NROTC: What is a Nuke?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by chud182, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. chud182

    chud182 Member

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    I recently spoke to my son, a Midshipman 4th class at USC (South Carolina), about his thoughts on NROTC. Granted, it is very early in the game, but he told me that he was interested in learning more about being a nuke. I'm pretty ignorant about what this means and was hoping somebody could enlighten me a bit. I assume it has to do with nuclear propulsion? If so, does that imply submarines? Also, what is the service commitment? Finally, is this a good path to follow both in the Navy and post-Navy?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    First - GO GAMECOCKS!!!

    Yes, it's about nuclear propulsion, learning how reactors work, etc. etc. It generally means subs but we have (or had?) 10 nuclear powered aircraft carriers, so it can be surface as well, This is a skill that there is just not enough of in the Navy, and many folks have been drafted into Nuke Propulsion. It is obviously math and physics heavy so if your DS is good at math and physics it could be a perfect fit for him in a high demand field.

    I don't think going nukes would add anything to his service obligation but don't treat that as fact.

    Can't speak too much to the post-Navy aspects of it. There is clearly a need for nuke engineers but it's not like we're building new nuke power plants as fast as we can. However, other parts of the world may be. I seem to recall France was building many new power plants. I knew a guy who used to travel the world on long term assignments overseeing the construction of new plants. He made a damned good living at it. I also have some acquaintances whose son graduated from NPS this past winter. He loved it although it was hard work with a lot of studying. But Charleston is not a bad place to be for 6-12 months!

    UofSC has a fair number of folks who go nuclear and they have a Nuclear Power Club to further their interest.

    Hope this is helpful. How did your DS enjoy the Tally-Ho and the first stadium cleanup?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  4. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    DS commissioned last year and is currently in upstate NY at the NPTU. Actually we just got back from there this morning as it was our sons birthday. The service commitment is about 6-61/2 years as there is close to 2 years of training before deployment. As Kinnem was saying, there tends to be a shortage of qualified Nuke applicants so there is often a nuke draft(not get your #1 service selection). It is very demanding, and very good math and physics skills are essential. A signing bonus of 15k is given in the 4th year of college if accepted into the program and other bonuses later on. As far as post Navy, DS son says a lot of poaching goes on to lure the officers out of the Navy after the initial commitment so the Navy has another signing bonus for the 2nd tour to try to keep them. The job offers seem to be excellent in the private sector post Nuke.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Everyone nailed it pretty well. I had friends go Surface Nuke and Subs. Some are still in Commanding Subs now and others are civilians making very good livings. Some work for the government at the NRC or DOE and others work for private companies building, repairing, running power plants. If he goes Surface Nuke then he will got a ship and earn his SWO pin first, then go to Nuke school, then to a carrier. Fast attack vs. Boomers vs. Carriers all have their own nuances and personalities. Usually one of these communities will tend to fit someone better than the others. One of the big pros of going Nuke is generally the sailors in these fields tend to be pretty dang smart.
     

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