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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

Additional information regarding classes, homework hours, and study suggestions that my son has passed along to me in the last few days.

Last night, I was talking to him partially about comments being made that some of the new sailors were having difficulty getting out and making friends or doing other things at NNPTC.

First of all, he said that the sailor's classmates would be the ones they would start getting the closest to, mostly because you will be spending a lot of time together. Secondly, he asked if any of them had a large number of division mates that they came to GC with, because those would be others they would have built a comradery with. Finally, one of the best ways to have time to build friendships is to make sure you are staying on top of your studies, and not getting stuck with lots of extra study time so that you 1) aren't getting overly tired from lack of sleep, 2) not having to do a lot of your required studying on the weekend when most of the other sailors have liberty time, unless they are standing watch

The best way to have more liberty time and less required / mandatory study time is to stay ahead on your studies and to do well on your tests. Part of doing well on the tests is also making sure that you are formatting your problems the way the instructor wants, and paying attention to the detail of your answers, especially make sure you are copying your answers correctly.

One evening, when I called, my son told me that that they had an additional mandatory study time they had to do, because not everyone in his ET class was formatting their problems correctly and the instructor was using this study time to help them learn how to do things the way they were being instructed or as many here  put it - "learn to do it the Navy way." So, some study time is mandatory for instructive reasons as stated. Other study time is mandatory based on how well the sailor is doing with understanding the concepts and doing well on their tests. My son says:

Tell the sailors, the best way to have more liberty time is to keep from having extra study time required. We are all given our course manual with the notes for the classes that we are currently studying in the Rickover. I suggest that you take the time on the weekend to read over your material for the upcoming lectures. Familiarize yourself with the material that will be covered so you are ready with questions and an idea of what will be covered. It will help you with your study time for your test, and will also keep you from getting too bogged under once your study week is underway. For those in Indoc, they really can't do much studying but they can refresh some of their math, especially if it has been a while since they have had some schooling. What is really tough on liberty time is if you get 25 - 4 for study time. (I will explain in a minute.)

He also shared: None of our questions are multiple choice, because the instructors all knew that as Nukes, we would reason out our answers and possibly do well without ever having to actually study and understand the concepts. So, their classes do not utilize a multiple choice format. You have to do your work and show your work and you are given so many points for different questions. -  Reading on a NavyDads site, I (Chipmunk) found a comment by a former instructor. He strongly encouraged the students to make all the use of their instructors time that they could. Many come in on Saturday and expect to. He said, "Make me earn my pay." and if a sailor's particular instructor was not getting a concept across, then they often refer them to other instructors to help them learn. He also mentioned that for those that are learning and scoring well on the tests, that they should take the opportunity to go into the instructors and ask to do oral quizzing and retelling. (There is a specific term that I don't recall.) This study time practice will actually prepare them for the oral type quizzing that apparently, they will do in Prototype. This instructor also said, in reference I think to the stress and perfectionism: while the high grades are important for achieving certain things such as qualifying for STA-21, or being an instructor, once on the ship or sub, it doesn't matter what your grade point average was. If you scored enough to pass and you did well and you work well as a team, then you are all on the vessel as ship mates. 

Additional comments from my son:

1 week = 1 month of college information taught.
Study time is indicated as (15 - 2)
The 1st number = the total numbers of hours that you have to study in the Rickover per week.  (- = tack)
The 2nd number = number of hours per night required to study in the Rickover preceding an academic day, so Sun - Thur.
The time that counts for required study is any time greater than 30 min between 1600 - 2330hrs. ( Or 4 pm - 11:30 pm).
Make sure you don't go too low in your first tests. I think he said everyone starting out has 15 - 2 for their study requirements. (I think that is Phase I)  You have to have at least 3 tests before can lower your required hours and they must be 3.00 or above. (There was a formula he gave, but I didn't catch it all on the phone.) If you appear to be struggling though, they can/ will increase your hours. He had some sailors in his class who had 25 - 4 for their study time after their first test. This can greatly affect their sleep also.
So if you have 25 - 4 (twenty-five tack four hours) then you are required to spend at least four hours a night from Sunday thru Thursday studying in the Rickover. That would give you 20 hours, then you still have another five hours of study that has to be completed either divided up between each night, or on Saturday, or extra on Sunday to be completed in that week for your 25 hours total.
At this point my son has had four weeks of A school classes and 3 tests for ET. I had asked him how he did on this third test and he told me his score and then said 10 - 0 yea!! - I had no idea what that meant, so I called to find out and he started explaining all of this to me. So at least for this current week, he has 10 total hours that he has to spend studying this week in the Rickover, but zero hours that are mandatory for him to stay every night of studying. However, he doesn't recommend putting all of your studying off to the last minute. But one week, he was only doing his minimal requirement because he wasn't feeling well and wanted to get extra sleep. In order to do that though, he still had about 6 hours or so that he had to do all on Saturday. Because he had also told me that if they are sick on a test, it is an automatic push back to a new class, I think. And just because your study hours were lowered one week, doesn't mean you can't have them raised, the next week.
Very informative. Are these things they tell the Sailors or do they find this out on their own?

Most of this is information that they should receive when they first class up. Exactly what, I am not sure, but I know my son said that they spent almost two weeks going over life skills and study skills before they started school. But just because the instructors tell you to study ahead and such doesn't mean the reasoning sinks into them.

My son shares these things to help me understand what is going on and I had asked him what was one way to help the sailors get to know each other and spend time outside of their room and studying and he explained the above to me about the study requirements. But it can give you a discussion starter as well, by knowing this information.

Chipmunk glad to see your Sailor educating not only you but future nukes and nervous Moms. Exactly what my grandson went through A school. He graduated went home for 10 days and now so glad to be back at GC waiting class up for power school. Think he really has navyized and wants to start classes again.. It’s a journey

Sgtsixpack, Thank you!! - I am glad that your grandson was able to be home for awhile after A school and looking forward to getting back to the books. My son called this evening, a lot later than I had expected. He said he had just gotten back from 4 - 4.5 hours of studying, and tomorrow was their next PFT (?) to qualify for phase 3 and then a uniform inspection on Friday. I definitely believe he is being challenged more than if he had gone to college first. You are right, it is a journey.

Nov 5, 2017 - comments from my son last night - Class information refers to ET at least, not sure of MM or EM.

 "Be sure to tell them, to study hard and to make sure they get ahead of their studies. Especially BE3. (Basic Electricity 3)"  In other words, take advantage of the opportunity that is given because the sailors have the study material, to review and go over it, before they start the next section. Part of the time management skills they all must work on. "And don't leave any questions blank on a test, that isn't good. "  There was a lot of noise in the background, but I think he said it is better to at least get the answer process started, if you do run out of time, than to just not put anything down. 

Secondly, he mentioned, "Encourage them to do some sort of exercise, either in the morning before they shower or at night. Work on your sit ups and pushups every day and your forms (doing them properly), so that when you get to PRT you are able to pass and phase up."

And part of time management and planning ahead is also, if you buy a bike, go ahead and buy a couple of spare bike tubes, so that when your plan is to get laundry done and then do studying on a weekend, you don't have to stop and adjust your plans or go shopping, because your bike tube popped!! (Mom's side comment!) - Yes, that happened this morning with his bike that is less than a month old!

Thanks so much for gathering all this info.  Tell your son thanks from us Moms too!

You are welcome. And I will.

Nov 14, 17, my son officially phased up to 3 at Nuke "A" school. I asked him to explain the various phases for me. His responses are below. I have placed my own comments or explanations in italics. Some may also be at the end. Hopefully, this will help you understand comments your sailor makes, but also will be an opportunity to engage in further conversation with your son or daughter. If something is unclear, I will do my best to answer your question, but the best source is really to ask your sailor. - Chipmunk

Phase one: automatic upon arrival to A-school, & usually lasts until ~3 weeks after classing up. The only thing lower than this is restricted, and that's a punishment reserved for those who went to a disciplinary captain's mast (Captain's Mast can be either disciplinary or awarding you for something.)

  • liberty expires at 0015 in BEQ each day. On non-academic days, liberty commences at 0500.

  • Weekday liberty is restricted to the base.

  • Civilian clothing (civvies) is NOT authorized (can have, can't wear outside of BEQ)

  • Operation of POV (personally owned vehicle) or rental car is NOT authorized. (can have there, but can't drive it yourself.) (Someone else may drive it for you.)

  • Consumption of alcohol is NOT authorized.

  • Muster on the spine (the main path) and march to Rickover Center the morning of each academic day. {a bit time wasting, but not bad}

  • March back from lunch

0015 = 12:15 AM, 0500 = 5 AM -- BEQ (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters) non-married so male & female

Phase 2: you must get SAT or better in all inspections,(uniform and room), and get Satisfactory Medium or higher in all categories of the latest PRT. Also no rule breaking, {NOTE: it is quite simply in your best interest not to even try and hide if you did something wrong, there are too many systems to catch you, and the punishments for lying are worse than ALMOST anything that you did but owned up to. }
Phase 2 usually lasts another 4 weeks before first chance to phase up again.

  • Same marching rules as phase 1

  • Same Liberty times as phase 1

  • Civilian clothing authorized between 1605 Friday to 0015 Monday

  • Operation of a POV or rental car IS authorized.

  • OFF-SITE consumption of alcohol authorized BY THOSE OF LEGAL AGE (21y across the navy) on weekends and holidays. {NOTE: THIS is the single most common thing that get's people reduced in rank and re-rated, and, if you lied about it, heaven help you that you aren't dishonorably discharged on the spot.[and there are much better/easier options to get out if you want a new rate.]}

  • Weekday liberty is allowed off NWS (Naval Weapons Station) in uniform of the day.

PRT = Physical Readiness Test – SAT = Satisfactory - {3 "hits" or less in an inspection is SAT, 0 hits is outstanding, 4-5 hits is UNSAT, 6 or more hits is GROSSLY UNSAT.} {phase up strictly based on room/uniform inspections being SAT, PRT SAT medium or higher, and good conduct (no rule breaking)}. Not based on academic performance on tests. Those determine required study hours.

Phase 3: same requirements over again as phase 2

  • Don't have to march (Yay!, but make sure you aren't late for your new muster times or you'll be back to it.)

  • Liberty expires 0015 each night proceeding an academic day. (meaning no Friday and Saturday curfew, but 0015 Sunday night/Monday morning you need to be back in BEQ.)

  • Civilian clothes authorized during the week. (AFTER you are dismissed from class or 1605, 4:05 pm, whichever is later.)

Hooray, phase 3 still has an ~75 mile radius restriction,(you need a special chit to go farther) but other than that, do your job on time and with full effort, then you are free.

Hope this helps. - N.

Additional comments he made to me when I asked for some clarification:

Physical Readiness Test Note: chart in article only shows Alpha(17-19) Male category

NWS is the base (not the site), it stands for Naval Weapons Station. On base we are allowed off-site (on base) in NWU's, Navy Working Uniform ( OFF base phase 1 and 2 must wear the dress or service uniforms (which have nice clear identifying name tags pinned on them for accountability). Phase 3 is allowed civvies while off base, no uniform required. Also, off base the NWU's are only authorized transiting to and from work with some allowed brief stops. uniform of the day on Friday is dress uniform until after 1605, then it's optional between dress, service, and working as long as the above rules are followed.

Yes, thank you for sharing the info and let your sailor know how much we appreciate it.  

Thanks for sharing!

Wow, you have a real communicator! I have never gotten much detail out of my son at any phase of his 4 years of service, and we talk to him about every week when he isn't at sea. Although, when he was in nuke school he would regularly report on stupid things smart people did. (The best stories were an incident involving an alligator narrowly escaping misadventure with some sailors, and another that started "There is a valve -- I can't tell you where it is or what it is for -- you have to turn it like 100 times...".)


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