There is a great history behind the words commitment, honor, and courage when talking about becoming an American Sailor or a U.S Navy. Its tradition has spanned for more than two centuries.
Any civilian who wished to become a sailor should report to the Recruit Training Command or RTC in Great Lakes, Illinois. Take note, RTC is a big campus but you will never experience being alone. You will meet other recruits with the same goal as you are. The training and skills that you will obtain from the boot camp will be your stepping stone for your future success whether wearing a uniform or not.
A Boot Camp is eight weeks of physical and mental training. As many would expect, it would be very demanding and rigorous. It is hard work because recruits will gain everything that is well worth it in being a navy man. From the Boot Camp, the recruits will emerge as Navy sailors with high physical condition. Every recruit has the chance of accomplishing what are needed to become a true sailor ready for any adventure.
Week 1 is considered as the processing week. Once you have arrived at the RTC, you will be issued with Navy clothing. Right folding and storing your belongings and making your bunk are properly taught. You will also receive complete medical and dental exams and even a haircut if it is needed.
As the week passes, you will spend your time in conditioning, marching, drilling, swimming, and most significantly attending your Navy classes. You are required to push yourself beyond mental and physical limits to achieve higher levels of performance which you thought you cannot do. Then honor, courage, and commitment will become the words that you will be required to live with. These are the Navy Core Values which will become your ideals as well as your shipmates’.
Week 2 focuses on building your confidence. You will take a confidence course designed for simulating shipboard situations during emergency cases. This will taught you how to be sharp and cooperative with other shipmates.
Week 3 will be your reality check. You will learn about ship nomenclature, first aid procedures, semaphore or signaling using flags, and other real-world lessons to survive the Navy world. It also includes Customs and Courtesies, money management, armed conflict laws, identification of aircraft and navy ship, basic seamanship, and shipboard communication. You will then be subjected for two tests to physical training including curl ups, 1.5 mile run, push-ups, and sit-reaches.
Week 4 will be your weapons training. You will be taught how to handle a 12-gauge shotgun and an M-16.
Week 5 will focus totally on you. It will answer what, where, and how questions to assess the things that you have undergone already and seeing what the future brings.
Week 6 is all about firefighting and shipboard damage control. You will learn about extinguishing fires and escaping a compartment filled with smokes.
Week 7 will be your ultimate test. You are provided with exercises of twelve different scenarios incorporated with what you have been previously learned. You, together with your team are graded according to your ability on executing the tasks being required. Successful completion will enable you to obtain the ball cap as a full-fledged Navy Sailor.
Week 8 will be your graduation. Be proud that you have successfully passed the Boot camp and achieved your dream to become a member of the U.S. Navy with honor, courage, and commitment.