Navy Boot Camp
Boot Camp. This is where the Navy transformation
from civilian to Sailor happens. You'll report to
Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Be advised: RTC is a huge campus, but you'll never feel
alone. On it are hundreds of recruits just like you
finding their way to their futures. The skills and the
training you'll get there will set you up for a lifetime
of success. In and out of uniform.
Boot Camp is 8 weeks of mental and physical training.
Expect it to be rigorous and demanding. It's hard work.
Then again, anything worth something usually is. From
Boot Camp you'll emerge as a Navy Sailor in top physical
condition astounded by what you’ve accomplished so far
and ready for the biggest adventure of your life: Your
first tour of duty.
Let's take a closer look.
Processing Week. Once you arrive you'll be given
Navy-issued clothing, be taught the right way to fold
and store your new belongings, and make your bunk (bed).
You’ll receive complete dental and medical exams, if you
need a haircut, that'll happen too.
As the week progresses, you'll knock the days down
conditioning, swimming, marching, drilling, and most
importantly attending Navy classes. Everything you do
from week to week is designed to prep you for what lies
ahead. You will push your physical limits and achieve
higher performance levels than you ever thought
possible. In the Navy, you'll be judged for who you are
and how you prove it.
Honor. Courage. Commitment. Three words that before Boot
Camp probably held little meaning. Here, they'll become
words you'll live by. These Navy Core Values will become
the ideals you and your fellow shipmates live by. What
you make of this experience makes you.
This is a confidence-building week. As such, you'll be
going through the confidence course - a course designed
to simulate shipboard situations that you could
encounter in an emergency. Be sharp because your life
and the lives of your fellow shipmates depend on it. If
you haven't already caught on, teamwork in the Navy and
especially in Boot Camp is a driving force.
Reality check: This week, you'll board a land-bound
training ship. Everything will be hands-on - something
your Recruiter told you the Navy is big on. Here’s the
proof. You'll learn everything from ship nomenclature to
first aid techniques to semaphore (signaling with
flags). All the real-world lessons you'll need to
survive in the Navy world. Classroom studies will focus
on Customs and Courtesies, laws of armed conflict, money
management, shipboard communication, Navy ship and
aircraft identification, and basic seamanship.
Step up for the first of two physical training tests -
curl ups, sit-reaches, push-ups and a 1.5-mile run. Good
luck - but if you don't pass the first time, your
Recruit Division Commander will work with you to ensure
you do next time. That's because success is everybody's
goal in the Navy - not just yours.
Weapons fire: heads up! If you've never fired a weapon
before - this week you’ll get your hands on a M-16 and a
12-gauge shotgun. When you've proven you know how to
properly use both, you'll graduate to the live-fire
range. This is where it gets really interesting.
Keeping the end in mind, graduation pictures are this
week as well as your second academic test on everything
you’ve learned to date. This is about the time you'll
feel as though you're flying through Boot Camp. It's all
good - because there's so much more adventure awaiting
you after Boot Camp.
This week is all about you. Where you want to go, what
you want to do, and how fast you intend to get there. So
you find the shortest distance between where you are and
where you want to be. If you're feeling a sense of
accomplishment for making it this far - good for you.
That means that 180-degree-life-change your Recruiter
told you would come - has come.
Shipboard damage control and firefighting. Two of the
most vital skills you'll need on board. You'll learn to
extinguish fires. Escape smoke-filled compartments. Open
and close watertight doors. Operate Oxygen Breathing
Apparatus and carry fire hoses. No pressure: but your
life and the lives of other shipmates depend on you
mastering these skills. One more test, and perhaps, the
most challenging of all: the Confidence Chamber. Inside
the Chamber, you and about 100 other recruits will line
up, put on a gas mask while a tear gas tablet is lit.
You'll be ordered to remove your mask and throw it in a
trash can while reciting your full name and social
security number. Relax. Every Sailor before you has
mastered it - and so will you. Because if you didn't
know it before, you know it now: You have what it takes.
You are Navy material.
This week you'll also have to finish the confidence
course - as a team. This is when and where your newly
developed self-confidence and self-assurance shines. "If
they could only see me now." You suddenly find yourself
thinking that a lot.
Battle Stations. Boot Camp's ultimate test. Here's an
exercise of 12 different scenarios incorporating what
you have learned during the previous weeks. You and your
team will be graded on your ability to execute the
Successful completion nets you the ultimate reward - a
U.S. Navy ball cap. The cap that tells the world you're
no longer a Recruit, but a full-fledged Navy Sailor.
This is pivotal. This is where you and your Commanding
Officer recognize what you've always known: You were
destined to do something extraordinary. For you. For
your family. For your country.
You've done it. You've proven to yourself and to the
world you've got what it takes. Your future is now in
Graduation in your dress uniform. Pass the mirror. Stop
and stare. Recognize that person? You should. Stand
tall. Walk proud. You are a Sailor in the U.S. Navy.
After today, your family and friends will envy you.
Strangers on the street will thank you. Your Navy family
will always have your back. Savor this moment. Not
everybody makes it; not everybody should.
NAVY SWIM QUALIFICATIONS
1. Enter the water feet first from a minimum height of
2. Remain afloat for five minutes.
3. Swim 50 yards using any stroke or a combination of
(Source: U.S. Navy - Information on this page deemed
reliable but not guaranteed as information may change.
See U.S. Navy recruiter for latest information.)