I have read a few discussions from parents whose Sailors were separated from service before they intended. My son is an example of how the system can fail you. He had asthma as a child but had not been medicated or seen a doctor for it in quite some time (years). His recruiter counseled him against telling anyone about it since it was so long ago. So he didn't say anything, he passed all his tests in MEPS, and he was fine. He graduated Nuke A-school in July and was in Power School as of last week. My Son, a very dedicated and intelligent ETN3, was just informed that he has been kicked out of the Navy.
My son got really sick a few weeks ago and thought he had Covid. He went to medical and they did a lot of tests on him, determining he didn't have Covid, but he couldn't breathe. So the Navy did a lot of digging in his medical history and fund a Dx of Asthma, and determined he lied in his paperwork. He said "they gave me a bunch of articles and demoted me, put me on restriction, and ... I am being separated from the Navy."
WOW. It's HARD to be a proud supporter of this kind of establishment. To be fair, his two immediate commanding officers agree this is too extreme of a punishment and the Navy is losing an asset by separating my son, but there isn't anything that can be done to reverse the decision, they tried for days to keep him, but the guy in charge had a chip on his shoulder.
So, my question is - does anyone have contacts or know what civilian contract companies hire Navy Nukes?
My son's goal in life was to become a Nuclear physicist or engineer. The Navy had a great Nuke program and he was excited to learn from them, but apparently, that was not his path. He must move forward from this setback. His goals haven't changed, just the means of attaining them.
Thanks in advance for any and all comments,
Former Proud Navy Nuke Mom - Still a Proud Mom.
I am so sorry this happened to your son. I really HATE when recruiters advise to NOT disclose something because this is a perfect example of what can happen. I agree, it sucks and shouldn't happen but this is why it's important to disclose up front. Worst case is he would have had to get waivers and it might have taken a little longer for him to join BUT he would be still in the Navy. The recruiter was being lazy and didn't want to deal with the extra paperwork - shame on them!
The problem I see here is that I'm pretty sure they have to be in for 3 years in order to get their GI Bill benefits for college tuition to be covered. You'll have to do some research on that though. I know there are a few colleges out there that work with the nukes - Thomas Edison State College, Old Dominion College and Excelsior College. I believe they give credit for some of their nuke schooling. There could be more but those are the ones I know of.
Have your son join some nuke groups on Facebook and he should be able to get some more info. There's also a Nuke Moms Facebook group. Every once in a while I'll see someone post about a job that their civilian got.....I haven't really paid a lot of attention though. There are things out there. Tell your son this isn't the end of the world - yes, it really sucks, but he'll get through this better and stronger.
Keep us posted on what happens. And again, I'm sorry this happened to him.
Thank you for the information! I will share this with my son when he is home for Christmas if I don't speak to him sooner.
We wish your son all the best. And please tell him thank you for his service. No matter the exit situation, he freely & willingly offered to serve his country and we at Navy4Moms appreciate his service, and I do personally as well!
My other son is a welding contractor in Washington on the Navy ships! He enjoys it ! You just reminded me also, my Cousin (in law) is a merchant marine and could be someone to speak to as well.
Miakoda.Nuke.MoM - I am so sorry!!! I agree with B'sNukeMom, the recruiter is the one who dropped the ball on this, and your son is the one who is suffering for it. Unfortunately, military mindset and decisions do not always line up with the way we would like them to as civilians.
As to what civilian companies would hire your son, I have no idea. But I would strongly recommend that even if he does not receive the GI bill, that your son look into a good engineering school that is strong in nuclear engineering or physics, if that was his dream. I can tell you that the primary job of an ETN wasn't necessarily the actual process of nuclear engineering, but primarily their job is to watch the reactor and the start-up and shut down of it. My point, your son would have learned how to operate the nuclear reactor on a carrier or submarine, and the science and mathematics necessary for that, but he would still need to go on and get his schooling to become a nuclear engineer or physicist.
Your son should be able to get the transcript for his nuclear schooling which he has had. I am sure his grades in school were high, and he scored well on the ASVAB test, or he would not even have been considered for the Nuke program. I would encourage him to contact various engineering schools who have a reputation for the nuclear engineering program and see if he could possibly get some credit for his transcript, and or a scholarship.
This might be a helpful article for your son to read. - The 25 Best Nuclear Engineering Schools in 2023-2024 - Best Value S...
I am only closely familiar with one nuclear engineering school Missouri S&T, however, I know there are many out there. And there are just as many articles about top ranked engineering schools as well. Your son should also look into schools with a strong physics department as well. At the end of the day, the need to pay the bills is the most important thing and the Navy was taking care of that. Unfortunately, your son, in my opinion, had a recruiter that was more concerned about getting your son to sign the dotted line, then understanding the significance of what would happen to your son if this information was discovered.
I am glad your son is focused on wanting to continue with his desire to focus on his goals. You don't indicate whether or not he is receiving a medical discharge or what his separation status is going to be. If there is any kind of black mark towards his character, it may make it more difficult for him to find civilian contractor job, but not necessarily something that could impede him from applying to college. I am mentioning this, just for him to stop and consider his options.
Again, I am so sorry to hear this. I wish your son all the best, and I also would like you to keep us informed of how things are going for him.
Thank you for this information! I'm going to share all of this with my son when I get to speak to him again. He told me his separation would be administrative, but I don't know if he was SURE of that. He knew the process for appealing the discharge for honorable, though, so maybe he does know? I'll update this post when I know more, and I appreciate you.
Miakoda.Nuke.MoM - I was in shock while reading your post. How horrible that the Navy would discharge a clearly qualified, dedicated sailor - especially at a time when our country is suffering from dangerously low recruiting numbers and desperately needs good people willing to serve. Prayers for you and your son as he moves forward in life and finds his purpose. He WILL find it.
Joe-mom this is EXACTLY what my husband said. I think I am still in shock, to be honest. I feel the lump well up in my throat when I see a piece of "Navy Mom" swag or his Navy photo in my office. It legitimately hurt to receive this news. I am a proud supporter of the US Military and our Veterans and will strive to remain as supportive as before, but this...
I told my husband the other night that I have a hard time proudly supporting the Navy after this. His response was that this isn't the Navy. This decision was made by a person, not the Navy, and I shouldn't hold ill feelings for the whole "establishment" based on that.
It's hard. Maybe, after I speak to my son at Christmas, we will decide to give away my Navy mom gear. If we do, I will give this group first pick. I appreciate all of you for your support and advice.