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Superior Training and Opportunity

Navy Nuclear Power Program

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Published: November 14, 2008
Updated: February 8, 2022

Members of the Navy Nuclear Power Program (NF) receive an excellent education via extensive classroom, on-the-job training, and practical application and qualification process that is second to none in the armed forces. Navy “Nukes” become propulsion plant operators for both the nuclear submarine and nuclear surface ship operational and support programs.

Basically, to qualify for the NF program, you must meet regular enlistment eligibility plus have a “traditional” state-accredited high school diploma, have successfully completed one year of high school or college level algebra, and pass an additional academic review that may be required.

You must be a United States citizen and be younger than 25 years of age by your shipping date to recruit training (Waivers to this policy will be limited to otherwise exceptional applicants less than 28 years of age at time of shipping). You must also meet the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)/Navy Advanced Program testing requirements.┬áPrior drug usage and police involvement, where not necessarily disqualifying, will make entering the program difficult – see your Recruiter, as some things can be waived for outstanding candidates.

Once your time in the Delayed Entry Program is completed and you graduate boot-camp, you will immediately start the NF pipeline, moving from one phase of training to the next, without undue delay. The normal training cycle is:

  1. Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL).
  2. Nuclear Power School (NPS) in Charleston, SC, where they learn theory and practical application of nuclear physics and reactor engineering. Following NPS, candidates begin prototype training in their rating specialty at one of two Nuclear Power Training Units (NPTUs). After nuclear power training, NF Sailors are designated nuclear propulsion plant operators. They may be assigned to modern nuclear powered aircraft carriers or volunteer for submarine service (men only).
    MACHINIST’S MATE NUCLEAR FIELD “A” SCHOOL – This course provides basic knowledge of technical mathematics and a basic understanding of the theory and operation of a steam power plant. Students learn to operate tools, test equipment, and system components; read blueprints; practice rigging techniques; and perform maintenance procedures such as packing a valve or aligning a pump coupling.
    ELECTRICIAN’S MATE NUCLEAR FIELD “A” SCHOOL – This course provides basic knowledge of technical mathematics and a basic understanding of power distribution. Students solve basic equations using phasors, vector notations and basic trigonometry and analyze DC and AC circuits. Students demonstrate working knowledge of DC and AC motors and generators. Students learn to operate electrical equipment using controllers, and to properly test, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair electrical circuits, motors, cables, circuit breakers, and other related electrical equipment for power distribution.
    ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN NUCLEAR FIELD “A” SCHOOL – This course provides basic knowledge of technical mathematics and a good working knowledge of electricity and electronics, solid state devices, digital logic and systems, microprocessors, and instrumentation and control circuits. Students learn to interpret schematic diagrams and use appropriate test equipment to isolate and correct faults in electronic systems.
  3. Basic Nuclear Power Course at Nuclear Power School (Charleston, SC). This course provides a comprehensive understanding of a pressurized-water Naval nuclear power plant, including reactor core nuclear principles, heat transfer and fluid systems, plant chemistry and materials, mechanical and electrical systems, and radiological control.
  4. Nuclear Propulsion Plant Operator Course at Nuclear Power Training Unit (Ballston Spa, NY or Charleston, SC). This course provides knowledge of the fundamentals of a Naval nuclear power plant and the interrelationship of its mechanical, electrical, and reactor subsystems. Students develop oral communications skills. Students understand the physical nature of nuclear radiation, its detection, interaction with matter and human health consequences, and gain knowledge of the safe operation of a complex Naval nuclear power plant and its sophisticated subsystems with an emphasis on basic industrial safety principles. Students learn to identify, troubleshoot, and correct problems in nuclear mechanical, electrical, or reactor control systems at the component level with an emphasis on reactor systems, and apply earlier technical classroom knowledge gained to the practical safe operation of Naval nuclear power plants. Officers are given the broadest understanding of the plant subsystems, and are taught command skills to effectively lead the watch team in the safe operation of a Naval nuclear power plant. Selected graduates of mechanical operator training are given additional training as Engineering Laboratory Technicians (ELT) or Propulsion Plant Operator Welders.
  5. Duty Assignment. After prototype training, nuclear propulsion plant operators are assigned to duty per the needs of the Navy.

You will enter the Navy as an E-3 and be automatically promoted to E-4 (Third Class Petty Officer) at the completion of your “A” school phase. Promotion to E-4 requires you sign an enlistment extension – the NF program is a six year obligation basically broken down as; four years of a basic enlistment PLUS one year extension for the amount of schooling and a sixth year for the promotion to E-4 (hope that makes sense). Navy Nukes also receive special duty assignment pay which can range from $150 to $450 a month, proficiency pay up to $150 a month and not to mention sea pay while stationed on a seagoing command (plus submarine pay if you decide to go on boats that sink on purpose). My little pay snapshot does not include housing and allowance for subsistence which you may also be eligible for.

Nuclear Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) Code descriptions

Electronics Technicians (Nuclear); Surface, NOS D111; Submarine, NOS D110.
Nuke ETs operate and maintain Naval Nuclear propulsion plants and associated equipment. They supervise and administer Naval Nuclear propulsion plant operations, and thoroughly understand reactor, electrical, and mechanical theory involved in the operation of the nuclear reactor, steam plant, propulsion plant, and auxiliary equipment. They posses a detailed knowledge of reactor and steam plant chemistry and radiological controls, and operate and perform organizational and intermediate maintenance on electronic equipment used for reactor control, instrumentation, measurement, alarm warning, power distribution, protection and airborne particulate radiation detection. The Nuke ETs operate General Purpose Test Equipment (GEPTE) and auxiliary equipment. They test, calibrate, maintain, and repair electronic and hydraulic-electric systems that support reactor plant operation on both surface and subsurface ships.
Machinist’s Mates (Nuclear); Surface, NOS D131; Submarine, NOS D130.
Nuke MMs operate and maintain Naval Nuclear propulsion plants and associated equipment. They supervise and administer naval nuclear propulsion plant operations, and thoroughly understand reactor, electrical, and mechanical theory involved in the operation of the nuclear reactor, steam plant, propulsion plant, and auxiliary equipment. They posses a detailed knowledge of reactor and steam plant chemistry and radiological controls. Nuke MMs operate, maintain, and repair (organizational and intermediate level) ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery, such as: air compressors, distilling plants, propulsion turbines, electric power generation turbines, shaft line components, and air conditioning equipment. Nuke MMs operate and maintain propulsion plant systems (organizational and intermediate level) such as feed and condensate, steam, hydraulic, seawater systems, air, potable water, lubricating oil and oil purification, reactor auxiliary and support systems, pumps, valves, and heat exchangers. They perform tests, transfers, and inventory of lubricating oils, fuels, and water, and generate and stow industrial gases on both surface and sub-surface ships.
Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear); Surface, NOS D101; Submarine, NOS D100.
Nuke EMs operate and maintain Naval Nuclear propulsion plants and associated equipment. They supervise and administer Naval Nuclear propulsion plant operations, and thoroughly understand reactor, electrical, and mechanical theory involved in the operation of the nuclear reactor, steam plant, propulsion plant, and auxiliary equipment. They posses a detailed knowledge of reactor and steam plant chemistry and radiological controls. Nuke EMs stand watch on generators, switchboards, control equipment, and electrical equipment, and they operate and perform organizational and intermediate maintenance on power and lighting circuits, electrical fixtures, motors, generators, voltage and frequency regulators, controllers, distribution switchboards and other electrical equipment; test for short circuits and grounds; and rebuild electrical equipment, including solid state circuitry elements.

Career Sea – Shore Rotation Chart

Sea (SEA) Shore (SHR) Rotation
NJSI* 48 40 40 40 36/36
JSI* 48 40 40 40
NJSI* 36 36 36 36
JSI* 30 36 36 36
NJSI Sea/Shore Flow per NAVADMIN 190/16, dated August 25, 2016; JSI Sea/ Shore Flow per NAVADMIN 157/19, dated July 15, 2019.

*JSI = Junior Staff Instructor; NJSI = Non-Junior Staff Instructor

Sea tours and shore tours for Sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 ashore until retirement.

Sailors in nuclear power trained communities will have a 54-month first sea tour and 60-month second sea tour. Sailors who advance to Chief Petty Officer before or during their second sea tour may have their second sea tour length adjusted to 48 months.

With the lure of well paying jobs beckoning those with Navy nuclear power training, you can image that keeping the rating manned up can be a challenge. The Navy, in order to entice Sailors to stay in past their initial enlistment, normally provides a reenlistment bonus to stay a Navy Nuke. Got what it takes?

60 Responses to “Navy Nuclear Power Program”

  1. Al says:

    I’ve heard from a friend at MEPS with a 99 AFQT that the minimum passing score for the NAPT is now 65?! This can’t be correct, can it? I take the NAPT on Tuesday! I’m beyond nervous!

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You only have to take the NAPT if you do not meet the Math points; take a look at this page, it should give you an idea of what you need.

  3. Al says:

    I got a NUC score of 246 and will be taking the NAPT on Wednesday. I was just wondering what score I had to get. I believe it’s a 55. I more than qualify academically for the Nuke Field.

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You need to score a minimum of 55. It is explained here.

  5. Aaron says:

    So I just got a 97 on my ASVAB, and a 265 composite score for my NUC score. Does that mean I automatically qualify, or are there any surprise tests for the Nuke Program awaiting me at MEPS?

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You will not be required to take the NAPT, but if you need an academic determination, you may want to take it to improve your chances of approval (if you do, you need to score above a 60 on the NAPT to add points; it is explained here

  7. Andy says:

    Dear NCCM(Ret) or
    I would like to know about my chances and conditions of getting into the Navy’s Nuclear Program since I’m currently waiting on my psychological evaluation from the psychologist about my mental health condition due to past “misdiagnoses” for Aspergers and Tic Disorders and my actual past diagnoses for ADHD and a optamologist consultation for my high myopia. But anyway, I actually have a B on AP Physics while I got all A on AP Calculus AB, AP Biology, Precalculus, Geometry, and all other math and science honors courses (this doesn’t include other courses where I got straight As from middle school to high school)and have an average unweighted GPA of 3.88 (weighted of 4.21). In addition to such qualifications, I play lots of different social sports and participate in other academic activities. Last but not least, the skill that led me to consider for the Navy Propulsion Program is my work history of working in a research internship environment at the University of Texas at Austin. I would like to know if this will increase my chance to get into the program. If you have other suggestions into what should I do further with the process, please let me know or please forward this case to Navydoc. Thank you.

  8. Vince Magruder says:

    Andy, with that background, why on Earth would you want to be an enlisted nuke??

  9. Danny says:

    My son took the ASVAB and his line scores (AR+MK+EI+GS) is over 252. His recruiter said he has to take the NAPT anyway. The scores here are straight from the Navy Recruiting Manual. He said they go by the Meps line scores not the Navy recruiting manual. I am a bit lost since when I was recruiting the Cruitman was the bible. Any insight on why this is the case?

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If your son requires a Type II waiver or has not taken a math class in a while, the NAPT would/may be required to qualify despite his line scores. I agree with you though, the recruiter should be explaining the why much better than he is. This link may help, too.

  11. Danny says:


    My son is a Junior in high school, he will be a senior next year (July). He has taken and is currently enrolled in Algebra and Calculus courses. I am not impressed with his recruiter at all. Since he will be an 11S there really isn’t much you can do to change the recruiter. All I know is what the cruitman says. As per the Cruitman he is qualified. I appreciate the link.

  12. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Based on what you are saying, I have no idea why he’d have to take the NAPT. I had two sons go Nuke, neither had to take it.

  13. qualify says:

    If you can qualify for this program go to college. Being a nuke is not exciting. It’s not challenging (chances are) and the tests are primarily about memorizing. The pay sucks. The people who are attracted to this rate are generally assholes who have no stress coping skills. There’s very few women in the nuke program with you, although the video seems to want to give you the opposite impression. I remember the ratio being like one female for every hundred or more men? Any respectable college will typically give you about 25 credits for all of nuke school.
    If you must join the navy, do regular ET where you’ll get more normal and polite co-workers. My classmates in the school and beyond ranged from normal to sociopath, I wish I was kidding. This was a class section of 20 or so. Go to college instead of being a nuke, despite the fairly low educational standards and large debt you will accumulate, you’ll be better off.

  14. Retired Nuke says:

    I believe I must agree with some of what “qualify” says. I loved being a “Nuke” but, I did have some issues with some of my shipmates and even some poor leadership. First, there are only three nuke ratings and the MM rating is by far the largest subgroup which means your chances of being assigned as a MM will be much higher. Second, when getting underway, Nukes are the first ones on the ship and the last ones off. Starting up and shutting down a nuclear plant is not like a car or plane, there is no “key”. Third, the civilian nuclear community is much smaller than even I anticipated when I retired. Not all nukes get to be operators, I was lucky enough to be an instructor, and I did enjoy it. And fourth, if you still have your heart set on going into the navy, go to college (study and do well), and enter as an officer. Life onboard ship for an officer is so much better than that of the enlisted ranks. If you do get a commission, remember to be a good leader and earn the trust and respect of the men and women under you. They will bust their butts for you! Lastly, if you decide to join up, study your rating books before every advancement exam (this will increase your chances of getting advanced on schedule) and stay onboard for the entire tour, don’t try to bounce around to various commands (especially if you are unhappy on the present command), it can only hurt your advancement opportunities. Fair Winds and Following Seas…

  15. Verm says:

    Good Luck to all the Nukes that want to go in. Couple yrs of college burnted out took asvap, nuke test passed both to get a ticket to Orlando. Keep your grades up, and no worries 1 wrong quiz and in the doghouse.No regrets! Best of luck
    verm 89-95

  16. Scott says:

    I was not a nuke but my ship had “A LOT” of Machinist Mates who didn’t pass the nuke program. I knew them well and worked with them closely being a Machinery Repairman. These guys were smart! The problem is, at least back in the late 1970’s, if you didn’t pass nuke school you were still committed to a 6 year enlistment as a regular MM. The nuke school mathematics is intense. If you are not good at math you are in trouble. You had better have taken calculus in high school or college and done well in it! I am not saying this to deter anyone but I am just stating what I experienced. Good luck to all.

  17. Chris Y. says:

    I am 27 and looking into the Navy’s nuclear power program. Is it likely I will be granted a waiver for it?

    I did OK in high school math and eventually passed Algebra in college with a straight A. Couldn’t do better than a D in calculus in college though.

    I am currently brushing up on my math skills through khanacademy.

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chris Y.,

    Age waivers for the Nuclear program are very rare, and they are only approved for those who are only over the maximum age by a matter of a few months and who demonstrate they have a recent heavy math and science workload.

  19. Jack B. says:

    So I qualify for the Nuclear Program and my recruiters are pushing me hard for it (so I only take what they say with a grain of salt) and was wondering what it is really like? I did a year of college and honestly flunked out (I passed most of my classes with A’s but there were enough that I failed that dropped my GPA to an unacceptable level).
    My biggest concern for this is that I’ve never taken a physics course in my life. The only reason I did well on the ASVAB parts that include physics is because I got a study book for the ASVAB. Should I take a physics course before going?


  20. Jack B. says:

    oh and the farthest I got in math was Algebra 3 (I’m told it was college algebra, but it seemed to easy to be) which had a bit of trig added to it. I don’t know the first thing about calculus or anything of that level.

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    My two sons that joined the Navy entered as Nukes. The middle son blew Nuke school away — honor man and never had mandatory study. My oldest son had to work his butt off, as most do, in Nuke school — it was a trying time for him academically, but he graduated. When he finished his enlistment, he wanted nothing to do with nuclear power; however, he will be the first to tell you that it was his experience at Nuke school and working as a Navy nuke that led to his successes. He went on to graduate law school at Penn State, and now, he has been accepted for a commission as an Intel officer in the Navy. The work ethic you learn while attending that program is not matched anywhere. It is hard work — very hard work; but my son’s recommend it. You, personally, need to search inside yourself and determine if you are willing to put forth the effort. I hope things work out for you!

  22. T.rhianson says:

    I’m will be leaving for boot camp in the spring a d then plan to attend a school and c school for mmn. I realize nuke school is a. Very long process and being married with children my only concern is at what point does my family get to join me?

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:


    When you get your orders from boot-camp to A-school and power-school in Charleston, those orders should be of the PCS type, and they should include your family.

  24. Andy says:

    I’m currently a senior in high school and definitely want to join then Navy. I plan on doing NROTC, however as a back up plan I’m looking at enlisting to become a Navy Nuke. I do very well in school, I’m a member of NHS, I take AP science classes, and I’m the class President. Is the educational benefits and chance to travel worth it before going to college? If the education benefits are worth I hope to get my degree and become an officer. Does anybody have any advice for this situation? Lastly, what rates tends to be the most enjoyable?


  25. EM3 Dansby says:

    EM’s are the best.

  26. Moojin says:

    I’m a green card holder senior student in high school who very much wants to be one of the nukes. I’ve studied physics for as long as I can remember, due to pure interest, and wanted to be a nuclear engineer since elementary school years. Do I HAVE to be a citizen in order to be a nuke? My naturalized citizenship becomes valid in 2017.

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, U.S. citizenship (natural born or naturalized) is required for the Nuke program. No exceptions.

  28. Brandon says:

    I have a question. I have qualified for the nuclear program but was told that I only qualified for Nuke Bravo. I just wanted to know what the difference between Nuke Alpha and Nuke Bravo was. I was also told that I would need to take a test and have no idea what this test is. Please help.

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Being that you require an additional test, the Navy Advanced Placement Test (NAPT), based on your ASVAB (you scored a composite of 236 to 252) that means you did qualify for Nuke provided you pass the NAPT. The link provided will help explain more.

  30. Billy says:

    This has, by far, been the most useful site I’ve found. Granted, this is the first time I’ve gone searching at any length for info! If everything goes to plan, I’m hoping to sign my Nuke contract this upcoming Monday. This website is incredibly useful, and I have found the answer to so many questions that I had.
    I do, however, have one question for you. I am currently 25, so at the age limit cutoff. My recruiters and the recruiting station want me as a Nuke, but an age waiver would have to be approved. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on my chances of this being approved and going through. It’s the one thing I truly am worried about. I auto-qualified on my ASVAB, have one C in math, which was Theory of Probability my junior year of college, math minor, communication major. I don’t know if any of that makes a difference when considering an age waiver, and I don’t know if that information makes a difference on your thoughts.
    Again, really appreciate the site!

  31. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Age waivers are tough, and a good guide will depend on how many points you can get during an academic review (follow this link). For Nukes, the biggest concern is the time away from academia — the older you get, the less likely you have recently been in school; yada, yada. The more points you have, I would think, the greater chance of waiver approval.

    Hope that helps.

  32. Todd says:

    Does anyone know how intense the background check is? My son made the mistake of getting a medical marijuana card in Colorado and a month later has decided to join the Navy and with his high scores is being pushed towards Nuke. A couple recruiters I have talked to said this is a unknown area and he would literally be a guinea pig with all the new laws regarding medical marijuana.

  33. NCCM(Ret) says:


    He is not a guinea pig for this issue. The local command’s Nuclear Power Coordinator should be able to give your son a pretty solid answer about his chances for waiver approval — unlike the coordinator, the recruiters rarely have a real clue how DCNO will rule. His recruiters should have no problem putting your son on the phone with the coordinator.

  34. Zach says:

    So I am a senior in highschool and I recently took the asvab as well as talked to a current navy nuke who came to my pre-engineering class. My score on the asvab was a 95 with the two pertinent line scores for the nuke program coming in at a 275 and a 274. The nuke who I talked to said in order to “alpha” qualify and not take the specialized nuke placement test I had to acquire a 252 in one of the line scores. So I automatically qualified and all I have to do now is sign the papers. In all honesty if you are logical and understand basic algerba, simple machines, and a little bit about circuitry and physics the test was not very difficult. I had never thought about joining the military before, met this guy on Monday decided to take the asvab. Took it the next day after one day of studying and did fine. If you took the SAT it is far more challenging to do well on that than the asvab in my experience. But also don’t let that go to your head and NOT study because there are several things that I knew just far in the back of my head and the only reason they were brought to the forefront for the actual asvab was because of the online tests I took. Good luck to anyone taking the tests I hope you all do well. Maybe I’ll see you in power school.

  35. Andrew says:

    I have a question that has been bothering me.

    Do u have to be born in USA in order to join this nuclear program?(assuming asvab score is well qualified)

    I an a senior in highschool. Will he graduating in 2017 june. I have a citizenship but I’m not born here.(i am chinese)

    If someone can give me an answer that would be wonderful.

  36. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You must be a United States citizen to apply for the nuclear program — you do not have to have been born in the US. As a citizen if citizenship waivers are required due to family members not being citizens, they are possible.

  37. Mike says:

    A couple of months back, I took the ASVAB and was told by my recruiter that I was eligible to take the NAPT. I agreed to take it but wanted more time to study since I have been out of high school for several years now (I’m 25).
    Earlier last week I found out that due to a recent policy change, now I am past the age limit for the program and due to my police involvement when I was 16 (which involved traffic violations, NONE of which were felonies, were NOT alcohol or drug-related, no property was damaged, and no one was hurt), I am no longer eligible for the program. I was told no waivers are available.
    Right now, I am confused, upset, and frustrated. Is there truth behind what I have been told?

  38. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The age limit for the Nuclear Power Program has not changed — it remains as it has for as long as I remember (decades); you must be in boot-camp prior to your 25th birthday. Age waivers are rare for those less than 27 years of age, and only considered and approved, based on my experience, for those who have been in college taking STEM classes — meaning that the applicant can prove they have been academically challenged in the maths and sciences up until the date of application.

  39. Sandra says:

    My daughter is getting ready to sign her papers next week. What kind of bonus can she expect to receive. She was told anywhere from 9-12K and I’m advising her to ask for $15K, given she’s a woman, and there are few woman signing up for this program. Is that a fair thing to do?

  40. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No. The bonus is at a fixed amount depending on the month a person ships to boot-camp — it is take it or leave it. The gender of the applicant is completely irrelevant.

  41. Sandra says:

    My daughter signed her papers today, so proud of her. Do you have more information about each type of each classification ET, MM, EM. I think she’s more interested in the EM. Do you know which has more options and opportunities. Thanks,

  42. Michael says:

    My son (EM) just started his last class in A school. So he’ll be graduating next month as an EM3. He quite happy, studying his ass off, and looking forward to a Navy future. He’s 24 yrs. old and has a college degree. He has 2 opportunities while he’s at NPT to apply for OCS. That somewhat will define his future, but meanwhile he’s content with the challenges that A school presents. To answer your question about EM I believe that it offers more opportunities than the other ratings.

  43. Troy says:

    Graduated from nuke school in 1965, served as ET/RO on SSBN636 and instructor at S5G, discharged and attended LSU in 1972, obtaining a BSEE degree in 1975, and retired from a rewarding career in 2006. I credit my nuke training and experience prepared me for university and career. I recommend the Navy nuke program, but I don’t recommend the nuke industry.

  44. Jessica says:

    I am shipping as a nuke next month and I was told by my recruiter that my husband and I will be able to live together during A school and power school in Charleston. Does anyone know if this is actually true? And if not when we’d be able to live together?

  45. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, your recruiter is right because Nuke A school and power school combined is greater than the minimum time required. The MILPERSMAN allows for the PCS move when a school is 20 weeks or longer in duration.

  46. Mariah says:

    I’m a junior in high school and have plans to graduate a semester early so I’ll be finished this coming December. I took my PiCAT yesterday and got a 95 and auto qualified for nuke. As I have a brother and sister in the Marines, the Marine recruiter is a family friend and has been trying to convince me to go Marines. He told me I have very little chance of getting in the program. I know my next step is t go to MEPS and take the confirmation test but I was wondering what my actual chances of getting into the program are. I have never gotten below an A in an math or science class and really want to be an ET.

  47. NCCM(Ret) says:


    There is no reason you should not be able to enlist into the nuclear power program as long as you are otherwise fully qualified.

    Just a note, you will not require a Confirmation test — after the PiCAT, you take a Verification test; two different things.

  48. Barry [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hello everyone, I was an ETN2 NEC 3383 Class 73-6 Mare Island, NPTU Idaho, A1W/A4W, USS Truxtun CGN35. Potential Sailor beware. What no one has said is that by far, the “A” schools, NPS and prototype may be the easiest part of your enlistment. Maybe it has changed in 40+ years… Stateside, if the rest of the ship (non nucs) were in 6 section duty, nucs were 3 section duty. At sea, it was common for some watches to be standing port and starboard (6 hours on 6 hours off). If your “off watch” hours were during normal working hours, then you’d be doing maintenance,field day, qualifying or other work – no rack time. You could count on working a minimum of 12 hours a day every single day, with 14 to 20 hour days not uncommon. Fatigue was always a factor – I never understood how sailors managed the lack of sleep. There are some reasons why this was necessary. 1) Whatever your rate, in addition to whatever watch you were qualified to stand and may have been standing, you had to qualify for the next watch for your rate and so on. 2) Nuc ships are steam driven and more manpower intensive. The Truxtun was a nuclear version of the Belknap class cruiser (CG). As such, it required twice as many watch standers in the two enginerooms as the Belknap class required in it’s two firerooms & two enginerooms. 3) Although there was adequate reliability in the older, discrete analog electronic technology, for safety reasons additional watches were assigned at certain areas to maintain equipment oversight. This led to a shortage of qualified personnel to stand watches at any particular watch at any particular time. 4) Factor in new personnel, terminations of enlistments (aka parole) and sailors on leave. Just go into this with your eyes open. There are always negatives to go with the positives.

  49. ETCM(SW) Tosten says:

    The Nuclear Power Navy offers the BEST training available, hands down!! Slackers need not apply. Whether you decide to stay for a career or not, if you apply yourself, you will absolutely receive the best training that you possibly could. I would hire any nuclear power grad without a question. Navy tested is good enough for me!!

  50. Michele says:

    My boyfriend is at booycamp pdays-1 today.he will move on from there to become part of the nuke program. In wondering where he will possibly be stationed at after his a school? He may volunteer for subs but if not will he serve on a carrier at sea for 3 years? I dont understand the sea/ shore rotation! Can anyone please advise…I am prior service army and we pretty much knknew were we were headed at the end of our advanced ibdividual training Korea, Germany or fort hood Texas! Ha! Thanks in advance!

  51. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Unless he gets instructor duty for his first set of orders, he will be transferring to a nuclear powered ship (aircraft carrier) or boat (submarine; volunteered for subs) for a four year sea tour (48 months). To the specific location, it could be overseas in Japan where we have a one carrier or Guam where a few submarines are home ported, or in the states (multiple locations; all of which are on the coast :)).

    Our two older sons were both Navy Nukes — the oldest was stationed aboard the NIMITZ in San Diego, and our middle son was stationed aboard the GEORGE WASHINGTON while is was in Japan.

  52. MM1 (Ret) says:

    The Navy Nuclear program is one of the top training programs out there. I cannot disagree with Barry’s post from 3/16/2017 as for some of the negatives. I also fully agree with several of the other posts on here for the positives. As with anything in life, you get out what you put in. If you go in with a positive outlook and choosing to see the good, then you’ll see the good. If you go in thinking the worst, it will be the worst. The job is tough, but the things we cherish most are those that we worked for and earned. I served from 1992-2012. I served on 3 carriers and 2 tours as an instructor. I finished my Bachelor of Science degree while on rotating shift work before retiring. The training, focus, and dedication learned in the Navy set me up to finish a MBA while working really long hours with lots of travel in my current career. I definitely had a few times that had me ready to get out early, but I’m grateful for staying and retiring. If given the chance, I’d gladly do it all over again.

  53. MM2(ELT) says:

    I served as an ELT (Engineering Laboratory Technician) onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71. I was in NNPS Class 83-05 Orlando, Florida and NNPTU A1W Idaho, Falls, Idaho.

    My advice to any prospective Nuke is simple: decide in advance you will do whatever it takes to graduate. I maintained >3.50/4.00 because it meant I wasn’t on extra hours AND I got the last period (study hall) off and I could watch Kung Fu back at the barracks.

    Everyone I know that was dropped never committed to doing whatever it took to graduate. Their heart was never in it, essentially they gave up!

    I put in for ELT school at prototype and the USS Theodore Roosevelt was my first choice…

  54. Logan says:

    Do you have to go through physical training to be in the Nuclear Power Program?

  55. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would be required to successfully complete boot-camp, and also maintain the Navy fitness standards the entire time you are serving.

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