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new submarine mom needs real advice, anyone out there?

my son just started A school and he was thinking about changing his mind about going into the submarines. he initially wasn't going to but now is considering it, and it isn't going over too well here at home. any advice?

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My nephew is on a sub and LOVES it.  The crew is smaller, very close, like a family.  The work hours are long, they are out of touch for longer stretches, the living arrangements cramped, but he says he is rarely bored, he prefers staying busy.  Also easier to get privileges and recognition you've earned with a small crew.  There is some extra pay involved, which is always attractive.  

Do you have specific questions?  Why isn't it going over well?  

Subs are safer than surface ships (in my opinion) if that's your worry.  If you're worried about being out of touch for longer times, is that your needs or his?

My son said it's not that hard to adjust to living on a sub. But the sub service is not that easy for most people.




Actually, since WWII, the Navy has lost only two nuclear powered submarines.

What were their names?


1. Darter and Sealion
2. Argonaut and Triton
3. Thresher and Scorpion
4. Growler and Seawolf


Answer 3. Thresher and Scorpion


I truly think that as many missions that our submarine force does, and to lose only two since WWII is totally amazing. May the crew Rest-in-Peace.

C. Thresher and Scorpion


Thesher (SSN-593) had bad luck from the start. She was commissioned on August 3, 1961. On November 2, 1961 she suffered a failure of her diesel generator while in port and had to be evacuated. In 1962, she was struck by a tug boat while mooring at Cape Canaveral, Florida and suffered damage to her ballast tanks. On April 10, 1963 Thresher was conducting deep diving tests off the coast of Massachusetts. Operating at near her test depth of 1300 feet, she reported she was having "minor problems." She was never heard from again. She was found in 5500 feet of water, broken into six pieces. The most probable cause of her loss was determined to be a leak in a high-pressure water line, which shorted out her electrical system. 129 men, including seventeen civilian observers, lost their lives.


Scorpion (SSN-589) was commissioned on July 29, 1960. On May 16, 1968 she left Rota, Spain on her way back to her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. When she did not return as scheduled on May 27, a search was launched, but it was not until October that her wreckage was located in 3000 feet of water 400 miles southwest of the Azores. No one knows what caused Scorpion to sink; there are many theories, including one that she was sunk by a Russian submarine. It is known that Scorpion was suffering from a number of engineering problems, and had undergone emergency repairs shortly before her last mission. Her crew of 99 officers and men perished with her.


AntiM- its his Dad who isnt too happy, but i am sure he will come around, he doesnt have any choice! just very frustrating for me to have to defend our son all the time, Dad has a hard time accepting he even went into the navy!



Craig- thank you! that joke made me laugh! i will show that to my husband, maybe it will help. thanks again you guys! oh hey, do you have any statistics for how many ships we have lost, as opposed to subs? thanks again

LOL, my dad was in teh Navy, an old career Masterchief, three war vet.  I didn't tell my parents I was joining until I was in!  They were working in Saudi Arabia and communication took a long time via letters, I was in DEP for just one week (a seat opened and the Navy was undermanned then).  So I wrote to them from boot camp.  Dad never thought I'd do well, much less be top of my A school class, or even get through boot camp and was amazed I made E-6 in six short years.  Almost impossible these days.  So yes, sometimes it takes them a while to come around.  You should have seen the man when I told him I was marrying again, and I was 30!!!!

i am ok with it, i know it will be hard, but my husband is dead set against it. he is still trying to come to grips with our son joining the navy. i know that he will eventually come around, but in the meantime, its difficult for me to try and "calm the seas" ( attempt at humor). maybe if he sees what you and others have said, he will soften up a little. thanks so much, ttyl


Why is your husband against your son joining the Navy? Our son is a nuke officer on a sub. His commitment to the Navy will be up in March. He tells me getting adjusted to living on a sub is the easiest part of being in the Navy.
my husband has a few people that he talked to about the military and of course not any of them had a good experience with it. it might have to do with the fact they went into it because they had "run out of options" if you know what i mean. our son went in as an option, so for him, it is totally different than it was for these other guys. he wanted to be there. i dont know if he is going to go into the subs or not, he is just considering it at this point. i will keep everyone posted , thanks for the help.
Our son had graduated with honors from an excellent university with a degree in electrical engineering. He had plenty of options to either work or go to graduate school. He CHOSE the Navy (the Officer Candidate School) to give him the leadership/management experience that he would not have had in the civilian world. The sub service is difficult. From that perspective, it would have been easier to have some other specialty. He originally signed up to be in Surface Warfare. However, with his technical background the Navy wanted him for the sub service. It was Sub or wait for possibly a spot to open later. He researched the benefits of the Sub service and decided it was OK. Each potential recruit has to make a decision for himself. No one else can make that decision for him. Even five years ago when my son went in, it was difficult to get accepted into any thing which had to do with the nuke program. Many flamed out during the interview process. Your husband should do some research on his own. Your son should not be influenced by what you or your husband has to say. Sorry if that offends you. Good luck


oh he is not influenced at all! he knows i support him 110% no matter what he decides to do, and he has learned over the years how to deal with his dad. i am the one having a hard time with my husband, but that is my problem and i guess i will just have to deal with it and stop whining.

Some people who are "forced" into this life are not going to enjoy it come hell or high water. They are the ones who get booted out early and will have nothing good to say. My husband deals a lot with these people. 

It's unfortunate that your husband spoke to theses people. There are so many successful stories when they make the most of whats offered.  

My husband joined out of HS and has worked his way up through enlisted, chief and then LDO.He was able to work on 3 college degrees along the way.  Now that we are looking at retirement next year after 30 years served, our 20 year old son has decided to join and I now have  Navy Mom lic. plate frame on the back of my car. LOVE IT. Kyle is at Great Lakes as we speak and will be graduating Oct. 7th. Very excited.

We have been predominantly on subs, with a couple years on a Sub Tender in Italy. The Sub community is much smaller than surface and we are always bumping into people that we have met along the way.

What Anti M says previously is all correct. 

Give your husband time to see the progress you son makes in becoming a strong independent young man. 

Best of luck in whatever your son decides.


thank you for understanding what i was saying, things are a little better now, still no definite decision, but it is not ours to make. i know it will all work out in the end, we just have to get there first! thanks again, talk to you soon


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