Sailors from the USS Oklahoma City answered questions Thursday morning from about 100 Navy Junior ROTC students at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City.
Here are some of the questions students had for Master Chief Petty Officer Joey Hundley, of Pilot Mountain, N.C. Hundley is the highest-ranking enlisted man on the USS Oklahoma City and has the title chief of the boat. Questions and answers were edited.
Q: What's the longest you've been underwater?
A: 78 days.
Q: What's the work day like aboard the submarine?
A: Crew members pull a six-hour watch, followed by 12 hours off watch. Off-watch hours are spent in training, study, maintenance, relaxing and sleep. The boat has TV, movies, video game consoles and, when close enough to the surface, slow Internet service.
Q: How big is the boat?
A: About the length of a football field and 33 feet in diameter, with 96 sleeping racks for 162 sailors. “It's close quarters,” Hundley said.
Q: Where have you been in your 23-year career?
A: Countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Hundley recalled playing football and hitting golf balls at the North Pole after surfacing through 56 inches of ice.
Q: What's it take to join the Navy?
A: Graduate from high school and “you can leave the next weekend.” The Navy has higher education opportunities; Hundley is one class away from earning a master's degree.
Q: How much time do you get off each year?
A: 30 days' leave, plus federal holidays.
Q: Are tattoos allowed? Piercings?
A: You must be able to cover tattoos. Gang tattoos are a nonstarter. Women can wear pierced earrings.
Q: Are there women on the USS Oklahoma City?
A: No, but the Navy's submarine service is building a cadre of women officers. They will serve as mentors to support women sailors as they enter the service.