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Hi everyone! I'm so glad to have found this site! My question is this... my son leaves for BC on January 7th and is going in as a nuke. He has been DEP, and realized recently that he really doesn't want to be a nuke. (He's not very good at math...) He was finally able to talk to his recruiter today, and was told to go in as a nuke and transfer during BC, when they meet with counselors. His ASVAB score was high so the recruiter told him he's eligible for any program he wishes. I'm concerned because I was under the impression that once they go in, it's harder to change programs. His recruiter made it sound as if he HAS to go in as a nuke since he leaves in a week. Can anybody confim this? He's now interested in going into Intelligence and I hate to have him go through unecessary hassles. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! - Denise

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Once he signs that contract to be a nuke at MEPS, he's going to be a nuke. They will not reassign him. My ex-husband went in as an ET and was going to switch over to musician, but they held him to his contract.

If he loses his security clearance he won't be a nuke, but he won't qualify for intelligence in that case. If he really doesn't want it, he can choose to not enlist.He is NOT in the Navy yet! He can back out. He can see if he can can get the rate he wants if he waits, or he may drop out entirely. Enlisting later requires a waiver after a DEP separation, and may limit schools, but he should stick to his guns if he does not want nuke. The link below explains it a bit better.
Hi Anti M!

Thanks for the speedy reply! So what you're saying is that he is pretty much stuck in the nuke program unless he quits the Navy altogether? You mentioned signing the contract at MEPS, so I guess I need to look up what MEPS means... :) His Dad went with him to the meeting and they both swore that the recruiter was telling the truth when he said that Kevin could do a lateral move before graduating boot camp... but now it sounds like you're saying that that's a lie... That's what worries me... From what I've been reading here, recruiters will say anything to fill their quota. It's not like Kevin has changed his mind about the Navy. We all realize that this will be the best thing for him, but it would be nice if he was in a program that suited him better. I just worry that he'll freak at the prospect of NOT going into the Navy (or at least delaying going in) now that he has spent all of this time preparing himself mentally and physically. You also mentioned getting the rate he wants if he waits... do you mean that he could wait and still be in the DEP, but not leave next week? His recruiter told him that it's too late to cancel his ship date. I'm sorry if I'm rambling. I am just worried that he'll blindly follow what the recruiter tells him, rather than stand up for what he wants to do... well, thanks... this gives me some food for thought and I'll pass on the info. Thanks for the link too! You've been a great help! - Denise
Hoppi -

Thank you, thank you, thank you! So, is it too late for him to sign up for IS, or would he have to 'drop out' of the Navy, then re-enlist? His ASVAB score was 94. Thanks! - Denise
Thanks again! Hopefully, Shane will be on this site in the next few days and can give us some suggestions. Of course, convincing my "I know (everything) , Mom..." son that he may not have the whole story, will be another matter! Well, what are mothers there for, but to nag their children!!! I'll be checking this site a lot in the next few days. The holidays have made things more difficult to meet with his recruiter, but hopefully we can resolve things before he leaves for BC. Once again, I really appreciate your speedy replies. This is such a wonderful forum for all of us... especially for those of us who have never been involved with the military before. What would I do without all of you!?!?
Thanks, I'll do that... BTW, how's your dog? We just had to put our 12 1/2 y/o dog down 2 weeks ago because he was losing the use of his back legs. It was very difficult, but I'm glad that it happened before Kevin's ship date, so he could be there to say goodbye. :*(
I agree with NCC(SW) Shane. Give Nuke a try. Does your son know how much money he could make in a civillian world if he were to work for a Power Plant.

That is something he can do after he gets out of the Navy or if he stays in the whole 20 years and retires.

This is what we tell our kids.. if you joined at 18 yrs old and stay the whole 20 years, you will retire from the Navy at 38, that is a young age to retire. Then you work for another company for 20 years you can retire at 58 which is still young. You will have two retirement check coming to you.and you should be set for life.
with that said you want to get the most out of the Navy, what career field can I get into that will benefit me. ( with your sons ASVB score he is set )
Will I make more money working for Intelligence (most likely Homeland Security) or More money working in the Nuke Field.
I think we need to be showing our kids the long term.
Hi Shane and Emily -

Thanks so much for your input. Kevin had doubts about Nuke school from the beginning, but his recruiter told him that even with his poor performance in math in HS and college, he would do fine. Kevin's real dream is to go into Marine Biology or Oceanography eventually, and he thought that he could study that on the side, while attending Nukes! Needless to say, he now knows better!
I must say that, after coming to this site, I was the one who suggested that he may want to reconsider going into the Nuke program. He was already having his doubts because despite what his recruiter said, he really struggles at math and feel that he's setting himself up to fail. He then thought about trying for Navy Diver, and started working on the requirements necessary for that. He mentioned this to his recruiter, who told him that he could test for that this week.

While his recruiter was on vacation, a friend of ours (who has worked with the Navy a great deal) told Kevin that Diver was just too dangerous and that having known Kevin since he was young, he felt that Kevin is an ideal candidate for IS. His language and grammar skills, are very high. Unfortunately, we had to wait until his recruiter came back from vacation, so he could get an appt. That leads us up to the present and the fact that his recruiter told him he could change his rate during bootcamp. Now we don't know what to think... As far as what you have said, I definitely didn't realize that his changing careers would be so expensive for the Navy. We were under the impression that spots open up and are filled all the time. Well, I guess we need to sit down and have a serious talk about this today.

Could I just ask you... if he doesn't make it in Nuclear School, and they do offer him a different rating, will it be within the Nuclear Program, or will they look at his strengths and do a lateral move as his recruiter says? It would be a shame to waste his verbal and grammar skills. Are there opportunities for those strengths in the Nuke program?

I'm sorry if I'm being a helicopter Mom,but it's my last chance!!! On a serious note, he's so thrilled to be joining the Navy, and I just want him to see him succeed.

My Husband started as a BT (Boiler Tect) in the Navy then . He had gotten out of the Navy for awhile then came back into the Navy as a MM ( Machinest Mate) since they No longer had BT since that rating had merged,then he had the chance to crossrate and He is now a GSM (Gas Turbine Maintance) all in the Engineering Department of the Navy.
He also has a NEC code for 9545 which is Physcial Security. ( he got that when he wanted to do shore duty as a Military Police)

Since he was coded for 9545 he went back doing Physcial Security again for our second shore duty rotation which he is now the ATO (Anti Terrorist Officer) of the base.This is normally a MA (Master at Arms) billet however there were none that could fill it at the time.

so as you can see he was able to do different ratings but still within the Engineering. with the exception of Physcial Security.

My husband consider himself lucky the Navy has sent him to some many schools. some were mths and some weeks.

one thing I must say never turn down any schools the navy offers you. because they might not offer it to you the second time.
Sorry... I have to write this as a separate post, since I don't know how to edit my previous post. I just want to say to both of you that I really appreciate your comments. I have found so much of what you say to be true. I did best in my most difficult college classes. I guess we just didn't do our homework enough before sending Kevin to talk to the recruiter. His Dad and I are both biologists and since he was a little kid, he has wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I think we all thought that there would be some way for him to find a career in the Navy that would somehow be in the Marine Bio/ Oceanography realm.

We all fell into the 'trap' of being flattered that our son was eligible for Nuclear School, rather than taking the time to investigate the other possibilities for him... That said however, we do feel that joining the Navy was a really smart decision, and he is excited, though somewhat apprehensive! Either way, I know that wherever he ends up, he'll do well. I guess we all need to be more positive about Nuclear School! He'll probably love it!
Achseh -

No, I don't think he has yet. Doesn't that happen in the 4th or 5th week of bootcamp?
Thanks Emily!

More good advice tol pass on to Kevin! I guess we're all going through pre-bootcamp jitters, so hopefully, we'll get this whole thing resolved this week. Once again, I thank everybody for their comments!

Happy New Year!



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