Submarine Qualifications Designation for Enlisted Members
NAVPERS 15909G, Enlisted Transfer Manual
NAVMED P-117, Manual of the Medical Department
a. The designation “Qualified in Submarines” represents an intensive personal effort to meet the high standards and special requirements of submarine duty. Only volunteers will be assigned to submarine training under normal circumstances. Non-volunteers will be assigned only when sufficient volunteers cannot be obtained.
b. Based on the investment of training costs and long planning time, assignment to submarine duty is not elective after issuance of a transfer directive leading to duty in submarines.
2. Eligibility Requirements. The specified eligibility requirements for submarine duty may be found in NAVPERS 15909G, chapter 5.
a. Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS), a school for the basic training of enlisted men for submarine duty at Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, CT, is a prerequisite for qualification in submarines for all enlisted ratings with the exception of nuclear trained personnel. Commanding officers (COs) of submarines receiving enlisted personnel from this school shall not consider them as “qualified in submarines” nor their training complete. Before being designated as “qualified in submarines”, each individual shall pass an oral and practical examination that demonstrates sufficient knowledge of ships’ systems and operating procedures pertaining to the submarine on which serving.
b. Personnel not previously “qualified in submarines” are not eligible to be so designated by the CO until they have served, for duty, at least 6 months in operational submarines, with the exception that service in new construction submarines may be counted from the commencement of builder’s sea trials. Amplifying details for qualification are issued by the submarine force commanders.
c. Personnel serving in a non-submarine source rating or not assigned to a submarine for duty, serving in a temporary duty status onboard a submarine, who complete requirements for qualification in submarines must request a waiver of eligibility standards from Navy Personnel Command (NAVPERSCOM) (PERS-403) via the CO of the ship on which qualified, info the submarine force commander. If the waiver is approved by NAVPERSCOM (PERS‑403), submarine designator 7 (SG) will be assigned.
4. Physical Requirements. Before being assigned to a submarine, each enlisted member must meet the physical standards specified in NAVMED P-117.
5. Submarine Qualification Designations. Submarine qualification designations are defined as follows:
Desig 1 (SS)
Designated “qualified in submarines.”
Desig 2 (SU)
Designated “in training for submarine qualifications.”
Desig 5 (SQ)
Designated “qualified for submarines,” but not planned for future assignment to submarine duty.
Desig 7 (SG)
Designated “qualified for submarines,” but not in submarine source rating or NEC; not detailed by the submarine community.
Desig 8 (SP)
Designated “previously assigned in submarines;” assigned only to those personnel disqualified for submarine duty and serving in a submarine support billet; detailed by the submarine community, but not to be reassigned to submarine duty without prior approval of NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403).
6. Designation 5 (SQ). Submarine designation Desig 5 (SQ) will be assigned by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) to enlisted personnel in submarine source ratings who are qualified in submarines but not expected to serve again in the submarine force. Personnel assigned Desig 5 (SQ) designator are entitled to wear the enlisted submarine breast insignia. Personnel assigned Desig 5 (SQ) designator shall have the following service /record NAVPERS 1070/613, Administrative Remarks entry made:
“(Date): Assigned enlisted submarine designation Desig 5 (SQ). Member entitled to wear the enlisted submarine breast insignia.
Authority: (Cite the source document notifying of Desig 5 (SQ) designation).”
NOTE: Personnel assigned a Desig 5 (SQ) or Desig 7 (SG) who desire to return to submarine duty must formally request reinstatement in accordance with the procedures in NAVPERS 15909G, chapter 5.
7. Designation 7 (SG).
a. Submarine designation Desig 7 (SG) will be assigned by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) for the following reasons:
(1) Conversion to a non-submarine source rating or to an NEC detailed outside of the submarine community.
(2) Non-submarine source rating who is approved to be designated “qualified in submarines.”
b. Personnel assigned Desig 7 (SG) designator shall have the following service record NAVPERS 1070/613 entry made:
“Date: Assigned enlisted submarine designation Desig 7 (SG). Member entitled to wear the enlisted submarine breast insignia.
Authority: (Cite the source document notifying of Desig 7 (SG) designation).”
8. Designation 8 (SP)
a. Submarine designation Desig 8 (SP) may be assigned by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) to personnel disqualified from submarine duty. Each person who is disqualified is normally assigned to a submarine support billet for a 2-year tour of duty if a valid billet exists.
b. Submarine nuclear trained personnel who are physically disqualified from submarine duty will be assigned as a surface nuclear operator. No formal notification of Desig 8 (SP) assignment is made by NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) and service record entries are not required.
c. Assignment of Desig 8 (SP) is for NAVPERSCOM assignment and tracking purposes only, but will reflect on a command Enlisted Distribution Verification Report (EDVR). Further guidance on Desig 8 (SP) may be found in NAVPERS 15909G, chapter 5.
9. Submarine Qualification Insignias
a. The submarine qualification insignia represents the completion of prescribed training and the successful qualification for submarine service. The insignia shows that the wearer has qualified for submarine duty but does not necessarily indicate that the wearer is currently serving in the submarine force.
b. Enlisted members who have been “disqualified” from submarine duty shall normally by the same authority have their privilege to wear the submarine insignia revoked. A member who has been physically disqualified for submarine duty may continue to wear the submarine insignia. Other unique circumstances may convince the submarine disqualification authority to leave intact a former submariner’s privilege to wear this insignia.
10. Use of Submarine Designations
a. Submarine designations “SS” or “SU” shall be placed in parenthesis immediately after the member’s rate or rating abbreviation, e.g., MM2(SS), SA(SU). All service record pages and all correspondence pertaining to the member thereafter, until such time as the submarine designator may be revoked, shall include the appropriate designation. In addition, the outside of the enlisted service jacket shall be stamped “Qualified in Submarines (SS, SG, or SQ)” as appropriate.
b. A member who has received a submarine designator and is subsequently transferred from duty in submarines shall retain the designator unless it has been removed or changed due to disqualification. Additionally, entitlement to wear the enlisted submarine warfare insignia remains until such time that entitlement is revoked.
c. When a member has been examined and is qualified for submarine duty, an entry shall be made in his service record as follows:
“(Date): Qualified in submarines this date and assigned enlisted submarine designation Desig 1 (SS).”
11. Authority to Assign or Revoke Designators
a. Only NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) and submarine force commanders have authority to remove submarine designators. Submarine force commanders will act only on the cases of those personnel who are under their operational or administrative command. NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) will act on all other cases.
b. Authority for assignment of any enlisted submarine designator is NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) with exception of the assignment of Desig 1 (SS) to those Desig 2 (SU) personnel who completed requirements for “qualification in submarines.” The authority for this designator change is granted to the submarine force commanders.
12. Substance Abuse Policy
a. The special safety and reliability aspects of operating submarines necessitates stringent substance abuse policies.
b. For personnel with a history of pre-service drug abuse desiring entry into the Nuclear Field Program, waiver requests will be screened by CNO (N133D). Waivers may be granted only in cases of experimental use of marijuana.
c. For personnel with a history of pre-service drug abuse (marijuana only) desiring initial submarine training other than the Nuclear Field Program, waiver requests will be screened by the appropriate command listed below.
(1) Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, for personnel in that administrative chain of command as specifically outlined in COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8F. Admission of pre-service experimental use of marijuana while in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) is not waiverable.
(2) NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) for personnel in all other commands. Waivers may be granted only in cases of experimental use of marijuana.
d. Any time a waiver is granted for pre-service drug abuse, the following NAVPERS 1070/613 service record entry will be made:
“(Date): A waiver of pre-service marijuana use for submarine duty has been granted by (cite authority). I understand any future drug abuse will result in permanent submarine disqualification and processing for separation from Naval Service.
e. Drug abuse waivers will not be granted for personnel with a history of in-service drug abuse desiring initial submarine training or for in-service drug abuse which occurs after commencement of initial submarine or Nuclear Field training.
f. Personnel disqualified from submarine duty for drug abuse are not eligible for reinstatement at any time.
g. Personnel disqualified for alcohol dependency may request reinstatement to submarine duty in accordance with OPNAVINST 5355.3B within 3 years of the disqualification date. After 3 years, reinstatement will not be considered.
13. Disqualification for Duty. A CO may, at any time, recommend to the appropriate disqualification authority, via the administrative chain of command, that any enlisted member serving under the CO’s command be declared disqualified for submarine duty for any reason other than as a substitute for appropriate disciplinary action in the case of disciplinary offenses. Disqualification shall not be utilized in lieu of a recommendation for separation of a member from Naval Service when separation is warranted and appropriate; however, a person being administratively or punitively separated will be disqualified from submarines when such separation has been directed.
14. Criteria for Removal of Submarine Designator. There are two general categories of justification for removal of a submarine designator:
a. Physical disqualification, and
b. All other reasons. This category may include, but is not limited to:
(1) Inability or refusal to qualify or requalify in submarines.
(2) Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs).
(3) Loss of or inability to acquire a required security clearance, NEC, or limited access authority.
(4) Removal from the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP).
(5) Conscientious objector status.
(6) Emotional instability.
15. NAVPERS 1070/613 Entry for Physical Disqualification. For personnel who are physically disqualified, the following NAVPERS 1070/613 entry shall be made:
“(Date): Determined “physically not qualified” for submarine duty for reasons as stated in medical record. The enlisted submarine designator (SS)/(SU) is hereby removed. (Member’s last name) is entitled to wear the submarine breast insignia (if applicable). (Member’s last name) may reapply to NAVPERSCOM (PERS-403) for restoration of the (SS)/(SU) designator when he once again satisfies the physical requirements of the Manual of the Medical Department for submarine duty.
Authority: (Cite the source document approving disqualification.)”
16. NAVPERS 1070/613 Entry for Reasons Other than Physical. For personnel who are disqualified for reasons other than physical, the following service record NAVPERS 1070/613 entry shall be made:
“(Date): Disqualified for submarine duty by reason of (state reason). The enlisted submarine designator (SS)/(SU) is hereby removed. (Member’s last name) is not eligible for return to submarine duty at any future date and is not entitled to wear the submarine breast insignia (if deemed appropriate by the submarine disqualification authority).
Authority: (Cite the source document approving disqualification).”
17. Reinstatement after Disqualification. Reinstatement to submarine duty after disqualification will be considered (with the exception of drug abuse and for alcohol dependency greater than 3 years from the disqualification date) in accordance with the procedures specified in NAVPERS 15909G, chapter 5.