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Posted by: ChooseYourRateChooseYourFate ( )
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

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Posted by: Heathen ( )
Date: November 04, 2015 08:32PM

Since the original thread is closed...

I served as an Army enlisted military intelligence specialist (linguist), and then later as an officer attached to an infantry battalion. Because the training was so specialized, several of the schools I attended were multi-service. These are my recommendations based on personal observations and experience.

Air Force offers the best quality of life. Period. In everything. They treat their people well. It is harder to get promoted, however.

Navy. Life on a boat, away from family for long lengths of time. Treat their people well. The Philipines and Asia are great places to visit. Did I mention a boat?

Army. My alma mater. Quality of life I would rank 3rd. Good people, some interesting jobs, see places. You are a number. They treat everybody equally crappy.

Marines. Full of snake-eating, blood and guts fighters. Fun crowd to party with. Until the fights start. IF you absolutely love physical fitness and pain, are into extreme sports like triathalons and marathons and such, join up. You won't be disappointed. Damn nice uniforms though.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: November 04, 2015 08:47PM

Great travel, crappy treatment. I was offered a re-enlistment bonus and turned it down, because no amount of money is worth my personal freedom. But I do admire those people who stick it out for twenty. Iron men and women.

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Posted by: navyjax2 ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 11:46PM

I went Nuke when I wanted to go IT because the recruiter had me convinced I was going to learn both computers and get to learn nuclear physics. As an Electronics Tech, you do get a 6 week course in Digital Fundamentals as part of the overall 6 month Electronics Technician "A" School. It was a great course - learning binary, how 1s and 0s are even produced, and how they can transform an LED screen of with those figure "8"s to light up to 1-9. Learning what a NAND, XOR gate were and being able to read digital schematics/flowcharts. A great foundation for a career in IT, but that was it. Once you're in the fleet, you're taking temperatures and pressures, and you get to do maintenance that includes calibrating the rheostats that monitor them. Maybe you get to operate some switches or levers, but the only computer you're going to see is the one in the Ship's Library you sign up for 30 minutes at a time in order to email or chat with family on. So you're experience is limited when you get out. What I did was I found American InterContinental University, and they had an online program that enrolled me in as a junior and I was able to complete my IT degree in 13 months, online. I was fortunate - I had my first two semesters of both English and Math done through a dual enrollment program my high school had set up with the local college during my senior year, I got a 4/5 on the AP History test, and I CLEP'ped Humanities course to get there. But that's how you do it. Even after getting the degree they want experience I didn't have, so I bought my own computer, figured out how to put together my own home network, I took a Microsoft Bootcamp for a month and got certified by taking Microsoft tests. I still couldn't get hired for a permanent position (no professional experience), so I took temp jobs changing out computers - called "migrations". They would give you the instructions - it was easy. Once you did enough of them, you could impress your bosses by fixing mistakes that others would make by missing steps. This gets you noticed and leverage to stay perm once the temp work is done - there is always turnover on help desks. But once you are perm for a year or two, you can go anywhere. And the more systems on the job that you can learn, the more leverage you have over that guy that has never seen them, much less took the time to learn them. But so, while going IT first is definitely the easier route, if you go nuke, you really can change your fate.

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: December 06, 2018 01:37AM

Retired USAF MSgt here. Looking back I wonder if the Navy would have been a better route...? I was stationed in some podunk places since Air Force bases tend to be built in a desert or a swamp. The Navy does have better duty locations. Hands down.

My job as an electronics tech doesn't exist anymore. Everything has gone digital and it is all about computers and swap-tronics. The jets are getting older and older.

The weirdest thing that crept into Air Force culture was the christian right. When I joined (1991) there were still Democrats in the USAF - almost half of the force was left-leaning. When I retired in 2011 it was 95% Republican. Then the religion started to creep in. Chaplains were now giving invocations at commander's calls and that sort of thing...like they were all a part of some religion. When I retired I had to request in writing (Several times) that I did not want a chaplain at my retirement ceremony. I used to rant about this when I was still in..."We are the AIR and SPACE force!! Why do we have these men who majored in fairy tales in college oversee us?! We are supposed to be the smarter ones of the military branches and yet we pray at all of our functions!? What is going on to our Air Force?

I hear that it comes from the evangelical movement that is near the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs. Most of the officers are uber Christians.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 06, 2018 01:45AM

“What is going on to our Air Force?”

The little gray guys at Area 51 thought it would be funny to mess with their heads.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 06, 2018 02:51AM

praydude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The weirdest thing that crept into Air Force
> culture was the christian right. When I joined
> (1991) there were still Democrats in the USAF -
> almost half of the force was left-leaning. When I
> retired in 2011 it was 95% Republican. Then the
> religion started to creep in. Chaplains were now
> giving invocations at commander's calls and that
> sort of thing...like they were all a part of some
> religion. When I retired I had to request in
> writing (Several times) that I did not want a
> chaplain at my retirement ceremony. I used to
> rant about this when I was still in..."We are the
> AIR and SPACE force!! Why do we have these men
> who majored in fairy tales in college oversee us?!
> We are supposed to be the smarter ones of the
> military branches and yet we pray at all of our
> functions!? What is going on to our Air Force?
>
> I hear that it comes from the evangelical movement
> that is near the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs.
> Most of the officers are uber Christians.


Someone in my family joined the Air Force before this happened, but I was aware of this happening, and the problem seems to be worse than ever now.

There is a situation going on this year (2018) about a Christian Air Force chaplain who converted to Orthodox Judaism, and as a result, was not allowed to continue as a chaplain. (There ARE Jewish chaplains; this former Christian chaplain was not allowed to make the transfer to become one.)

In Fort Campbell, Kentucky, also this year, there has been a serious problem because a Christian superior officer in the Army "fired" (for no reason which has ever been articulated in any of the reports I have read) a husband/wife Jewish couple (trained "lay leaders") who have had a long and successful record of meeting the Shabbat and Jewish Holy Day observance needs, and community social needs, of Jewish active military personnel on the base and in that area.

(The nearest town with a synagogue, or a Jewish community, is far away and [in practical terms] inaccessible for the personnel at this Army facility. As a result, Jewish lay leaders who organize worship services, Passover dinners (etc.) are common on military bases with this same problem.)

It appears that the superior officer responsible for this decision to fire the Jewish lay leaders just wanted to shut down all Jewish religious or social activities on, or near, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

[Edited to add: There are lay leaders throughout the military services (most are trained; some are self-trained), from many different religions, and (since at least 2014) for atheists as well.]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2018 03:12AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: December 06, 2018 03:42AM

Former Navy. I had the ASVAB scores for most rates (nukes excepted), but was dumb enough to go in rateless. Spent almost two years as Undesignated in Deck (aka Undesignated Deck Slave) and left due to some health issues.

Choose a rate carefully. Nukes require a good ASVAB score and more years to commit, but the pay is better. SEALs have high standards of who can join and a high rejection rate. Most of the other Undesignated I served with were SEAL school dropouts. Working on a flight deck crew is an option for those who want to work in aviation. Interpreters for Chinese and Russian are in demand for those good with linguistics, but take almost as much commitment as nuke training. Boatswains Mates are not the most in demand in the civilian world, but they're proud and occasionally work alongside the Undesignated.

Just whatever you do, DON'T GO IN UNDESIGNATED! Trust me.

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