Hi, I was thinking about doing NROTC and joining the navy as a pilot but I am still unsure about my decision because of all the uncertainties of the navy(how long I will be away, quality of life, what flying is like). Did you go through anything like this or have any advice? Thanks so much!
Yeah I had uncertainties before I joined, but two things helped me personally make the decision:
1. I made an agreement with myself: If I could get through 6 years of being a nuke, I could do whatever I wanted after that. Nuclear power wasn’t something I was crazy passionate about, but I decided I would give it my all for the length of an enlistment, and see how I went. I got out 7 years ago—seriously feels like forever!
2. I had a tour of a cruiser in Boston and it was led by this big fat Navy guy and I thought, ‘Well if he can do it surely I can!’
There’s always going to be doubts or questions, but I think it just comes down to whether you really want to give it a go or not. If you don’t that’s absolutely fine, but I loved my time in and I’m so glad I made that decision.
Hi! I took the ASVAB recently and may have qualified for Nuke, which is what I was hoping for. My husband is a Nuke (in Powerschool), so I was wondering how often dual Nukes get stationed close together from what you've seen? I think we would be fine, but obviously we would want to get stationed semi near each other! Do you think we would ever see each other? I know we could each talk to our detailers and try to coordinate orders, but would it actually help? I hope this made sense! Thanks!
Ooo that’s a tough one. I think there’s some policy of putting married sailors in the same region (can’t be the same ship). I might be making up that policy. But it means you could be like in San Diego and he could be in Washington state. Maybe even Japan. If he’s on subs and you’re on aircraft carriers could be even he’s in like Maine and you’re in Norfolk. If you’re both on aircraft carriers you’d likely be on an alternating deployment schedule so it would be kinda hard to see each other!
I’m trying to think if I knew any dual Navy couples…unfortunately I don’t think so, most of the women got pregnant and got out of the Navy… (Sorry, it’s just that I didn’t join the Navy in order to find a husband, produce offspring, or quit the Navy. I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for either!)
It’s possible but it’ll be tough. This facebook group might have more info than I would, and here’s a basic About page concerning the topic. Google can be helpful.
Good luck to you guys!
EDIT: In regards to the comment below, actually I think I’d disagree with you there, since chick nukes can only be assigned to nuclear aircraft carriers, and dude nukes can only be assigned to nuclear subs or aircraft carriers. So there’s no chance of someone getting assigned to Italy or somewhere else weird right out of schooling—you know you’re either going to San Diego, Washington, Norfolk or Japan as a chick, and the dudes options are those plus (if he’s going sub) Maine, Georgia, and maybe another one I’m forgetting. I mean Japan might make it suck…so really it’s probably not more or less likely than anyone else!
EDIT EDIT: Haha, honeybunchesofgoats—exactly!! Be prepared to hear about “the needs of the Navy” a lot, and no one’s going to give much of a shit about a couple just out of prototype, unfortunately. Be prepared to either fight for your right and all that, or make the best of the situation you get assigned. (Guess which one is more likely…)
After 6 months of intense schooling and training I have earned the right to wear the petty officer patch! I am now EM3 ⚓️🌐😊
Awesome a fellow electrician! Congrats petty officer, you made it through A school!
Hi! I'm considering joining the Navy and some days I'm all about it, and other days I can't see myself doing it. I've read through your blog a little and I can't really tell still. Did you enjoy your time?
LOVED my time. Okay deployments could suck. 5 x 15s (5 hours of watch, 15 hours off) SUCKED because there was no such thing as a normal 24 hour day in Reactor Department and it made my body clock unhappy. Hated that they made me sign out with a girl for overnight liberty in port calls. But it’s okay because me and this one girl would always sign out together then go our separate ways while not banging a bunch of dudes, just wanted to hang out with our friends!
But that’s the thing, LOVE my friends I made in the Navy, we’re so close after being stuck together on an aircraft carrier for 4.5 years! The port calls were amazing! I NEVER would have known how much I dig Dubai unless our ship made me go there 3 times (everyone, do the safari tour). Also we got to go to Brazil and Chile and Peru which was sweet!! Hong Kong for my birthday: fucking epic. :) And hooking up with the most gorgeous Australian rugby player I’d ever laid eyes on….hate to be shallow but TOTALLY AWESOME! Loved my 6 year enlistment!
That’s not to say it’s for everyone. Well, I mean I really think it IS for everyone because there’s nothing cooler than getting paid to be an idiot in your early 20s while accidentally getting awesome work experience and life skills, but I know some people have struggled and quit. There will always be those days that suck, I definitely cried a few times over stupid shit, but looking back even the sucky days were worth the whole damn experience!
The only thing I regret about my time in the Navy
is that I once made the joke that a submarine populated only by women would sink.
In reality that submarine would rock the world.
Hi again! I don't know if you remember me, I asked a pretty typical questions about the ASVAB last time. Anyway, I just passed my NAPT! I'm so excited, and reading your blog has me anxiously awaiting everything that comes after swearing in!
"Parts of this book do for women in the military what Kim Barker’s wonderful 2011 book, “The Taliban Shuffle,” did for female war reporters, showing us both the humor and the perils of being a woman in a combat zone: the focus of intense and omnipresent attention (both wanted and unwanted) from their male colleagues, and extra scrutiny for their competence and toughness. The three central women in this book — who become close friends during their first deployment to Afghanistan — turn out to be just as competent and tough (and profane) as their male colleagues, even as they work hard at holding onto their femininity in the midst of a war zone.”
I am intrigued, Ms Thorpe!
Robin Williams visited the USS Harry S. Truman as part of a USO comedy show in 2004 while the carrier conducted operation in the Persian Gulf. It was a memorable show, and he kindly posed for pictures with as many sailors as he could. It was a great time for us….thank you Robin Williams for the laughter. We’ll miss you.
CNN PRODUCER NOTE Aurora Contreras of the U.S. Navy says meeting Robin Williams aboard the USS Harry S. Truman was one of her fondest memories from her 2004 deployment in the Persian Gulf. Contreras is shown kneeling to the left of the soldier whom Williams was standing behind. “I have always treasured those memories of him coming aboard,” Contreras said. “Deployments are very difficult and stressful and we don’t get lots of free time when we are out to sea. So to see him there was a major highlight of our time onboard.” Image courtesy U.S. Navy.
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
Photo and blurbs from here
Hi! I was looking through the navy nuke tag because I enlisted a couple months ago as a nuke. I wanted to know if you were one and do you have any advice about schooling for it? I had a teacher who started but he failed out and it's kind of discouraging because I'd rather not follow in those footsteps but the pressure and coursework that everyone describes is absolutely discouraging...
Yay congratulations to you!
I had a Shakespeare teacher in college who had been a nuke officer. We totally bonded over our shared experiences. I mention that because we were in the English department at a university and had no business meeting a fellow nuke there. In theory, English-loving folks should have failed out of nuke school. We both had successful tours in the Navy AND happy non-nuke lives afterwards. Don’t let that guy discourage you!
It’s tough, but as I’ve pointed out before to nervous folks who don’t know what to expect, it’s manageable. Just think, MANY people have done it before you. The whole point of ‘a’ school is to introduce us to the concepts we’ll be working with later. They don’t expect you to already know it! I didn’t even take physics in high school and I made it through.
Handy random advice for school:
- Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, don’t let it just baffle you. Ask questions during class, and if you still don’t get it, go to office hours and make them make you understand it.
- Have fun with your down time, make it your own and do what you want. Please avoid dating for the first 8 weeks (then totally go for that gorgeous guy you’ve been drooling over. Actually that’s when he’ll come up and ask you out becuase duh you’ve been ). Doing well in classes is the most important thing. But there are cool things to do and see around there, and seriously, you’ll have time to do and see them!!
- Challenge yourself. It’s scary because it means you can fail, or look stupid in front of a chief, but you’ll quickly learn that it’s far more exciting to see just how far you can go.
I think you’ll be fine. If I can do it, you definitely can! :)
This is actually a really serious and fairly interesting article from a couple years back about the science behind bulbous bows, brought on because I am very immature. I might have edited the title.
But seriously, our Navy’s aircraft carriers have a penis.
031219-N-7278A-002 Arabian Gulf (Dec. 19, 2003) — Actor/comedian Robin Williams signs autographs during a holiday special on board USS Enterprise (CVN 65) hosted by the United Service Organization (USO). The show took place in the ship’s hangar bay and featured the visiting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) celebrity Kurt Angle. Enterprise is currently underway conducting missions in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the continued war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Lucious Alexander. (RELEASED)
hello! I was thinking about joining the navy after high school (I'm 21 now btw) but I chickened out.. now I really want to enlist. what is the current tattoo policy and I don't know how to swim. will the navy teach me or do I have to learn at a YMCA lol thanks! and love the blog <3
And dude you’re asking the one person who made it through the Navy without getting a tattoo. I almost did, twice, once right before I went into the Navy, and once almost right after boot camp. The first time my car broke down and the second time my LPO (leading petty officer) in THU (temporary holding unit) had grounded me so I couldn’t go out. I never really thought about it again or cared so obviously, didn’t need one! I think the only thing is no neck tattoos? Or anything visible while in a dress uniform? But I’d do a google search if I were you, and I’m SURE something informative will come up.
As far as swimming, if you fail the initial test, they put you in a remedial program to pass it by the end of boot camp, and as I recall, everyone who did that ended up passing. But if you can get help before then I bet it would be helpful.
I really hope you end up enlisting, no chickening out this time! :)
My Birthday in 35 seconds.
So no joke this is pretty much my 22nd birthday in a nutshell. My crazy navy family doing that thing they do. You know I mean it when I say I’d be lost with out them. They mean the world to me an I love them to the moon and back. Haha freaking clowns…
Haha makes me miss all my Navy clown buddies!
Is it worth going into the navy after going to college? can you take a break from college (so to speak) and go into the navy?
In my opinion, absolutely. We’re still super immature at 22 and joining the Navy is a great way to learn about responsibility and individuality and being responsible for your individuality, and being individual with your responsibility.
Yeah you could be an officer I guess, but enlisting is stil highly worth it I reckon, even with a degree. We had a guy in my division who had his degree, we looked at him a bit funny, but he was quite confident that he’d done the right thing so we stopped questioning it. Except to make fun of him because that’s what real Navy friends do.
Also, deployments are a fantastic way to save money. As soon as I joined—correction—soon after I joined when I had a boyfriend who was buying me dinner, I opened a good money market savings account that automatically took $100 from every pay check. That was awesome. Do that.
And I think taking a break from college to join the Navy is the way to go. I had a semester of college under my belt when I went so that was cool, but yeah, really needed some crazy cool life experience that paid me to be young and stupid. The Navy was PERFECT FOR THAT.