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switching out of submarines

dirkpitt1211

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Good afternoon all.  I am looking for advice to change from submarines to general navy service on kingston class boats (same power platform, very little cross training required).  Sustainment has made it VERY clear that i am not going anywhere as I am 1 of 4 qualified op certs able to sail and do the job.  this is not what i want anymore.  yes i understand i signed a contract, but several of my other trade submariners have made the successful jump to general service, but seemed to have an inside edge.  The BPSO i saw last time, sided with sustainment and my last 2 applications were squashed at the unit level and HQ level before even making it out of the building.
short of being insubordinate, what do you suggest as a work around?  My options so far are go crazy or release, neither are truthful or honourable in my opinion.

would really appreciate an insiders point of view
thanks!
 

ModlrMike

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Have you spoken to your career manager? Why would you need to see the BPSO to change platforms?
 

Pelorus

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I'm not an "insider" in the sense of being a submariner, but have friends who are in the community and have helped subordinates through BPSO matters in the past.

Unfortunately for your situation, you are qualified in a class of vessel which the RCN prioritizes very highly, and in a trade which is also in exceptionally high demand at the moment as evidenced by what the BPSO told you.

Without knowing the details of your ex-submariner colleagues, those who have successfully returned to the surface fleet were likely the result of one or more of the following conditions:

a) a healthier trade which would not be significantly impacted by removing them from the submarine world;
b) diagnosis of a new mental or physical health condition which precludes submarine service (but still allows the member to be fit for seagoing duty on the surface);
c) a failure within the training system in which the submarine service concludes that the member is unlikely to be successful in the future if given further attempts; or much less likely
d) an "inside edge" as you put it.

Despite rumours of this nature always being prevalent, I suspect that d) is quite rare in actual fact since the sustainment of submarine crews is a major strategic issue and decisions to lose submariners (especially in trades which don't have as many qualified pers as they'd like) are almost certainly made at a much higher level than in other areas of the RCN.

There is also no guarantee that you would be able to serve in the Kingston-class if you were to return to the surface fleet. Despite equipment commonality you are just as likely to be retrained for the Halifax-class if the need is there.

In reality, the only sure-fire way to leave submarines aside from points b) or c) above is to submit your release. If the Kingston-class is what you want, given your qualifications it is highly likely that you could re-enroll as a full time reservist and serve in that class, but just be cognizant of the fact that there are pay and benefit impacts associated with full-time reserve service as opposed to being in the Reg Force. If you were to CT back to the Reg Force down the line it is also quite possible that you could be sent back to the submarines if the demand was still there.
 

dirkpitt1211

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Your absolutely correct @boot12, every avenue i have looked at has been restricted by my unfortunate skill set, and as much as i hate it, I am locked in it seems. 
@ModlrMike, the career manager for my trade takes his marching orders from the submarine career manager, who has overall say as to who goes where, or in submarines, who doesn't leave at all.  The BPSO is an option i have gone to twice and been shot down, one to air force mech tech and one to army vehicle tech.

Yes, the ones who did successfully make it out have faked their reasons to make it past the gate keeper, and has resulted in those members saving their marriages and family ties, being posted back home, etc.  The career manager doesn't care about such things lately as our numbers are so bad, we are in danger of being unable to support the platform at all.  This results in the remaining members (myself included) carrying double and triple the work load and not being advanced in favour of keeping the skill set where its used best.
And yes, the demand will always be prevalent as they are now forcing people to go subs in every trade class, eg, 2 out of 30 on a 3's course are told to go whether they want to or not.
I fear you are correct in that i will have to release and go a different element to break free from this jail, sad as it is, I love the sea, but if they are just going to make my life miserable, i'm choosing my family over the navy every time.

thank you both.


 

PuckChaser

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Seems RCN has a talent management problem much like the Army. Maybe they'll eventually figure out if you screw your top performers around (or people who are just generally unhappy in their trade), folks will just pull pin and then come back in a year or 2 in a new trade. Would RCN like to lose a sea-fit sailor from submarines, or from sailing altogether? You can always make it very competitive for people to transfer out with low OUTCAPs, but shutting them down before they even get a chance to apply just breeds discontent and poor morale IMO.
 

CBH99

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dirkpitt1211 said:
Your absolutely correct @boot12, every avenue i have looked at has been restricted by my unfortunate skill set, and as much as i hate it, I am locked in it seems. 
@ModlrMike, the career manager for my trade takes his marching orders from the submarine career manager, who has overall say as to who goes where, or in submarines, who doesn't leave at all.  The BPSO is an option i have gone to twice and been shot down, one to air force mech tech and one to army vehicle tech.

Yes, the ones who did successfully make it out have faked their reasons to make it past the gate keeper, and has resulted in those members saving their marriages and family ties, being posted back home, etc.  The career manager doesn't care about such things lately as our numbers are so bad, we are in danger of being unable to support the platform at all.  This results in the remaining members (myself included) carrying double and triple the work load and not being advanced in favour of keeping the skill set where its used best.
And yes, the demand will always be prevalent as they are now forcing people to go subs in every trade class, eg, 2 out of 30 on a 3's course are told to go whether they want to or not.
I fear you are correct in that i will have to release and go a different element to break free from this jail, sad as it is, I love the sea, but if they are just going to make my life miserable, i'm choosing my family over the navy every time.

thank you both.


It's sad to hear comments like this from honourable, well qualified people. 

Not because the comments are in any way petty - but because the Navy has chosen to put people like yourself in such a position that they feel they NEED to release in order to remain sane, or keep their family in one piece.



You stated that 2 out of 30 are being told they are going submarines whether they like it or not.  Is there any hope that as the Navy pumps more people into the undersea world, that your situation may get better?? 


Regardless, I truly wish you all the best. 
 

misratah500

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hate to say it bud, but there is no going back from subs if you're fit and capable. you're only option is component transfer to reserves, or just VR. VR is probably faster. if you have the cash to hang out for a year.
 

NavyShooter

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An old friend of mine 'got out' of the submarine world a couple of years ago, and managed to stay in the surface fleet.

I was 'selected' in 2003 for sub screening, and was green right up to the point that they looked at my left ear-drum....my tympanic membrane (sp?) is 1/3 of the expected thickness- no impact on hearing, but direct impact on ability to withstand pressure.  Outcome was that after my Friday morning specialist appointment, (when I was to have started course on Monday) my sub/dive category got dropped to being unfit.  Result?  An empty seat and some really dirty looks from the submarine world at me for a long time. 

The 'selection' happened to have come 3 days after I'd been doing some repair work on a computer at ST(A) Sub Staff....and they found out I was a NET(A)...so they 'selected' me. 

The request I'd submitted to defer my position on the course until 6 months later to allow me to take parental leave was rejected....so....in the end, I stayed a skimmer, went back to a ship instead of a sub course, then went on Parental leave from the ship (during a refit period.)

Your options are....slim....from you've described. 

Sad to lose another skilled sailor/technician. 
 

Eye In The Sky

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dirkpitt1211 said:
Good afternoon all.  I am looking for advice to change from submarines to general navy service on kingston class boats (same power platform, very little cross training required).  Sustainment has made it VERY clear that i am not going anywhere as I am 1 of 4 qualified op certs able to sail and do the job.  this is not what i want anymore.  yes i understand i signed a contract, but several of my other trade submariners have made the successful jump to general service, but seemed to have an inside edge. The BPSO i saw last time, sided with sustainment and my last 2 applications were squashed at the unit level and HQ level before even making it out of the building.
short of being insubordinate, what do you suggest as a work around?  My options so far are go crazy or release, neither are truthful or honourable in my opinion.

would really appreciate an insiders point of view
thanks!

Do you have any obligatory service left to fulfill?  If not...the BPSO shop should be playing by the rules.  Your CO etc can't stop an application from going forward;  I fought this battle with a RCN CofC and won in 2007.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Eye In The Sky said:
Do you have any obligatory service left to fulfill?  If not...the BPSO shop should be playing by the rules.  Your CO etc can't stop an application from going forward;  I fought this battle with a RCN CofC and won in 2007.

That is an excellent point and one I missed in the initial post. Your unit CoC cannot stop an application going to the BPSO...they do not have to give your their support or glowing recommendation, but I have personal experience saying that neither are necessary to succeed.

Another thing that may have been overlooked. Every subordinate can make application to see their Commanding Officer about a personal matter, meaning you do do have to discuss it with your Div PO/Div O. Never underestimate the power of an interview with the CO where you put your cards on the table. Often, COs are unaware of a lot things in their units. What have you got to lose at this point by bringing him/her into the loop?
 

Furniture

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I'm not sitting in front of a work machine right now, but I've heard it through the grapevine that D Mil C is the approving authority when switching from subs to surface. Might be worth chatting with your occupation advisor about.
 
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