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Old 11-10-2014, 09:30 PM   #1
CTR3(IW/SG) Freddie
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Default Graduated friday (7 Nov 2014)

So yea, I just graduated bootcamp last friday. I wanted to tell my story for all those interested to help you future sailors out. But before I start I just want to put out the disclaimer out that every division will be different, and everyone's story will be different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, different RDCs, different shipmates within the division, and most importantly different personailities. Another big difference that you may have is if your division is integrated or not. I was an integrated division. So with that in my mind, don't take this for fact, but it will still help to probably read this to know what could happen.

I left for meps and did a quick screening. Much faster then the first screening you did when you DEPed in. Left MEPS around 12 or so to the airport. I had 2 flights to get me to O'Hare. I was given a meal ticket to get something to eat, but I still suggest bringning some cash or your bank card to get something more. As soon as you get to O'Hare I reported to the USO (these guys will become your best friends at every airport). I then reported to the petty officers to get ready to go to RTC.

I got to RTC around midnight. Most of this is cloudy to me, but I will say how much of the first few days that I remember. First thing first for me was the phone call. You will then do your piss test and get fitted for shoes. After that was ditty bag issue. All of the ditty bag issue will come out of your paycheck, or at least it did for me. After the ditty bag issue you just do a little paperwork. They will end up sitting you down in little groups and tell you to write down a number with your black sharpie on your hand. This is your division number.

You may or may not see your RDCs at this point. It just depends on them. Eventually a Petty Officer or a Chief will take you to your temporary home. If you are the first ones of your division then no one will be there. If not, then the rest of the division will be there. Even though you are here at your compartment, don't expect to sleep on your first night. I was up for 42 hours from the time I woke up at the hotel to go to MEPS till the time I went to sleep at RTC. After getting to your compartment you probably won't stay there for long, I eventually went to chow and then haircut and some other in-processing stuff. And then its time for the moment of truth.

I want to takes some time to talk about the MOT. If you have something to confess, stand up. I did. My personal story was that I was in a car wreck during DEP and did some minor damage to my back. Once you stand up at the MOT, you will be sent to an office and they will determine if you are going to be sent home or not. Not everybody is sent home like people make it out to be. People with tickets they didn't mention, will just get allotments taken out of their paycheck to cover it. They probably don't care if you got a tattoo without telling anyone. As long as its in regulations. I'm not saying this is always the case, but it was for the few people I saw. And I'm aslo not saying to just wait till you get to bootcamp to fess up. Because that's some bs you don't want to deal with. Its nerve wracking. But with my story, I stood up. Went to the office, they sent me to medical. I got an appointment and then went for my appointment which was a few days later and talked to a doctor and he said I was FFD so I was in the clear.

So after the MOT, you will probably go back to your compartment and start stenciling (stenciling is just putting your name on everything they gave you). This will be super easy if you have decent handwriting and follow directions. If you do mess up, they might "yell" at you, but as long as you get it fixed they will be less mad then when you get a hit on an inspection because of a ****ed up stencil.

The rest of your p-days will be medical stuff. Including your shots and dental checks. P-days are easy as long as you don't do stupid shit and pay attention. That actually applies to all of bootcamp. Its really the golden rule of bootcamp. DON'T DO STUPID SHIT. It probably just isn't bootcamp. It applies probably for the rest of your career. Anyways through P-days you will also set up your computer info and take a couple more classes. They will also start to give out leadership positions. So I'm gonna take the time to explain all the positions in detail. I know thats something I wanted that I really couldn't find anywhere.

RCPO (pronounced arpoc)-The main recruit in charge. He/she will be the driver of the vehicle (The person making the calls when marching: column left march, column half-left, ext.). Once you learn all the calls, it isn't extremely hard. You will also be in charge during inspections. Well not exactly in charge, that would be the inspector, but you will be the person greeting the inspector and doing stuff like that. You will be in charge of the division basically. Like most of the leadership postions a requirement will be being LOUD. if no one can hear the call, its gonna be hard to march.

AROC- this guys main job is singing cadence. I was AROC for 5 minutes. I sucked at Cadence. I was loud, but I just couldn't sing cadence for some reason. He is the second in charge and has a lot of responsibility when it comes to keeping the division in check. In an integrated division the RCPO and AROC were of opposite sexs. If we had a male RCPO, then we had to have a female AROC and vice versa. I don't know if this was a required thing, but thats how our RDCs wanted it. This actually helps because you will have someone in charge in the male and female house.

Yeoman- there are 3 yeomens. The Main, medical, and dental yeoman. I don't know much about yeoman because they did their job behind the scenes. I couldn't be a yeomen because my handwriting sucked. So good handwriting is a must for the job. But the yeomens are basically in charge of the paperwork, so don't piss them off.

Starboard Watch- Another guy/female you don't want to piss off. He/she's main job is to make the watch bill and make sure the deck log is written correctly. So if you piss him/her off, he/she can give you the crappiest watches. Which is borderline reprisal imo, but its whatever. But the starboard watch also has some responsibilities in marching too. When you line up to march, 90% of the time you will start off with 6 columns. The starboard watch has the simple command to tell his/her section (columns 4-6) to start marching and how to branch out when you guys get to where you are going. It will be explained in more detail once you get to RTC, but I just wanted to give a brief overveiew. The 3rd responsibility of the Starboard watch is to make sure the watch bill is correct. The watch bill is just a log of stuff that happens within your compartment. You can get a lot of compartment hits (inspectors come in and do random checks on your compartment, if they see stuff wrong they will give you a hit which deducts points off your division's score) off the deck log. So even though the starboard watch doesn't exactly write in the deck log, its his job to make sure the roving security makes all entries correctly.

Port Watch- This person is supposed to help make the watch bill and keep the deck log in check. The port watch basically is just a person that helps the starboard watch. The starboard and port watch are supposed to be a great team. It didn't happen for my division, but thats how its supposed to be. Also, just like the AROC and RCPO, the port watch will be a male and the starboard will be a female or vice versa. So in an integrated division your brother div's port/starboard watch will be the main person helping you. The port watch also has a job during marching but its only two commands that are super duper easy to learn.

Master at Arms- In an integrated division we had two of them, one male and one female. These people are responsible for cleanliness and they keep the division in check. This job sucks in my opinion because some of the shipmates will probably end up hating you. But oh well, you gotta do your job. They also march in the front of the division.

Section leaders- There are 6 section leaders. Their job is to make sure their part of the compartment is on point. That means checking people's racks and that they have stuff folded right, stowed properly, rack made, ext. They also march in the front. So that is awesome in my opinion.

While we are talking about marching in the front (which is called division front) I will mention the sticks. There are 6 sticks that carry flags that you earn during bootcamp. There is also the PFC and Guide-on. The Guide-on carries the divion flag with the divison number on it. He raises the flag to signal the RCPO when to turn, march time march, and stuff like that. The PFC just carries the ship's flag. The division front is one of the main people looked at during drill inspections they consist of 18 people plus AROC and RCPO. Those are the 8 sticks, 6 section leaders, port and starboard watch, a master at arms and the main yeomen. And the sticks get graded on a lot because they have to be in sync.

The other jobs are important also but they don't have any impact on marching. They include:

Mail Petty officer: The MPO (there may be more then one) will be responsible for collecting mail. You have to be certified for this position.

Education Petty Officer: These people are in charge of the academic study that you do. There was a male and female one for our divison. They should be loud, but it isn't required. They just need to make sure that the division stays focused on the studying because once they get the power point, every question on that power point can be on test. Word for Word. So if the EPOs take charge and make sure everyone studies the powerpoint, then you will have no problem on the tests. I was EPO for a few days before they gave me another job. I wasn't bad, it was just that my RDC made me APO not knowing I was EPO So I just decided to be APO and not EPO.

Head Petty Officer + head crew (nasty nine): I'm not sure if HPO is an actual job that gets a coller device or not. Our RDCs made up a lot of titles to give people that didn't come with a collar device. But the HPO just makes sure the head is clean. He/she will probably make rules on what stalls to use and stuff like that to make it easier to clean and maintain the cleanliness. The HPO has a crew of 8 people under him to help. Their nickname is the nasty nine.

Athletic Petty Officer: The APO, which was me, is basically the recruit in charge of PT. We don't do much. All I did was tell everybody what the next stretch was going to be. There is a set pt routine to follow and you have to go by it. CO's (commanding officer) orders. And the biggest requirement is not to be extremely buff, but to be extremely loud. I weigh 140 and I was APO just because I was loud and "motivating". You also are in charge of getting your section of freedom hall once you get there. Nothing too hard and it will be explained once you get there.

Laundry Petty Officer: The LPO is just in charge of keeping peoples clothes clean. They, like the HPO, has a crew. They also get new linen for people's racks. Stuff like that.

I feel like I'm missing a job, if I remember it I will update.



Well anyways, you just got done with P-days. You got your final shots, you are stamped fit for full duty. What does that mean? The next time your division screws up (probably later that night) you will be dropped. It will suck cus their will be those people that don't know how to exercise and the RDCs will yell at them and keep everyone else waiting.

During the first week you will take your swim test and the initial PFA. I forgot that you will also take the DEP test during p-days. You will not know the results of the DEP test till like week 4 or 5. So don't bug your RDCs about it. Remember that it will only promote you to e-2, so if you are e-2 that test don't mean anything to you.

The swim test is you jumping off of a 10 ft platform. Some say its 15 ft, but in reality it does not matter. After you jump off, you will swim the length of the pool. Again, its around 50 yards. The real measurement I do not know, but in a real emergency you should be able to swim for at least 150 yards, so whatever the length of the pool is, don't worry about it. If you are worried, make sure you can swim 150 yards. And then you should be good. After that you have to prone float for 5 minutes. And then be able to infloat your coveralls. All easy stuff if you know how to swim. If you don't, you will be going back to the swim almost every day and if you don't pass it the moday before your grad date, you will get set back. #sorrynotsorry

The PFA will consist of pushups and situps and a mile and a half run. You will be doing it all in freedom hall. The pushups and situps will be done with a partner and they count for you. Sadly most people will count make sure you pass the pushups and situps no matter what. Unless you are terribly out of shape. The run is what kills people. You will have a sensor wrapped around your ankle. You will then run past some sensors and run 12 laps. After each lap you will be able to see your time. Don't worry to much about it, because it will slow you down. Just take a quick glance at the clock and keep track of your laps in your head so you don't have to look at the tv that says what lap you are on. Because if 10 people go past it at once, you probably won't see it and then you waist 5 seconds. What is 5 seconds per lap, a whole minute. So yea bam that could fail a ton of people.

And be careful about the pfa. Someone screwed up and put 6 pushups down when I did 60. Almost caused me to lose my dep advancement, but my petty officer ended up getting it fixed when he got verification that I passed the DEP test.

During the first month of training you will be doing basic classes, studying for your first test, some easy pt, and practicing marching and practicing fold and stow. Bootcamp is separated into 3 phases. Carp, mca, and fep phase. You will have a personell inspection (uniform) and fold and stow inspection for each one. The first two phases has compartment inspections also. The Carp phase inspections are made for failure really. They will end up making crap up sometimes. Our inspections were actually done be another divisions RDC and not by an actual inspector. But the good thing is, it doesn't really count for anything. So keep that in mind.

The second phase, mca, has the 3 inspections plus a weapons turnover inspection (WTI) and a drill inspection. The inspections will be explained to you in detail, so I won't go into detail for each one, but its a lot easier then carp phase. The first inspection will be the PI. The second inspection, the fold and stow, will be right after wards. It actually isn't just fold and stow. It could also be rack make up where you strip your rack and then make it again. Half the division will do fold and stow and the other half bunk make up. Super easy.

The WTI was probably my favorite inspection because if you are comfortable with a fake weapon that can't do any damage at all to anyone, then you should be able to do great. It was my division's highest score. The compartment inspection will be a lot easier then the first one back in carp phase. And in the compartment inspections they inspect the compartment, the head(s), the laundry room, the foward hold (cleaning closet), and the office.

The drill inspection was difficult for us, our sticks weren't in sync, and we had some other major issues. But basically the drill inspection is you marching from your compartment, to the drill hall, and performing a mock graduation. Which is very easy and if you want more detail ask, otherwise its going to be explained in detail plenty of times once you get to RTC.

FEP phase is your last phase and its the fun phase. During the PI, you wear either your dress uniform or your NSU (peanut butters). And then the fold and stow is just you taking off the uniform, stowing it right, and putting on your NWUs (the digital-camo ones). By then you hopefully have your drill down pact and the drill inspection will be easy.

Main things that you do in bootcamp:
-Marlinespike
-Battlestations
-Confidence Chamber
-Firefighting
-PFAs
-tests

The tests are easy. Your RDCs are given powerpoints with every single possible test question. Its like a test bank and the test takes questions from it. You will have 3 of them. The first one is 50 questions. The second test is 60 questions. The third test is 70 questions. The second test is 50 questions from the subjects you learn from the second section of chapters with 10 questions from the first test. The third test is 50 questions from the third section and 10 from test 2 and 10 from test 3.

There are 3 PFAs. The only one that REALLY matters is #3. The first one helps you get e-2. The second one is just an assessment. And the third one determines if you graduatate on time or not.

Firefighting takes up all of your last week of training. The confidence chamber is under this. 95% of the questions for test 3 will be based off this training. It ends with an application of firefighting. I personally hated it. But thats because I have glasses and couldn't see for crap when I had to put on the mask and then the straps were super tight and gave me a huge headache to the point that I felt like throwing up in my mask. But it is easy. Nothing to worry about.

The confidence chamber is pretty cool. It didn't effect me that much. Just made me cry a little. But its called tear gas for a reason. They mess with some of the main leadership positions, but they are still alive. So its not dangerous. It has its name for a reason. Its there to teach you confidence in your equipment.

Marlinespike is the funnest thing in my opinion. Its one of the first few things you do as a team. Its done during MCA phase. And its basically teaches you the process of what to do when your ship is departing port and arriving to port. They will teach you what to do so I'm not gonna worry about typing all that out. But it is fun and its a good friendly challenge to see if you can do it faster then your brother division.

Battle stations. What could I say about that??? nothing really. #sorrynotsorry lol

Bootcamp is easy. Super easy. Just remember the Golden rule. DON'T DO STUPID SHIT. But for advice, learn your general orders, alphabet, sailor's creed, and rank and recognition BEFORE you get to bootcamp. You don't really have to worry about anything else since you will have PLENTY of time to study your chain of command. And if you know that stuff, and you are on watch and they ask you questions and you answer every single one, you will impress them.

Thats another thing. Standing watch. It can suck, but thats how I impressed my Chief. Whenever someone comes in you have to greet them. It goes like this: Good morning chief, seamen recruit (insert name), divison (insert div #) Roving security (or night security if you are night security) standing by for further instruction chief. If its the afternoon or evening you say that instead of morning. If its a petty officer then say that instead of chief. Common sense shit. But the biggest thing is being LOUD. I impressed my chief because I was confident when I sounded off. And then I was able to answer his question. And then I did it for every RDC that came in the door. The RDC in charge of brother div came in and asked me who the CO was. And then she asked what the coller device was and then the sleeve was. And when I answered all three she was like you are the first recruit to be able to answer all three so early on in training. Something SOOOOOOOO simple, but I was able to do it because I studied in DEP. This impressed my chief and gave me a good name for the rest of the time I was there.

So yeah you will have plenty of time to study for the chain of command. It took me a week to get it down but I wasn't tested on it for about 2 and a half weeks. But that is something that will vary from RDC to RDC probably.


So yeah, that took me about 2 hours to write up. I hope you guys can take something from it. I will probably make some additions if I have time to and think of something else.

Always, ALWAYS do the best at anything you do. Even if you absolutely suck at it, try your hardest. I was AROC for 5 minutes, and I sucked at it. But my RDC saw that I tried my hardest and thats what he like to see.

And if you do impress your RDC's, then you CAN get promoted for it. Up to e-3. They can promote 10% of the division. And more then likely 30% of it is already e-3. So if you aren't, your chances of promotion if you do great is awesome. I came in as an e-1, left as an e-3. Dep advancement and got promoted by my RDCs.

Again, hoped this helped.
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Last edited by LT Guppy; 11-10-2014 at 09:47 PM. Reason: added date to title
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
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Congrats on making E3! I hope to do the same. BC stories like this give me hope as I will probably be shipping as E1. Also I know it was cold at RTC but is it a damp cold or a dry cold?
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:03 AM   #3
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THanks for the write up man. I leave the 1st of December. Where's your A school?
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:30 AM   #4
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It's very, very windy. It wasn't extremely cold when I got there. I think the uniform of the day before I graduated had us wearing the ball cap not the watch cap with gloves. And my. School is at Corry station in Florida. It's been pretty badass so far.

Another important tip is appearance. Keep your shit on spot. Their perception is your reality. You look stupid they will think you are stupid. It's something I'm still fighting today actually. I would always forget a boot strap or something small.


Another thing I would like to mention. People wonder if push divisions exists. And yes they do. I was one. My bootcamp was 54 days long. What happens is that they need x amount of divisions to graduate on a Friday. It's called a training group. If you get to Rtc and the last training group just finished grouping up and you are the start of a new division of a new training group, then you will be there the longest. You will end up doing battle stations first and have like a week of doing nothing. I say nothing loosely because I didn't experience it so I have no clue what they actually do. If you get there and you are part of the last div to group up in your training group, then you will be the last to do battle stations and will end up having less "free" days.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:19 AM   #5
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Great write up!
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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School is at Corry station in Florida. It's been pretty badass so far.
Yes, yes it is haha

Just don't get too caught up in the after-work fun or Corry Love and you'll be fine.

What rate are you there for again?

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Old 11-11-2014, 09:26 AM   #7
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I'm gonna be a CTR. And I'm not 100% sure what you mean by Corry love, but I was working on my roving quals and caught someone making in the car. And I was with the chief when it happened so I know not to do that lol.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:45 AM   #8
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"Corry Love" refers to all the Sailors who get out of Boot and get married or in some kind of overly serious relationship as soon as they get to Corry.

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Old 11-11-2014, 10:26 AM   #9
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"Corry Love" refers to all the Sailors who get out of Boot and get married or in some kind of overly serious relationship as soon as they get to Corry.

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To add, "A School marriages" (meeting and marrying another sailor in A school) rarely work.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #10
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During the first week you will take your swim test and the initial PFA. I forgot that you will also take the DEP test during p-days. You will not know the results of the DEP test till like week 4 or 5. So don't bug your RDCs about it. Remember that it will only promote you to e-2, so if you are e-2 that test don't mean anything to you.
Is this true? I keep hearing both ways that e-2 can get to e-3 on this test and that they can't.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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Our chaplain yesterday said he refuses to marry students.

And yes, the dep test does not get you to e-3. The start guide even says so if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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Thanks for the post, read it ALL. Very useful. Glad you put something in there about swimming, I can swim but I've never tried treading water in deep water. How deep is the pool? I need to start wrapping my mind around it. Congratulations on graduating from basic!
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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Our chaplain yesterday said he refuses to marry students.
Good, I'm glad they actually did something to help change that.

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Thanks for the post, read it ALL. Very useful. Glad you put something in there about swimming, I can swim but I've never tried treading water in deep water. How deep is the pool? I need to start wrapping my mind around it. Congratulations on graduating from basic!
The pool at RTC was olympic size if I remember correctly.

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Old 11-11-2014, 01:24 PM   #14
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I don't know if they stopped marrying students totally, but the commander that talked to us said he personally wouldn't do it.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:33 PM   #15
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Another important tip is appearance. Keep your shit on spot. Their perception is your reality. You look stupid they will think you are stupid. It's something I'm still fighting today actually. I would always forget a boot strap or something small.
Wow this really made me think. This is good stuff. Thanks
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That moment when you realize you were meant to do something great.

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Ship: 20150317
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