PETA ANDREWS: In my opinion, I think submariners are the best people in the Navy.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: Six months on a little submarine. Three hundred sixty-three feet. You get a chance to know everyone.
PETER COZEIL: Nicknames are always like -- especially in the Military -- are kind of a sacred thing. Like, you earn your nickname.
JOEL WINDEGLER: [Rivera's] nickname is [The Era]. It comes from his last name, but it also comes from his grandiose personality. He likes to be very dramatic when he comes to the Navy.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: My only regret in life was that I wasn't born in a naval hospital.
PETA ANDREWS: Joel's nickname is Dot-Com.
JOEL WINDEGLER: No comment.
PETA ANDREWS: He had made a website, so -- (laughter)
JOEL WINDEGLER: I created that website and then kind of forgot about it and left it up.
PETA ANDREWS: I knew pretty much everything about him before he came on board.
JOEL WINDEGLER: Still getting made fun of for that, actually.
PETER COZEIL: Being in the Military has been a dream probably since I was eight or nine years old.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: I always knew I was going to be in the Military. I knew that's something I wanted to do. And I always knew early on that I wanted to be in submarines.
JOEL WINDEGLER: After doing some college and realizing that maybe a desk job wasn't quite exactly what I thought it was going to be, this opportunity came along in a way that could use my intellectual skills.
[Cut to scene]
No close contact. Entering continuous search.
[Cut to interview]
And also serve the country.
[Cut to scene]
Emergency deep. Lowering number one scope. Emergency deep.
PETA ANDREWS: So right now we are in the dry dock and we're in an upkeep where we're trying to fix everything that's gotten broken, essentially, over the last three years.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: Next week, if everything goes right, we'll be in the water.
[music changes; alarm sound]
MALE SPEAKER: Trainers in motion, gentlemen.
CHRIS CARTER: Right fifteen degrees. We're on a steady course. Zero-nine-zero. A nuclear reactor is a complicated mechanism, but at the same time you have so much training that it really becomes kind of second nature.
MALE SPEAKER 2: I'm going to (inaudible) 6-9-0 feet.
MALE SPEAKER 3: Coming down 6-9-0 feet (inaudible).
PETER COZEIL: It's a process that really starts after you graduate from college and you get accepted in the program by the Admiral.
PETA ANDREWS: The next step is you go to Nuke Power school.
PETER COZEIL: We start in the back of the ship. We start in the back of the boat, where you learn, you know, how to make the boat go.
MALE SPEAKER 4: Well, and then instead of piping, it's going to go into a heat exchange. This steam is flowing across those (inaudible) blades and actually spinning the blades inside the turbine.
PETA ANDREWS: Training is a huge part of our routine.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: A wet trainer is really, like, the way that you'd practice your damage control.
ERIC POLINA: This will be engine lower level. That's where you guys go in. All right, any question on that? Fire the (inaudible).
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: Every officer has to be the man in charge of a fire, the man in charge of flooding...
MALE SPEAKER 5: How are those guys on the outboard doing?
PETA ANDREWS: We bust our butts on board the ship, and when we get our time off, we like to bust our butts having fun.
CHRIS CARTER: The submarine force is a small fraternity in itself.
ERIC POLINA: You know, you tend to develop a pretty strong sense of brotherhood. You know, you get closer to the guys, more so than I think you would on a larger ship.
JOEL WINDEGLER: The people I work with are really good people. They're really friendly, and I just get along with them really well.
PETA ANDREWS: The guys in the [war room?] are some of the best friends I've ever had -- the other junior officers on board. We spend so much time together, you know, both in port and at sea that you're almost like family.
PETER COZEIL: America needs assets that can go dangerous places and do dangerous things when people don't know about it.
ERIC POLINA: The mission of the submarine, it's -- one of the coolest parts about it is the fact that what we do actually benefits the national security of the United States.
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: You want to get out to sea. I mean, that's, like, the favorite part, I think, for me, is driving a submarine. When you're up on the bridge, it's just you and the lookout at first, while you're getting ready, and then the captain comes in -- there's nothing like it.
PETER COZEIL: I can't wait until I get up there with the rest of the [war room], qualified, get underway, and start driving the boat. Because I, you know, I joined to be a warrior, I joined to go to sea...
JOEL WINDEGLER: Up on the surface coming into port, I kind of feel like a badass, I guess. You're in charge of a multimillion-dollar submarine, and you're driving it.
PETER COZEIL: I don't think there's any other opportunities that you can be given so much responsibility so quick.
PETA ANDREWS: I'm a 26-year-old guy in charge of making sure this warship operates and nothing goes wrong with that. I think that's just a -- it's a really awesome responsibility, and it's also incredibly fun.
PETER COZEIL: My name is Peter [Cozeil].
JOEL WINDEGLER: My name is Joel [Windegler].
CHRISTIAN RIVERA: My name is [Christian Rivera].
ERIC POLINA: My name is [Eric Polina].
CHRIS CARTER: My name is Lieutenant Chris Carter.
PETA ANDREWS: My name is [Peta Andrews]. I'm a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the United States Navy, and I drive submarines for a living.