Making Civilians into Sailors
- Recruit Division 191 enters the USS Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall at the beginning of a pass-in-review graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command.
- Seaman Recruit Cameron Tunstall, from Bonny Lake, Wash., handles a shoring line aboard the USS Marlinspike Seamanship Trainer at Recruit Training Command.
At Recruit Training Command, they transform civilians into basically trained, physically fit, well disciplined Sailors – 39,000 of them each year. They are trained by a cadre of fleet experienced enlisted Sailors who must meet stringent screening standards and embody our Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment. The Command continually looks for talented 2nd and 1st class petty officers, chiefs and senior chiefs to become recruit division commanders and basic naval orientation instructors, tasked with forging the next generation of Sailors.
"Just as our recruits will go into every field in the Navy, the recruit division commanders and instructors come from every enlisted community throughout the fleet," says Capt. John Dye, Commanding Officer, Recruit Training Command. "While the Command prepares the recruit division commanders to train recruits during a rigorous 12 week course of instruction, recruit division commander candidates are expected to be physically fit, highly motivated and demonstrate outstanding leadership skills upon arrival. Every eight weeks, the recruit division commanders and basic naval orientation instructors mold multiple divisions of 88 individuals into professional, cohesive teams, ready for service in the U.S. Navy."
During their eight weeks of training, recruits learn the basic skills of a Sailor such as firefighting, marksmanship and basic seamanship; but more importantly, they learn our Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment. They rise at 6 a.m. every day to learn Navy customs, courtesies and history, drill, and the basic tenants of a culture of physical fitness. Working together with their shipmates, they learn new responsibilities, accountability and take on a new found sense of duty. During these eight weeks, our new Sailors will often become unrecognizable to their parents and civilian peers. They look different, sound different and carry themselves with a newfound sense of pride and purpose.
The men and women who serve in the US Navy are the best the nation has to offer. The training provided facilitates the transition from civilian to Sailor, which ultimately ensures that the Navy remains manned and ready to respond to an ever changing world. As missions and roles continue to change and expand, their future mission success will be rooted in the character of our Sailors, and that foundation begins here!
Most of the newest Sailors will be assigned to follow-on schools for specialized training, while others will report directly to their fleet units for on-the-job training. They will be deployed on ships, submarines and aircraft. They will be SEALs, divers, quartermasters, technicians, cryptologists and many other ratings. They will travel all over the world and go in harm’s way to ensure global, as well as regional, security and be charged with protecting our Nation and its people. I cannot think of a more honorable profession.
Says Capt. John Dye, "Often people worry about the future of American youth. I tell them that if they could see what I see every day at Recruit Training Command, they would rest assured that America is in good hands. So please join us as we broadcast each Recruit Training Command graduation to witness the transformation and commitment of the next generation of Navy’s newest Sailors."