[Electronics Technician First Class (Submarines), United States Navy]
Submarine Dolphins
Navy Unit Commendation Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Battle E Good Conduct Medal Navy Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy Arctic Service Ribbon Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

This page is about the job I held throughout my mid-twenties - as a Sailor in the World's Finest Navy. Below is a chronology of important dates in my service.

27 December 2002First inquiry to recruiter at Naval Recruiting Station, Huntington, NY.
8-9 January 2003Initial visit to Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), Fort Hamilton, NY. Signed four-year enlistment agreement and two-year extension for nuclear training.
19 May 2003Beginning of active service. Reported to Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL (aka "boot camp"), as a Seaman (paygrade E-3).
18 July 2003Graduated boot camp, Division 217, Class of 2003.
26 July 2003Detached from RTC Great Lakes; reported to Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Charleston, SC.
4 August 2003Commenced Nuclear Field "A" School.
30 January 2004Graduated Nuclear Field "A" School as honorman of Class 0345-T with a GPA of 3.774. Frocked* to Electronics Technician Third Class (ET3).
16 February 2004Officially advanced to ET3.
24 May 2004Received security clearance, clearing the way to attend Nuclear Power School.
14 June 2004Commenced Nuclear Power School.
19 November 2004Graduated Nuclear Power School, second among ETs and fourth out of 340 overall, with a GPA of 3.881. Detached from NNPTC Charleston.
6 December 2004Reported to Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, New York. Assigned to S8G prototype.
1 May 2005Passed final qualification board, qualifiying Reactor Operator at S8G.
10 May 2005Received orders to USS Hartford (SSN 768), homeported in Groton, CT.
20 May 2005Finished NPTU fourth out of 120 at S8G, with a GPA of 3.20. Detached from NPTU Ballston Spa.
8 June 2005Change duty orders are modified by Bureau of Naval Personnel; I'm now assigned to USS Memphis (SSN 691), also homeported in Groton. Since I'm on transfer leave, I am not informed of the change.
22 June 2005Reported to Naval Submarine Base New London; this is when I find out about the ORDMOD, and that Memphis is currently on deployment. Waiting commences.
1 September 2005Fly to Guam to meet Memphis; officially checked aboard the boat.
12 October 2005Inducted into the Northern Domain of the Polar Bear, more commonly known as Blue Nose.
3 November 2005Memphis returns to Groton, receiving a hero's welcome following an immensely successful deployment.
5 December 2005 Frocked to Electronics Technician Second Class, having been selected for advancement based on results of September 2005 exam.
16 January 2006Officially advanced to ET2.
7 July 2006Initiated as a "shellback", having crossed the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere.
6 August 2006Memphis returns to Groton after three months at sea on a surge deployment for which she was specially picked.
19 September 2006Awarded the "dolphins", signifiying qualification in submarines.
26 October 2006Qualified Reactor Operator on Memphis.
19 May 2007Qualified Shutdown Reactor Operator on Memphis (senior in-rate watchstation).
21 May 2007Memphis returns from its unexpectedly long "surge deployment".
27 June 2007Memphis arrives at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability.
8 May 2008Memphis returns to Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, following completion of PIRA.
1 October 2008I am awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for my work during the PIRA.
25 November 2008Frocked to Electronics Technician First Class, having been selected for advancement based on results of September 2008 exam.
23 April 2009Detached from Memphis. Awarded a second Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for my service during this tour.
16 May 2009Officially advanced to ET1.
18 May 2009Active duty obligation expires at 2400Q. Immediately thereafter, I return ID card to the Navy.

("Frocked" is a Navy term meaning a Sailor selected for advancement gets to wear the insignia for his new paygrade, and has the accompanying responsibilities, but isn't getting the pay raise yet.)

What did I do on Memphis? As a member of Reactor Controls Division, I worked on the instrumentation and control gear that lets us know the condition of the reactor plant and allows us to safely operate the reactor without releasing radiation to the environment. I was also the Logroom Yeoman from April 2008 to February 2009, and with that comes primary responsibility for a majority of the engineering department's administration - including preparing those records for examination.

The ribbons pictured at the top - with the submarine insignia (the "dolphins") above them - are:

Top row: Navy Unit Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Second row: Navy "E" Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal
Third row: National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Bottom row: Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon
Last updated 1 August 2009.

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