Good afternoon Reddit. I am Jon Rennie, veteran ballistic missile submarine officer and I just published a book called “[All in the Same Boat](https://www.amazon.com/Jon-Rennie/e/B07RZV7QVF))”. I am the CEO of Peak Demand Utility Products and I am here to help you become a leader worth following.

Employees quit because they don't make enough for what they do and their boss is not worth dealing with. Most managers/supervisors don't have control over pay/budgets/job structure… but they do have control over their own leadership style. You don't have to be the boss everyone thinks is an asshole. There ARE ways to lead your team in a way that they want to invite you to a beer at the end of the day but still respect and follow you.

Serving as a submarine officer, in charge of the most powerful weapon platform, at times helped me to realize you can’t take advantage of your team. They have to be at their peak at all times including morale, fatigue and motivation. Simply managing a submarine to a goal is not enough to accomplish a mission, you must empower and lead your force to victory.

I want to help you lead them to victory.... but I also want to talk about submarines, torpedoes, nuclear weapons, nuclear power, the Cold War…. is the Hunt for Red October really better than Das Boot?…. Ask me anything.

Proof? Check this out https://twitter.com/jonsrennie/status/1393670776616898563 or this https://jonsrennie.com/

Comments: 1129 • Responses: 105  • Date: 

Classicaleducator253 karma

What are some ways to boost employee morale?

rigged_for_sea763 karma

Simple things like asking how they are doing, remembering their birthday, thanking them for staying late, filling the break room with snacks and drinks, being present, giving them flexibility.

Chazmer87217 karma

How long could a modern sub stay at sea if it had to? Presumably food and water are the primary factors.

rigged_for_sea375 karma

Yes. Food, coffee, and toilet paper are the main problems. The fuel can last decades.

Overlord-of-Robots151 karma

Note that coffee is a separate and distinct requirement. So true. Same for the aviation community. Anchors Aweigh!

rigged_for_sea303 karma

So true! The coffee pots on the boat were fed from power from the vital bus. When everything shut off on the sub, the coffee kept going.

1PantherA33103 karma

Why not bidets?

rigged_for_sea86 karma

Haha. Good point!

torgofjungle61 karma

This really is a good point. My former boat almost ran out of TP one deployment, we managed to stretch things out, the captain would not have been happy if we had had to leave station due to TP

rigged_for_sea24 karma

Kimwipes.

Chazmer87101 karma

So how long? A maximum must've been calculated

rigged_for_sea208 karma

4-5 months if you load up enough stores.

RussianBotOnUnicycle81 karma

A nuclear submarine is limited only by food, they use either reverse osmosis or an evaporator to make water and split water through electrolysis to make breathable oxygen. All waste pumped overboard.

rigged_for_sea120 karma

Russian Bot or submariner? hmm

Mirda76de158 karma

Since that so called UFO/UAP stories goes around from US Navy and US Air forces... Did you ever encounter, or do you know eny authentic story, that involves unidentified submersible objects, or USO? Apparently Russians have some official reports from there submarines commanders...

Leftfeet169 karma

I was a sonar tech on a submarine. There are a lot of strange sounds in the ocean. Especially in the Arctic. Ice makes a lot of noise and a lot of weird noises. I listened to the ice sounding like a crying baby. I heard it sound like a lawn mower.

There are tons of difficult to explain sounds out there. We recorded several and tracked a few closely.

rigged_for_sea145 karma

Snapping shrimp!

rigged_for_sea139 karma

I didn't have any of those experiences, sadly. That would have made a great sea story!

Easy_Independent_313151 karma

How would you suggest a subordinate deal with a boss who is defensive?

rigged_for_sea571 karma

The way I see it is that you only have one life and it's short. I highly suggest you discuss (in private) with the boss that has this behavior and explain how it affects you and your performance. One of three things will happen. They will either change for the better, not change at all, or begin to make you life tougher for bringing it up. Once you know their reaction, you make the decision to stay or go. Don't be a victim. Do what you need to do to be happy. Go where you are celebrated not just tolerated.

Easy_Independent_31386 karma

Yes! Thank you! As a group, we’ve tried talking with her but she just got super defensive. We are so sad because we thought she was going to be a great boss.

rigged_for_sea62 karma

That's too bad.

VolvoFlexer115 karma

About real leadership - Trump said we have super duper missiles.
Do we have super duper missiles?

rigged_for_sea351 karma

Yes. They're yuge.

davoloid112 karma

Living in Space is somewhat similar to a submarine in that you have a group of people in a confined metal tube. Given that we are getting close to larger vehicles and journeys, possibly 9 month trips to Mars, what lessons can we learn from submarine life when thinking about crew space, routines, staving off boredom?

rigged_for_sea121 karma

Great question. I think submariners are the ones that should be selected for long missions. I mean, you have to stay busy to stave off boredom. We trained hard and studied for qualifications. There was so much to do that we never got too bored (except standing watch in the engine room - that was dull)

dreamysleepy104 karma

Do submarines from different nations ever acknowledge each other ? I would imagine if US and Nato subs would bump into each other, there would be some banter, but if lets say US encounter Russian or China sub by accident (or not an accident) will there be some sort of exchange? Trade foods? Maybe movies?

SoulScout168 karma

I was a crewman on a submarine for a short time and there is definitely an inherent respect submariners have for each other regardless of nation. I remember one of my instructors telling us a story about how he ended up in the same room as some Russian sailors in uniform while overseas (I don't remember specifics) and he was able to trade his submarine warfare pin (the metal one they wear on their chest) with one of the russian submariners for his submarine pin. I can't imagine many other circumstances where non-allied military forces would consensually trade earned uniform items like that.

rigged_for_sea107 karma

It's a special community.

rigged_for_sea153 karma

There is a true brotherhood between all submariners. We have respect for each other even if we are on different sides. I think it would also be fun for submarine crews from other countries to get to share stories

CorrectPeanut5100 karma

One of the best managers I had said he had one job when he was hiring people. Making sure we don't hire an asshole. His belief was one bad apple would do more to undermine the team than anything else. Do you believe that? And what do you do when you inherit a team that has an asshole or two?

rigged_for_sea115 karma

Great advice but sometimes (even when you try your best) you hire an asshole. Yes. A rotten apple will spoil the bunch. Get rid of these people.

JPRCR97 karma

Hi Jon, what are those elements of movies and pop culture that are not true about working/living in a submarine (especially nuclear power ones) that you always wanted to clarify?

rigged_for_sea277 karma

The always show the ocean bottom. In truth, the ocean is very deep and don't get that close to the bottom ever...unless something goes wrong

LOLTROLDUDES87 karma

We used to have submarines launching nukes (ballistic missile subs), then we had subs powered by nukes (submarines with nuclear reactors) and you were the officer of a submarine powered by nukes that launches nukes. Where do you think the future of submarine technology will take us?

rigged_for_sea213 karma

Probably submerged drones and autonomous subs. The crew was always the limiting factor.

LOLTROLDUDES26 karma

Also can you describe the most interesting in-combat point of your career or has your career been relatively peaceful?

rigged_for_sea109 karma

I was at sea during the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, known as the August Coup. It was a failed attempt made by Communist leaders of the Soviet Union to take control of the country from Mikhail Gorbachev. We didn't know who had control of nukes. That was pretty scary.

riskcreator86 karma

Once the training is done and it’s time to get the team to act How do you get them to “take the plunge” and try something they don’t feel comfortable with? Similarly, if they’re trying a new task they’re not good at and they fail, how do you get them to scrape themselves up and put themselves in a vulnerable position again?

rigged_for_sea199 karma

Such a good question!! I cover this in my new book. I have a chapter called "Run your ship like a Captain" where I talk about how the captain always pressure-tested us. He wanted us to fail in a controlled environment so we could learn from our mistakes. Failure is the most powerful teaching tool. It is raw and emotional and we need failure to learn. I have a sub-chapter called "let them fail" which talks about how my first CO yelled at me for not letting my trainee fail (and learn)

Iamsman64 karma

sub-chapter

Ha

rigged_for_sea78 karma

I do what I can

Genius-Imbecile84 karma

What's your favorite type of taco? And do you agree providing employees tacos will improve productivity?

rigged_for_sea90 karma

All tacos are amazing and yes!

aaronthenia82 karma

Could you maybe expound on the level of danger of operating an older submarine versus a modern one in regards to technology/navigation, anything about how they operated back then that today seems pretty wild?

rigged_for_sea156 karma

After the Navy lost the USS Thresher, they put in place a program called SUBSAFE which made submarines much safer. Prior to that, submarining was notoriously dangerous. Still, one wrong move and you can lose a modern submarine.

engineerfrank72 karma

How would you inspire people from different backgrounds in these times of high controversy to work together harmoniously and to put their differences aside?

rigged_for_sea100 karma

Leadership is a people business. You need to get to know you team. In the Navy, we came from all walks of life and were locked in a metal tube for 3 months. We all had to get along is we wanted to complete our mission and return home to our families

engineerfrank28 karma

Thank you for you reply. When faced by something of that nature, such as navigating a submarine or a space shuttle, I do agree with you that people will put aside their differences to achieve the goal of safely reaching the end point but once they are off the ship or plane petty differences will take over. How do we inspire these polemic individuals to put aside their polarizing views permanently and work together for the bigger goal? I am sure you had to deal with many people of different cultural backgrounds in the Navy with strong ties to their roots with different views of what America is about (for example a Southerner views America differently compared to a Hawaiian). How do we get those individuals in a non-military environment to put aside their individual desires and to focus on the bigger goal? Also how do we cherish their backgrounds and promote respect?

rigged_for_sea51 karma

It can happen but you have to align the team towards a common mission. In most organization, there is so much internal conflict that nothing gets done. When you remind people that the "enemy" is outside the four walls and people believe it, they are less likely to point toward their fellow employees as the problem. You have to help employees identify their "tribe" as the team. Plus, you can't put up with ANY behavior that doesn't treat EVRY employee with respect. Respect is a big part of it.

R3dOctober43 karma

This is so true, the Arab historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun wrote in the 13th century that tribes and nations fall apart when people start to identify more strongly with the sub-groups than the larger group he called this necessary quality "asabiyyah" which is usually translated as something like "social cohesion".

rigged_for_sea16 karma

I like that!

OllieUnited1870 karma

How many pings?

rigged_for_sea130 karma

One ping only.

postcg62 karma

One ping, Vasily.

rigged_for_sea45 karma

Yes!

MonkiMemes66 karma

What are your thoughts on nuclear deterrents, think they are necessary or just an unnecessary threat?

rigged_for_sea164 karma

I think it worked when there was two relatively stable "nation states" pointing nukes at each other. I'm not sure how it works with unstable regimes.

shmeb064 karma

As an enlisted sailor bound for surface ships, how can lessons from an officer on subs apply to me?

rigged_for_sea124 karma

Even as an officer, you start as a NUB. A Non Useful Body. I had to get qualified to earn the respect of my shipmates. The more you know, the more valuable you are to your crew. You also have to have thick skin. I talk a lot of that in my new book. Your shipmates are always testing you to see if you are tough or fragile. A sense of humor definitely helps

Marducci107 karma

New Useless Bitch, you mean?

rigged_for_sea113 karma

Maybe

DownTheReddittHole57 karma

A close family member was on Nuclear Subs and got out of the Navy last year. Whenever anyone asks him about it he always says, "Check Wikipedia." My question for you: is my family member being a smart-ass or is most of the work conducted really that top secret?

Side question: How does it smell down there?

Thanks!

rigged_for_sea104 karma

I think he is just trying to stay out of trouble. There are a lot of secrets and we are the "silent service" for a reason. Yes it smells. Like farts and diesel fumes. You really notice it when you smell "fresh" air for the first time after being at sea several months.

BartInPC44 karma

Yup...first time you do laundry away from the boat...whew.

rigged_for_sea40 karma

it never comes out.

Classicaleducator54 karma

How was the food on the submarine?

rigged_for_sea108 karma

They get that part right. The food is pretty good on board...but the pizza was never all that great.

BenjaminWobbles53 karma

Is there land on the north pole, or can you drive a submarine around under there? Or is it frozen solid? What's up with the north pole?

rigged_for_sea200 karma

No land. Just ice and some guy with elves.

KingNeptune76738 karma

We break through the ice up there all the time!! Search for ICEX and you will see how it works. I was up there in 2004.

muklan31 karma

So...then you know the inconvenient truth about Santa....

rigged_for_sea95 karma

I can't talk about it

1amathrowaway52 karma

You said no actual secrets, so what is the most secretive sounding thing that people might not know, that you're allowed to tell us?

rigged_for_sea110 karma

I've seen Russian ships.

Deodedros50 karma

I heard this quote recently and I was wondering what are your thoughts and comments about it?

"If service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you."

rigged_for_sea74 karma

This is true. Leadership is a people business. People want to see that you care. You are on stage 24/7 so the boss that is humble and is willing to listen and take action to make life better for the team, will be loved and respected. Leaders eat last.

fr0ng45 karma

thoughts on unidentified submerged objects that move around in ways conventional underwater craft can't?

rigged_for_sea87 karma

Never saw one but...I believe the truth is out there.

lolfaquaad31 karma

What are the list of qualities of a leader for you?

rigged_for_sea108 karma

A leader must be present. They must take the time to listen to employees and consider their input. But, they also have to be able to clearly communicate the organization's goals and objectives and motivate the team to get there. Leadership is always about motivating a group of people to accomplish a goal.

rigged_for_sea53 karma

What do you think?

privateTortoise21 karma

Sounds perfect to me, happily I'm good at self motivation but the bosses I keep finding tend to then expect more than the 100% I already give.

I'm not someone that volunteers for everything just enjoy doing my job (electronic security engineer) right. But once the boss repeatedly pushes I just walk away.

rigged_for_sea19 karma

I love that!

muklan25 karma

I knew a guy who worked with nuclear ordinance. He said occasionally they would hit bombs with a deadblow hammer to assist with lining them up for the tubes. This seems dangerous, and the guys known for...jacking with people....have you seen something like that happen?

rigged_for_sea52 karma

He's jacking with you. Who's going to hit one of them with a hammer? Not me.

muklan21 karma

His argument was that if something went wrong, it wouldn't really be his problem, as he would be....particulated..

rigged_for_sea94 karma

Yep. He'd have blue eyes. One blew that way and the other one one blew that way.

muklan19 karma

Sooo gonna use that haha.

rigged_for_sea18 karma

Feel free!

PuckFigs-2 karma

Yep. He'd have blue eyes. One blew that way and the other one one blew that way.

Leaders worth following don't use recycled Challenger jokes. Just saying.

rigged_for_sea4 karma

Ok

Rricharr24 karma

Can you offer some tips as to what someone can do to develop good leadership skills?

rigged_for_sea58 karma

To be a great leader, you have to practice leadership. Start with volunteer work outside of your job. Also, spend time observing leaders you work with. Write down what they do right and what you didn't like. Learn from both of these. Emulate the good things and avoid the bad things. Finally, read books and listen to podcasts on leadership. I run a podcast called Deep Leadership where I interview leaders from all industries.

SlinkyJoe21 karma

Why are most of the navy nukes I've met introverted, slightly autistic weirdos? 😂

rigged_for_sea79 karma

We were locked in a tube for months on end??

Big-Red-Husker12 karma

Do you ever have people on the sub who are not claustrophobic at first, become claustrophobic over time. Or just can't take not seeing the sun for long periods of time? What happens in those situations?

rigged_for_sea10 karma

Not that I recall.

BartInPC25 karma

This is a legit thing. When I hired on at my most recent job, new employees were at 75% or more ex-nukes. I was chatting with a lifer, and another person came up to talk to us. This person was the nuke prototype...awkward, nerdy, but clean cut from the military. When that person walked away, I looked at the lifer and said, "That's a nuke." He started laughing because that's all I needed to say. And yes...we were both nukes ourselves. :)

rigged_for_sea18 karma

Yep. I always said I was a recovering nuke.

postcg24 karma

This is a funny phenomena, but in reality it is a failure of the nuclear training pipeline and its leadership. From my experience, their strategy in personnel problems is incredibly reactive, not proactive. Their mental health is not addressed until it affects the sailor's ability to get through training or their performance suffers.

Additionally, most of those kids are too smart for their own good, where nuke school is their first attempt at application of their intelligence. And when they stumble, they don't know how to properly deal with the inevitable feelings of inadequacy that they've never felt before.

rigged_for_sea19 karma

I think when they started pushing technical rating versus leadership ability, things when a bit sideways.

Kestrel_VI20 karma

How often does the average nuclear weapon/ICBM actually get maintained or replaced? I've heard all sorts about the systems being basically unchanged since the 80s. The idea of 40 year old nukes just chilling on active deployments is a bit... Alarming, in a way.

rigged_for_sea21 karma

I've been out for 27 years, so I don't know...but they are still using the same missile design.

mln847 karma

Which nuc school class were you? I was 8903, and I’m out 27 years, too.

rigged_for_sea8 karma

8906? I think. I showed up to Orlando in June of 89

Kestrel_VI6 karma

Right. How long did you serve for? Must have had a few years to hold an officer rank.

Most interesting/funny event during deployment?

rigged_for_sea29 karma

I was an officer for 5 years right after college. Funniest thing was the most junior sailor on board mistakingly calling the Captain a "motherfucker." I tell the story in my new book. I still laugh about it.

WWBob10 karma

Wouldn't part of leadership be calling 'em like you see 'em? He may have been right. :)

rigged_for_sea49 karma

Yep. Turned out the kid was right. The Captain was trying to come through a hatch that was secured for a drill. The Captain eventually commended the kid for standing his ground.

svosprey6 karma

What makes you think it was a "mistake"? Captains are notorious mf'ers.

rigged_for_sea32 karma

I witnessed it. Kid had no idea who was on the other side of the hatch. And he was.

RayPineocco18 karma

What’s your take on the media coverage on UFO sightings lately? I hear some of the ufos fly in and out of the ocean and there have been stories during the cold war of submariners seeing unusually fast moving objects underwater similar to the ufos in the air.

rigged_for_sea33 karma

I never saw or heard anything like that. It's interesting that all this is coming out in the public. I have no idea about it though. Sorry.

N19H4L16 karma

What got u started into becoming a Nuclear Ballistic submarine missile officer? Sounds really cool ngl

rigged_for_sea35 karma

I grew up hearing stories of submariners in WWII and was fascinated. The Cold War was in full swing when I was in grade school and I knew I wanted to get on a submarine. It was like being in space without having to get strapped on to a missile.

N19H4L9 karma

Wow that's amazing , it's crazy how you've come this far

rigged_for_sea18 karma

Becoming a submariner was a childhood dream that became a reality. That doesn't happen often. I was both lucky and blessed.

Fartknocker50016 karma

My husband was a nuclear machinist mate on fast attack subs starting in the early 80's. He now supports the mission as a civilian at high level. The challenges to our military at this time is massive, especially for the sub fleet. It's a critical thing that knowledgeable folks stay and help, but it certainly doesn't pay like the private sector does.

Did you consider going into the civil service to continue your career journey? What factors made you leave and move to the private sector? Was it strictly financial, or something else?

Cool AMA. Thanks for doing it.

rigged_for_sea22 karma

Thank you! After 7 patrols on the USS Tennessee, I realized that this was going to be my life - spending months at sea. I began to notice how many of my shipmates were divorced and missed their kids birth and Christmas's away from family. I realized it was a very tough life if you want to have relationships. So, I decided to hang up my uniforms and go into business.

Fartknocker50010 karma

I hear you there. We raised our first two kids while he was deployed for an average 7 months out of a year. Fast attacks are insanely scheduled. He ended up decomming 3 boats, Finback, Whale and Gurnard before he got out. His first boat was the Louisville.

Glad he got out, and his civil service job making sure the fleet is prepared is great. He has his hands in all sorts of new technology that he is incredibly passionate about. No going to sea anymore, but still engaged in the mission he believes in. The Navy really needs forward thinking people to keep everything moving. As I said, he could certainly make more money in the private sector, but I am proud that he has stayed in the mix, even if it's civil service and not active duty.

rigged_for_sea10 karma

Thank him for me. No easy task!

BlackBeard_Da_Pirate15 karma

Thoughts on Russian subs?

rigged_for_sea43 karma

They are huge.

Raider44012 karma

Best submarine movie? Das Boot or something else?

rigged_for_sea56 karma

Hunt for Red October is my favorite.

MonkeyWrench19738 karma

A follow-up...setting the Caterpillar system aside, how realistic was Red October in portraying capabilities/normal life on a sub?

rigged_for_sea65 karma

No movie shows you how boring standing watch in the engine room can sometimes be. If you want to simulate it, turn on your car and lift the hood. Now, watch the engine for six hour taking random temperature reading every half hour. That's was normal life on a submarine.

ideliverdt11 karma

I was stationed at Subase Bangor my entire career. What boat were you on ? I was a Missile Technician on the USS Nevada (Gold) in the 1990s.

rigged_for_sea16 karma

Tennessee Gold 734. First East Coast Ohio class.

_bobby_tables_11 karma

How would you rate the accuracy of the movie Crimson Tide?

rigged_for_sea14 karma

Better than some sub movies...but the premise was all wrong. It could never happen but it makes a good Hollywood story.

artudetan10 karma

Do service members in the sub ever suddenly become claustrophobic? If so, what are the protocols in place to deal with that?

rigged_for_sea20 karma

I don't think you volunteer for this kind of duty is you are claustrophobic. I never saw anyone freak out while I was onboard.

maxito987 karma

But have you ever seen someone develop agoraphobia shortly before returning?

Edit: I'm only half joking. Have you ever seen someone become so used to it that returning is intimidating, almost as if they've been institutionalized?

rigged_for_sea14 karma

Not really. We just wanted pizza, beer, and our girls...no necessarily in that order.

Leftfeet17 karma

We had a guy "snap" while on mission once. Not so much claustrophobia as just a mental breakdown. He was going through a divorce at home, custody fight etc and our underway was a stressful one. He tried to crush his head with a hammer in the machinery room. A couple of us tackled him and took the hammer away while another guy ran to get the doc. Doc put him on some sedatives and placed 24 hr watches scheduled to keep an eye on him until we could schedule a med evac.

rigged_for_sea15 karma

Oh crap. Not good.

Leftfeet17 karma

Yeah scary and sad. He was a very good A ganger, one of our best. He'd recently made E5 and the ordeal derailed his career completely. Got disqualified from sea duty over it.

rigged_for_sea6 karma

That sucks.

bociredef10 karma

[deleted]

rigged_for_sea33 karma

I don't know what will happen but I won't ever do it. The things I know that are secret will stay secret.

MadSkillsMadison9 karma

The US’s Nuclear Naval vessels boast immaculate nuclear-safety statistics. Do you think the safe operation of these reactors is tied more closely to their design or the disciplined personnel who manage them?

What are your thoughts on expanding nuclear power generation in the US and overcoming public opinion on its hazards?

rigged_for_sea8 karma

Honestly, I think it's both design and discipline. i do think we need to look at nuclear power again for a sustainable base energy load.

MinMunMon9 karma

For nuclear powered submarines, how often does refueling takes place and how cumbersome the process will be?

rigged_for_sea15 karma

I think it is around 15 years and it's a significant process. It takes a long time.

itspaulieho7 karma

You ever see any UAP phenomenon?

rigged_for_sea9 karma

Nope. Sorry. That would be a great story though.

postcg6 karma

Do you believe the quality of life disparity between officer and enlisted is warranted? Has that disparity ever become an issue with the crew?

rigged_for_sea17 karma

On the boat, there wasn't much separation between enlisted, senior enlisted, and officers. We ate the same food, had the same size racks, wore the same uniforms, suffered together, stood watch together. I always had deep respect for the technical knowledge of my teams on board. I always tried to stand up for them. We never had an issue on our crew.

Ravager_six96 karma

I imagine submariners go a long time without seeing sunlight. Does that mess with your body or mind?

rigged_for_sea9 karma

Yes. No lie. I missed the sun, sky, and fresh air. I always volunteer for officer of the deck duty when we were surfaced.

The_Nomadic_Nerd6 karma

What movie would you say is the most accurate (Das Boot, U-571, etc.)? Is there movie with a small detail you loved that only people who worked on a Sub would catch?

rigged_for_sea19 karma

hunt for Red October when the USS Dallas did an emergency blow. That was real - no CGI.

SpiderSchwein5 karma

I was an ICBM Crew Commander in the Air Force a few years back. My biggest challenge was actually how to leave this job and enter a new career.

How did you cope with the hamster wheel effect of the mission at large and how did you communicate your skill set to potential employers who have absolutely no idea what it takes to do this mission?

Your presence and reliability IS the mission. Other fields have tangible metrics that they can judge success by- x number sorties flown, % budget saved, etc. In the nuclear field, we don’t really have that luxury. Other fields- contracting, maintenance, acquisitions- those have pretty easy to translate skills for the civilian world. As a missileer, you’re meticulously trained in several different facets of operations- be they weapon system technical aspects, code handling, EWO, but your most successful day is a day that nobody hears about your day. I found that this was a very difficult aspect to explain to potential employers when I left the Air Force- my biggest accomplishments I had on my OPR that made total sense to someone in the nuclear field, had very limited applicability to those outside that career field, even to people in the wider Air Force community, they have no frame of reference for what it is you actually do. I really had to get creative to explain what something like code change is and what it means to successfully run it. Offering statistics that are self explanatory in other fields are completely worthless in this role. You can say ‘I pulled 200 alerts’ but unless you break down what that entails, it’s challenging to get potential employers to understand exactly how these skills are relevant for the job you’re applying for, even though they’re super important unteachable skills that different organizations can really benefit from. You have to go all in on the soft skill fit, but that only goes so far and it’s exceedingly difficult to get your foot in the door or have a place take a chance on you. It was a very difficult transition period and many other former missileers I served with had exactly this same problem.

How did your personnel in your career field handle separation and getting this extraordinarily specific skill set to transfer?

Bonus question if you have time: In a sub does the entire crew have to be on PRP? Was it only those who have to do EWO stuff?

rigged_for_sea6 karma

The hard truth is, not many companies will understand what you did in the military. there is so much ignorance about what we do and it's mostly based on what people see in the movies. The thing is, you can do you best to try and make your military experience sound more "civilian-like" but at the end of the day, you really have to prove it. When I go to my first company, I had the lowest engineering job in the company but in 5 years, I was promote to plant manager. It's really all about how you perform once you are out that counts. I don't know PRP or EWO.

damon8r3514 karma

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be, and why?

rigged_for_sea6 karma

A busch. It's cool.

mottlymonical4 karma

How did you cope in the beginning, when you saw potential in an individual or team but morale was under pressure? pardon the pun

rigged_for_sea27 karma

Every time a take over a new organization, I ask 3 questions to every employee. What is working? What needs to get fixed? If you were in my shoes, what would you do first? These three questions help me quickly understand what's really going on. Once I know that, I can start working on the things that are bringing morale down.

vincemeisterrr3 karma

A question on leadership i guess, if you’re a supervisor with a shitty boss, how could you inspire or boost employee moral?

rigged_for_sea8 karma

I've been in that situation. You just have to do your best to shield your team from the crappy boss. You also are responsible for being your team's voice and confront that boss.

GingerTron20003 karma

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your role as a leader in the military?

rigged_for_sea4 karma

I had a 6 month labor strike at a plant I was managing. My bosses took a hard line against the union and the union fought back. I was caught in the middle.

Jingocat3 karma

Does being good at hedge mazes affect your Skee-Ball game?

rigged_for_sea3 karma

It can't hurt.

FrankTorrance3 karma

What do the transmedium UAPs look like underwater?

rigged_for_sea5 karma

Like a North Atlantic right whale

roccoccoSafredi2 karma

Have you played Cold Waters?

http://killerfishgames.com/games/cold-waters

rigged_for_sea6 karma

Nope. Sorry. Played Halo with my boys though.

trailerparksandrec2 karma

What was the most effective way or ways to keep morale high on a submarine deployment? Those things go months underway without surfacing.

rigged_for_sea5 karma

Honestly, the Captain kept us so busy, we didn't think about anything but getting through the day and getting to our rack. I think we kept morale high on our own. Submariner are notorious pranksters and smack-talkers. We kept ourselves amused.

CypripediumCalceolus2 karma

Does a submarine stink?

rigged_for_sea5 karma

Like butts and diesel fumes

wr3decoy2 karma

Are you familiar with Jocko Willink's books on leadership, such as "Extreme Ownership" and if so, are there points where you differ? I really like books about leadership by accomplished leaders, if I were to buy only one of your books, which would you recommend?

rigged_for_sea3 karma

Jocko's books are great but think about this, he is leading a group of highly motivated Navy SEALs. Try leading a group of sailors that have been to sea for three months are just want to go home. I love SEALs but there are so many other leadership books written by military leaders that are probably more realistic. But Jocko is right about one thing, a leader can make the diffrence between a winning and losing team. I think you will like my new book "All in the Same Boat"

Cuttlefish1712 karma

I'm beginning my commission as a medical officer with the USAF next year. I sometimes worry that an enlisted or an officer that had prior enlistment service may not respect me for not having had that same experience.

Can you speak to interactions you've had with commissioned and noncommissioned officers? Aside from being in top-form with respext to my discipline, how else might I best earn that respect from those with an enlisted background?

-Cheers!

rigged_for_sea3 karma

Great question. I talk about it in my new book (allinthesameboatbook.com). You earn respect by giving respect and working your tail off to become "qualified" in the minds of your teammates. As a young officer, I led a very complex maintenance activity on the nuclear reactor. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but the crew saw my dedication and effort, and I earned their respect after it was over.

GCSS-MC1 karma

Why are Marines so much cooler?

rigged_for_sea3 karma

They eat crayons.