Week 6. During the sixth week, you'll get your Division photos taken (you can buy these at Graduation, as well as "year books" at Graduation!). Of course, there's more drill, as well as more physical training. In between that, you'll receive basic training on damage control and fire fighting (pay close attention here -- this is highly important on a ship!)
You'll also get to visit (Ta-Dum!) the Gas Chamber! (No.....not the kind they have in prisons....this one only makes you cough and puke). You'll want to eat light on Gas Chamber day (Actually, the Navy Prefers to call it the "Confidence Chamber." You and about 100 other recruits will line up in multiple rows in the Confidence Chamber. You'll have 30 seconds to don your gas mask while the Petty Officer is lighting the tear gas tablet.
Once it's your row's turn, a Petty Officer will instruct you to take off your mask, and remove the filter cartridge, throwing it in a trash can, while stating your full name and social security number. (Interesting side note: This is one of the only times in boot camp that you'll hear everyone's first name -- if you can care about such matters with a lung-full of tear gas). Then when everyone in the row is done you'll be permitted to leave. Once you get outside and finally stop gagging, crying and puking yourself, you get to watch the rows behind you come out and cry, gag, and puke.
KWPLEDGER, a graduate of Navy Boot Camp adds the following comments about the Gas Chamber:
"I read this before I went to boot camp, and I just read over it again right now. I can't believe you forgot the last row! In each of the divisions that went through FF4 and the CBR class, the RCPO, ARCPO, Division Yeoman (me), and Master at Arms (plus a few "selected" others) get to stand in the last row. After all the rows in front of us have gagged their way through "Seaman Recruit Johnny Knucklehead Smith, 555-55-5555" and escaped to sweet, sweet freedom, the last row of us all gather around a trash can in a big half circle while the DC puts another CS tablet on the hot plate. When we take off our gas masks it is our duty to sing EVERY verse of Anchor's Aweigh before we can get out.
It was quite amusing because my 6'4", 225 lbs of solid muscle Master at Arms cried like a little baby when his gas mask came off and tried to escape but got beat back THREE TIMES by Petty Officer Underwood. Of course, I wasn't concerned with this at the time. Take it from me, folks, when they tell you "Anyone with the following conditions step forward," you should do so. I went into the last row of the Confidence Chamber, got placed RIGHT in front of the fan thinking it was okay, even though I had bronchitis at the time. WRONG! I took half a breath and nothing else until we had finished Anchor's Aweigh. I smelled enough to know it smelled familiar, but after that my body would not let me breathe at all. The only positive thing was that I kept my eyes open the entire time.
Little comfort though, as I was gagging, coughing, and puking my guts out for hours afterward. And the DC2 who managed to figure out EXACTLY what happened yelled at me for a chunk of that time. It was a good experience, and I'm glad I had it, but it's one I never want to repeat."
Your "chamber" experience may vary. From NUKEOFFICER, a recent graduate of boot camp:
"Navy's getting soft. We had the mask on before the gas was lit off, and we only had to say our name and division "Seaman Recruit Allen, Division 389" Good thing, too, cause while I didn't get snotty or puke, I could NOT breathe the stuff, and the instructor took my word for it. Interesting fact: If you DO get snott or puke, it's not allowed to hit the deck. You either catch it with your hand and wipe it on you shirt if it gets full, or just puke down the inside of your shirt. If you dirty the deck you don't leave until it's cleaned up. Not fun."
The sixth week is also when you get to fire weapons (guns). Unlike the other services, the Navy no longer fires the M-16 during basic training. The "weapons of choice" for the Navy is the M-9 pistol, and the 12-Gage Shotgun. About this time, you might be tempted to shoot your RDC. The Navy has taken that possibility into consideration. The first time you fire the 9mm pistol, you won't get any bullets. That's right -- the entire indoor course consists of a computerized laser firing system (kind of takes the fun out of it, when you remove the bang, the recoil, the smell of gunpowder, and the dreams of accidentally blowing your instructor away).
Even though you won't get real bullets the first time you fire the pistol, once you've shown that you can handle a weapon without shooting your own foot off (or someone else's foot), you will get to the Navy's "new" live-fire range, where you will receive one hour of classroom training on firing the 9MM pistol, followed by an hour of live-fire. Following that, it's back to the computer to fire the 12-Gage shotgun on the simulator. (Note: With the elimination of "Service Week," the Navy plans to allow recruits to "live fire" with the shotgun, as well as the 9MM pistol).
Finally, just in case you didn't have enough fun the first time you tried it, you get to go through the Confidence Course, once again!
Week 7. During the seventh week, you'll receive classroom training on the history of the uniform, grooming standards, dependent care requirements, and terrorism. Another written test will document just how much you've learned.
During week seven, you'll also get to practice your fire-fighting skills in an actual "ship board" fire-fighting exercise (I told you this was important -- you should have been paying attention).
The week winds up with Battle Stations. Battle Stations is the culminating event of Navy Boot Camp. It's designed to wrap everything you've learned about swimming survival, teamwork, fire-fighting, damage control, and more into one massive 12 hour hands-on exercise. When you participate in the ceremony at the end of the exercise, and receive your hat, you'll know that you've become a sailor.
Don't waste time worrying about "Battle Stations." Without exception, every single graduate I've met has told me that "Battle Stations" was the most fun they had in boot camp. Many have said it's the most fun they've had in their entire lives!
Week 8. Assuming you pass Battle Stations, the final week consists mostly of out-processing, practice for the final pass-in-review, and (of course) a little more classroom training (more training in core values, professionalism, and the UCMJ; as well as training in rank of other services, and career advancement). Even though you've passed your final PT test, you still get more PT, just to show you that the RDC still cares.
Finally, on either Thursday, or Friday, you'll put on your dress uniforms and make that final pass-in-review.
If you've passed all your requirements (especially Battle Stations), you'll spend most of the following weekend on "Liberty," before continuing on to "A School" or a direct assignment.
A Typical Day
It's 0600 (6:00 A.M.) in the morning. You're asleep in your rack all of a sudden you hear over the 1MC: "Reveille reveille, all hands heave out and trice up, uniform of the day is as follows: utiilities, ball cap." Your RDC comes walking through yelling at you to hurry up. As fast as you can you get out of your rack and get dressed.
Your RDC then yells "You have 2 minutes to strip your rack in accordance with RDC instructions!" You take all the sheets off your rack roll them up and place them where there supposed to go. You do the same with your pillow case and blanket. After 2 minutes has expired, you hear the RDC shout, "You have 15 minutes to make your rack in accordance with RDC instructions!" You make your rack, maybe in 10-13 minutes. Your RDC then shouts, "Height line! Get your gaurd belts and training guides!"
NOTE: Your gaurd belt is a large green belt with a canteen on it youll wear all throught out your training at RTC as a recruit. The training guide is the text book of bootcamp
Once in the heightline, you fall out onto the grinder (concrete road between the ships). As you exit your ship, you number off 1-6. Once on the grinder you fall into ranks according to your number. Youll be in ranks six abreast. The RDC will come out and tell some of you, in a very verbal manner to "shut up." He'll yell at people for twitiching scratching, or moving there heads. You stand there staring straight forward, no moving. At this point your Divisional Yeoman comes out and shouts "DIVISION XXX, LINE X!" Then your RCPO shouts, "LINE X, AYE!" Then they fall in and they dress you off, usually goes like this: "Division, XXX, Attention! Shift, Load! At a normal interval, dress left, Dress! Ready, to! At a close interval dress right, dress! ready, to!"
Then he'll shout, "forward march!" At this point, you are lined up, six abreast. At some point your port watch guy will shout "Port watch section forward, starboard watch section stand fast!" Then, "forward march" is called. The port section marches forward while the starboard watch section mark times (marches in place). Then at the appropriate time the starboard watch guy shouts "Column left, march," and you fall in behind port section. At this point you are line up three abreast.
You march off to the galley, either 928 or 1128. (I've heard sicne they tore 1128 down). Once you reach the galley, you will fall in to whatever line entrance you were given. Your RCPO will call "Mark time, march," and you'll march in place. Then two people will be called to the door.
When the galley door is opened, depending upon the line postion to your group, you'll fall in, from the left or right. The last recruit in the door will shout, "Last Recruit!"
Then you'll be insdie and you'll wait in line forever, behind any divisions came before you. Once your division is next in line, the first recruit to go through will say, something like, "DIVISION XXX. First recruit to go through ward," and you'll go through the line and get your food. At this point you'll notice that the ones serving you are recuits as well (they're performing their "service week" detail).
You'll get your food and sit down at the table according to if you're "divison body" or "division front." You'll then get up to get something to drink, and come back and sit down and begin to eat. The RCPO will be last recruit seated and upon doing so will shout, "Division XXX. Last recruit to be seated." That's when your clock starts. At that point you haave 10 minutes left to eat.
There's a recruit called "a turn style" to remind everyone how much time is left to eat. Throughout the meal, he'll occasionally shout, "Division, XXX. You have X minutes!" (But, they sort of sing it).
After your time is up you all stand and fall out, giving your dishes to the scullery (I had to work there during service week. It sucks hard core). Each time someone hands them dishes, they'll say, or rather sing, "Thank you shipmate!"
After eating, you'll fall back into ranks according to your spot back outside on the grinder. After doing the dress off procedures again, your march away - probably to the school building, where you'll fall out into a classroom, and fall in behind chairs from the back to the front of the room. You'll remain standing until the RCPOs instruct you to be seated.
"Ready, SEATS!" But, if you dont do it in unison youll be required to stand and try again. Once you get it right, you sit down and wait for the Petty Officer teaching today's lesson. Once he comes in, there probbaly has been a lot of talking among recruits so he has to tell you to shut up a couple times.
The lesson will proceed. These days they use Microsoft PowerPoint slides to teach. During the lesson, they'll have designated head (bathroom) breaks, allowing you to use the head and fill your canteens.
Some hours later, when the lesson is over, you'll all get up, and in single file "height line," fall back out onto the grinder (parking lot), and dress off once again. By this time its probvably time for lunch, so youll go to lunch, same galley procedures as mentioned above.
After that, You'll march probably back to the school house for one more lesson (don't worry its not all classroom stuff. Some days, you'll do hands-on training, such as USS marlinspike for line handling, firing at the indoor firing range (both simulated, and live rounds), fire-fighting exercises with real (but controlled) fires, and more.
After the afternoon lessons, you'll ptrobably go out to the grinder and dress off to march back to the barracks. At that point your RDCs will allow you a certain amount of time (usually 10 or 15 miuntes) for the division to use the head. After that you might hear him (or one of the other RDCs), shout, "Forward IG!"
At this time he'll probably give you some type of information thats pertinent to your inspections, so pay attention and take notes!
After that, he'll give the order to clean the barracks. At that point, you'll go to your pre-assigned cleaning station, which is usually posted at the back of the barracks, next to the Divisional score sheet. (I was assgiend clean all empty racks. The pillow had to be a certain way, etc.)
Once the barracks is cleaned, you'll probably have "Night Study." This is where your Divisional Educational Petty Officer will organize you into groups of some sort, to study the lessons you learned during the day, in order to prepare you for the tests.
Aafter the studying is done, depending on the day you will porbably have PT (Physical Training). You'll fall out into the mini-grinder that is in the ships center, with one RDC at the top of like a balcony. He'll shout "This is strength and condition MOD #" (He'll state a number between one and five. The higher the number, the harder the exercises will be). You'll do PT for a hour, and after that the RDCs will shout that you have 10 minutes to all shower up (get ready for quick showers). After that, its mail call! You'll get mail, and maybe even be allowed to read it right away, if your lucky. But if you pissed your RDC off at any time during the week, this is probbaly when youll get "beat" (no, not beaten as in "beaten up," but you'll be required to do PT, really, really hard, until you're absolutely drenching in sweat).
After all of this, you'll clean up, get your locker all squared away. The RDC will tell you to hit your racks once tatoo (5 minutes until taps) sounds. Once taps sounds, the RDC will tell everyone to shut up, and the lights will go out. You go to sleep, waiting for the next fine Navy bootcamp day.
The above "typical day," submitted by NAVALFC, a member of our Message Forum.
Photos are official Navy Photos