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Publisher's Summary

From October 2002 to September 2005, the crew of the USS San Francisco (SSN 711), a nuclear fast-attack submarine, took an incredible and gut-wrenching journey through three homeports, two missions vital to national security, two dry-dockings, dozens of leaders, and the worst submerged grounding in the history of the US Navy that did not result in the loss of the vessel.

The author's journey as a young Naval Officer took him through the best and worst of these times, and his story carries lessons for military officers, leaders, and managers everywhere.

©2011 Alexander Fleming (P)2017 Alexander Fleming

What listeners say about Making a Submarine Officer

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A hidden gem.

Full of amazing information, exciting story. I didn't want to stop listening at any point. Informative insight into different CO and XO leadership styles and how that effects the entire crew, and directly effects the Junior Officer, Alex Fleming. Highly recommend this audiobook, full of hidden gems and lessons.

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Honest self reflection

This book is an unflattering self reflection of an young officer during a period of time of trial for both him and the boat. Very good read and gives what I perceive to be a good snapshot of the culture that was on this particular boat.

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Wow

Amazing story. Beautifully written and narrated. Absolutely loved this book. Will be recommending it to friends.

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  • smb072
  • 30-03-2019

Virtual View of the Dolphins

I'm former Navy. I can attest to the fact that this book is not a neatly packaged sterile view of sub ops. This is an honest, gritty, reflective account from a Jr. Officer. I was enlisted, so it was really interesting to see things through his eyes. His anxiety at doubting his ability to meet standards and become the sailor he was required to be is something that every sailor at every level feels to one degree or another. One thing I would encourage you to get from this book is that the U.S. Navy has nearly impossible standards, but they provide you with *every* tool you need to meet them. They're adept at making us more than we could otherwise be. Fleming's account of this dynamic was so descriptive that I had nightmares while reading this book. Falling asleep on watch, forgetting to wear my cover outdoors, getting quals and standing before boards. 23 years later, this book brought back a lot of good and bad memories.. and some of the pressure. Thanks Fleming, well done Sir. God Bless our United States Navy and the men of the 711.

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  • Juxley Adams
  • 05-06-2020

Second perspective

I served on board from Jan 2003 until August of 2007. The author does an excellent job framing the personal journey through the trials and tribulations facing every crew member from arrival up to the collision and the resultant activities and surface transit. I feel it's important to note that the authors perspective during the collision are as one of the few members of ship's force ashore for that deployment. In NO way does that detract from the story or his vital and selfless contribution during those most difficult times. I bring it up because it is a mercy for me. The events of that day are some of the most personal and painful memories that I continue to struggle with. While I was aware of this work for years, it took a concerted effort to relive those days of my past life. I found myself laughing more than crying. This authors perspective can provide a valuable tool for an aspiring naval officer. His honest assessment of his failings and achievements provide a window into the growth that was apparent within everyone during those events, and may guide future naval leadership on less arduous courses. An excellent read.

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  • Darren Sapp
  • 27-03-2021

Must Read for those Entering the Military

I'd encourage anyone entering the military to read this book, not just would-be submarine officers. Any enlistee should consider what it takes to advance in rate and rank, what type of commitment they should make toward studying, qualifications they must accomplish, and how distractions on the shore can derail them. Fleming owns his missteps and shows how he overcame them. There's plenty of gold in here about leadership, management, and teamwork. - Darren Sapp, Author of Fire on the Flight Deck

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  • Slowhand
  • 17-09-2020

Tedious, tedious, tedious

I have a real interest in submarines and related history. This book simply does not make the grade, much like the author.

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