For a variety of reasons, several myths about Submarining have been
circulating around the Brigade. For further information, see you
Myth #1: In the post Cold War era, submarines lack a basic mission.
Fact: The Russians continue to build submarines, the latest generation
of which is quieter than any in the U.S. inventory. The Chinese have a
fleet of modern nuclear submarines as well as diesel boats. There are
nine other nations who are potential adversaries that have diesel boat
technology. The United States Submarine Force must remain ready to
engage any of these diverse navies.
The Russians are conducting unprecedented operations against U.S. SSBNs
and CVBGs. They did not conduct operations of this nature even during
the height of the Cold War. These operations are taking place in both
the Atlantic and Pacific.
Myth #2: Command opportunities have decreased significantly since the
Fact: While there are now fewer submarines, the size of the Submarine
Officer Corps has decreased proportionately. While the submarine force
was shrinking, there were too many mid-grade (O-3 and O-4) officers to
fill the available XO and CO positions. This caused a temporary surplus
of officers. Now that the final force size has been reached, this
problem has been corrected and officers entering the force today will
enjoy a promotion opportunity comparable to that seen in the 1980's.
Myth #3: You have to be a super-geek to be a submariner.
Fact: Make no mistake about it, the submarine force is looking for
Warriors! You have to have the academic capability to learn to operate a
nuclear reactor safely, but first and foremost, you have to have the
basic instincts and desire to fight the ship. Naval Reactors will screen
your academic record, and if accepted for an interview, you stand a very
good chance of getting in to the program.
What does Naval Reactors look for? They look at the whole record, but
obviously "technical" courses count heavily. Good grades in math,
science and engineering should assure you an interview. An engineering
degree is certainly a plus, but not required. Above all, do not screen
yourself out of the program. If interested, submit your record for an
Myth #4: Nuclear Power School is incredibly hard.
Fact: Naval Nuclear Power School is demanding. You will have to learn to
study in an entirely different environment. You will be in class for six
hours a day (two hours in three related courses) with a study hall. The
rest of the time is yours. Most students spend three or four hours a
night studying and organizing their notes. Most students take Friday
night and all of Saturday off. This is demanding, but really not that
much different than SWOS or Pensacola. Prototype training requires a
similar schedule, placing you on shift-work for 12 hours a day. Those
accepted for Nuclear Power training make it through the program. Out of
a class of about 120, only one or two will drop out.
Myth #5: Nuclear powered warships are banned from all
the cool ports.
Fact: Wherever the Battle Group goes, the submarines go. WESTPAC liberty
ports include: Korea, Japan, Australia, Okinawa, Thailand, Singapore,