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My SN emailed this to me a couple of days after he actually started his "A" school classes at Goose Creek Oct 2, 2017. He is an ET but it should be a similar daily routine for many ET, EM, or MMs. I thought I would share it here for all of us new Nuke moms to get a better understanding of the time commitments that our sailors are involved in, and to help us when we don't hear from them. I had asked him for a short note, even just a one liner of what class was like and this is what he emailed to me. 

He did say that once they "phase up" (get a few tests under their belts and studying well) they don't have to all march in and do as many uniform inspections, I think, so that will give a little bit more leeway in their schedule!!

class = great, teachers = really great, lack of sleep = pretty bad
Schedule of nuke student
530 wake, line for breakfast, to-go box breakfast 
625 muster for 630 muster
650 march in to class
700-1455 class,study,lunch (to-go box suggested), class,study
1455 return to BEQ to change for... (BEQ = Bachelor Enlisted Quarters)

1530 PT or 5K
1615-1630, return to BEQ,shower, change back to NWU
1700 to-go box dinner, (take to class and eat while studying)

1730 2h minimum homework/study time (actually closer to 3.5 to make sure of everything)
2100 return, emails, finances,
2130 sleep (if fast/lucky) 2245 (if not)
and i have been told it gets harder as you get accustomed/stronger.

-- additional comments he added later --

PT only on tuesday, wednesday, thursday
and you sometimes have a duty day on saturday or sunday (about <or sometimes>3 hours of your day)
and on saturday or sunday you need to do laundry, ironing, and shoe shining to be ready for the next uniform inspection.  {Uniform inspections are on Friday, I think}

phase 1 has this, phase 2 or 3 have it a little looser, and after 3 exams with a greater than 3.20 GPA in each you have less required study hours.

**** My son said that each class (at least currently) was made up of 62 students (50% are MM, the other 50% a mixture of ET & EM).

Until they class up they will be in Indoc where they have lessons in life skills and have other duties they are assigned to do. Then when they "class up" they will have about 1 - 1 1/2 weeks of life skill lessons and study skill training before they start their lessons. All of this depends on whether there are enough sailors to start a class immediately or not. All FN & SN have to also be qualified to stand watch so it is best to get their UI (Under Instruction) training done before they class up, if possible, so they don't have to do those watch duties in addition to A school lesson time. So, some of your sailors may also have those UI's on weekends in addition to their lessons.

Hope this is helpful - Chipmunk

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Replies to This Discussion

OMG WearsLargeHats - I remember my son talking about that same valve lol!  He talked about getting blisters on his hands from them and I asked about gloves and he said nope, just build up calluses! 

WearsLargeHats, he knows I like details. But so far, I haven't gotten any "fun" tales yet. Thanks for sharing!!

This has been amazing to read. Thank you so much for informing me that you do this! 

Appreciate this much...@ Chipmunk, T.Y. :)....good feel of how busy it can get and very hectic.... Caloric-energy consuming Nd brain foods a must to keep these Navy Alumni going and re energized....

This is mostly for my ET moms - but now that my son is in his final weeks of A school, I wanted to share with you the various subject names so you would know how they are progressing and the initials for them. - More specifics can be found at: Navy Nuclear Field (NF) Program Description

They start out with a mathematics class and I believe they may have two tests in that.

BE = Basic Electricity or Electronics (I don't recall) starts while they are still doing their final math studies, I think.

E - Funds = Electronics Fundamentals - this may be their longest unit.

Digital = Digital

ICE - We think it is. Integrated Control Equipment but even my son wasn't sure - the sailors call it,
"I Cry Every night."   Then they take their Comps and from what I understand those are done the Monday before their A school graduation.

Prior to A school, my son did a lot of self-instructed studying, but he has also been challenged at GC  to adapt and improvise with his studying and time. I am under the impression that they have regular homework that needs to be done each night and turned in the next day, this is in addition to any extra studying they need to do. There are opportunities for small group studying, small group discussions with an instructor, I think those are called NDI and then there seems to be an IE which I think is Individual Evaluation. Each different section that they study also seems to have its own studying parameters, just because you could study a unit one way doesn't mean that you will be able to do it the same way with the next unit. The sailors must be willing to take advantage of every opportunity for studying and in every format that is offered, adapting their own study habits as needed.

Also, each sailor must recognize just how much time they actually need to study for a particular unit or test regardless of what their required study time is. They may be on 10 - 0 (explained in above comments) but still need to put in at least 2 hours a night just for homework, or four hours total a night plus Sunday, even Saturday, to make sure they have everything memorized or understood for their next test. This is why you often don't hear from them or can't get them to talk. There is a lot going into their brain in a short amount of time.

The ETs schedule for PT is currently 2x a week in the afternoon. I know approximately when my son might be coming back to his BEQ to shower, so I will often send a text and ask if he can talk briefly. The other day, I didn't ask for a call, just how his test went. He texted me his score and said, "I have to leave and go stand watch." That was before any new study time for the evening. There are no breaks, once a test is completed, they may go ahead and immediately start on their next course of lessons either in the same unit, or maybe a new unit, while waiting on their tests to be graded. A 5K run is held one a week, either in the morning or afternoon, depending on the seasonal weather. They also will do events or excursions with their class at times and last Friday, my son also said they had a mandatory "Fun Day" where in the later afternoon they all went to a type of arcade, mini golf, go-cart park. I assume this was done according to various classes.

Regarding tests - if a sailor has to miss a test, it is my understanding that they are automatically "rolled out" of their current class and will be "rolled in" to a later class in their same rate. Also, if a sailor chooses to rerate, he is not allowed to move from an ET down to an EM or an MM, he is removed from the NF (Nuclear Field) and rerated elsewhere. (There is information about DTP in another discussion).

After most of the tests there is an opportunity for re-grades. There are some specific instructions for what can be considered for evaluation of the graded material and it possibly can change from one unit to the next. I would encourage you to encourage your sailors to make sure they understand the process for each unit they are studying. The sailors are not privy to the "specifics" of regarding, but there are guidelines they are to follow for asking for a re-grade. In some cases, they might lose points and in some cases they can gain points, like anything, they need to know the specific directions for each unit. I just don't want a sailor discouraged if they asked for a re-grade once early on and it cost them points when in another unit, it might not. Encourage, encourage your sailors to talk to their instructors, and to make sure they understand the various aspects of each unit. The instructors are there to help your sailor each step of the way, but help must be asked for. Now, they may also have their protocol for even how a specific form of instruction takes place, but if it doesn't work out the first time, your sailor shouldn't give up and hopefully will ask again the next time.

One of the interesting things I have realized, listening to my son share, is how much they do their best to help each other in their classes, if they give each other the opportunity. They all have their strengths and their weaknesses and studying together and encouraging each other, learning how each person operates under different stress environments is another part of the learning process that they are developing before going out to the fleet. Spending sometimes 12 hours a day studying with each other, they can gain some insights into personalities and habits, which if willing they can all learn from.

Bravo Zulu!! 

April 30, 2018 – T-track information (My son's direct comments are posted in italics.)

I have mentioned that all of the new sailors at GC will need to get their UI's (under instructions) done before they graduate from A school. It is best to do this early on, especially during INDOC, so that they are not scrambling to finish learning all of the watch post duties in their final weeks of A school. One of my friends mentioned to me that her son had not finished his UI watches and they had to complete them, I believe before their "dash for cash", their final PFA that needs to be passed for their advancement. This was several weeks before the end of A school but is also a busy study time.

My son said that the only watches they actually do during A school, once they have completed their UI, is watch at the Rickover. The watches they learn to stand in UI are done after A school during T-Track time, which is a transition time between A school and Power School.

After A school, my son had another few days of INDOC where they discussed the responsibilities of being a PO (petty officer), and also making sure their finances were in order so that when they started Prototype, they had planned for things such as needing first & last month rent, because their BAH will not have kicked in yet. Also, for their mailing address, replace their class number with, T-track, and their rating is changed as well. For instance my son is no longer a SN but ETN3.

To start out with, I believe they stood at least one set of 12 hrs on / 24 hrs off watch. Then almost immediately, my son seemed to go to 24/48's. - This is his explanation: we stand 24/48's right now, which means 24 hours on watch and 48 hours off watch. Watch is split into 6 hour quarters. 1st is from 0900 to 1500, 2nd is 1500 to 2100, 3rd is 2100 to 0300, 4th is 0300 to 0900. Officially that is. Reality is we muster before the first one, and get relieved some time after the official turnover due to various delays. One of those quarters is supposed to be sleep, but the early-on late-off, transit, and getting ready times in between cause it to be about 5 hours if everything goes right and you fall asleep fast. Last time mine was 4 hours due to our relief being late and perimeter having the most delay potential of the watches, (which was mine that night.) -- This time I have sleep at 3rd quarter, so i need to be mustered back for 4th by 0245 at the latest in my NSU's.

The T-track groups are divided into sections to be able to cover the entire 72 hours of watch time. So, not everyone from the same graduating class or other previous classes will necessarily be in the same T-track section together.

When first starting out on T-track, the watch times may come such that a sailor could have been up for 30 hours by the time they are able to get to sleep. At least that happened with my son. Part of this appeared to be due to some delays and inefficiencies and I assume that is because of the constant change over in who is standing watch. This can be frustrating for a loved one to hear, but my husband reminded my son he was young and resilient, and I coached him on learning how to sleep during the day time. This is all training for being on the fleet and my friends whose children are already out there have shared that their sailors don't sleep much due to standing watch.

Some of the T-track watch duties include "clean" or cleaning. My son has recently had a few of those for some of his watch quarters. My understanding when on Clean, once they are finished with the designated tasks assigned, they are relieved and able to return to BEQ, until they report for their next watch quarter or have sleep time. I haven't had a chance to ask my son how the watch quarters change. When he has been on a sleep quarter I know he has to Muster back up 15 min prior to the new watch quarter. I assume that is the same if they were able to leave after "clean".

"All watches in the Rickover except for clean will be in NSU's or Dress Blues/Whites, while all outside watches will be in NWU's. Colors - raising or lowering the flag for morning or sunset, (reveille and taps), is always Dress Blues/Whites no matter what day it is"

"We have a phase 3 curfew when not on duty. Also, PT in the mornings as long as you are not on watch at the 0610 PT time each day except the weekend." - So, even if they don't muster till 0900 for watch, they have to go do PT at 0610. If not on watch, there is also some sort of accountability reporting they have to do each day after PT, I think. "Keep up your push-ups, sit-ups, and jogging and you'll be fine."

"READ YOUR POST ORDERS, you will be randomly and repeatedly tested on your knowledge. Do not leave your relief until you are certain he has a full understanding of his duties and responsibilities of that watch. If you are standing a "zone" (the solo security watches that don't get much traffic) and you feel you are going to fall asleep, you are allowed to call for a watch relief to take over while you make yourself more awake by moving around, getting water, etc."

Some definition clarification for myself: "NSU's, are the service uniform, the Khaki shirt and black slacks if E-6 and below, khaki pants if E-7 and up or officer (aka "peanut butters"). NWU's are the working uniform, the blue or green digital denim like material."

Hopefully, this gives some insight into T-track.

My son said graduation is aug 10??but not sure. He sais his leave might start on 8/ can i find out exact dates

Pandalvr - I assume you mean your son's A school graduation is Aug 10th. That is a Friday and reasonable, but it is not reasonable to assume that his leave would start on 8/4 (Aug 4),  the Saturday prior to graduation as they will be studying for their Comprehensive Exam that weekend with the exam on the Monday prior to graduation.  And then my son still had "work" days they did up through the day of graduation. The best answer as to exact dates is going to come from your son's SLPO and he can ask for specifics which may not be available until the time gets closer. 

Also, there is a difference between leave and liberty and my son's A school class was only given 3 days of liberty after graduation, because they were allowed to take extra leave at Christmas prior.

Pandalvr - I just noticed this when posting a new comment. Have you been able to verify with your son about his actual graduation date? I believe by this point he should have been contacting you asking for who all to add to the guest list and personal information he needs for each of them.  If you haven't heard from him, I would definitely reach out to his this afternoon - they should be done around 4:30 PM Eastern Time, but may not be near their phones, or sometime earlier this weekend.

All the best to your son!

Adding on -  Re: Mail at Goose Creek - Just sharing some thoughts. I primarily have sent pkgs to my son through A school and now PS and have not mailed him letters or cards much, because he doesn't want paper clutter and I can email him, text or call and that suits him just fine. So, I only recently gleaned the following information from him when he commented on receiving mail.

He said that each class has a mail person as they did at BC, and their mail is passed out to them in class. - I was contemplating tough exam times with another mom and this idea struck me. How I wish I had realized they receive their mail in class so that when I knew my sailor was in the midst of tough stuff, I could send a funny / cheer up card to him, and maybe his class as well. I did an Easter box and then sent a box of candy bars during IC&E (which they told me later, Thank You! ) - but he had to go pick those up from the mail room and take back during study time. More of a logistic issue for him than anything.  A card for the class or your sailor might be a nice way to encourage everyone.

That said, it also struck me that if they are receiving mail in their class room (because it is not delivered to their BEQ, which had been my question to him), that upsetting or disturbing news is not what should be sent in the mail, maybe. At least, stop and contemplate what you are sending them. Or even sensitive, intimate news should probably be limited. - Just FYI

Thank you so much for sharing this! :-)  It is nice to get glimpses into what will be happening for my son after he is done with RTC, thank you again! Happy Thanksgiving!

Iv2terp, I am glad you found this helpful. Just in case you didn't realize there are further discussions on the following pages that give more details as I followed on through with my son is A school. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, and all the best to your recruit at BC.


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