Recruit Training

The instructors and staff at Fort Lee made this a great experience for all the cadets and families.  They kept a photo record of the training and made it available to all families on Facebook.  I know they had a lot of learning and training to do in a short time, but they still managed to build camaraderie among the cadets.  Very nice experience for everyone involved. – Carney, M.

During late June and early July, I attended Recruit Training in Virginia. The training took place at Camp Pendleton in Southern Virginia. The training was meant to teach recruits basic requirements and to teach us how to work together as one ship. We learned how to march, keep a military bearing, drill, and much more. We marched every day, did P.T. every day, and at the end of that practice we had a Physical Readiness Test and a final exam to go over everything we’ve learned. Next year, I am planning to staff there as a petty officer.

Classrooms there were very important and taught us very useful information. From first aid to designations for naval ships we had to make sure we were familiar with the information in case any scenario described happened in real life. They have a final to prepare for the real world and make sure we know how to use the information taught, therefore, during any free time we had we would be studying. The final tested us on all of the information in 75 multiple choice questions, and our eleven general orders for bonus questions.

My division, Echo, made it a better experience as we really got to know each other and work together better. We earned Honor Company for working together and because of our leader, PO3 Allen made fair decisions and inspired us during something we might have been doubtful about. We also had to put up with a lot of unfortunate events with other staff cadets. Some of them broke into our barracks and called us disgraces, but Petty Officer Allen made a good decision to bring it up with the Chain of Command. I feel as if that happening and us handling with it, made us closer together as a division.

The training was a great experience. Although we definitely didn’t get much sleep and went through many hardships we went through we made it out. In the end, it was worth it. It was a great learning experience and I’m glad recruits are required to go to this training.

Seaman Recruit Garland

From June 28 to July 11, I went to recruit training in Ft. Indiantown Gap. Some Cadets from our division where there for POLA but, I was the only one for recruit training. The staff for this training where mostly either retired or active duty personnel. Overall I had a great time.

When we first arrived we had to check in. This process was a little nerve racking because of one of the staff members, she was PO2 in the Navy and was pretty scary. It might seem funny but she was the most intimidating of all the staff. We got settled into our barracks. As soon as I walked into the door I could tell this was going to be awesome. Our RDC’s reminded me of Petty Officer Garcia-Lara. I was made the Recruit Master at Arms for my division.

PT was moderate for the first few days until one of the Petty Officers at the training complained that it was to easy. After that we ran about 2 miles very day with tons of calisthenics. At this training they weren’t allowed to drop us because apparently headquarters does not allow it anymore so that was different from our division.

The food was ok I guess but, the whole time I wishing Brown would hop back there and save the day. They had two women in there who were very nice but all the male cooks where very grouchy.

Watch was different. At our division our watch is setup with a quarterdeck in our building but at this training the quarterdeck was in charge of the officers. The OOD was a lieutenant from the training. We ran a fire watch so we walked around inside for an hour then went to bed. We stood watches in our working uniform which I actually liked.

Order and discipline where a lot different in my barracks than at drill. Our Petty Officers it seemed to be too nice and some recruits didn’t take them seriously. Our division was always picked apart by all the other petty officers when our RDC’s were away doing something. It seemed like everyone but our RDC’s were trying to get us in order.

Classrooms were pretty fun and I hardly fell asleep because they let us go to bed at 2100. The on base fire department came one day and let us train with fire extinguishers. We learned a lot of damage control material along with knots, CBR defense, and different types of ships and aircraft.

On the second to last night of training we were woken up at 0200 and we experienced a mock version of the Navy’s Battle Stations21. We did damage control exercises, humanitarian aid mission, search and rescue, and trivia questions. It was fun but challenging. Afterwards they let us take a little nap for around 2 hours. After this they had a capping ceremony where they took our recruit covers and gave us “Cadet” covers which where ball caps that said sea cadets instead of recruit.

This training was a great experience and I would recommend going to FTIG for Recruit Training.

SA Colby Elburn, Annapolis Division.

Recruit Training (RT) site was held at a scout camping facility one hour south of Atlanta, GA. Recruit Training (RT) was a very good learning experience. This training was all about how to be a good Sea Cadet and work as a team. The staff cadets and adults leaders were nice, but strict when they needed to be. The food was good on most days. We stayed in tents under pavilions in 90 degree weather every day. We used a bathhouse that had private shower stalls. Daily PT included: sit-ups, push-ups, and the mile run, but there was no PT test. According to the adult leaders, by the end of each day, we either ran or marched 8 miles per day. We also did the swimmer qualification test. Everyone had to do 2 hour watches at night. During the day there was class-time for about 4 hours, but it went by really fast. There was a bonfire every night so everyone could relax and get to know each other.

The worst part of this training was Hell Day. I was expecting it to be like my Navy League SEAL training last summer (which was really demanding), but RT’s Hell Day was more yelling than actual physical training. The best parts were: company time, the bonfires, qualifying as a 1st class swimmer, and getting a plank-owner certificate. The adult leaders uploaded pictures on Facebook on a regular basis, so that was nice for families to see what cadets were doing during training and for cadets to see themselves afterwards. Overall, I would recommend this training, as long as you can handle the heat and humidity, while living in a tent for 8 days.

Cadet Russo

This past week I was able to attend Recruit Training at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, Virginia from 28 JUNE 2015 to 9 JULY 2015. This was a very good experience overall, and a very good introductory into what the Sea Cadets program is all about. Not only was I able to meet people from all around the United States, but I was also able to visit a place I had never been before. Recruit training is all about learning the basics to become a Sea Cadet. For example, basic marching maneuvers, general knowledge, and uniform regulations are some of the key fields taught during my stay in Camp Pendleton. We were taught how to properly iron uniforms, roll sleeves, and how to properly fold our uniforms for packing, in regards to uniform regulations. For the general knowledge, we were taught our Chain of Command, 11 general orders to the Sentry, military customs and courtesies, and Naval history. Not only were these items taught at the training, but our knowledge of them was put to the test at points, so most of us studied when we could. Whether it was barracks inspection or personnel inspection, we were always being asked questions about our general knowledge. Although, personnel inspections were the ones that would combine all of the information we learned the best. Our uniforms would be inspected based on how we were taught to wear it and take care of it, and we were asked random questions that we learned in the classroom at some point before. Personnel inspections were always my favorite, because I had already known most of the Chain of Command, and all of my 11 General Orders.

In the beginning of this training, we were all given what division we were in, had our sea bags checked, our heads shaved, and were taken to our division assigned barracks. I was assigned to Charlie division, Barracks 341, 2nd floor, with another cadet from our division, Reid Carey. Originally, I was accidentally placed with Delta division by one of the staff members, but that was later sorted out. In the beginning we seemed to be a pretty strong group of recruits, no arguments or disagreements, and we were pretty good at marching. Although, later into the training, as everybody got to know each other more, there was more talking in formation and goofing off that would get everybody in trouble, and the ones who would not participate in the wrong doings would get very upset with the others. This caused a lot of fighting.

The whole first week of this training consisted of a lot marching, classroom time, and a little spare time we had to study our notes and clean in our barracks. Reveille was every morning at 0430 and TAPS was at 2200. We had 2 hour watches consisting of two men, an OOD and an MOW. Our watch layout was very smooth, and gave everyone at least a two day break between watches. After the first week of training was done, we had our final exam to take. The final exam quizzed us on everything we learned that past week, including extra credit to whomever can list all 11 General Orders on the back, and the Chain of Command on the back. I finished with highest score in the battalion, with a 121%! I answered all 75 questions on the final, listed all 11 General Orders to the Sentry, and listed the National Chain of Command, Sea Cadet Chain of Command, and the Camp Pendleton staff Chain of Command. I was extraordinarily happy with my score, and was happy that our first test was over. The next test was PRT. I was pretty worried about the PRT, being that I fractured my hand a week before the camp, and had the cast removed 5 weeks early. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do a good number of push-ups. I finished the PRT above national scores, making it into the nationals category, to which I was also very happy with.

On the 4th of July, we all marched down to the beach that was connected to the military base and were able to swim for a while. We did some sugar cookies, push-ups in the water, and team sit-ups in the water. After we were finished at the beach, we had a cookout and watched the fireworks at night before we headed back to the barracks to get ourselves ready for the next day.

Over the next couple of days, I was able to make a trip to a Catholic church off base to be able to attend a service on Sunday, and I enjoyed it very much. On Tuesday, we had a drill competition between all of the divisions: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, and Golf. I was not able to be in the drill comp, due to the fact that I felt ill earlier in the day for an unknown reason and was sent to sick call. I was at the admin barracks laying down on a cot, unfortunately. The good news is that Charlie won first place in the drill competition! We were all very happy that we won first, but I was a little upset that I wasn’t able to be there to participate, but we won a medal and a ribbon for our guidon.

During the last few days, we practiced our graduation ceremony, and color guard for the 9th. These days were fairly easy. We started to pack and conducted a final clean on the barracks and prepare our dress whites for graduation. All of us were pumped for graduation, and ready to see our families and friends. On graduation morning, we all woke up with an unbelievable amount of energy. We were all motivated to finish strong, and to make our parents proud marching out onto the parade field. After the national anthem our gideons posted and the CO began to call up the Honor Cadets of each division. I was selected as the Honor Cadet for Charlie division, and I was very happy. Then, as the 7 Honor Cadets, each chosen from their division were standing up there, the CO announced the Battalion Honor Cadet. The best of the best. I was chosen as the Battalion Honor Cadet. Not only did I feel accomplished, but I felt proud to represent my shipmates in the Charlie division, and to be recognized for all the hard work I put forth during the training.

Overall, I believe that my recruit training was a great experience to have as an introductory to the Sea Cadets program. I would specifically recommend this recruit training to anyone who has never been to one before, and does not know which one to go to. This was a great experience, I got to meet people from all over, and I was also able to get their contact information to be able to keep in touch. This training was worth all I put into it, and all of the hard work I put forth from the beginning paid off in the end.

Cadet Seaman Apprentice John D. Revel III

When I first joined the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, I mistakenly assumed that it would be a mere casual youth organization, on par with other groups like the boy scouts. It is my pleasure to have realized that my preconceived notion about the USNSCC was incorrect, and that the Sea Cadets offer much more than any other contemporary organizations for young adults. The experience I received from attending the Recruit Training at Camp Pendleton, Virginia was truly outstanding and I feel privileged to have been able to attend it. Not only did I get to meet other recruits from around the country and be able to bond with them as a unit, but I learned valuable lessons that will benefit me at school, in the real world, and, one day, in the United States Military.

I am not entirely sure what I imagined Recruit Training would be like before I went, but it certainly came as a bit of a shock when I eventually arrived. Immediately after I handed in my paperwork and my gear and clothing were searched is when I head to my barracks for the first time (I was in Bravo Company). Any residing thoughts that this would be an easy venture quickly resided when our Division Officer and Petty Officer began hollering at the top of their lungs at me-and the few other recruits that arrived at the same time as me- to pick up the pace and get all of our clothes stowed away. They informed us that we would have five minutes to change from our dress whites into our BDU’s/NWU’s and make sure all of our luggage was packed perfectly into our lockers(P02 Hermanson later told us that this was a near impossible task for a Recruit and the main purpose was to introduce us to stressful working conditions). I tried to move as fast as I could, but that proved to be a futile effort and those five minutes quickly turned into thirty seconds; all while I was being screamed at by to very seemingly angry people. At the end of a very stressful first day, I was very happy to go to sleep.

The first four to five days proved to be the worst days out of the training (a lot of time was spent in the leaning rest position). It was during this section of training when I got my canteen dumped on my head for not having it fastened shut all the way (at the time it seemed kind of ridiculous, but I soon realized that it taught me an important lesson in paying close attention to everything, even something as miniscule as a canteen), but after that it was pretty much smooth sailing: I now knew to pay attention to small details, I knew how to move with a purpose, and most importantly I understood what was expected from me and the rest of our unit. These three things that I quickly learned made the rest of Boot Camp go by fairly quickly and easily. On the fourth of July we even went and had some fun on the beach followed by a cook-out and an evening spent watching fireworks. The days flew by and before I could blink it was graduation day. I was so happy that my family could be there to see me and my fellow shipmates at such an important event. Marching on the parade field was a truly gratifying and special event.

In conclusion, Recruit training was the best, worst two weeks of my life and I would not trade the experience and the lessons learned for the entire world. I walked away from this training not only as a better Cadet, but as a better person. I have learned many important things from this and I am now am one-hundred percent sure that I want to make the military a career in my life. I am also very grateful that I found out about the USNSCC and look forward to progressing in the program, and, hopefully, I will be able to staff a Recruit Training myself in the near future.
Cadet Gilberto

I attended Camp Pendleton, VA Recruit training from June 28, 2015 to July 9, 2015. Most of these days were black flag days due to the temperature being above 95 degrees for most of the training. My experience at the training was a complete one. I learned what I believe to be all the basics and some of the advanced aspects of being a United States Naval Sea Cadet. I feel that my military knowledge was greatly enhanced and my marching abilities were greatly refined. We were given ample time to study alone and with other recruits and my division all past the written test with an 80% or higher. There were a few classes that I felt were missed, such as the Basic Seamanship class which involved what seemed to be a lot of information based on the fill-in-the-blank study booklet we were supplied with. However these classes were not included in the test. My division commander (PO3 Castro) pushed my division to be the best we can be, focusing on discipline and military bearings. We were also given time to complete the Confidence course (obstacle course) which was a great team building tool. As a whole I believe I came out of this training with the experience and knowledge I need to go on to advanced trainings and continue my path in the sea cadets.
Cadet Crowe

Recruit training at Camp Pendleton solidified my experiences that I’ve had at Annapolis. It was everything I planned it to be. We drilled, PTed, and even had a little fun. I learned many things while i was there. I learned that to be a good leader patience is needed. Our CC demonstrated this when we were having a little bit of trouble marching as a company. I also learned that to be respected, you need to use discipline and stick to the punishment. While we were there they chose an RPOC and the majority of our company didn’t listen to him because he couldn’t do anything about it. On the other hand, when our CC came around everyone was on their best behavior. It actually annoyed me that our RPOC didn’t tell our CC that we weren’t listening because if he did, it would’ve helped us for the better. At Camp Pendleton we were also subject to barracks inspection and i learned how invaluable teamwork actually is because it would be the same group of guys cleaning up and the rest would sit around and not everyone would help out. As a recruit we were subject to personnel inspections and I did well on all of mine. I think this reallllyyyy made it feel like what the navy may be like and how fast everything had to be done. I got used to it while others didn’t. I had a good time and it was definitely a learning experience that I’m glad I had. I am still saying yes ma’am and yes sir at home and every once in a while ill grab my left sock because I dont feel my ID card which I quickly realize i dont need. I think Recruit Training at Camp Pendleton really honed me to become a better cadet.
Cadet Carey