Tag Archives: Navy

Navy Nuclear Program

Many of my posts so far have been primarily dedicated towards the achievement of weight loss. While that is one milestone in my desire to succeed, it is only a milestone. The second part of this blog will be about getting into the Navy Nuke program, which I am sure will be a hotter topic of discussion once I get closer to my target weight.

What is the Navy Nuke program?
The Navy Nuclear program is an intensive program that trains men and women to operate and maintain nuclear reactors on shore locations, Nimitz class aircraft carriers, and submarines. The standards for this program are high and require impressive ASVAB scores, an extended enlistment commitment, and an intense amount of academic training.

How can I qualify for the Navy Nuke program?
To qualify for the Navy Nuke program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the following ASVAB requirements: VE+AR+MK+NAPT = 290 (with minimum 50 NAPT score) or AR+MK+EI+GS+NAPT = 290 (with minimum 50 NAPT score) or VE+AR+MK+MC = 252 (No NAPT required) or AR+MK+EI+GS = 252 (No NAPT required)
  • Qualify for ‘Secret’ security clearance
  • Must not reach 25th birthday when entering Active Duty (boot camp), however waivers can be granted on a case by case basis.
  • Enlist for minimum of 6 years to account for the ~2 years of training required.

What are some of the perks of the Navy Nuke program?
The Navy Nuke program is offers some incentives for choosing this rate due to the difficulty it is to recruit qualified candidates and retain candidates who have fulfilled their 6 year enlistment obligation (those who leave the military after 6 years as a Nuke, usually go work in nuclear plants making $75k+ a year. See NukeWorker.com). Some of the incentives include:

  • Enter the Navy as an E-3, with accelerated advancement to pay grade E-4 once personnel completes all advancement-in-rate requirements.
  • A pretty decent size enlistment bonus, from 12-24k depending on needs of the Navy. This is split up to be dispersed to your account as you progress through the Nuke schools.
  • A high re-enlistment bonus is usually offered as well.

What is the process for becoming a Navy Nuke?
Once you meet the requirements and you enlist, you will be given a date you will ship off to boot camp. Until that date arrives, you will be placed in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). At this point, you follow the process just as any other sailor would. You go through the 8 weeks of boot camp in Great Lakes, Michigan just like all sailors. Once you are in boot camp, you will be assigned one of three ratings, based on the needs of the Navy at the time:

  • Machinist’s Mate (MM)
  • Electrician’s Mate (EM)
  • Electronic’s Technican (ET)

Once you graduate from boot camp, based on the rating you are assigned, you will then go to “A” School with the rest of the personnel who were assigned as the same rate as you. MM A School lasts 3 months, while ET and EM last 6 months.

After you completed your A School, you will be promoted to Petty Officer Third Class and will then head over to the power school, officially known as the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command.

What will I learn at NNPTC?
NNPTC is a rigorous 6 month training program that includes, but is not limited to, a curriculum of thermodynamics, chemistry, nuclear physics, nuclear reactor technology, reactor principals, and more. Most students spend 45 hours a week in class and an additional 10-50 hours per week studying. Since much of the information is classified, studying must be done in the classroom since the material is not permitted to leave the building. Once you complete NNPTC successfully, you will then head over to the Nuclear Power Training Unit for an additional 6 months.

What will I do at NPTU?
Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU), or known as Prototype school, will have you learning about operating and maintaining nuclear reactors. These schools, some of which have decommissioned submarines for training, all have live nuclear reactors and provides hands on instruction. You will learn the day in and day out operation of nuclear reactors, how to interpret readings, how to troubleshoot/solve any problems, etc. As stated, this hands-on training course is an additional 6 months.

What happens when I am done with NPTU?
Once you are done with Prototype school,you will then be assigned to a duty station. You will either be assigned to a nuclear surface ship such as an aircraft carrier, or a nuclear submarine if you volunteer for that (to be assigned to a submarine, you must volunteer.. and this is something I will do when I make it this far!). You will be qualified to receive special pay for working in the nuclear field, and if you work on a submarine, there is special pay for that as well.

I am not the world authority on the Navy Nuclear program, this is just the material I have been able to glean off of multiple sources and different levels of experience from ex navy nukes. As stated, it is an obviously very rigorous program. Failing scores due to personal negligence rather than ability can result to charges of dereliction of duty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). You can either be reassigned a new rate, or be discharged from the Navy all together.

This is my ultimate goal. Weight loss is simply a mile stone to get there. And you better believe, I am not going to let an excess of calories keep me from meeting my dream.

Humans Crave Community

Since the dawn of mankind, one thing that has allowed our species to flourish is the need for community. Man is a very creative and ingenious species that constantly seeks out like minded people to share, learn, and compare notes with those who have similar interests. The key word is similar interests, not similar thoughts.

Community is also not defined by time either. Or physical presence. For instance, the first person to introduce the idea of Heliocentrism was by Aristarchus around the 3rd century BC. However, it wasn’t proven until the 16th century by Copernicus with a mathematical model and later confirmed by Galileo’s observations another century later. These thoughts were differing from the common thought that everything revolved around the earth. Yet, these men in this specific community from different times were able to collaborate and work together to prove a scientific model.

Much has not changed since then, we simply have quicker access to such community. Look at social networking. Facebook, twitter, delicious, tumblr, blogs (including this one)etc etc etc. The list goes on. And within these social networking mediums, you find specific communities that support specific interests and allow people to share their ideas, thoughts, experiences, etc. The rate of information exchange is unprecedented in human history and allows people to collaborate on specific ideas and come up with better ways to do things, debate different thoughts, etc.

That is why it is important to surround yourself with like minded people and find a community of people with similar interests. I guarantee I don’t know everything about weight loss, eating right, exercise, the navy, or heliocentrism! But by finding people with the same ideas and thoughts, I can learn more and better fine tune my own experiences.

As I stated before, communities are even easier to find now with the rise of the internet and social networking. What you put on the internet is immortalized on some hard drive somewhere, and people could be reading it years from now. For all we know, everything we know today about weight loss may be proven wrong tomorrow. But we had to start somewhere, and community gives us that base to build on.

I was thinking about this while running last night. I hate running on treadmills and ellipticals, I much prefer a track or some outdoor path. It was in the 20’s, dark, cold (yes, I am going out to purchase some new running gear today. Hoodie here I come!), and lonely. But one thing that kept me going and didn’t make me feel so alone was the communities I have met in my short time on this journey.

If you are in need of some kind of community to share your weight loss goals/ideas with, I highly recommend the community over at 344Pounds. Tyler has created a wonderful community of those looking to lose anywhere from 10 lbs to 200+ lbs. Many people are willing to share their ideas and experiences to help motivate one another. Many people, including myself, are keeping a journal of their weight loss over there as well. Currently there is a January Challenge going on, where we are trying to reach individual goals we set by January 1st.

Or perhaps you found my blog while searching for Navy related items. A great community I have found is the forums over on The Navy Cafe. There are many people there who have gone through the DEP process, are on Active Duty, etc. They will be able to answer many questions about different job functions performed by different rates, etc.

The point is, if you find people that share the same interests as you- it is best to stick with them and collaborate within. You will be surprised what you learn and how much of a greater success rate you will experience. In not only helps motivate you, but keeps you just a bit warmer on those cold dark night runs!

Navy IFA #1

I figured since I am measuring myself on a weekly basis for weight loss, I must try to meet another standard.

Before each navy recruit is allowed to ship off to boot camp in the Great Lakes, he/she must pass what is called the Navy IFA, or the Navy Initial Fitness Assessment. What this does it ensure that each recruit is able to meet a certain level of fitness before shipping off to boot camp to increase the success rates of new recruits. If you are not able to pass the IFA prior to leaving for boot camp, you will not go.

Now, there are two brackets I could fall under, depending on how my progression lasts. There are standards for the 20-24 year old bracket, and the 25-29 year old bracket. I will strive for the first one, since it is a little bit harder and optimistically, I would atleast like to be in DEP while I am 24.

There are three components to the Navy IFA. There is a timed 1.5 mile run, which may be completed by running/walking. You must do as many pushups as possible in 2 minutes and may only rest in the “up” position, and as many situps as possible in 2 minutes with rest.

Navy IFA Minimum Standards

Male Age 20-24
1.5 Mile Run 13:30
Push-ups 37
Sit-ups 46

And my results are as followed:

Navy IFA #1 12/04/10 My Results Minimum Standards
1.5 Mile Run 23:25 13:30
Push-ups 18 37
Sit-ups 21 46

Obviously I have some work to do. But I am not dissuaded at all. I had actually started doing some jogging about a month ago, and have noted improvement. When I first started I could barely jog 100 yds before I had to slow down. When I ran this IFA on Saturday, I was able to jog 1/2 mile without stopping. That is pretty good progress I would say!

I plan on doing this fitness assessment every Saturday, so stay tuned for results!