Those assigned to the silent service begin by studying Navy nuclear propulsion at Nuclear Power School in Charleston, SC, for six months of schooling, followed by six months of training at one of several nuclear reactor prototype sites located throughout the country. You then go to Navy Submarine School in New London, Conn., for the 10-week submarine officers basic course. Your first tour of duty with an attack or fleet ballistic missile submarine lasts about 36 months.
In a nuclear submarine, junior officers lead divisions of 10 to 20 men. You have responsibilities in a vital area of operations such as engineering, weapons or communications. You also stand watches and work to qualify as engineering officer of the watch, diving officer and officer of the deck -- all steps towards earning the gold dolphins of a Navy submarine officer.