Fully submerged: What it's like to live on a submarine

U.S. Navy submarines are some of the most intriguing vessels in the military

By Military1 Staff

U.S. Navy submarines are some of the most intriguing vessels in the military. Their stealth nature and firepower capabilities are impressive in and of themselves. But what is life really like aboard a submarine? We've rounded up a handful of images that give a glimpse into life underwater.  

Submariners deploy for six months at a time. During that time they will conduct several missions vital to national security. Time spent at sea is only limited by the amount of food on board the submarine. Reactors are fueled for the life of the ship and both water and air is regenerated.


(Photo courtesy of Navy YouTube)

A typical day is operated on an 18 hour cycle: 6 hours for standing watch, 6 hours to work out, study, or work on qualifications, and 6 hours to sleep.


Sleeping quarters on a submarine (Photo courtesy of Navy YouTube)

Earning your Dolphin Pin signifies a Submarine Officer's warfare qualification and is a big source of pride for these service members. In order to earn it, you must learn the basic functions of the submarine and damage control along with how to use the sub as a weapon. Then, you must demonstrate these capabilities in front of the captain by driving the sub, giving the orders, etc.


(Photo courtesy of Navy YouTube)

Teamwork is huge when you’re on a submarine. The level of interaction between officers and enlisted is a lot closer and more frequent than in other parts of the Navy.


(Photo courtesy of Navy YouTube)

Living quarters may be tight, but submariners make the most of the space they live and work in. Meals include dishes like prime rib, lasagna, and lobster. The crew's mess includes flat screen TV's and the occasional break-out dance party. Take a look as a submariner aboard the "Mighty Texas" gives a tour of living, eating, and entertainment quarters on the submarine.