I just attended my son's A School graduation at NNPTC, and I really haven't seen a lot of info on this event. I did look, but nothing came up in the search engine.
First, your sailor has to put the names of all attendees on the list. There is no limit. There were plenty of chairs. Most folks don't come to A school graduation. This is when they are recognized for completing some very important training and become petty officers, so it is important for them. I realize not everyone can make that trip due to expense, but if you live driving distance or you have frequent flyer miles or something, it's a good time to see your sailor.
When you arrive at NNPTC early in the morning, you enter through the main gate. We were on the list, and we had our driver's licenses, but somebody goofed at the gate and couldn't find our names on the list. They sent us up to the Joint Base welcome center building, which is not on the base. It's on Redbank road. If you are going there FROM the base, it is on your left at the edge of the base. They found us on the list and we headed back to the gate, where we were admitted. Sailors were stationed to direct us to parking. There was plenty, even though there was a power school graduation later that morning. Try to arrive 30-45 minutes early to avoid the rush.
The ceremony took place in Bowman Rec Center, near the Rickover building. It was scheduled at 7:30 and started on time. It was short, because there were only two classes, my son's machinist mate class and a EM-ET class. The identification numbers on the classes will not be the same, because MM A School is only 3 months, but EM-ET school is 5 or 6 months. There was a chaplain and there were representatives of the command. Each sailor is introduced individually. They were very friendly about families taking photos. You could walk right down front and take a picture as your sailor received the certificate.
Then everyone had liberty, so we took our sailor with us to a hotel for the weekend. Charleston is very historic, but if history doesn't entertain you, there are beaches, great restaurants and the shopping along King Street.
I hope this is helpful to families who want to attend their sailor's Nuke A school graduation
Thank you for this post. I am new to being a NUKE mom, so this was very helpful. Can you suggest places to stay if I'm able to attend the A school graduation?
Scooter64 - Thanks for this info!
There are a ton of hotels and so forth in the Charleston area, so where you want to stay is more about how much you want to spend. I like staying in a place with suites, so we can spread out, heat up leftovers in a microwave, or have an extra bed for our sailor. He can stay off base, and the hotel bed is more comfortable than his "rack."
Staying in downtown Charleston or at the beach will both cost more than staying in Goose Creek or out by the airport.
We usually go with a middle price hotel, but that is in the $100 per night range. We have used the Best Western Plus Airport: Good location, and there are a couple of other hotels in that area. We used the Mainstay Suites in Mount Pleasant once and liked it, but it isn't convenient to the base. The area around the Northwoods Mall is convenient to the base. It has the advantage of lots of shopping and restaurants.
However, there are many lower price hotels. Days Inn and Quality Inn in Goose Creek are both cheaper, but I have never stayed in either.
I don't want to be accused of guaranteeing quality in the places listed above, and I don't think other places won't be good. I just offer these as a suggestion. Let the buyer beware.
Thank you for the information I also have been searching for some information on A school graduation. My son says I don't need to come out as it is not a very long ceremony and we live in California. I of course do not want to miss any milestones and I like the idea of a smaller ceremony we hardly got any pictures at PIR because of the crowds.
We are looking into hotels with suites for my son's A School graduation. Did you have a good experience with any of them?
Thanks so much for posting this information. My son just gave me the date of his A School Graduation, so this is very helpful!
Thanks for the information!
thank you Scooter64 - I am excited about the next graduation; my sailor just arrived in Charleston - I live in Georgia and will be there. It's approx. 3 hrs by car. I appreciate your post.
Nautical Mom - I see you also joined the Nuke Moms group. Since your sailor has just arrived in Charleston / actually they are in Goose Creek, SC - sometimes shorted to GC, you might be interested in a discussion of mine that tells about what A school is like.
My sailor helped me write this when he was in A school in the fall of 2017 - winter 2018.