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I have been reading the posts to this group regularly - especially over the past few weeks and I have to say I'm more than concerned.  

My son is scheduled to leave for boot camp in December but has requested to leave sooner. 

He has 2 associate degrees - one in Diesel Technology and one in Power Generation. 

When he went to MEPS he accepted a rating for avionics technician (probably not the right technical term) but after he signed, someone at MEPS called him out and said someone in Pittsburgh PA had looked at his ASVAB's and wanted him for nuclear and did he want to do that.  He of course said yes as he was told how prestigious it was and not everyone gets that offer and he "had what it takes" etc. 

He (and we) EXPECT It to be hard but I didn't expect to be reading about a high suicide occurence among sailors in the program and people being dishonorably discharged from the Navy if they aren't successful  I don't expect hand holding but I would think it is in the Navy's best interest to invest in their sailors to be successful and that there would be an infrastructure in place to help that.  

My son was in a technical program.  He is has not had college level chemistry and the physics he took in college was technically oriented. While he is a bright young man - rapid assimilation of book knowledge with no access to tutors or a support structure is probably not a good recipe for his success.  It must be a very special high school graduate who makes it through this program with that kind of knowledge needed.  Although my son is 22 years old, I wonder if he got picked "out of a lineup" just to fill a spot. 

Since his not officially obligated until he walks across the gate at boot camp, maybe he needs to pursue a different rating before he ever leaves for boot camp. 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you to all who offered your insight and wisdom to my post.  It has definitely given me a stronger sense of what is ahead and allayed my concerns.  I am not a stranger to the concept of sending kids away - my son is one of four children and all have left home and gone to college and we've managed various struggles along the way. While I understand that suicide in general is present in all communities whether they be where you live, where you go to school or the military, it gave me some pause to read several parents respond that in various groups - there were suicides in the program. We have personally been affected by a young man who took his own life a few years ago do it feels a little more real when you've been personally exposed to it. In the military I recognize my husband's and my ability to have a true sense of my son's state of mind will be very small as compared to civilian settings.  

All that being said, I found your reassurances to be very helpful and comforting. Your advice is appreciated and I will make every effort to do as a few of you suggested - calm down and take a deep breath.  

I definitely did not intend to imply that I didn't have faith or confidence in my future sailor.  I absolutely do and we will make sure he is absolutely clear that he has our full support - whether he makes it or not in the Nuke program.  Whatever will be, will be and we will let it play out as such. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.  

sailormom - glad we could be of help!  That's one thing you will find with this group - we are all here for each other - through the good, the bad & the ugly - one way or another we'll get through this together.  Hang in there - and for the record I don't doubt your faith or confidence in your future sailor - there's nothing wrong with info gathering so you can help your sailor be well prepared for whatever the Navy offers!  Keep us updated ;-)

Thanks again! It will be awhile before we get to A school if he doesn't get the call to report early.  He is more than ready to start the journey so for his sake I hope he doesn't have to wait until December. :) 

Bump - so I can find this easier. New moms - there are a lot of encouraging words here and I don't have time to read them all at the moment!

Hi Again,

I am glad that reassurances were helpful.  And I guess I was off about the 90/95% in my comment of the other day.  My son says he is in an unusual class where 90/95% are making it.
However, I was also reassured as I read over and looked through how many guys/gals were re-rating when the Nuke program was just too much.

Also, do you know how many groups there were suicides in?  One problem is that once there is a suicide in a group, there is a very high statistical chance of another suicide or two. That is why they send in the suicide prevention teams when it happens on a college campus or at a High School. Does anyone know if the Navy does a suicide prevention training, especially after a suicide happens?

Warmly,

K

No, I don't know how many suicides there were.  One person posted about it happening last week or so and others responded that that had happened in previous groups so it's hard to tell.  

The Navy does a LOT of suicide prevention training.

If your son as AS in Diesel and Power Generation, he probably has a good start on being a great MM or EM. So the Navy will probably make him an ET, because its the Navy.
If he has signed a nuke contract, they are not likely to process a DAR to change him to another rate. But don't worry unnecessarily, he'll be fine. One warning: boot camp changes them. Same person, but a little different. My son speaks a little differently, carries himself differently, and looks much different (its the haircut and the muscles).
As someone else noted, they don't get discharged for failing the nuke program, they get discharged for misconduct. My son was dropped from prototype, but as far as I can tell, while frustrated, was never excessively stressed out. He is currently awaiting orders to a new school, so while it is a setback after 18 months of hard work, it isn't the end of his Navy career.

I don't think suicide is all that common. My son said it happened I think once during his 2 years there and there was one motorcycle accident. W laughed that the third floor of the barrack had suicide prevention posters. 

Thanks to everyone who responded to Very Concerned. My grandson graduates BC next Friday then on to Nuke school. I have been very concerned about how difficult it may be but everyone's positivity makes me feel so much better. Hopefully he will make it in Nuke school but if not it's good to know he has other options. It is great to know I can come to this site and get answers to questions I may have. Thank you all so much.

It is a few years now since mine was at GC, however, FYI, A lot have posted that that when pushed their kids did well here. Mine was a very average High School student. I homeschooled till High School so I was disappointed with his grades once in school. When they tested him before hand he tested three grade levels ahead and college reading level. Anyway. turns out he was bored. His brain is always going and they did not challenge him so he didn't try. Once in the navy he told me he was being challenged and he loved it. He graduated 2nd in his class for Power school. It is hard and stressful and not all can handle the stress. The instructors though do all they can to help them do well. One of the hard aspects is that all being classified info, nothing leaves the class rooms. No homework. They get it there, or they don't. I believe there are off class times in the classroom to study if they need help.

It really is an honor to be accepted into the Nuke program.  My daughter has been a Nuke for 5 years and in her second and last deployment.  The school is a very hard program, however the instructors are there literally until midnight to help them get through the school.  If the student is not doing well they will have extra hours to their days they are required to complete in the classroom.  This helps them to be successful with the program.  It is a lot of work, however my daughter tells me they teach you how to learn, how to study, and the discipline you need to be successful with the program.  I know that she is well prepared to go to any college and complete any course because of the way the program is taught.  It's not just memorizing a bunch of stuff, it's about learning each and every step of the way.  You are constantly being tested and meeting qualifications the entire time they are in the Navy to ensure you know what you are doing.  She is always learning more stuff, but having these challenges helps her to be prepared for college or working in the Nuclear Field.  The Navy will find another job for them if they can not complete the school, however they try in every way possible to help them succeed including some of the best instructors in the country.  The students that are discharged from the Navy are the ones that usually get in trouble outside of the Navy and are usually given a couple of strikes before that happens.  I think the only issues I saw while my daughter was in Nuke school was getting in trouble for drinking and driving, buying alcohol for minors (who got in trouble for drinking and driving) or some type of illegal activity.  Just warn you son not to break the law and he should be fine.

 Please warn him about relationships.  It seems that there were a lot of short relationships and marriages that appeared to be" fake" for a lack of better words.  There is alimony in South Carolina and my daughter had several friends that got married after only a few months of dating only to have their spouse cheat on them or divorce them within 6 months.   They had to pay for their ex-spouse's education and support them while they are in college.  It seems like a way for people to get their college paid for and being supported while going to school.   Sadly, there are a lot of people out there that take advantage of our military. 

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