Originally posted by Jake Gallagher on July 6, 2008 at 11:17am
Sorry this has taken so long to get written...we've been crazy busy at work for a while now.
Anyway, the next part of nuke school is called T-Track.
But first, after graduation from A-school, the (newly promoted) third class petty officer will get to go home on some well-deserved leave. This leave period lasts about 2 weeks, and they have the option to work for their recruiter to extend it. I can't remember how long it is originally, but the Recruiter Assistance Program (RAP duty) lasts 5 days, and the sailor will go around town hanging up posters, handing out fliers, or they might just hang out in the recruiter's office answering the phone. Some of my friends didn't even have to do anything for their RAP duty at all except fill out the paperwork to get credit for it. I highly recommend doing this, it may sound like work, but it only lasts a few hours a day and you get 5 free days of leave out of it!
When they get back down to Charleston, they check in with T-Track and start working for them. Depending on who runs this it might be different from when I was there, but here's how it went when I was in:
0530: Wake up, get ready for PT
0600: T-Track PT. This wasn't too bad, but we had to wear our boot camp PT uniforms...bullseye tshirt and short shorts. Meh.
0800-ish: Go get a shower and head to muster with whoever I was working for that day. This could be the Barracks Petty Officer, who was in charge of cleaning the barracks and surrounding grounds, or the Building Petty Officer, who was in charge with cleaning the school building. Either way, the T-Trackers would be cleaning off and on for a while. Most of the time, though half the crew could have liberty right after (or before) lunch, with a couple "late guys" that would have to stay and take care of stuff that came up from the higher-ups later in the day.
After work, we just hung out and did whatever we did in A-school I had my car during T-Track, so we went out to the beach a few times and stuff like that.
Today, we couldn't leave the base. Kind of like a real duty day. We would muster at something like 0530 in the school building in one of the unused rooms and then head out to watch. There were two watch sections that we had. One would stand watch from 0600 to 1200 and from 1800 to 2400, the other would stand the other times.
I stood perimeter watch so that I could be outside. This meant that I would stand out at the guard shack and check ID badges, or at the Barracks Quarterdeck to answer phones or whatever else needed to be done there. We also stood watch in the weight room, arcade, and cleaning gear issue rooms to pass out whatever equipment needed to be passed out there.
The other crew stood watch inside the school building. They checked badges, passed out temporary badges, and answered phones among other stuff. I'm not really sure what else, because I was always on perimeter watch.
Depending on whether you had the midwatch (0000-0600) or not, you might or might not make it to PT before getting relieved. Usually I didn't, so I'd just go home and get a shower before mustering with the BPO's. Offgoing day was usually the best, we'd go to clean and were out of work at about 1000 or so. Not a bad deal at all.
After the Offgoing day, we start back at the Oncoming day and do it all again. T-Track just got really boring because we couldn't put in leave or special liberty chits, so we could never plan to do anything really. Something to keep in mind, however, is that on weekends, anyone what was oncoming or offgoing didn't have work, since the BPO's weren't there to assign chores.
Another thing to keep in mind about T-Track, is that this is when people who have trouble getting their security clearances will be held up. I've known people that were held up for almost a year, others that were on T-Track for close to 18 months. The long-term holds usually get cushy jobs in the building, working for the yeomen in the office, or with the BPO's handing out gear or chores. They tend to work a little more per day than the normal T-Trackers, but only work 5 days a week and have no duty, so it kind of balances out.
There isn't a lot to say about Power School, it's really a lot like A-school was. Class was longer, and about different things, and overall there were more interesting things to study, but for the most part it's pretty much the same.