To be accepted into nuclear submarines, you had to get Admiral Rickover’s blessing via a series of interviews. The interviews were conducted in January at Naval Reactors in an old barrack style building in Washington DC. I had 3 preliminary interviews and then the big one with Rickover. He started out immediately chewing me out for getting a ‘C’ in a math course. Why didn’t I study harder? I told him it was a hard course. He jumped up and started screaming that my priorities were all screwed up that I had some ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades in useless literature and history courses and that I needed to concentrate on math, science, and engineering. Then he told me to get the hell out of his office. A Commander led me into a small room and told me I needed to think more about my responses to the Admiral. About 45 minutes later I was led back into the Admiral’s office. He asked if I had a fiancée. I said yes and then he told me he wanted me to commit to studying harder and not to see my fiancée until graduation in June. I told him I would study harder, but was going to continue to see my fiancée on the weekends. He then told me he had no use for me and to get the hell out of his office.
Much to my amazement when the list of who had been accepted for nuclear power was posted a week later, I was on the list.