Future Nuclear Propulsion Officers Tour USS Russell

A group of 18 college students from around the country who are interested in the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program visited the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) in San Diego, Jan. 15.

The students have all shown interest in the Navy, but have not yet committed, and most had never stepped on board a warship before. As part of the program, each prospective candidate goes on a short visit designed to show them what life would be like as a naval officer on a surface vessel. A similar visit gives them a taste of life on a submarine. The tours are one of the first steps in a rigorous application process for the NUPOC program.

Once accepted into the NUPOC program, there are four avenues for candidates to choose from: naval reactors, nuclear power school instructor, submarine, and surface. If the candidate chooses to join the surface nuclear community, he or she will first complete a standard surface warfare officer first tour before going to nuclear power school.

After they toured the ship, the students were met with the ship’s fire control officer, public affairs officer, auxiliary officer, and first lieutenant who gave accounts of ship life to the students, followed by a question and answer session.

Russell is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron One. The ship and crew are currently in the basic training phase as they prepare for a future deployment.

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Image: US Navy