This is my winter training report about POLA in Fort Dix, New Jersey. The training all together was fun and an interesting experience. Also, it wasn’t as boring as some people said it would be. We barely did PT except for once when we learned how to conduct a PRT. We had liberty almost every night and we also had a giant recap by playing Jeopardy. There was some drama to where we had to have a health and welfare check because someone’s Ipad was misplaced. Show was good, a little too good considering we had no PT, I had a major acne breakout while i was there because of it. I highly recommend this training though, it build team work and also have a good time. – Seaman Apprentice Santos-Silva
I went to pola at fort Indian town gap and I disliked it and liked it. I disliked it because there was too much family involved. Also it was mostly death by PowerPoint but it did teach me what I had to learn.
I had liked it because of the food and what I had learned.
Small Boat Ops: it was ok but I had expected to drive motor boats but ended up learning about lifeguards. Also the same thing happened again about to much family involved. The administration wasn’t very organized either there was active duty navy there and they even said the same thing. I did drive some boats but they were just kayaks and we did some boring ops. The place was beautiful though. The worst of it all was that we had Boy Scouts as our instructors but they acted as they were better than us even though they couldn’t tie knots or do pt. they were supposed to teach us how to tie knots even though they couldn’t. For the most part it was not to to bad.
My POLA was at Camp Latimer. I learned about leadership(three different styles) and got to apply that in making the watch bill for RT. The most useful thing I learned how to do was make classes. During POLA we were relaxed on military baring. PT however was not relaxed we did 200 burpees the first day and a 5 mille run the next day. We went rappelling down the side of a cliff. One of the fun parts was going to the range, it as a nice break from the classes we had to do. All of our classes where about how to be an effective leader and be a successful unit. The food was great(not better than drill though). I would definitely recommend this training to some one, I would recommend going to Camp Latimer for any training.
This summer I attended Fort Indiantown Gap’s POLA training for a week. Overall, I found that the training was a very educational experience, due to the fact that we had phenomenal instructors who led engaging conversations in class. These conversations were quite enjoyable, and helped cadets recess lots of information, as we covered topics such as the uses of power and influences on subordinates. Outside of the classroom, all of the cadets had the opportunity to practice drill and command on the POLA division. Near the end of the training, the POLA cadets used the new leadership techniques to traverse various scenarios at the base’s O-Course. We even helped a struggling division of Marines complete the course too! All in all, my only complaint is that this training could’ve used another staff cadet, because the one staff cadet was having an issue with controlling the whole POLA division when it got rowdy. In conclusion, I recommend this training, because in the end I learned a lot and had good time.
Training Report: Seamanship Training OE-VA-14
Over winter break I got the chance to attend Seamanship training in Virginia. The training was located at a 4-H center along Smith Mountain Lake. The purpose of the training was to teach cadets basic seamanship, small boat operations, marlinspike seamanship, navigation, and boater safety. The training definitely covered all of those objectives and much more. The boats we used for the training were the Zodiac FC-470. It is a fifteen and a half foot long inflatable vessel mainly meant for the purpose of reconnaissance used by the Marines and Navy Seals. It is the definitive special operations boat. The chance to attend this training and drive these boats was an amazing experience that I would love to do again and staff.
The curriculum for this training was very intensive. It contained all the things previously stated and much more, especially in the ways of hands on training aboard the vessels. We were also subject to completion of a PQS (Personal Qualification Standard) for this training and a final oral board. Due to the amount we had to learn and how short the training was being only 8 days, we had very late nights and long nights studying and taking classes.
The hands on work during the training was the best part. After completing our Virginia boater’s safety course we were allowed to go underway, and we spent many hours doing so. We started out learning the basics with an officer on board, and by the end of the training we were expected to operate the boats on our own with no help from the officers. I got the chance to be a crew leader at the training which added to my duties. I was in charge of a crew of four people total. We had to learn to work together and become close in order to operate the boats at max efficiency.
There were many things we did at the training. To highlight some of the best parts, we participated in multiple night operations, which meant we got up in the middle of the night, got briefed, and were sent down to the docks to carry out our mission. The best one being that we did one on New Year’s Eve, and it was time perfectly so that we beach crashed and celebrated New Year’s on an island.
My crew was probably the best part of my training. I haven’t had the chance to be so personally in charge of people, usually working with a whole division of cadets, working with just 3 was very different. I took advantage of this as much as I could. My crew started out bickering and fighting and just not working together. You can’t expect much when you get four cadets who have never met each other start working together, but through teamwork and a little team building I implemented we were able to grow close. We became a single working machine that could do just about anything they could throw at us including midnight missions and surprise operations. We went from fighting to being a family. That teamwork and camaraderie brought us together and earned us the position of Honor Crew at the training. That was an amazing accomplishment for us. Also to my surprise I earned the position of Honor Cadet at the training in recognition of my efforts to get my crew to work together. That was another amazing accomplishment that just added to the training.
Overall the training was great. We had the chance to do so much and have so much fun along the way. Although times got difficult, nights were late, sleep was in short supply, and it was below freezing most of the time, it was all worth it. This training was just amazing and worth it. I would recommend it to anyone at all.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Arter, JU, Master At Arms
When I went to field ops I learned about different formations and I also learned land navigation. We would always walk in a staggered column wherever we went. We also did a form of Army’s PT because one of our instructors was a specialist in the Army. The most energetic moment of the training was when it was pouring down rain and the Battalion Commander made us do leap frogs behind the chow hall. Overall, my Field Ops training was a good experience, it could have been better though but it was Fort Indiantown Gap’s first time hosting Field Ops. -Seaman Apprentice Santos-Silva
When I went to Seapearch I learned about different engineering jobs. I also learned the Seabees song and some of Anchor’s Aweigh, sadly I don’t remember all of it. When building the Seapearch we learned how to Sauder, which is where we use a saudering iron to get metal to close on the parts we needed so it would stay together. The most energetic moment is when we played with bee’s wax and monkey dung, in order to make our motors waterproof. But, near the end of the training I got a migraine and I was suffering for the last 2 days before recovering for graduation. – Seaman Apprentice Santos-Silva
I went to aviation training in rural Virginia at mountain empire airport. I was surprised because the training was actually really relaxed. The food was good and we did it like were we worked from 9:00 to 5:00 then we got to do whatever we wanted. It was a very interesting first training I learned a lot from it and I got to fly a plane like an actual plane. Also I learned about what planes are made out of and the kinds of engines inside them. Also we didn’t have to do PT and woke up at like 8:45.
The chief there was really nice but some of the officers there would pick favorites, like there were some cadets from that division and they were the same rank as me but they didn’t have to do any work. I did meet a lot of interesting people from different places and it was very exciting. I did enjoy this training a lot and some cadets from the training knew of our division and of PO2 Garcia-Lara C. I would recommend this training to someone who is interested in planes. This was a great training. -SN Coyne
I attended Advanced Culinary Training in Gainesville FL this summer. At this training I participated in the preparation and cooking of food for 150 cadets and officers. I learned to cook/prepare Apple pie, various salads, eggs, wraps, and we even made some swanns out of apples. This training advanced my knowledge of the culinary arts and has enhanced my desire to participate in the USNSCC aswell as the USN later in life. I had a great time and would recommend this training to all cadets in the future. – SA Curran
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.
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.
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.
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.
I just graduated yesterday from Medical training. Buffalo was pretty chill and the officers were pretty nice. The food was amazing and the training was phenomenal. They taught us a lot that I wouldn’t have been able to learn within a regular school setting. We learned how to check our blood pressure, check our blood sugar, how to diagnose a patient, suture a pig’s leg, and we got CPR qualified. The best part of the training was when we went to the simulation facility and tried to help mannequins. We also were able to take blood; I surprisingly did it on my first try. This has been my most favorite training by far in my sea cadet career and I cant wait to do another medical training. -Seaman Apprentice Santos-Silva
This winter I attended the EMS (Emergency Medical Seminar) in Newport, Rhode Island from December 26th to January 1st. I really enjoyed the training and everything it offered, it only added to the reasons of why I want to have a career in medicine. Everyday there was an estimated 10 hours of classroom training. Generally, the morning sessions where focused on power-point presentations about the content we were learning. Then in the afternoon we were able to apply and practice the skills we learned in the morning. These practical sessions included learning about applying splints, taking vital signs, giving an Eppi pen, and most importantly giving CPR and using an AED. During one of the training days our company marched to the Newport Fire department where we were able to tour the fire trucks and the Ambulances. The last two days focused on practicing the skills that we learned during the week. Every evening we had a chapter to read in our book and had to take notes. Also, with our homework we generally had a writing assignment to go along with the reading and note taking. Every night we had silent study hour so that we could do our assignment without interruption. The largest part of the final test was the ability to show the skills that we learned in a final scenario. My scenario was to apply CPR and an AED to a heart attack Patient. This was my favorite part of the training because I was able to act with my new skills in a true scenario. After going to this training I have decided that I want to attend the field medicine training in the summer, and attempt to staff the EMS training next winter. – Snidow, Makenna
This focus of this training was to learn about the Construction Battalion and how the Navy can build important structures while in a combat setting. The training site was good, but very tucked away from civilization. The staff was nice and only yelled when cadets misbehaved. The food was pretty good. Berthing was small, but air conditioned. We were on bunk beds and didn’t have to keep the area too neat. We only had one zone and compartment inspection. We did not have to stand watch at all. We had PT just once because we had 24 hour field-ops when we built different obstacle course structures. We were given a chance to sleep when there were thunderstorms with a lot of lightning. Our classwork was actually outside all day doing hands-on building activities. Special activities: Running the obstacle course when it was completed.
The best part of this training was also the hardest part: 24 hour night-ops while building the O-course and knowing that the O-course will be used by other cadets in future trainings held at that site. The adult leaders uploaded pictures on Facebook, so that was nice. The worst part was that some of the tools used were very dangerous and there was no safety class. Overall, I recommend this training to anyone who is willing to work hard and learn new things. This training was the hardest one I’ve done, so far, but I’m very proud of what I did.
This training was about how military vehicles work and how to maintain them. The training site was on an Army base that also serves as training site for the Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard, and law enforcement agencies. The staff had a lot of international and combat experience to share with the group. The food was amazing every day. Berthing was in air conditioned barracks, with bunk-beds, and private shower stalls. We had to keep the area inspection-ready at all times. Each cadet had to stand watch, but for only one hour. We had PT every morning. Staff cadets made PT fun by having different drills in order to get everyone ready for the PT test at the end of training. Classroom time was reasonable but there was more emphasis on hands-on activities. Our group visited all the tanks on the base and we learned how to change the oil on a HUM-VEE and the different components of military vehicles. We later got to ride the HUMVEES and Wreckers. Our training contingent had 2 photographers (from photo-journalism training) embedded in our unit. The adult leaders also uploaded pictures on Facebook. All cadets had a chance to shoot rifles and pistols in the FATS range to qualify for the Marksmanship ribbon.
Special activities with the entire training contingent made this training the most fun: Movie night with popcorn, a Dance, a talent show, and drill competition (including the adults, who tried their best to keep their formation and military bearing). The best parts of this training were the special activities (especially the dance), interacting with other military organizations, riding a HUM-VEE, and qualifying as a Sharp-Shooter. The worst part was: Leaving, because everyone had such a a great time together. Also – there were more mosquitoes in Fort Custer, Michigan than my trainings in Georgia and Florida, combined. Overall, this training was the most fun so far because I learned so many things that I would not have to chance to learn about in the regular school setting. I also really enjoyed meeting a lot of new people. I strongly recommend this training.
This summer I attended the Submarine Seminar at the Naval Submarine School Base in Groton, CT. This training was probably the best advanced training I have ever attended in my Sea Cadet career! Throughout the entire week, we had the opportunity to use and see submarine trainers; the same trainers that submariner students use to learn how to operate a submarine. With these trainers, I learned how to be a helmsman, a planesman, an OOD, and even a fire control technician. We had very enjoyable classes with our CO, XO, and a few submarine instructors, as they got very in depth when explaining a topic we were learning. They also shared many hilarious sea stories when explaining a topic; one of which involved a spider monkey being launched out of a torpedo. Outside the classroom, we had the honor of touring a LA-class submarine, USS Springfield, which gave me and the other cadets insight on what submarine life was like. This training gave the cadets lots of freedom, since we did stay in a hotel on base and hang out in each other’s rooms. We also got to go shopping at the NEX and saw Jurassic World at the base’s movie theater. Overall, this was a training like no other and I highly recommend cadets to take this training. I have zero complaints!
At Fort Deven’s it was an interesting experience staffing as an MAA. The training was good and the recruits were able to soak a lot knowledge in. Throughout the training the MAA’s were assigned different tasks consisting of, mess duty, laundry, watch, and general cleaning. If we weren’t assigned anything to do we would just simply lounge around and have free time. My favorite job was laundry, because we would just put the laundry in and then wait 45 minutes to either go sleep or go to the PX. It got pretty repetitive over the 15 days but the most interesting day was when we helped out the recruits with the obstacle course, trying to boost their self confidence and strength along with teamwork. Also, one day i accidentally slept in for 13 hours because nobody came into my cube to wake me up. For me the worst days were the last 2 because I had a raging migraine which wasn’t to fun to deal with. But, for an overall perspective it’s good for recruits but for staff, you would have to staff twice in order to get a leadership position.