Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Rob Royalty, May 8, 2013

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

 

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00:00:00 - Introduction / family / enlisting in the Navy

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Partial Transcript: So I'm going to ask you if it's okay if we record this interview.

Segment Synopsis: Robert Royalty is introduced. He talks about growing up in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He talks about why he decided to enlist in the Navy and whether he came from a military family. He talks about how his parents felt about his enlistment.

Keywords: Army; BCTC; East Jessamine High School; Enlistment; Farms; Military families; Nicholasville (Ky.); Parents; Proud; Recruiters; Sisters; Supportive

Subjects: Bluegrass Community and Technical College; Families.; Jessamine County (Ky.); Schools; United States. Navy.

GPS: Nicholasville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.882778, -84.576667
00:04:36 - Choosing to become a missile technician

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Partial Transcript: --talk to us about that. Take us to the, to the recruiting station. Uh, what job did you end up choosing and what brought you to that point?

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about going with his recruiter to a Military Entrance Processing Station and how he chose his job in the Navy. He talks about how he felt as he was leaving for boot camp.

Keywords: ASVAB; Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; Boot camp; MEPS; Military Entrance Processing Stations; Missile techs; Parents; Ports; Recruiting stations; Rocket scientists; Scared; Security clearances; Submarines

Subjects: Families.; United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

00:09:04 - Basic training

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so take us through basic. Your arrival into basic training.

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses in detail his arrival at basic training. He talks about travelling to basic training, giving up his personal belongings, being issued clothes and supplies, getting a haircut, and taking a urine test. He talks about intensive training.

Keywords: "Smurfs"; Airplanes; Basic training; Boot camp; Haircuts; IT; Intensive training; Missile technicians; Personal items; Sleep; Transitions; USO; United Service Organizations Inc.; Urine tests

Subjects: United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Chicago (Ill.)
Map Coordinates: 41.881944, -87.627778
00:17:28 - Basic Enlisted Submarine School

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so you've, so you've gone through basic training. Um, the intense ups and downs. And now what? Now after you graduate, then what?

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about graduating basic training. He discusses attending Basic Enlisted Sub School in Groton, Connecticut. He talks about being made a proctor and helping his fellow students to pass the classes.

Keywords: BESS; Barracks; Basic Enlisted Sub School; Boot camp; Captain's letters; Condemned; Graduating basic training; Parents; Proctors; Promotions; Submarines

Subjects: United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Groton (Conn.)
Map Coordinates: 41.3485, -72.0775
00:20:45 - "A" School / "C" School

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Partial Transcript: Uh, then, after I got done with that there were talks that I was going to have to maybe stay there because they were talking about moving, uh, MTA school, uh, up to, uh, Groton, Connecticut.

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses his training in "A" School and how quickly he completed it. He talks about his six month training in "C' School, learning to be a missile technician. He talks about choosing his orders and being placed on the USS Tennessee and explains how the deployments for submarines work.

Keywords: "C" School; A-School,MT A-School; Boats; C-School; Home; Missile Technician A-School; Missile techs; Tool familiarization; Training; USS Tennessee

Subjects: Schools; United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (Ga.)
Map Coordinates: 30.781667, -81.535
00:25:30 - Qual cards

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Partial Transcript: So talk to us about the first day you get off the plane in Georgia and you're there at your boat. Your first sighting of the boat.

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about the relationship between experienced and new crew members. He discusses "qual" cards which each crew member must complete, a type of training used on the ship. He explains what privileges come with gaining the qualifications.

Keywords: "Fish"; "Quals"; Boats; Chiefs; Crew's lounges; MTC; Missile Technician Chief Petty Officer; NCOs; NUBs; Non Useful Bodies; Pressure; Qual cards; Sea dads; Sea pups; Second Class Petty Officers; Stress; Submarine Warfare Qualifications; Submarines

Subjects: United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (Ga.)
Map Coordinates: 30.781667, -81.535
00:31:12 - First deployment

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so you're stationed in Georgia--

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses his first deployment, some of the traditions on submarines, and how submarines are their own unique communities. He talks about achieving his Submarine Warfare Qualification and being allowed to watch movies. He talks about working in the Trash Disposal Unit.

Keywords: "Fish"; "Qual" cards; Christmas leave; Deployments; Home; Movies; NUBs; Non-Useful Bodies; Off crews; Privileges; Refits; Submarine Warfare Qualifications; TDUs; Traditions; Trash Disposal Units

Subjects: United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

00:35:47 - Returning from deployment

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Partial Transcript: Alright so, you're back from your first deployment. Talk to us a little bit about coming, coming back, coming back to the States--

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses returning from his first deployment and what he did with his free time. He talks about how many underways he has been on.

Keywords: Christmas; Deployments; Driving; FC supervisors; Family; Fire Control supervisors; First night duty; Fort Stewart (Ga.); Friends; GIS; Geospatial Information and Services (GI&S); Illness; Internet; MOD 6 Fire Control; Mail; Miserable; R&R periods; Sickness; Sisters; Strategic patrols; Training; Underways

Subjects: Families.; United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Map Coordinates: 30.781667, -81.535
00:40:55 - Nuclear weapons

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Partial Transcript: So you talked about being on some deployments where you were actively--

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses how Navy submarines protect the United States from nuclear warfare. He discusses whether he was ever afraid on the submarine. He talks about the schedules while on the submarines.

Keywords: Bombing; Countdowns; Fear; Missile technicians; Missile techs; Nuclear warfare; Nuclear weapons; Refits; Routines; Scared; Silos; Strategic deterrents; Submarines; Targeting; Tired; Treaties; Underways

Subjects: United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

00:46:06 - Leaving the Navy

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so you said your last two years were spent in Virginia.

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses the unusual way he left the Navy.

Keywords: Colleges; Executive Officers; Leave; MICs; Maintenance Information Centers; Sub & sea pay; Sub and sea pay; Tagouts; XOs

Subjects: Schools; United States. Navy--Submarine forces.

GPS: Virginia
Map Coordinates: 37.5, -79
00:48:50 - Coming back to Nicholasville, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So you come back after being--

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about coming home to Nicholasville, Kentucky and how it was difficult to explain to people what he did in the Navy. He talks about the egos the missile technicians formed on the submarines. He talks about transitioning back into a society that does not fully understand him, including how difficult it was not to use curse words.

Keywords: College; Culture shock; Cursing; Egos; Friends; God complexes; Military mindsets; Missile technicians; Missile techs; Nuclear missiles; Nuclear warheads; Sea stories; Small towns; Swearing; Terrorism; Transitions

Subjects: Jessamine County (Ky.); Schools; United States. Navy.; Veterans

GPS: Nicholasville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.882778, -84.576667
00:55:25 - Starting college

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Partial Transcript: So what made you decide to go back to college, you know, when you're back home?

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about why he decided to go to college. He discusses why he chose to attend BCTC instead of UK. He discusses whether he felt the BCTC faculty were understanding of his needs as a student veteran.

Keywords: Academic confidence; Application processes; BCTC; Classes; College degrees; Colleges; Communication; Faculty; Intimidated; KCTCS; Nontraditional students; Patronizing; Smaller campuses; Transitions; UK; Understanding

Subjects: Bluegrass Community and Technical College; Kentucky Community & Technical College System.; University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)

GPS: Bluegrass Community and Technical College (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.02481, -84.50365
01:01:39 - Transferring to the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so now you transfer into UK and I'm assuming at this time you have to declare a major?

Segment Synopsis: Royalty discusses his experiences transferring from BCTC to UK. He talks about majoring in electrical engineering and the skills that he acquired in the military that have helped him in college.

Keywords: BCTC; Discipline; Electrical engineering; Leadership; Majors; Military careers; Priority; Team players; Teamwork; Transferring; UK; Understanding; Visiting students

Subjects: Bluegrass Community and Technical College; University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.); Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

GPS: University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
01:05:19 - Advising veterans / support transitioning to civilian life

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Partial Transcript: So overall, how would you say your time has been at, at UK--

Segment Synopsis: Royalty talks about why he chose to major in electrical engineering and whether he is happy to be at UK. He talks about giving advice to veterans beginning college and being part of the VRC. He talks about his support systems and being a civilian. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Advice; BCTC; Basketball players; Beards; Calculus; Colleges; Electrical engineering; Facial hair; Family; Fans; Friends; Hair; Help; Physics; Plans; Support; Transitions; UK; VRC; Veteran community; Veterans Resource Center

Subjects: Bluegrass Community and Technical College; Families.; University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.); Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

GPS: University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5