Date: November 04, 2015 06:55PM
The Navy can be great! The Nuclear pipeline and life can be real hard. In fact, I taught at the Navy Nuclear Power School for 4 years. If you are somewhat smart and motivated, you will make it through. The nuclear pipeline has transitioned from a filter to a pump. It used to have attrition rates like the Seals, but that is no longer the case. Nukes get some serious bonuses and pay; you will not hurt for money.
The biggest words of caution I would give you is the Navy adage, "choose your rate, choose your fate." It is so true; your rate is the job you'll do (i.e. nuke, it, mechanic, force protection, nurse, etc.). A nuke life can be hard. I would STRONGLY recommend joining as an IT. The new buzz word for ITs is "cyber warrior." Money is pumping into it like crazy. The job translates more easily to the real world than nuke, and the Department of Defense is hiring ITs like crazy.
I had a tour at Navy Recruiting Command. The recruiters will tell you what you want to fill what they need. Nukes can be hard to find. I'm telling you, life will be better as an IT. You will have way more options for locations to live and platforms to work on; boat, ship, squadron, etc.) as an IT.
I just completed a tour overseas in Germany for DISA Europe. They are recruiting Navy ITs (CTT, CTN, etc.) like crazy. They do cool stuff, too. My buddy is an IT1 who works with the Seals. I have another buddy who is an IT1 that works with the Hospital. You have way more options.
The cool thing about the Navy is all the cool places you can live. The Army and Air Force you can get stuck in some Podunk place in the middle of nowhere.
I aced the Nuke pipeline, but I was smart. It required long grueling hours. I followed up with the Nuke washouts I was teaching. They excelled in the other rates because they suddenly became the smartest and were no longer the dumbest. So, why do people join as Nukes? I think because the recruiter convinces them and they see the dollar signs of bonus money and reenlistment bonuses. Choose your rate, choose your fate.
I am sure I have offended some people, but money is not worth the 5 years of life you will sacrifice to become a Nuke; I say go IT and be happy. But if you do go through with it, you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment and have a fat wallet! :-)
That's my opinion and realize you and others may totally have another...
Best of luck; let us know which way you go