Likelyhood to get on subs?

My brother is coming up on crossroads in life, and I know he will be successful in whatever way he goes. He wants to be on subs and is thinking of enlisting instead of going to the naval academy as the recruiter can garuntee him the rate. If anyone has any info that would be awesome, all I've been able to find is ways to *avoid* being on subs after graduating, which leads me to believe he would have no issue at all.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Doing well academically is the #1 item looked at for subs. Doing well in a STEM major and passing the nuclear interview and he would get subs without an issue. There are other paths to subs also. ROTC and NUPOC are Officer programs that would lead to subs.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
At USNA, they sometimes draft men for subs. Since women have been allowed on subs, it is extremely competitive for them to get a billet.

Nidof is correct that, if you are qualified for subs (good STEM grades, pass your interview, medically qualified) and want them as a male out of USNA, you are likely to get subs. That said, there are no guarantees and, if you aren't successful academically, it won't happen.

So the OP's brother needs to consider whether it is more important to be a submariner period, in which case enlisting as described above is probably the best way. If he wants to be an officer, then he needs to look into which officer path gives him the best shot. One other note, USNA often gets direct accession enlistees from "nuke school." Thus, if he goes that route, does well, and wants to attend USNA, that is an option as well.
 

Humey

Member
Maybe it is me, but I dont understand why someone would prefer to go into the military as an enlisted when they have the opportunity to become an officer.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
There are a variety of reasons I have seen folks enlist that certainly had all the checks in the box to qualify as an officer. I had a Marine with a Masters in Math who worked for me. He had no clue the difference between officer and enlisted and his recruiter didn't send him to the OSO. After his enlistment he became a teacher and commissioned into the reserves. I had some highly qualified young Marines who could of certainly gone to college and pursued commissions. Many didn't have the exposure to the officer career paths that exist. Heck I have a buddy who commissioned via MECEP and retired a few years ago. His sons all went the enlisted path first and now one is in MECEP and the other so far successful in the SEAL pipeline (he has completed his undergrad). They consider it the family business to enlist first and learn the ranks then move on to an officer. Heck the SEAL ranks in general are full of those with various degrees, but they enlist to guarantee SEALs and also because they want to focus on being trigger pullers. I had a Plebe who was a prior Marine who had stellar high school stats and would of been very competitive for an appointment out of high school. Chose to enlist because he wanted the experience and didn't think he was mature enough for USNA at 17. Being an officer is about leading. It also means you won't be the guy 9 times out of 10 who will knocking down doors in a raid. It's your job to command, control, communicate, make decisions, etc. Some want to be the guy who knocks down the door.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
To piggy-back on Hoops' excellent discussion, the enlisted in the USN are the technical experts -- and this is especially true in subs. For example, the sonar operator is the one actually tracking the bad guys. The officer decides how to respond, but that decision is executed by the enlisted personnel. In the aviation community, the aircraft mechanics are all enlisted. Yes, there is typically an officer supervising but actually knowing how to fix the plane is the job of the enlisted "maintainers." A lot of folks want to do that type of work -- they want to learn a skill that they can then use in the civilian world when they one day enter it. Some don't want the (real or perceived) "politics" of the officer corps.

As some Chiefs are fond of saying, "we work for a living.":) Today, most senior enlisted personnel in the USN have at least some college and many have 2 or even 4-year degrees. Enlisting is the right path for some and not for others.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
There are a variety of reasons I have seen folks enlist that certainly had all the checks in the box to qualify as an officer. I had a Marine with a Masters in Math who worked for me. He had no clue the difference between officer and enlisted and his recruiter didn't send him to the OSO. After his enlistment he became a teacher and commissioned into the reserves. I had some highly qualified young Marines who could of certainly gone to college and pursued commissions. Many didn't have the exposure to the officer career paths that exist. Heck I have a buddy who commissioned via MECEP and retired a few years ago. His sons all went the enlisted path first and now one is in MECEP and the other so far successful in the SEAL pipeline (he has completed his undergrad). They consider it the family business to enlist first and learn the ranks then move on to an officer. Heck the SEAL ranks in general are full of those with various degrees, but they enlist to guarantee SEALs and also because they want to focus on being trigger pullers. I had a Plebe who was a prior Marine who had stellar high school stats and would of been very competitive for an appointment out of high school. Chose to enlist because he wanted the experience and didn't think he was mature enough for USNA at 17. Being an officer is about leading. It also means you won't be the guy 9 times out of 10 who will knocking down doors in a raid. It's your job to command, control, communicate, make decisions, etc. Some want to be the guy who knocks down the door.
My DD did something similar. Applied to West Point as a freshman in college. D1 athlete, physics major, had her nomination and was probably a shoe in.
She came home at Christmas and informed us that she had already told the coach she was dropping out of college, declined her nomination and was enlisting.
She applied from the ranks and starts R-Day next month. She is very happy she spent some time enlisted.
My DS has his heart set on USNA. He's a middle of the road candidate. He decided to talk to the Navy recruiter last week, and scored well enough that the recruiters gave him a nukes pamphlet and talked to him about that path. He sees the experience our DD got from going enlisted and is seriously considering that route. He figures worst case if he gets nukes but still does not get into USNA he would still have a great start to his life.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
As posters have said, If you meet the academic/medical requirements for subs, you should have no problem getting a spot as the community has somewhat of a recruiting issue.

There are a few specific academic requirements, like a minimum CQPR in your major (this is higher for Group III, lower for group I, etc), there are a few classes like Physics and Chemistry that you need at least a B in. I think some of these can be waived. And you have to pass the Nuc interview. It's rare but I do know a few people with some weird medical conditions that have disqualified them from the Sub community but not other communities.
 
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