Dunerunner, we had similar experiences. When I re-upped (after having done four years USAF) the Navy recruiter signed me up for Nuke Program and Submarines - he had a quota to fill. I made the second highest ASVAB score in my town.
So, I get through OSVET training - a two week program for 'other service veterans' to train them on Navy ways, then go to BE&E in Great Mistakes. Graduated under the cutoff for Nuke by 1.5%. This also bumped me off the Sub list.
Best thing ever! I ended up in "A" school for Communications Electronics (sub guys went to Radar "A" school), and graduated as an E4 ET3. Got sent to an ASW Frigate (USS Ainsworth - FF1090) and got paid to do three years of Carribean Cruises.......
Fun duty! Weekends in Ft. Lauderdale, while spending the week doing refresher training in Gitmo. Then a six-month deployment to the MED/IO.
I was the ship's UHF and Crypto tech. Got an attaboy for coming back with all seven UHF radios still up and humming. When I had signed aboard, the just-departed UHF guy had six of them stripped to pieces on the deck, just off their prior deployment! I got smart and hit the salvage yard just before sailing - scored an entire suite of the same gear - a ship had upgraded to newer equipment. Between beaucoup spares and literally rebuilding bad modules, I kept the boat talking. Captains like that sort of thing.
Small ships rock. Lots of good shore visits. Beats being couped up in a can for three months.
Surface duty is good too. I served on my ship's ASROC Security Force, was Test Equipment PO and Duty Divisional Damage Control PO, and had my two-year loan on my car paid off in six months.
The electronics experience helped my to later get my current State position as Programmer/Analyst. Not as good pay as a Nuke guy, but I'll never glow either.