was available (students wren't supposed to ride it IIRC) or drive my POV (also a no-no). I would also nap in the onsite bunkroom if given extra hours (similar to the 5:30 anon)- I really had too many young ladies in Idaho Falls who wanted to convince me to take them away with me to spend the night in the same bunkroom after +4s.

Qualifying at A1W took forever because one of the cores took forever to finish some sort of maintenance and one feed pump start held up a lot of people. I was the very last person to get their board in my class, and may have failed if I hadn't impressed the hell out of the mechanical guy (what happens if _ runs dry with no operator action?).

Once in the Fleet, I would go to Ballast Point (no classmates were at 32nd Street). A visiting buddy from the Gompers told us the standard greeting for new female sailors was, "Do you play softball?", asked by whichever female softball player was hanging out by the quarterdeck.

10/10/2010 6:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9202/MM. Was in the timeframe where NFAS was hard as hell. We had two sections of FN's when we started and one when we finished - we lost so many, they collapsed the sections. Our section adviser came in to give us a pep talk, which consisted of "you are probably not doomed, having made it this far'.

I suspect that classes like ours were what led to the "War on Attrition" that has screwed the program for so long and is only now being fixed.

NPS was a grind, but interesting, and NPTU was fun.

I never could figure out how they made the MM vs EM vs ET rate decision for all of us. At one point, all the MMs were rocks and the ETs were smart, but i think that went away with Rickover.

10/10/2010 7:10 PM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

To really give some perspective, here is what it was like in the early days (1963-1964 at Mare Island as a student and 1973-1975 as Director of Officer Training at Bainbridge). My class reported right after graduation leave from USNA. It was mostly Naval Academy with a few NROTC students. Our senior member was a Commander slated to go to CO of one of the nuclear powered cruisers. Looking back, I often wondered what he thought of babysitting a bunch of wet behind the ears ensigns. The CO of NPSMI was Captain Jack Fagan. He was a super officer and just came from being CO of SHARK so he had lots of stories that helped provide some realism. The ARPO Instructor was LT Bruce Demars (call me Bruce). Initially we all were in the BOQ but then they said we could move out in town. There was a new apartment building about five minutes from the north gate so many of us moved into that complex, generally three ensigns to an apartment. Although against the rules, we took material home to study rather than stay in the class room. Fortunately, none of us ever were caught (at least officially). We formed a flag football team and ended up winning the league trophy. CAPT Fagan accepted the trophy and then said he would have to hide it when Rickover came to visit since the KOG did not like any extra curricular activities. I went to Idaho Falls for prototpe and was assigned A1W. With the two reactors (different characteristics) and the large engine room, we called it the world's largest tinker toy. All of the manuals had a hand written classification marking. We were told that it was a result of Rickover's trip to Russia and his tour of the nuclear ice breakter LENIN. He came back and immediately classified all NNPI. It was a rotating shift and we were encouraged to take all of the five days off to see the country. I still remember learning to ski at Kelly Canyon and getting caught in a snow storm at Yellowstone in May. We had to go back during our June five day. The CO was CDR Yogi Kaufmann. I was the third to complete the qual card and the first to fail the oral exam. I had the dubious honor of what was called the sixty mile oral exam. It was a ride to the site from Idaho Falls with the plant Engineer who asked questions during the entire drive. Strangely, those same questions were asked during my second oral exam. I was even able to stand one watch as EOOW at A1W before we were transferred to Subscol. I will discuss NPS Bainbridge in the next posting.

10/10/2010 8:23 PM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Ten years later, I had the honor of being ordered as Director of Officer Training at NPS Bainbridge. I noted one of the earlier posters mentioned one of his classmates getting a TI calculator. They had just come out and a few of the students were using them. Another student, whose father was a personal friend of Senator Scoop Jackson of Washington, told his dad who mentioned it to Rickover. I got a call from the CO to come to his office ASAP. He asked me if I had permitted the use of calculators in class. I said that I had not forbidden them. After a bit of discussion, the CO finally convinced Rickover to permit calculators during class but Rickover would not let them be used during tests. Obviously, the use of calculators decreased markedly. For those that don't know, the final COMP exam in those days was written by each NPS in alternate classes. It took about three months of back and forth between the two schools before the questions and the answer keys were agreed to. Then they had to be approved by NR. This was before computers so it was all typewriters and snail mail. More than once, the comp was finally approved on the day that it was to be administered. For the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, we crammed a week worth of classes into three days by cutting the time between classes to five minutes and cutting lunch hour to a half hour. The students didn't seem to mind, since it meant leaving at noon the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and at Noon on the day before Christmas Eve for a week leave. I was offered the chance to move Bainbridge down to Orlando but opted for "Humanitarian Sea Duty" rather than extending for an additional year. I understood that Rickover liked the Bainbridge location since it was over an hour to "civilization" in Baltimore through farm land. I know from experience, it was easy to get to Berkley and to San Francisco from Vallejo. Watching that video about the training center, I am in awe. We had old WWII buildings, blackboards, chalk, etc. There was a preschool for the enlisted that lasted three months. Most of the attrition was at preschool rather than during the actual NPS for enlisted. I hope the readers found this brief trip to the early days of Nuc (vice nuke) Training interesting.

10/10/2010 8:24 PM

 
Anonymous hugh said...

I also went through twice, 0501 (mm) and 1002. currently sitting and waiting to start at nptu ballston spa. it was definitely easier the second time, mostly because i realized that it's a pump, not a filter. sure, we lost 5 or 6 guys in each class but they didn't want to be there.
I think that I was there at the same time that laughter in manslaughter was in 2004. I specifically remember coming back from lunch during A-school and being told to stand by. we thought something bad had happened, turned out they just wanted to dig through our stuff.
One of my favorite memories from power school was waking up at 0000 to a fire alarm. Apparently somebody had decided to hang his clothes on the sprinkler head in his room. I never knew so much water could come out of one of those things.

10/10/2010 8:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Class 8505, Joel, during that period they were putting the low scorers from preschool in with the geeks as an experiment to see if you quasmos could help us knuckledraggers.....didn't work for me. I saw what was coming and took the 3rd week ack board to punch out. I started with a mando 35.
As my section Chief asked easier questions I got stupider and stupider. Finally CDR Casey said "enuf" and failed me out. I was also not invited back...shucks!
Off The Wall, on OBT, hehe nice club at the time!


hagar,
Who thinks everything should have a grease zirc attached.

10/10/2010 8:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 8506 - we got Christmas leave about two weeks before our comp. Yes, they actually closed down NPS for at least Christmas week, maybe even New Year's, IIRC.

Got prevented from leaving Orlando at departure time because my haircut wasn't satisfactory to go on leave prior to Ballston Spa.

I don't recall any elimination at EM 'A' school, but we did lose 1/4-1/3 in NPS. Lost one guy who couldn't stay awake. They took away his desk and he actually fell asleep standing at his lectern.

Lot's of geeky ETs playing weekend long D&D in candle lit BEQ rooms.

1500 daily rain showers.

10/10/2010 10:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in 8306. I grew up in the same little town as the female nuke that did the internal monitoring at NPS, but three years younger. The general concensus from those who knew her growing up is exactly the way you experienced, although she was nice to me once I told her who I was.

I can no longer see the visual verification either, but attempt a post without it. Once it errors, the second visual verification is visible... ?

PW

10/10/2010 10:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@10/10/2010 2:28 PM "Laughter in the Manslaughter"

0501 says:

I remember that purge. I can't recall the details of where or what I was doing at exactly that time. Come to think of it I must have been just out of A school, probably T track. I know this because in an otherwise immaculate room, my roommate and I (thusly, just done with A school) had only a "Playboy" pack of playing cards as contraband. The inspectors were almost disappointed. I recall all manner of schwag making it onto the golf carts that day. Of note the "marital aids" from the female rooms.
Other tales from NNPTC: my buddy and I walking over to the bowling alley for some beers and regularly passing the nightly Light Saber battle (full costume) in the A school barracks quad... freaking wire biters...

10/11/2010 2:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was class 8801 in Orlando. We did not lose anyone except for an occasional medical disqual. We tended to circle the wagons and help those who were falling behind.

Things of note:

Dr. Gay and the acne police.

45+ mando hours. Only time I had off was Sunday mornings. Lord there were a lot of us on that kind of schedule.

The great locker bash. Right at the end of class, they decided to give the 4th man in the room a nice locker instead of that dinky POS that they lived out of for 6 months. They said to get it out of the rooms. Well, we tossed it off the 3rd floor balcony to the ground. Next thing you know it was raining metal for about an hour.

Then the base coops showed up.

Next morning was the mass exodus to prototype. If you could leave you did, and fast. We heard the base CO was right pissed and wanted heads.

NNPS was one of the best times of my life. I made it though and since then I know I can do ANYTHING if I put my head to it.

10/11/2010 6:13 AM

 
Anonymous MMC(SS/SW)(Ret.) said...

Class 8605. I spent a lot of time down on Orange Blossom Trail (OBT). What was the name of the place that had nickel beer night on Tuesday's? Rosie O'Grady's I think. Also Hooters and Calico Jacks. Also went to Daytona and Cocoa quite a bit on weekends.

Back then they had Pre-Nuclear Power School. I think it was for anyone who got less than a 70 on the NFQT (and yes, it is called the NAPT now). They did remedial math and science courses. I was lucky enough to not have to go through that goat rope.

I spent over 4 months working at PSD and standing duty as shore patrol before I classed up. I had no idea why then, but now I believe it was probably because my security clearance took more time to go through due to a couple of the waivers I was in on. I too had the pleasure of seeing Dr. (CAPT) Gay, the acne gestapo.

I ended up spending 11 months down there. Good times...

10/11/2010 7:10 AM

 
Blogger Anon @ 6:51 said...

NPS shut down for Christmas/New Years when I went through as well (8407). In fact, the CO CAPT Greenman gave us all an extra day or two after New Year's because he didn't want any students getting killed trying to make it back on time. I left on New Year's Day for the 2 day car trip back to Orlando extremely hung over.

Ran into CAPT Greenman again not long after in the RC tunnel of my boat in Pearl, of all places. I don't remember why he was on board but I said hi and he seemed pleased that someone knew who he was.

Oh and speaking of good times in Orlando....after we all passed the comp, the drinking started in earnest. On the night before our final personnel inspection, I went out with my buds and got particularly hammered, so much so that the next day I was in a bad way. I was late for the inspection but nobody really noticed. The CO and XO came out and we all snapped to. I was not comfortable. The XO had our section, and as he walked by he stopped in front of me and looked me over. He said to me, "Petty Officer, your uniform looks great, your shoes look great...but it's your posture I don't like. Straighten up!". I guess I was leaning forward a teeny bit, probably on my way to planting my face into the ground. I said "Yes Sir!" and brought myself into a more vertical stance. He just shook his head and moved on down the line, probably choking from the alcohol stench that came out of my mouth when I spoke. When it was all over, my classmates had some fun with me about that.

10/11/2010 7:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8506 was a time when calling cards were used to make long distance phone calls. Several guys in the class always had several numbers to share. One day the command calls the entire class into a meeting where they and NIS proceed to lay out the case against the entire class. The deal was that if you owned up to your phone calls and paid for them so that some grandma in Ottumwa, IA wouldn't have to, you'd get off w/ no punishment. A few actually took the offer but most did like I did: Told those on the receiving end to deny knowing anyone in Orlando and I just kept my mouth shut.

10/11/2010 7:58 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Admiral Kirkland, head of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program, joked that in the naval reactor realm, “we always found heavier bats worked better.”

10/11/2010 8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Xenocles said...

True story-

We had the PXOs in my section, so our last period of every day was a study hall. I would bring lunch, do my homework during the breaks, and sign out to go home early every day. Eventually I stopped signing out. One week I did a zero-hour just to have done it.

One time in pre-school, when we were all bored out of our minds stuck on 15s studying things we had learned in college, we gathered enough money to pay a guy to drink a cup of his own urine. Most of the time I burned my hours by playing whiteboard chess with another guy in the section.

10/11/2010 9:07 AM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

0006. While I was there the Navy figured out how to whiz-quiz for ecstasy; they neglected to inform the rest of fleet: the lines for mast were 50 people long for days on end.

Later in the course we figure they were trying to bust some guy for dope but couldn't get enough evidence to search him legitimately, so NNPS made sure his last 4 were always randomly on the daily whiz-quiz. Unfortunately his/her last 4 were the exact same as my last 4, so I got to donate fluids to the Navy on a daily basis for about four months, and one day it just stopped. I just figured that the command couldn't believe my stupidity was innate and had to have been augmented by recreational pharmacy. But it was so bad that the DILDO would walk in to the class with the list, and before he/she said anything I'd be headed for the door.

-LT L

10/11/2010 11:11 AM

 
Anonymous Ex SSN-668 Sailor said...

I went through Enlisted Nuke School in class 8505. Your post brought back a lot of memories. I remember the guys who had never sen the ocean, usually farm kids from Nebraska. I also remember the female nukes. There was one at S8G, she wore so much perfume you could smell her from a mile away. Our advisor at Nuke School couldn't figure out why hardly anybody would study on Wednesday nights, he was a hard core bible thumper and we didn't have the heart to tell him Wednesday nights were nickel beer nights at Rosie O'Grady's! Getting through Nuke School and Prototype gave me great study habits and a great work ethic. After my 6 years I went to school, got a Chem E. degree, and later an MBA from a top 25 school. I describe the Navy as the best job I ever had and the worst job I ever had both at once!

10/11/2010 11:41 AM

 
Blogger DDM said...

I was in class 8502. I was a newlywed. Our NNPS softball team was sponsored by the local strip club. I think it was Covergirls. They paid for our jerseys that included our name and a silhouette of a naked woman. I put an X through the nipple to appease my wife. When our team won the league championship, anyone wearing a jersey got in free and they threw a private party for our team after closing time. I loaned my jersey to my section advisor, Chief X, who was in trouble on the Monday after the game. He later became an LDO so I guess he didn't get into too much trouble.

10/11/2010 2:47 PM

 
Blogger Harold said...

Went through enlisted NPS in Bainbridge in 1974-75, after 9 months being stored on a gator freighter. No testing out of a course like in college. On day 1 of math the instructor wrote on the board "1 + 1 = 2", turned to us and said, "We're going to start here, and take you through calculus." I took calc in HS... missed 4 points of 400 possible, all misplaced negative signs.

I rmember the last question on the last test, which I can't write out directly. Integral from 1/e to e of 1/x dX. I finished the problem and started laughing out loud. No one else did. I wonder to this day of anyone else got the joke.

Rumour has it that Rickover got the Baltimore station that played Star Trek every afternoon to cancel it. The common rooms were full every afternoon while it was on.

10/11/2010 2:58 PM

 
Blogger Jon said...

re: harold

When I went through the pipeline (class 9401) they were no longer teaching proper calculus... they were teaching us "graphical integration", which really messed with me since I did have a proper calculus background.

When I went to the female officer that was teaching this part of our studies, she just sighed and said "Yes, I know... it's stupid... just put up with it and get through this."

10/11/2010 3:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came from the fleet in 1959 and went to Mare Island, then to SIC in Windsor, then back to the fleet. Met and married Miss Right. It will be 50 years next month.

Pops

10/11/2010 5:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an 8903 Orlando NPS (S1C for prototype). No good stories from initial training, unfortunately.

I did an SE tour at the Charleston NPTU from '93-'95 and we did have one or two things happen that are funny in the rear-view mirror but weren't at the time. I think it was Christmas of '94, but Someone decreed that we weren't going to shutdown for Christmas, by God the MTS( or MTS', both of them) were going to be steaming on Christmas. Training doesn't stop, no Sir.
Only problem was, Someone had also told the students who weren't dink that they could take Christmas off. (Unlike 'ol 8903 at S1C, where all we got was that we only had to work an 8 hour day on Christmas)
So there we were on Christmas, an MTS with a bunch of staff operators steaming away and just about no students, and happy about it (right). So, now that the stage has been set, let me relate a poem composed by LT Bruce Jobe, a gentleman AND a scholar (and one of the hapless SEs steaming away on Christmas without any students to train). Such a place. Without further ado,

A Shift Engineer's Christmas
(by LT Bruce Jobe ,USN)
Twas the day before Christmas when all through the MTS
Nothing was happening, but the normal BS.
Daystaff was snuggled at home in their beds,
While Naval Reactors crapped on our heads.
When up on the deck there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the doghouse I ran in a flash,
I threw off the chain and slammed open the hatch.
When what should my disbelieving eyes see?
But a miniature submarine pulling up next to me.
With a little old driver so wrinkled and bent over
I knew without asking it must be RICKOVER!
Faster than neutrons his little sub sailed,
And he ranted and screamed that all his successors had failed.
He ranted and raved for hours on end.
I tried to explain things but he would not bend.
He called out “send me the OIC, the ENG, the MO!”
Said “bring me the PMC, the TM, and the STO!”
He cused “I’M DISGUSTED!” with an undisguised scoff.
“YOU PEOPLE GAVE PROTOTYPE STUDENTS DAYS OFF!
There are tests to be given and drills to be run.
Nuclear power is never, never supposed to be fun.”
He continued to fume until his face turned bright red,
And I thought in an instant we’d be better off dead.
Then he jumped in his sub with a last evil glower
And steamed off through the haze on nuclear power.
But I heard him exclaim as he faded from sight,
“Write this up as a critique before you go home tonight!”

10/11/2010 6:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an SE at the Charleston NPTU in the early 90s. One Christmas we were looking forward to maybe shutting down the plant for Christmas. No dice. It was decreed that we would be steaming for Christmas, training doesn't stop you know just because it's Christmas.
Unfortunately the powers that be had also told the students they could take Christmas off. So there we were, steaming on Christmas (I think I was on mids for a couple of Christmas and New Years' holidays there for my tour) with a bunch of staff instructors/operators, and just about no students. Good times and good attitudes.

So, now that the stage has been properly set, please let me share a little poem with you. I wish I was half the writer to come up with this, but I'm not and just have to enjoy Bruce Jobe's work from afar. Please give it up for ...

A Shift Engineer's Christmas
by LT Bruce Jobe USN

Twas the day before Christmas when all through the MTS
Nothing was happening, but the normal BS.
Daystaff was snuggled at home in their beds,
While Naval Reactors crapped on our heads.
When up on the deck there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the doghouse I ran in a flash,
I threw off the chain and slammed open the hatch.
When what should my disbelieving eyes see?
But a miniature submarine pulling up next to me.
With a little old driver so wrinkled and bent over
I knew without asking it must be RICKOVER!
Faster than neutrons his little sub sailed,
And he ranted and screamed that all his successors had failed.
He ranted and raved for hours on end.
I tried to explain things but he would not bend.
He called out “send me the OIC, the ENG, the MO!”
Said “bring me the PMC, the TM, and the STO!”
He cused “I’M DISGUSTED!” with an undisguised scoff.
“YOU PEOPLE GAVE PROTOTYPE STUDENTS DAYS OFF!
There are tests to be given and drills to be run.
Nuclear power is never, never supposed to be fun.”
He continued to fume until his face turned bright red,
And I thought in an instant we’d be better off dead.
Then he jumped in his sub with a last evil glower
And steamed off through the haze on nuclear power.
But I heard him exclaim as he faded from sight,
“Write this up as a critique before you go home tonight!”

10/11/2010 6:25 PM

 
Blogger Thomas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/11/2010 6:27 PM

 
Blogger Thomas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/11/2010 6:28 PM

 
Blogger Thomas said...

Sorry for the multiple posts, yes I know I'm an idiot.

10/11/2010 6:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fun: We had these evacuation/site plans behind acrylic throughout the site at S1C. Of course, in spite of being an ancient piece of crap in the early 1990s, months from being shut down, security was still a big deal.

So, a couple of us planned a North Korean attack on the site, using one of the diagrams, including swapping ideas for how we would take out various guardposts and kill the Wackenhut guys. We then (accidentally?) left the plan up - stick figures with machine guns, north korean flags, etc.

LCC thought it was funny, but told us to cut if the F- out :)

10/11/2010 7:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This program is good for people who want to be an engineer someday but either lack the resources or the study habits. I don't regret doing it, but I would have tried to be a SEAL if I had it to do my Navy time over again. They get to jump out of helicopters, swim out of submarines, run and play on the beach, and blow stuff up.

All I ever did was wipe bilges, take logs and stroke the dolphin. It's a pretty mundane four years after the NNPS pipeline.

10/11/2010 8:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mare Island memories; 1970
- Dutches Bar in Vallejo the night Janis Joplin died.
- Watching "Star Trek" before studying at Bush or Tree
- The Tennis court next to NPS had a sign posted: "No Roller Skating." Since they mentioned it we had to do it. Had to.
- "Chief" Wenzel making train noises during class.
- Zodiac killer. Wifey scared.
Mostly good times.

10/11/2010 9:19 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

8106/5. The one thing I remember most vividly about NPS was the bomb threats. Damned, stupid bomb threats. They were kinda funny at first, but quickly became annoying as hell. The final straw was when someone phoned in one during the Reactor Principles final exam. The exam was really, really easy, and I was on the next to last question when the threat was called. Of course, the exams were collected and tossed, and we had to make it up. Of course, the makeup exam was a ball-buster. To this day, I would love to get my hands on the son of a b--ch who called that one in- I'd ring his scrawny neck!

10/11/2010 10:13 PM

 
Anonymous ex-ET nuc said...

NFAS 9121ET, NPS 9201 section 5ET.

A-school was ridiculously easy. I spent many an afternoon down at the gym playing racquetball, and after putting in a token hour each night, I'd head out to the beer-n-burger theater just off base.

We did have one incident happen because one of my roommates had found a 10mm round while we were walking to McD's. Our Section Adviser ETC Cruikshank(sp?) had gone through our room and found it in the desk drawer. The whole class was put at attention and asked if we knew what "Contraband" was. Then we were pulled aside, and grilled quite heavily. We told our story repeatedly and without differences. Later we were exonerated by the fact that base police had reported a round missing from the clip of one of the officers, and that they were no longer allowed to carry loaded weapons. We lost about 1/3 of our section. I also remember the galley being struck by lightening at least 3 times during the many 1600 down-pours. We were also on swings in radar class when the radar tower was struck and one of the repeater units blew out.

NPS was a bit more difficult, so I actually put in 7-10hrs a week study time. I remember gathering in the one room with a TV every Thursday night for 90210. We were also admonished against "Streaking" through the barracks area (thanks class 9108). We lost about another 1/3 of our ETs and collapsed from 5 ET sections to 4. I'm not sure how the EMs and MMs fared, but I remember hearing we had a below average class loss rate.

Up in Charleston for Prototype (MTS-635). Spent a lot of time down at the Jungle Room, before it went "alternative", and caught a few MAC flights to Frankfurt for 4-offs. I was the 2nd ET to pass boards and get my blue badge (8hr shifts, and stand watch alone). Got to be on watch for staff drills as AMR2UL when sea-returnee EO paralleled 180deg out-of-phase and quite literally "rocked" the switchboard and ended up in an impromptu Half-Power-Lineup. I got relieved so fast all I did was sign my first name, I had to go back later and add the rest of the proper comments and complete my signature. I also go to be RO in the "trailer" for the demo of a certain "worst case scenario" drill (now that was impressive), and convinced me to pay very close attention to the panel when on watch.

10/11/2010 10:58 PM

 
Blogger Lou said...

@ anon 10/11/2010 6:20 PM

I remember the Christmas of '94, I stood EWS that morning with another E-6 TEOOW and a plant full of SPUs. Thanks for posting the poem, I remember it was making the rounds at the time.

10/12/2010 7:55 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

10/11/2010 6:13 AM

Hey, I was 8801 as well. 8801-5, actually. I think by that time they got rid of the "rocks with lips" sections and just mixed everyone in.

The "big" ET1 for internal monitoring (or as we called it, "hugging the pig"--how appropriate--really WAS a moody bitch.

I did my share of dating women booters/AT's/TM's. One night was at the main gate waiting for my date to show up by the pass decal office when I saw one of the boots getting head from his girlfriend in the backseat of the car next to me. Ah, young love.

My HTFF instructor was wicked hot...22 years old, blonde/blue, oh, my. I'm still trying to remember who that LTjg was (CMR instructor) who EVERYONE drooled over--you could always tell it was here because she always took those wicked quick/short steps.

I stayed over X-Mas/New Year's that year (1987) and on X-Mas Eve, one of the phones in the bank was ringing. Some girl that we talked to for about 10 minutes and finished our rounds. By the time we got back to the Q-Deck one of the other guys (little MM, forget his name now) had hooked up with a date with her for the next day. I was WAY pissed--until I saw her. Drove a Chevy Chevelle that she had to put the seat all the way back but STILL had her stomach touching the steering wheel, and HIDEOUS blue eyeshadow that looks like it was put on with a trowel.

They married 2 months later. Two weeks after that, he came in with a HUGE bruise covering an entire side of his face. We finally got it out of him what happened. Apparently they were taking a shower together, he tried to get around her, and busted out the shower door and landed on his face.

Never really made one place my hangout, but avoided one place in particular after I ran into my Section Advisor there and he asked me what the hell I was doing out on a school night.

10/12/2010 8:36 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

This thread makes me miss the EM-Log even more!

Where are you!!?!?!?!

10/12/2010 2:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my buddy and I went to study, he was usually in civvies, me in dungarees. One night, we switched. Walking in, we passed by a newly minted Ensign. I saluted, he didn't. We got a few steps further and I asked him, "Did you salute that officer?" "No." We turned around and the Ensign was staring at us scratching his head, trying to figure out what had just happened that wasn't right. We kept going without enlightening him..

10/12/2010 2:20 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

WOW! The EM-LOG is back!

Why didn't this make the headlines?!?!

10/12/2010 2:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we're supposed to give a fuck about the EM Log why exactly??

10/12/2010 6:00 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

Anon:

No one really gives a damn if you care about the EM Log or not. Those of us who enjoyed the blog understand and continue to enjoy it.

10/12/2010 6:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7301 - One funny thing I remember about prototype was some genius microwaving a live rabbit at S5G. The next day the microwaves were removed and we had cold lunches for the rest of our stay.

Also, I made E-5 about halfway through and the crew chief didn't know what to do with me. After I qualified, he encouraged me to spend all of my time in one of the out-of-the-way conference rooms - out of sight, out of mind. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

ex-EM1(SS)

10/12/2010 8:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decadent times…OBT (except the pink flamingo), Faith in Physics, Rosie O'Grady's, 94th Aero Squadron, Friday meat market at the club, a particular motel on Colonial that tolerated partying, and oh by the way they gave us 6 months to hang out and clean decks in the empty A-school for 2 hours at night.

10/12/2010 8:22 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Rosie O'Gradys? $8 for a pitcher of PBR? Bleah. But Faith in Physics...ah. Saw Jane's Addiction there. Awesome.

Spring Break in Daytona as well. One of the guys was heading up there a couple of weeks before the comp. Paced for 5 miles by a FSP unmarked doing 105+. Amazingly, he still graduated.

One test, one of the questions was, "What is the purpose of a transformer? Some smartass wrote, "To battle and defeat the evil Decepticons." Instant academic board.

10/13/2010 2:43 AM

 
Blogger DDM said...

During my first tour as NNPS staff the S/A I shared an office with had a guy not show up Monday. It was Bike Week in Daytona. He met some biker chicks who took him back to his hotel, strapped him face-down on the bed and violated him with a dildo (not an instructor). The maid found him the next morning. Young lad still graduated.

10/13/2010 6:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DDM,

Why wouldn't he have graduated? The question is where was he assigned afterward (probably not to a sub, and certainly not to a boomer).

Diogenes

10/13/2010 7:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, now: I thought that's what boomer sailors did all day long...?

10/13/2010 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous MentalJim said...

NFAS Class 8946, NPS Class 9007 and then 9101 after getting rolled back due to a bout with pneumonia. Then off to the D1G ball. The second time around I was in 9602 or 9601 I forget which.

There was an incident revolving around a bachelor party and an Orlando PD substation that held up a few guys from graduating.

Lots of funny stories, but nothing remarkable enough to type here.

10/13/2010 10:31 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{Why wouldn't he have graduated? The question is where was he assigned afterward (... and certainly to a boomer).}

There, fixed it for you. I wonder how many sigs on his qual card got blazed off in exchange for telling his new boomer shipmates about bike week.

"tell us the story again - don't leave anything out..."

10/13/2010 12:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{One test, one of the questions was, "What is the purpose of a transformer? }

We had a smart guy in NFAS who, when asked "what is a journal bearing", answered that it was a special diary kept by bearings to detail their inner thoughts and feelings.

Lost some ass for that, but he graduated.

10/13/2010 12:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not believe the original EM Log author is actually back. First, the most recent post is dated August 22nd. Second, the writing style does not match that of the EM Log guy we were used to. Finally, there’s a note inviting any or all submariners to "add your own tale”.

I think we’re dealing with a pseudo EM Log.

10/13/2010 2:49 PM

 
Blogger DDM said...

Diogenes,

The guy was UA for about 6 hours. In 1990-1991 that was considered more than "late for school".

Of course, there was another student who got very excited while milling about the lingerie section of Sears and decided to master his domain. As security approached he ate the evidence. His S/A had to watch the security video. This lad also graduated.

10/13/2010 3:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Class of 8504; EM C started out with 51 and graduate 17 from NPS ETC Tim Cheatham? Chief Cheatem ended up on NRs as an Officer when I was standing EWS as an EM2-ss.

IN NPS Orlando, I was blessed with two academic boards, Mando 35 or Ordered 35 for the final 21 weeks. Passed the final academic board 9th from the bottom. I was a fan of O'Brothers, and had a few interesting spring break nights in Daytona and two long weekends in Key West.

Had a ball at NPTU NY (MARF), qualified EWS two years after joining my first boat.

Best decision I ever made - submarines, NPS, Navy.

10/14/2010 4:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nuke School - as they said, turn the fire hose on day 1 and six months later turn it off. Take your worst final exam experience at college and extend it for 6 months...

Section advisor put us on mandatory hours the first day we were there...it must have been at least 30 hours + as I basically remember being at nuke school every day for six months. The only day I remember blowing off steam was friday afternoon at the JO club with a bartender who had a heavy hand serving drinks to Ensigns looking to get wasted in the minimum amount of time before they had to be back in school saturday and sunday to meet the mandatory hours.

Free time was spent getting scuba qualified at the Dive Station in Orlando trained by an ex-Navy Seal...still do not know how I managed to fit in the time with the mandatory hours we were assigned.

Nuke school was more of college...still did not feel like I was in the Navy, let alone the submarine service.

Prototype on the other hand was a rude smack in the face...perhaps I might have might have made a mistake here with my career choice....

10/14/2010 8:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EM in 8506. Four of us came back from a night on the town, parked and were walking to the BEQ. One of the more unruly guys spies a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am in the student lot - complete with pesonalized Texas plate: EM NUKE. Before anyone could say or do anything, the guy (an EM Nuke) says, "This is what I do to EM Nukes!" And instantly rips the passenger side mirror from the door. All that was left was the power cable. Needless to say we made a hasty retreat. The culprit was the guy mentioned above who was booted for falling asleep at the lectern.

10/15/2010 10:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved NPS! Orlando, the strip clubs, the beaches, etc....Nice red headed female LT DILDO as my "advisor", put me on mandatory study hours for first 2 weeks. After the first exam - off mandatory NPS study hours and onto off site tutoring.

Loved the summer whites on Friday with the bright red thong and bra as she taught Physics!

10/15/2010 8:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we had the same redhead. A Chem Radcon instructor, short and tight body 86 timeframe?

10/16/2010 4:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading through these posts brought back alot of memories. Part of the 8607 Enlisted Class (Sec 8/MM)...didn't realize they sectioned us by test scores.

Obviously started in Great Lakes for RTC/NTC. Spent almost 5 months working at the Orlando RTC Galley as a Porch Captain waiting for school to start...MMs tended to wait the longest back then probably due to the number of them. The Galley sounds like a shit job to most (and it was) but who could beat 3 days off in a row during the week. Spent lots of off time in Daytona, Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna, etc with guys from my same shift.

One of our favorite bars was the 94th Aero Squadron. If i recall, they had good midweek drink specials. We also frequented the oyster bars on OBT.

Nuke School was for me the hardest thing I've ever accomplished. I was on suggested 30 pretty much the whole way through. One thing that got me through was the basketball league, in which my section took first place.

10/18/2010 8:25 PM

 
Anonymous SSBN617B said...

My Nuke school experience I would say was one of the few things that had a major impact on my life. As one previous poster said, after Nuke School I realized that anyone could do anything, it was all a matter of how much effort you were willing to put in. I was in class 8207, I went to 6 week preschool vice 3 week which was based on your NFQT score or at that time you could request 6 week if you wanted it. I did 6 months on Canopus and even went out to sea once so I had a slightly different attitude toward the "make work" jobs I was assigned in the 4 weeks before preschool. After preschool the sections were made up based on your rate and how you did in preschool. In our case the highest section, 14, was MMs which was rare. 13 ET 12 EM 10 MM again and so forth. We did lose a bunch of guys at 3 weeks in the lower scetions and yes ALL the MMs went to diego garcia including every single one of the guys from the Canopus except myself. I rocked the final preschool physics test that scared the shit out of me. I had no plan B. I knew I had to pass. I worked my ass off in Nuke school, Every Friday night we went out and every Saturday we went to New Smyrna or Daytona but other wise I studied. All day Sunday, and 35+ hours a week. Even though I was getting good grades I kept working the same way I had been. My grades got better all the time. After we took the comp we all watched the SL-1 movie while they graded it. Everyone milled about on the lawn outside the school playing football or frisbee until the instructors posted the grades on the window by the entry way. Because it was early evening and there was a huge crowed packing in to try to read it was tough to see. After a few double takes I realized I scored 3.96 on the comp which was the highest in my class. That was one of the proudest moments of my life. My section advisor (MMC Berkebile) took great pleasure in pointing that out to the guy in section 13 and 14 lol.
What I learned was if you do your best at any thing you will generaly be sucessfull.

10/22/2010 11:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At prototype, circa 2003, they had the computers "locked down" so you could basically run the training program and sometimes the Windows calculator. There was some checkout I needed but I didn't feel like actually doing the CAC prereq for it again. I was able to circumvent the entire security suite and access the files, which were conveniently organized by class & login name. Therein, they stored all the CACs previously done as RTF's so I found the one I needed to redo, modified the date/time, and reprinted it. The barcode gave errors, of course (didn't they always?). I told Skeletor about it, doubt she did anything 'cause I was still able to do the trick for the rest of the time I was there.

10/24/2010 7:26 PM

 
Blogger foo said...

i'm a bit late for muster... I was 7906, one of the last nuc ICs minted. I remember that i was up until 0200 finishing homework the first month or so, then something clicked or things got easier and i was able to finish homework by 1900 or so. BTW, i used an HP-21C RPN calculator, which some dickbag stole at prototype.

I remember we all had our own jar of Taster's Choice and we POUNDED coffee to stay awake. This caused me to take up running. I very much enjoyed the 5:00 t-storms as i ran thru the golf course; i'd wait for the storm to pass and often i'd see a little 4" alligator come out of the lake. That was cool. I did 5~10 miles every week day.

There was a lot of pressure not to fail, they were always telling about /threatening with washing out "we'll send you to a tugboat at Norfolk!" well, it scared me. I graduated at or very near to the top of my class at Orlando and at prototype (S3G Ballston Spa).

One night i got back to my barracks room to find a woman in my bed. "Thank you, God!"
Turned out to be a very drunk WAVE whose key fit my door. Then i realized she'd wet my mattress. Fortunately my push-button crow out ranked her E3 so i made her switch my wet matress for hers. Her room was a 1/4 mile away. Whenever I'd see her at the chow hall after that she'd get very red and storm off while we all pointed and laughed.


Since it was '79, i went to a disco, Nickel's Alley. It was a 45 minute walk from the NTC and i'd walk there/back in ridiculous 4" pimp heels, unless i could pick up a girl with a car to bring me back. heh. I went to the disco a lot.

Went to coco beach and boke my toe body surfing with the pelicans. Worth it.

For my efforts is was sent to the oldest boat in the fleet, the pierpuppy (575), where i met bo the nook. Long ago. Far away.

11/07/2010 4:56 AM

 
Anonymous Rich Anderson said...

The group I hung out with from class 8507 had a regular weekly schedule.
-Tuesdays were 2 for 1 margaritas at Chi Chi's
-Wednesdays were nickel beer night at Church Street Station - Rosey O'Grady's
-Thursdays were 25 cent long neck beers at Church Street Station - Cheyenne Saloon
-Friday and Saturdays were at the ABC liquer lounge....LOL

And don't forget to stop at Naugles on the way back to base or made a tasty Kristle Burger. Each is sure to give you a good case of gas for the next day in class.

Made for a long week.

9/28/2011 1:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

replaHey guys,
8306 Section 1 "Rock" checking in here. We started with 52 Rock MM's in my section and graduated 13! (We lost another 2 in prototype, so only 11 made it to the fleet.)I spent the whole time on S-35 hours.

I was laughing out loud at all the stories. I remember frequenting the strip club out the back gate, I think it was called "Foxhole". Dropped half my measly check on a redheaded dancer named "Pebbles". I think the club out the main gate was called "Kilroys"?

I also remember the movie theater that served beer and food during the movie, I think it was called "21st century" I saw "rambo" and "Caligula" there.

I remember killing time waiting for the final grades to be posted at the movie theater just outside the gate. I was not a good student and I did not enjoy one minute of the movie "Scarface" while waiting!

Oh, and the HOT instuctor was Ensign Trentacosta. She was a little brunette with a great rack and a mouth like a truckdriver!

11/05/2011 12:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very late to game to post but for me the nuc pipeline had major impact on my life as I think it did for many of us enlisted guys.

I was a lousy B- to C student in HS and I'm pretty sure. Just had nobody to push me and had no concept of how to think about my future. I was in boot camp 4 weeks after HS in 1989. Pretty sure I had the lowest possible score to qaulify for nuc with an NFQT of 50 IIRC. That assumes that's actually what I even scored ;)

Went to NFAS "EM" in Orlando. After the math section (I think was the first 4-5 weeks) I failed the math course but was doing awesome on the EM stuff. There were three of us who got academically rolled-back to start over in a new section. I ended up finishing the course after the re-do with highest honors.

We started NPS in Apr of 90 (class 9005?) and because of having been a roll-back in A school my SA put me on mando-35 study hours. I was so determined not to be a wash-out I could care less about a social life and had no life for the first 3 months of NPS. I was a gym rat but other than my daily workout and running in the AM, I only left base a couple times for several months.

My section had several guys who had been through a lot of the first 8-10 weeks of the course and were med hold guys so they had a huge leg up. Plus we had 2-3 other guys who were college drop-outs. Even with those guys in my class I still finished 4th in my section and had honors.

I have a lot of memories of NPS.
1. The day they had us in the autotorium at the start of school and gave every warning they could about how and why people don't make it. I know I was paying attention. Certainly shock and awe for me.

2. One day I had eaten chili at the dining hall and then walked over to the mall not far from the gate. About half way back code brown kicked in and despite trying to pinch it off, I shit my pants and had to walk back that way. LOL

Onto MTS-635 for prototype in Charleston. Had great roomates, we had a great group of O and E guys who did stuff together, bball games, gym, beach. This was the first time I felt like I had any kind of social life.

Probably the most memeroable thing of school was when they had us park down the dirt road and a gator was blocking the road one day so we had to wait for him to leave so we could go home.

The fleet on a 688? Sucked. Hated it. It was an exercise in non-stop sleep deprivation. When my boat (708) was in the shipard in Portsmouth, NH we had tons of guys getting popped for DUI (one guy killed), mast, etc. I'm pretty sure that boat had one of the most negative crews in the Navy.

I have no respect for one of the former 708 COs, Neil Rondorf. Psst, 3AM field day while in the yard is not how you keep a crew motivated when they're already port and stupid on three section duty days. I'd love to meet him some day and tell him how much of an idiot he is.

I was first to qualify out of my entire class and had highest grade on the comp. The over-kill studying while at NPS paid off as as I had retained all the material. I could not believe how easy prototype was. Was absolutely great times.

Without the nuc program to teach (force?) me how to apply myself, I am convinced I would not be were I am today. I now have an MS elec eng degree and within the next few years I expect I will be in senior management of a 7000+ employee technology company.

Not bad for a lousy HS student and "A" school roll-back......

1/08/2012 7:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the more "interesting" memories I have of the nuc pipeline was when I was in NFAS - MM class 9207 (NPS class 9204). One evening the fire watch was making their regular rounds, it must have been past midnight at this time, well I awoke to shrill scream of what sounded like school age girl that was cornered by a rat covered in spiders. The truth was even more alarming, it was the fire watch, with a fully nude MMFN attached to him. One of my classmates, for some reason, decided to lay in wait for the watch that evening and decided to pounce on him in the buff, his name was Chad H, I don't think he made it out of NPS.

9/12/2012 9:13 PM

 
Blogger ex MM1(ss) said...

I was in 7706, the last class to use slide rules. The first Star Wars movie came out that summer, which resulted in a lot of mock light-saber battles using - yep, slide rules. It's probably best that they were retired after that class, as most were bent and mangled.

12/08/2012 2:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry I taught at Mare Island from 1971 to75. I remember the bomb threat to. After I left Mare Island I managed a commercial nuclear plant in Illinois. The Navy was good experience.

1/25/2013 6:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught in the officer dept at Mare Island 1973-75. My class assignment was physics. Our director in 1973 was Ray Wyatt. When Ray left to command his first submarine , he was replaced by Phil. I wrote some parts of those comp exams.

1/25/2013 6:47 PM

 
Anonymous ET1 Jones said...

I was in class 8306/14 (ET). I didn't get out to party much, as I was already married before I joined the Navy. Played a lot of volleyball in the pool at our apartment. Passed out and had a seizure after swimming laps underwater in the other pool, and was told I was out of the Navy. Kept going to class, though, and did ET advancement courses at home in the evening. Eventually, I was medically cleared and finished NPS. Got put on M20 my last week. Told me it was because I hadn't put in enough hours during my time there and he was sure I wouldn't put in the hours if they were merely suggested. He was right about that!

I remember going to lunch at the bowling alley. The had great hamburgers there. Bought a bass and an amp and jammed a bit with some instructors. We played a game of TAG (The Assassination Game) while we were there. I got only one kill before I got tagged myself. Got really drunk at the E club after my kill.

We had a section 14 wine tasting party the weekend of the final comp. The favorite wine of the party was MD 20/20!

I can't say that NPS was the best time of my life. I spent so much time studying that my wife said she seriously considered having an affair. I was so stressed out when they told me I'd be medically discharged that I had to drink myself to sleep every night. Still, things couldn't have been all bad, as our first child was conceived there, separate twin beds notwithstanding. And I did learn some important study skills.

7/30/2013 8:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mare Island 7601; S1W Prototype/Staff Pickup/ELT.
After my first boat (SSBN 658), I got instructor duty at NPS in Orlando. In those days an instructor couldn't really consider himself to have made real impact until/unless his name was found written on a bathroom wall in Cocoa Beach. If I ever made that chosen few, I do not know. However, during a power outage (frequent in monsoon season) a few of us had gone to the quiet study room to work on records as that was the only room with windows. After a while one of the guys tried the reading light to see if power was back and it was. I switched mine on and found myself memorialized with the phrase "Waltz is a Nazi." I was deeply moved as well as honored.

9/20/2013 11:12 AM

 
Blogger daver852 said...

I went to Nuke school at Bainbridge; my class was either the last or next to last one to be held there. They were in the process of closing things down. One benefit was that the old Gunner's Mate who ran the firing range encouraged people to come in and shoot up all the ammunition before he had to inventory it; I qualified as an Expert Pistol Shot, got a medal, and a ribbon to wear besides my Geedunk (National Defense Service Medal) ribbon. It seemed like they were going to great lengths to flunk out as many students as possible. I still remember learning how to use a slide rule. Somehow I passed, and went to Ballston Spa to complete my training. Finished near the top of my class, and was given the option of becoming an instructor or an ELT. Like an idiot, I chose ELT training. I then got orders to report to Ford Island at Pearl Harbor.

When I arrived, I was told to report the Transit Unit. By this time I was an EM2. The Transit Unit had three petty officers there, and our job was basically to muster the nonrated people in the morning, tell them to go pick up trash around the island, muster them again at noon, and once again when it was time to knock off. The three of us who were were petty officers took turns; two of us would leave after the morning muster, while the third would stay
on through the afternoon. It was a dream assignment, but being young and stupid, I didn't see it that way. After three or four months of what was basically a Hawaiian vacation at the taxpayers' expense, I took it into my head to visit the Personnel Office. There was some bad-tempered Senior Chief Personnelman there that listened to me while I asked if I was permanently assigned to the Transit Unit. He basically told me to get the hell out of his office and not to bother him. But about two weeks later, he called me back in and said, "Good news, son. We've found a boat for you." I said, "Okay, when do I report onboard?"
And he answered, "In two hours. Go pack your seabag and get your ass back here ASAP." I did as I was told, and there was a jeep waiting to take me to the airport, and another jeep waiting for me when we landed on Guam. My boat was the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601). Evidently, one of their ELTs had broken his leg or something during turnover. I didn't even make it down the ladder before they slammed the hatch shut, and we were underway. I later learned that someone had screwed up and cut me the wrong set of orders; if I had kept my big mouth shut, I might have spent the remainder of my time working one or two days a week mustering the trash pickup crew on Ford Island, and enjoying the delights of Honolulu. But as this blog says, the stupid shall be punished!

1/12/2014 12:12 PM

 

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