Navy Advice


5-Year Member
Dec 24, 2015
This past week, I had the fortunate ability to go to Norfolk and tour a couple of the ships that were being inspected and worked on; battleship, sub, carrier, and merchant T-AKE. Each presented their own unique atmosphere, and I want to learn more about what would be in store for me if I happened to choose a certain route.

I need help putting together the pieces of accession and relating assignments to specialty, rank, and education. I will be doing NROTC (tier 1) in the fall and am a declared Nuclear Engineering student- but don't know if this schooling will a) get me to where I want to go, and b) help me to refine the aforementioned destination.

I know it is pretty early to be deciding anything concisely or concretely, but I want to know in depth what my options are. And the only way to find out is to ask.

Any information, advice, or comments that you have on this topic would be greatly appreciated!
Encyclopedic question. Depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. You are right, various platforms have different cultures.

Part of the pre-comm process at NROTC and USNA is learning about different Navy officer warfare communities through briefings, summer training and exposure to officers from those communities. All that helps to refine your choices, ruling paths in or out. You will learn about warfare platforms, training pipelines, career path, likely assignments, sea-shore rotation, post-grad education opportunities and much more.

Your major will lay a good foundation for Submarine Warfare or Surface Nuclear Warfare, or any other community. ROTC won't let you major in anything that's not useful to the Navy, and you will get all the training you need for any warfare community along the way.

Research primary sources such as these sites, the official Navy recruiting sites. There are similar links describing mission, tasks, functions of various warfare communities. This is just one.

Best advice is to do well in academics, work hard at ROTC duties and classes, be open to the journey and opportunities along the way. Your path will become clear.

I can rule out battleships for you. They are all decommissioned, in mothballs, serving as privately operated visit ship attractions or sunken monuments.
T-AKEs, or any ship with the USNS designation are naval vessels but not warships, crewed by either DON civilian merchant mariners or contract operators. Some have Navy dets aboard, but that's not a likely career assignment.
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