Hampton Roads NROTC

Hampton Roads HRNROTC Submarine Warfare

Submarine Warfare

Nuclear-powered fast-attack and ballistic missile submarines form a vital part of Americaís national defense. Utilizing the advantage of stealth coupled with the awesome endurance of nuclear propelled submarines the U. S. Submarine Force has played an invaluable role in the defense of our country in this century. Whether it is conducting Tomahawk missile strikes in the Persian Gulf or other theatres, collecting intelligence, or inserting SEAL's in Special Operations the submarine force provides an agile and flexible deterrent against all those who would threaten the United State's security.

In order to be selected for this career field, the midshipman or officer candidate must interview with the head of Naval Reactors in Washington D.C. Following this selection an accession bonus is paid while the student is still in college (First Installment of the bonus is $15,000). A strong math and physical science background is necessary to succeed in the challenging nuclear power environment. The interviews test the applicant's basic knowledge of technical subjects such as Calculus and Physics. See links below for assistance with preparations for nuclear interview.

After commissioning, submarine officers begin their training by attending Naval Nuclear Power School (NNPS) located in Charleston, South Carolina. Upon completion of NNPS, officers will report to nuclear power prototype training in either Charleston, South Carolina or Ballston Spa, New York where they will get "hands-on" knowledge of what it takes to operate a nuclear power plant. Following the completion of the prototype training the last installment of the accession bonus is paid (currently $2000).The last phase of training before reporting to the submarine includes Submarine Officer Basic Course in Groton, Connecticut. In addition to basic pay and benefits, submarine officers receive submarine pay and also may qualify for annual bonuses.

What to expect and Bring at Nuke Interview -


Dress Uniform of the Day (Summer Whites or Service Dress Blue)
Reading Material (for between the interviews)
Cash (for train fare or parking)

The Day Before the Interview
1200-1800 Drive to Crystal City, check into the hotel
1800-1900 Dinner in hotel or in surrounding Crystal City establishments
2000 - Relax~!!

The Day of the Interview
0500-0600 Breakfast and travel via train or bus to the Washington Navy Yard. The train ride will take approximately 15-20 minutes depending on commuter load, so use discretion with your traveling time.
Transportation: Allow for 40 minute trip from the hotel to NR via the METRO. If you are not in Crystal City, adjust the time using a map. Plan to arrive at NR between 0700-0715. If you are using a POV to get to D.C., be advised that parking is very limited at the Navy Yard. Leave the vehicle at the hotel and use the METRO.
0700-0715 Meet with the Nuclear Program Coordinator at NAVSEA (08) building.
0730-1200 Technical interviews
1200-1300 Lunch (Food court is located across the street with ATM provided)
1300-1600 Interview with Admiral Donald. After the interview, all selected for the nuclear fleet will complete paperwork for the nuclear accession bonus and duty preference sheet to request an NPS class and TEMDU station.

Info about Technical Interviews - Design engineers who work at Naval Reactors conduct the technical interviews in the morning. Most are civilians with specific areas of expertise. If you are an EE, you will interview with the EEís (and most other candidates will interview with people of the same background). The interviews last thirty minutes to an hour a piece and are one on one. Most people have two technical interviews. Some may have a third interview. The only thing you need to bring to the interview is a writing instrument (paper will be provided by the interviewer).

Technical Interview Details

Technical Interview Hints

Info and Strategy About the Personal Interview - Personal Interviews:

This page also contains the type of personal questions most often asked by Admiral Donald. You may also be asked some of these questions during the first 5-10 minutes of your technical interviews. Keep these in mind when answering them:

Interview Strategy - Consider the purpose of the Naval Reactors technical interviews. The interviewers are attempting to determine if you are the type of person who can be in charge of a nuclear power plant. For instructor candidates, are you dynamic enough to teach a wide range of technical subjects to extremely intelligent students? The interviewers are projecting you into these roles.

When given a technical problem, use standard problem solving techniques (i.e. write down the problem with given information, known relationships, diagrams as necessary).

Make sure that your answer is reasonable!

Talk your way through the solution. This is very important. The interviewer is as interested in your thought processes as he is in your final answer. At times, he/she will stop you before you arrive at the final answer if you show an adequate understanding of the problem. Also, an interviewer is more inclined to help you if you show some basic understanding and if he knows you may have problems.

Anything on your transcripts is fair game. However, most questions will focus on calculus, physics and your major.

Be positive! When asked about weakness on your transcript, acknowledge it and say what you have done about it.

Answer thoroughly and expansively. Tie in your answers to fundamental principles.

Show perseverance! Do not give up on a problem. NEVER, ever say, "I donít know". Uttering these words can prove fatal.

Grades get you to the interview. They do not get you selected. Motivation and enthusiasm are as important as technical ability.

Info about Admiral's Interview - The Admiral will determine in less than five minutes whether or not you will become a nuclear officer in the Navy. The Admiral has your transcript and write up from your interviews. If he asks you how the interviews went, be honest since he knows what his staff has told him. If an interview went poorly, let him know you think you didnít do well. If you had a poor semester, be prepared to answer why your grades were poor. (DO NOT say, ďI didnít apply myself that semester,Ē and leave it at that, even if you really didnít apply yourself that semester, what did you learn from the event and how has it shaped you since then.

By the time you interview with the Admiral, there is nothing you can do about your previous interviews or your transcripts, but you have complete control over how you present yourself. First impression is the only thing you will leave him with, so they are extremely important. A firm handshake (if offered), strong voice and good eye contact are mandatory. He rarely asks technical questions. Remember, the Admiral will be trying to imagine you on the bridge of a warship or in control of a submarine, before a room of extremely competitive students (Instructor), or maintaining the impeccable design standards of Naval Reactors (NR Engineer). He asks most people "Why do you want to do this?~ You should have an answer ready. Above all else, be honest and professional.

Example Questions asked by the Admiral: