Nuclear-powered fast-attack and ballistic missile submarines form a vital part of America's national defense. Utilizing the advantage of stealth coupled with the awesome endurance of nuclear propulsion, submarines have played an invaluable role in the defense of our country in this century. Whether it is conducting Tomahawk missile strikes in the Persian Gulf, collecting intelligence, or inserting SEALs in Special Operations, the submarine force (link opens new window) provides an agile and flexible deterrent against all those who would threaten the United States' security.
In order to be selected for this career field, the midshipman or officer candidate must interview with the director of Naval Reactors in Washington D.C. A strong math and physical science background is necessary to succeed in the challenging nuclear power environment. Interviews test the applicants' basic knowledge of technical subjects such as calculus and physics.
Once commissioned, submarine officers begin their training by attending Naval Nuclear Power School (NNPS) located in Charleston, South Carolina. Upon completion of NNPS, officers report to nuclear power prototype training in either Charleston, South Carolina or Ballston Spa, New York where they will get "hands-on" knowledge of what it takes to operate a nuclear power plant. While at the prototype, officers will request their submarine assignment, based on platform (fast-attack or ballistic missile) or homebase. Submarines are currently homeported in Groton, CT; Norfolk, VA; Kings Bay, GA; SanDiego, CA; Bangor, WA; Pearl Harbor, HI; and Guam. The last phase of training, before reporting to their boat, is the Submarine Officer Basic Course (SOBC) in Groton, Connecticut. At SOBC, officers will learn how to track and sink other subs and ships, learn about the weapons and SONAR systems in use, and develop submarine warfighting tactical knowledge.
WHY CHOOSE A CAREER IN SUBMARINES?
Submarines represent the best the Navy has to offer. Submariners are an elite group of highly trained individuals who take real pride in their mission. Submarine officers receive the best, industry-recognized training, and are truly judged on their merit. The submarine wardroom is close-knit, and nothing compares to the camaraderie found aboard a boat.
As a junior officer, you will encounter substantial responsibility early in your career - sometimes more than you think you are ready for. You will lead a watch team in the operation of a nuclear propulsion plant within months of reporting aboard your first ship. Within 12 months, advance to the position of Officer of the Deck where you will be responsible for the tactical employment of a multi-billion dollar national asset. Develop decision-making skills in a dynamic environment. Lead and manage an exceptional team of the most highly skilled enlisted personnel in the military.Naval Nuclear Power School and Prototype Training are the premier technical and engineering curricula offered by the military. This training is valuable both to the Submarine Force and the civilian market. For this reason, a $10,000 Accession Bonus is paid upon acceptance into the program. $2,000 is paid upon completion of nuclear training.
- You will also receive $230/month SUBPAY upon starting Nuclear Power Training and will be eligible for $25,000 per year Nuclear Officer Incentive Pay starting with your first shore tour.
- Outstanding opportunities to earn a master's degree on your first shore tour. The submarine community has a higher percentage of master's degree completion than any other warfare community.
- Each year, approximately 20 NROTC Midshipman are selected on a "first-come, first-served" basis to attend the Scuba Diving Officer program in Pensacola, FL prior to beginning nuclear propulsion training.
- All NROTC majors are accepted into the submarine officer community - The core classes of calculus and physics are the only courses required to submit an application. NROTC midshipmen have historically shown a high success rate in screening and acceptance into the program. If selected, you have the ability to make it through Nuclear Power School and Prototype.