View Full Version : Navy Remaking Boot Camp for Recruits

11-12-03, 05:30 AM
By ERIC FIDLER, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - Generations of recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center have marched from barracks to classroom, classroom to barracks, barracks to mess hall more than a mile and a half a day for their nine weeks of basic training.

"Two years ago, we did more marching than even the Marine Corps or the Army," said Rear Adm. Ann Rondeau, commander of the center in North Chicago.

But the nation's only boot camp for Navy enlistees is undergoing a major change and less marching for the roughly 45,000 recruits who pass through every year is only a part of it.

Instead of wasting training time by making recruits adapt to the aging base, the base is adapting to them. The result, Rondeau and others say, should be better-trained, healthier sailors who are prepared to serve from the day they graduate.

Two years ago, recruits were allotted six and a half hours of sleep. Today, they get eight hours, a reflection that most people need that much shuteye to be healthy and to learn effectively.

Recruits no longer spend a week of their training on kitchen duty. Meals are handled by a private company, leaving more time for training in fighting, survival and counterterrorism techniques.

The two giant dining halls are disappearing, to be replaced by galleys in the barracks.

Fifteen new barracks are being built containing classroom and training areas; each will be named after a famous ship from Navy history in an attempt to imbue Navy lore in sailors from the start.

They will replace barracks with antiquated ventilation systems in which, Rondeau said, when one recruit gets sick, 70 or 80 more quickly follow.

Also slated for the wrecking ball are the base's drill halls, which were put up more than 60 years ago as temporary structures. They will be replaced by three new training halls with air conditioning, offices and classrooms and modern amenities.

The cost of all the new construction is projected to be $798 million over nine years, said Cmdr. Tony Edmonds.

Navy officials are quick to say the new approach is intended to be more focused, not any less rigorous than the old way of doing things.

"I think the recruits are going to get a training that's more tailored to the needs of the Navy," Lt. Dan Cook said.

"Always being tired all the time and always being sick and coughing really affects your ability to effectively learn," Rondeau said. "We want people to be able to focus on making critical decisions."


11-12-03, 06:31 AM
History Lesson.

About once a week, MCRD San Diego would be visited by a navy recruit who climbed the fence thinking he had arrived at downtown and "freedom".

When discovered, his unit was notified and (at their request) he was integrated into the Motivation Platoon of the Special Training Branch at MCRD.

After a week or so, his true identity was "verified" and he was turned over to the SP's from the NTC.

There were a couple of disgusting incidents, where he ran up and hugged and kissed them and begged them to take him "home".

I think they should close the Great Lakes NTC and reopen the San Diego NTC.

$798 million is a high proce to pay for an hour and a half of extra "sack time" and to spare them the rigors of "mess duty".

As any book on zoology will tell you, a squid is STILL one of the lowest forms of marine life.

You can't argue with scientific fact.

11-12-03, 11:23 PM
My step-son recently graduated from Great Lakes, Mom and I went up for the week end.

Now, I know that the only thing I have to compare with, is 28 year old Marine memories of Boot Camp (P.I. of course ;) ), but I was beside myself with.... should we say... disapointment.

What they called MARCHING was just a 'gang diddy bop', but I must admit, some of them were in line.

I could 'buff' shine better than what I saw, even on the
Trainers' shoes.

The whole place looked like.... like.... a soup sandwich.

OK, so I'm being critical. Sue me.

These folks are supossed to be training THE NEXT GENERATION THAT WILL PROTECT OUR SHORES. I didn't see it. It was a 'sailor factory'.

Granted, the place was old, but so was P.I. in '76. You want better Sailors..... build some character into them.

Work em, run em, build em, train em, run em some more. If they want new barracks, make them like ship compartments. Small, cramped, get these folks used to their new life.

Oh my.... but then they may not be very PC of the Navy, Moms' everywhere may complain that little Jane is being treated poorly.

Danm... I like blowing off steam !!! $798 Mill.... that's almost 800 Tomahawks that we could shoot.


11-13-03, 05:40 AM
I printed this and took it to work yesterday and showed it to a Navy vet who got out in 1969! He said he doesn't know how it could get any easier. Also said if you want to train the Navy right, then they need to join the Marines!!
<img src="http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/elitewarriorsworld/Asmily2/icon_blues.gif">

Doc Crow
11-14-03, 12:49 AM
Now when I was in Boot Camp in 77 we marched every where and not a route step. We went in cadence and that was that. Now maybe that was the way my DI did things who knows. PT was 3 times a week. Good Lord what is wrong with 6 1/2 hours of sleep. God on a MCCRES I averaged about 2 if that. During Panama I got maybe 4 a day I stood the same watch's my Marines did. In Desert Strom I was with 1st Force Recon and did everything they did and then some. Carried more then most Marines did had to carry fighting gear extra ammo and my medical gear and yes I carried a 16 did not want that Damn 9mm. Wanted to look like a Marine not a DOC. We get shot to damn easy looking like the odd man out. What are they going to do next carry their food to them and feed them. This is why I guess I did better with the Marines then the Navy. Gezzzzzzzzz

11-14-03, 06:28 AM
I have always had respect for the Navy Corpsman!! Like you have said, They do everything we do! I think it is harder on the corpsman, due to the fact they had to catch up on conditioning at such, that they never had in boot camp!

11-14-03, 07:15 PM
It's always struck me as odd that sailors aren't trained from the get-go on board a training vessel. But that would be common sense, and common sense doesn't apply here?

11-14-03, 07:32 PM
If 'common sense' was common, we'd never talk about it...:)

11-14-03, 09:40 PM
Hey Doc, let's set down and have a beer and talk.

I'm hearing you say;

You had a DI in boot camp?

You had PT 3 times a week? lol

You had the same watch as the Marines did.

You did everything Force Recon did and them some?

You carried more then most Marines?

You wanted to look like a Marine, not a Doc?

Let's have another beer and try to sort this out.

BTW, no one thinks more highly of a Corpsman then a Marine. You have nothing to prove on this site---God bless ya, we love ya Doc. Thanks for being there with us!

Let's have another beer. :)

11-15-03, 04:55 PM
Tough or fluff? Troops rank basic training <br />
<br />
<br />
Stars and Stripes <br />
Pacific edition, Sunday, November 16, 2003 <br />
<br />
Navy boot camp changes giving recruits more sleep and less marching are generating...

11-15-03, 08:32 PM
It ain't easy, it's cheesy!!!

They'll be changing things around again in a year or two when they realize the sttrition is low in training, but the problems are greater with young sailors when they get to the fleet. Good luck shipmates!!


11-16-03, 06:30 AM
You would think after all that have been in a war, or combat, that military boot camp would get a little tougher!! I guess they figure The Marines are doing the job anyway!!

Doc Crow
11-17-03, 02:33 AM
Greensideout did you say BEER :banana: My blood is 3.2 beer most of the time anyway :cool: Maybe it is just me but I never made a good squid at least after my first tour with the Marines which was an Air Wing Tour then on to Lejeune to go to 6th Marines, 8th Marines, 10th Marines etc etc. Then ended up in Hawaii at the MEB, God only knows I got enough Okinawa crap from NTA and CTA in my lungs to remember that. BEER, BEER, BEER:thumbup: