JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. , –
On Feb. 25, family and friends of Nuclear Power School Class 1006 gathered in Rickover Circle on Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, to recognize the hard work of their Sailors in completing the rigorous Nuclear Power School curriculum.
The guest speaker was Master Chief Petty Officer Jerry Pittman, Command Master Chief, Navy Recruiting District, Phoenix, Ariz. During his speech, Master Chief Pittman emphasized the historical significance of an all-volunteer military force.
"The Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns represent the first protracted large-scale conflicts since our Revolutionary War fought entirely by volunteers," Master Chief Pittman said. "No major war in our history has been fought with a smaller percentage of this country's citizens in uniform full time."
He also thanked the friends and family of the Sailors for their support, pointing out that the devotion of family is a more private form of sacrifice in serving the nation.
Navy Capt. Thomas Bailey, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command commanding officer also addressed students and guests during the ceremony.
"Our graduates today ... share the common bond of completing "Nuke School," joining a fraternity of more than 110,000 strong, responsible for more than 50 years of safe, accident-free reactor operations around the world," Captain Bailey said.
He congratulated the students and then thanked the staff for their diligence in ensuring the success of yet another class. The ceremony completes what is considered by many to be the Navy's most difficult academic program.
Students arrive at NNPTC for the initial training phase for officer and enlisted personnel selected for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. The school provides fundamental in-rate training and basic reactor plant theory needed to produce safe and trusted Naval nuclear propulsion plant watchstanders.
The top officer graduate class graduate receives the Vice Admiral Behrens award, which was established in 1986 to honor the first director of Nuclear Power School. L.t. j.g. Chloe Gorski received the award with a 3.78 overall average.
The top graduate for the enlisted class is known as the class honorman. Electrician's Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Turner was named honorman for Class 1006.
All graduates of Class 1006 will proceed in the nuclear training pipeline by attending the six-month prototype curriculum in Charleston, S.C. or Ballston Spa, N.Y., before their ultimate duty station onboard a nuclear powered aircraft carrier or submarine.
Since the commissioning of the Navy's first nuclear powered vessel, USS Nautilus in 1955, Navy ships and submarines have steamed more than 140 million miles on nuclear power. The success of the nuclear program can be attributed to the excellence of the training and the commitment of its service members.
For more information about the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command and its history, visit NNPTC's official website at https://www.netc.navy.mil/nnptc.