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18 February 2014

What to Expect when Joining the Navy! Boot Camp and After.

                    Many people ask me "what can I expect when I join the Navy" my answer “You can expect almost anything”.   Your Navy experience will depend on many things one of them is your Knowledge coming in.   This post will cover what you can expect and what you should know joining the world’s most powerful Navy……  I will cover this in two parts “Before Boot Camp” and “Boot Camp and After

Boot camp
                Boot camp is easy let me rephrase that Boot camp can be easy.  As long as you are prepared and ready for the body and mind numbing experience you will be fine.   What can you expect in Boot camp?
·         Bring only what you are wearing and your wallet ID’s a little and cash and what MEPS and your Recruiter send with you. Everything down to your underwear will be taken and put into a box and either sent home at your expense or donated to Salvation Army.
·         A lot of marching and running. You will march to lunch, you will march to medical, you will march to the exchange, you will march to go march and if you’re not marching then you are running.
·         Standing in line.  Not only part of Boot camp but everyday life in the Navy.  In boot you will stand in line from the time you get off the plain in Chicago to the time you graduate Boot camp  and these are not just any lines no sir you have to keep your mouth shut unless asked a question by one of the RDC’s or instructors. Which rolls in to the next item
·         No Talking the number one thing people got beat for was speaking well they are supposed to be quite.  Just keeping your mouth shut will save you a lot of pushups.
·         PT, you will probable PT every day and so be fit before Boot and you will be fine.
·         TESTS, yes lots of tests so be ready to study and if your RDC said study this chapter of the Bluejackets manual study it. (It would be good to get one and read it before Boot)
·         Folding and Attention to detail your little 4x7 rack is your life inside is all you own and you have to have it just as they tell you to have it.  Keep things folded od arranged in the proper place and you will be fine.
·         You will get yelled at, you will get in trouble for other people, you will be doing a lot of cleaning.
It is not hard if you just do what you are told when you are told to do it you will be fine.

Picking Orders
                After Boot Camp you will go to an “A” school for the rate you picked back in MEPS.   At school will be a little like Boot with marching and such but you will have a lot of free time.  Near the end of school you will make a list of where you want to go a “Wish List” on this list ONLY include what you want to do.  Even if you exclude something you still may get it nothing is set in stone.  Things to include are;
·         Type of Duty- would you like sea or shore duty.
·         Location- Keep this to city or state or even what coast don’t put you want to go to USS This Ship.
·         Type of ship- If you want a Carrier put that or a destroyer put it.
You really don’t know what you will get.  I put shore duty in Japan and got a big deck Amphib in Norfolk so you just don’t know.

Sea Duty
                Expect to be underway a lot.  Cruises are getting longer port visits are getting shorter.  My first cruise I hit a port every 1 to 2 weeks my last cruise I hit 2 ports in 9 months.  Expect to stay busy and be ready for anything.  As a new guy you can expect to;
·         Go Cranking (Mess Duty)- You will be working with the CS’s fetching food moving boxes.  Waking up before everyone and going to sleep after everyone.  Use this time to your advantage get to know people you work with it will help later.
·         Do a lot of learning.   In most rates you have to get qualified for everything the navy uses PQS’s(Personnel Qualification Standards).  Do as many PQS’s as you can get them knocked out you will look like a rock star.
·         Lots of working parties-  As a new sailor you will be expected to do a lot of working parties they can include everything from pulling in the lines to moving a bunch of pallets of food and supplies.  Again this is a good time to get to know people on the ship.
·         Rock and roll-  Yes you will do this a lot be ready to walk on the walls.  If you get sea sick get the pink pills trust me.
·         Nasty food- Some day’s it’ll be good some days it will SUCK.  Get some snacks to bring with you this will help.
·         Cleaning, Cleaning and Cleaning-  even as a first class I still do this every day so get used to it.
·         Port visits- they will happen and you need to be ready.  The ship will put a out liberty brief read it.   The brief will cover everything from costumes of the country to what clothes you can wear.  Pay attention to this go out have some fun, don’t get to drunk and you will have a good port visit

Shore Duty
                80% of my navy career has been at sea and I like it but a little brake from the waves is nice.  Shore duty is a lot more relaxed.    Days are usually set times probably banker hours it is nice.   You don’t have as much hands on time though and you get more complacent I would not suggest it as a first duty station.  Get to know the Navy ask to go to the Fleet first you learn a lot more and will advance a lot better.

All in all my navy career is just getting started but with a little patience and the ability to take the b.s. you will be an outstanding sailor.
Read Part 1: Before Boot Camp
For a Spouse Prospective Click HERE

Comments questions etc pleas add them below.

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  1. This was really helpful, thank you!

    1. No problem. I am trying to make this site a good resource for the useful information that the Navy will never tell you. If you have any questions or suggestions on other topics I should cover let me know.

      ~IT1(SW/AW) Lynch

    2. lorrifeist@gmail.comMay 16, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      hi nick,and thankyou for having this site and mostly thankyou for your services. im a little different because im the mother of a newly inlisted son although he went in as a e-3 because he done 4 yrs in jrotc in high school hes graduating in june leaving in oct this year my question is as a e-3 in boot camp is he treeted the same I imagian so but curious .do parents pay for there own flights to boot camp graduation and where is it at


    3. I would say yes and no. There is little to deference in how you are treated as an E-1 and E-3 everyone has to do all the same stuff. That being said as an E-3 he really has no need to try and stand out because he is the highest rank he can be in boot and can’t get promoted. When I joined I busted my rear to make rank in Boot because I was an E-1 so I needed to get noticed being noticed meant I had lots of responsibilities. My bunk mate was already an E-3 so he lay low did what he was told and made it through easy. My advice to him is do exactly as he is told. Having an ROTC should help him with his military baring and that I think will be his greatest help.
      Graduation is at Grate Lakes Illinois about an hour from Chicago. As for the tickets, my Family had to buy them without compensation. Just remember when buying them that Graduation date is not set in stone. If he fails some parts of boot camp he can get moved back and his graduation date will be changed. So you need to send him letters and keep communication open not only to support him but to make sure you know when his graduation date will be or if it changed.

      Here is some good information
      If you know his Division number you can go here to see his Graduation date.
      Best of luck to your son and remember boot camp is the easy part.

      Keep up the communication with him even after boot. A surprise package from home not matter if in the middle of cruise or after a long day’s work overseas can change any day into a wonderful day.

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