Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Eric Douglas Perry, April 25th, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Introduction / childhood and high school

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, what's your major?

Segment Synopsis: Perry gives some basic information about himself. He also talks about his childhood and high school experiences.

Keywords: Frankfort (Ky.); Franklin County High School; GPA; basketball; farms; grade point average; interests; mathematics; mechanical engineering; money; parents; science; siblings; students; veterans

Subjects: United States. Navy.; University of Kentucky.; War on Terrorism, 2001-2009.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 38.20091, -84.87328
00:03:07 - Interest in joining the navy / family reaction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Ok. Uh, so when, uh--describe a little bit your process to, um, to lean towards...

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about his reasons for joining the military and the navy specifically. He also discusses the reaction that his family had to his joining.

Keywords: Frankfort (Ky.); college; engineering; family; jobs; mathematics; money; nuclear power; parents; sisters; structure; support

Subjects: Education.; Nuclear propulsion.; Submarines (Ships).; United States. Navy.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 38.20091, -84.87328
00:06:18 - Enlisting in the military / patriotism

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. Uh, so we're looking at--you graduated in, what, 2004, correct?

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about his enlisting in the navy and how his feelings for his country influenced his desire to do so.

Keywords: United States; delayed entry program; enlistment; farms; nuclear operators; patriotism; ship date; war

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Iraq.; United States. Navy.

00:08:39 - Basic training / interest in history / graduation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, uh, all right, let's fast forward a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about his time in basic training and what he learned there. He also discusses naval tradition and his interest in history. He mentions his graduation from basic training.

Keywords: Chicago (Ill.); Naval Station Great Lakes (Ill.); World War II; assimilation; boot camp; drill instructors; family; folding clothing; history; nautical terminology; naval history; naval tradition; physical fitness; procedures; recruiters; snow; uniforms

Subjects: Basic training (Military education)

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 42.30979, -87.85006
00:12:05 - Advanced training in nuclear propulsion / the death of Perry's grandfathers

Play segment

Partial Transcript: All right. Uh, so from there, you graduate...

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about the advanced training that he did after finishing basic training. He tells how both of his grandfathers died during that time and discusses his reaction.

Keywords: "a-school"; "dream sheet"; Charleston (S.C.); Saratoga (N.Y.); competition; comprehensive exams; death; graduation; grandparents; leave; mechanics; nuclear propulsion plants; nuclear propulsion training command; occupational specialty school; operators; power school; prototypes; qualification; rating school

Subjects: Nuclear propulsion.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 32.77657, -79.93092
00:17:59 - "Dream sheet" / types of submarines

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. So you put in your, your, your dream sheet.

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about the position and location he requested on his "dream sheet". He also describes different classes of submarines used by the navy.

Keywords: "dream sheet"; Connecticut; Los Angeles-class submarine; Norfolk (Va.); Ohio-class submarine; San Diego (Calif.); Virginia-class submarine; close air support; fast attack submarine; nuclear ballistic missiles; special forces; submarine design; tomahawk cruise missiles; welding; welding school

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 36.85077,-76.28587
00:21:01 - Meeting up with the squadron / standing watch on a submarine

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. So you make it to, to Norfolk, right?

Segment Synopsis: Perry tells how he first met up with the squadron that he would be working with. He also talks about the practice of standing watch on a submarine and what he usually did during that time.

Keywords: "A-school"; "nub"; E4; Morris Hampton; Naval Station Norfolk; San Diego (Calif); classes; engine room; home port; mechanics; proficiency; promotions; propulsion plants; qualifications; qualified watch stations; routines; senior mechanic; squadrons; submarine indoc; submarines; training; watches

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 36.85077,-76.28587
00:28:46 - Down time while on a submarine

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, so in your downtime, uh, just what, what are you doing

Segment Synopsis: Perry discusses what he did when he wasn't on duty. He talks about the need to become qualified and how he was strongly encouraged to spend his down time doing so.

Keywords: PACE program; down time; entertainment; movie night; off going time; qualification; reading

Subjects: Submarines (Ships)

00:32:10 - Training exercises at sea / acoustic trials

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. How, how long does a normal training exercise last?

Segment Synopsis: Perry describes what was involved in the training exercises at sea that he was a part of. He also talks about acoustic trials and their importance in ensuring a submarine's safety.

Keywords: acoustic trials; being at sea; defenses; deployment; detection; maintenance; missions; noise; protection; repairs; training; training exercises

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

00:35:48 - Preparation for deployment

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. Well, let's, let's talk a little bit about your, uh--what you went through when you, you guys got your first order...

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about how he learned about his impending deployment some time before it actually occurred. He also describes the preparations made for this deployment.

Keywords: attention to detail; crew; deployments; engineering department; maintenance; operational experience; operational reactor safeguards exam; orders; overtime; reactor plants; ships; sound silencing; tactical readiness evaluation

Subjects: Submariners.; Submarines (Ships).

00:40:10 - First deployment

Play segment

Partial Transcript: ...then we finally left and everybody said, you know, it's going to be so much easier when we get out on deployment...

Segment Synopsis: Perry discusses his first deployment and some of the tasks that the submarine he was on was involved in.

Keywords: Australia; Australian navy; East Asia; Guam; Japan; Japanese navy; Panama Canal; San Diego (Calif.); Yokosuka (Japan); alcohol; naval exercises; on station; west Pacific

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 35.28134, 139.67220
00:43:16 - Use and importance of submarines / lack of knowledge of the purpose of missions

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So I--as far as you can divulge and the Navy, uh, you know explains as their, their role in, uh, in supporting...

Segment Synopsis: Perry discusses the importance of submarines in naval warfare. He also talks about the frustration of not knowing the purpose of the missions that he was on.

Keywords: Argentina; Falkland Islands; United Kingdom; aircraft carriers; close air support; contacts; control room; engine room supervisors; escort; force projection; intelligence; shipping; ships; special forces; torpedoes; tracking

Subjects: Submarine warfare.; Submarines (Ships); War on Terrorism, 2001-2009.

00:50:19 - Teamwork within submarine crews

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, I mean was, was that a, a problem among other, other guys on the sub?

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about the culture and teamwork of a submarine crew, and how crewmen are allowed to correct the officers if they are wrong.

Keywords: "a complaining sailor is a happy sailor"; "watch team backup"; E5; discipline; discipline problems; immediate action; knowledge; officers; propulsion plants; rank; teamwork

Subjects: Nuclear propulsion.; Submariners.; Submarines (Ships).

00:53:38 - Decision not to stay in the navy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. So you've already told your commanding officer that you're not staying in forever.

Segment Synopsis: Perry gives his reasons for why he didn't want to stay in the navy longer than the original term that he signed up for.

Keywords: CO; children; commissioned officer; company man; compliments; decisions; deficiencies; deployments; family; farms; fathers; motivation; spouses

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

00:57:17 - Leaving the navy / decision to go to college

Play segment

Partial Transcript: All right, so we just pretty much covered most of your, your time in service, and now we'll talk about, uh, your decision to leave.

Segment Synopsis: Perry tells how he left the navy and returned to Kentucky. He also talks about how he was persuaded to go to college by one of the officers who had worked with him on the submarine.

Keywords: GI Bill; Kentucky; Mr. Dotson; QA; Ron Hat; San Diego (Calif.); college; deployments; job applications; job searching; leave; maintenance; moving; officers; quality assurance program; radiation health; transitions; veterans resource center; weapons officers; work

Subjects: Submariners.; Submarines (Ships).; United States. Navy.; University of Kentucky.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 32.71533, -117.15726
01:02:34 - Social interaction and personality change from being in the navy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Because the thing that, the thing that I find missing the most every day after being off the boat is, is the interaction...

Segment Synopsis: Perry discusses his desire for social interaction now that he has left the navy. He talks about how his time there has made him more outgoing.

Keywords: "people skills"; UKSVA; University of Kentucky Student Veterans Organization; confidence; extroversion; family; family members; motivation; perspectives; reserve; social interaction; transition courses

Subjects: Submariners.; Submarines (Ships).; United States. Navy.; University of Kentucky Military Veterans of America.; University of Kentucky.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 38.03915, -84.50465
01:06:51 - Helping other students / critique of navy leadership

Play segment

Partial Transcript: ...what makes you different from the nontraditional student now, and how, uh, how does your experience...

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about his interactions with other students, how he differs from them and why he chooses to help them study if needed. He also critiques the leadership in the navy and gives his opinion on how it has driven away a lot of experienced enlisted people.

Keywords: assistance; classmates; finals; leadership; planning; retirement; senior enlisted leadership; social interaction; stress; stress management; students; studying; submarine force; tests; time management

Subjects: Submariners.; Submarines (Ships).; United States. Navy.

01:12:48 - Peer and media reactions to submarines / pride in military service / being in the navy reserve

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Uh, going back to interaction with your peers again real quick, I mean.

Segment Synopsis: Perry shares the reaction that his fellow students have had to learning that he has served on a submarine. He also describes the lack of media coverage about them. He talks about his pride in serving in the military and the work that he does for the navy reserves.

Keywords: Libya; Virginia; appreciation; being underwater; curiosity; diving alarms; guided missile submarines; injuries; leaks; military; pride; reserves; shooting; submarine squadron 6

Subjects: Iraq.; Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

01:17:59 - Plans for the future / closing thoughts

Play segment

Partial Transcript: All right well, what, uh, what are your intentions for after you're graduate? What, what are your long-term plans?

Segment Synopsis: Perry talks about what he plans to do after he graduates and shares some of the career options that he has considered. He sums up his experience in the military. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Lexington (Ky.); degrees; distinguished visitors; experience; finals; fire alarms; fire department; mechanical engineering; mechanical systems; navy cadets; reactor systems; summer cruises

Subjects: Submarines (Ships); United States. Navy.

GPS:

Map Coordinates: 38.04058, -84.50372