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Old 11-18-2015, 08:47 PM   #1
199nein
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Default Stay enlisted or go officer? Also ELT...

I'm just curious about everyones opinion about staying enlisted vs going officer. At this point in time, I'm considering staying enlisted, though I have been told I would be highly competitive when applying for STA 21. I've heard people say that if you wanna stay in for the full 20 or more, then do enlisted, but if you plan on getting out before the 20 is up go for officer. I remember reading that if you don't make a new rank as an officer every 3 years or so your career is over for all intents and purposes, where as staying enlisted for the full 20 (or more) is much more doable. Also, there is the fact that enlisted nukes get reenlistment bonuses which really do add up and make the pay gap between enlisted vs officer negligible.

How much of what I've heard is bullshit, and how much is true? Anyone have any opinions about this?

Also, I know what MMs, EMs, and ETs do, but what about ELT? I know I would have to be a MM then qualify in order to become an ELT, but what is it that they actually do? Is it worth it? I'm currently waffling on trying to become an ELT or if I should just stick to asking for ET.

Any and all input on these topics would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:07 PM   #2
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The length of service doesn't really have an impact on whether you should go officer or enlisted. People do both and have full careers.
It really depends on what you want to do. Officers tend to be more management-type positions (lots of paperwork and meetings) whereas enlisted sailors do the hands on work.

Advancement for officers actually isn't like that. You make O2 automatically at 2 years and O3 at 4 years, 1 month. After that it's based on a selection board. Most people are O3s for 5-8 years (you do a shore tour and at least one sea tour as an LT). Advancement right now is actually pretty good.

Reenlistment bonuses come and go.

If you're nuclear qualified you may retain your nuke special pay.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 199nein View Post
I'm just curious about everyones opinion about staying enlisted vs going officer. At this point in time, I'm considering staying enlisted, though I have been told I would be highly competitive when applying for STA 21. I've heard people say that if you wanna stay in for the full 20 or more, then do enlisted, but if you plan on getting out before the 20 is up go for officer. I remember reading that if you don't make a new rank as an officer every 3 years or so your career is over for all intents and purposes, where as staying enlisted for the full 20 (or more) is much more doable. Also, there is the fact that enlisted nukes get reenlistment bonuses which really do add up and make the pay gap between enlisted vs officer negligible.

How much of what I've heard is bullshit, and how much is true? Anyone have any opinions about this?

Also, I know what MMs, EMs, and ETs do, but what about ELT? I know I would have to be a MM then qualify in order to become an ELT, but what is it that they actually do? Is it worth it? I'm currently waffling on trying to become an ELT or if I should just stick to asking for ET.

Any and all input on these topics would be greatly appreciated.
Engineering Laboratory Technicians (ELT's) are in charge of all Reactor and Steam Plant Chemistry as well as Radiological Controls (RADCON) on the ship/submarine. In a nutshell, wherever there is water in the plant (Reactor, Steam Generator, Feed/Condensate systems, auxiliary support systems) they will take samples of that water at the required frequencies, analyze it for different chemical parameters (and radioactivity if it is a reactor coolant sample), and adjust them as necessary. They also perform routine radiation and contamination surveys throughout the ship and provide coverage for work on any system containing radioactive (or potentially radioactive) liquid. ELT's also perform routine preventative maintenance on their analytical equipment and radiation survey instruments.

Sub ELT's do it all but on carriers they are more "unionized" in that some ELT's just do chemistry and some just do RADCON. (from what I've heard, anyway)

As an ELT (on a Sub at least) you will qualify on all of the Mechanical watch stations, but will probably get pigeon holed into a certain one because that watch station has the steam generator analysis cabinet on it. I refused to let that happen to me because I like being a mechanic too much.

As far as it being worth it, that's all a matter of perspective. It does give you an additional skill set that will make you a little more marketable to a civilian employer when the time comes. Even though I was "volun-told" to go to ELT school and I didn't really care for the RADCON part of the job (which is funny because that's what I'm currently doing in the civilian workforce), I would say it was probably a good thing.
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Last edited by scott.henry; 07-06-2017 at 11:34 AM.
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