On 21 April, 2006, I had the opportunity to attend a heart warming graduation ceremony for 332 outstanding young Americans who had just completed six months of exceedingly challenging study at the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command. They join a long line of more than 110,000 people that have survived similar training during the past 50 years and gone on to operate submarines, aircraft carriers and, quite often, commercial nuclear power plants.
There were several highlights of the day, including the proud Mom who proclaimed “That’s my baby!” as her son crossed the stage. There was also an impressive gasp from the crowd when the top sailor’s final cumulative average of 3.91 was announced. I was one of the gaspers. Of course, my personal highlight was shaking the hand of the young man that invited me, knowing that he would soon be my son-in-law and that he was well on his way to a successful start in his career.
I thought you might like to see a picture of the cap that I purchased at the souvenir table. I think it says a lot about the Navy’s nuclear power program.