Some favorite/memorable moments from Navy Boot Camp;
(This is part 2 of 2 , start here)
LOW-KEY DROWNING. Almost right after we got off the bus, we had our big swim test. It was a one time deal, then never back in the water again. There were grown men huddled in the shallow end, petrified of the water.
Why join the Navy you ask? We may never know. Guys, there is this whole other non-water based branch called the Army…
PRISON LIFE. At first everybody stays in there own groups, like prison. Remember people are coming from VERY different backgrounds and are not familiar with each other’s cultures. Flash Forward 110 days and you are wondering how you went this long without putting hot sauce on your eggs thanks to your new Mexican friends.
RAIN MAN. First, push your bunks to the center of the barracks and close all the windows. You are about to get ‘Cycled’ as a punishment. Commence Exercising until the condensation collects on the ceiling and then begins to drip back down in the form of ‘sweat rain’. You can imagine that this takes a while before you see any results. Hard and Gross.
DODSON. This Ricky Recruit was a complete Bug, always screwing up and costing our company points. By the time we graduated, we were walking around the barracks with Dodson on our shoulders, happy for him that he made it through to graduation.
DON HOMER. My Service Week job was Galley Yeoman. I got to pick who got what assignment in the Galley. And everyone had to pay homage. You want to keep your cushy gig in Bakery? Maybe give me a cookie as I walk past. You wanna be a dick, fine It’s DEEP SINK (100 Degrees, 100% humidity)for you for the next 5 days. The Power went straight to my head.
And now for the Navy Boot Camp Title Anecdote;
AT THE NUT BAR. IN the interest of hygiene, there is a horizontal metal rail set about 3 feet off the ground in the pool area. It has a bunch of little holes on the top and has water shooting up into the air. You are supposed to straddle the bar and walk across while the water cleans your undercarriage before you get in the pool. It was built with average height in mind. Some short guys had to actually drag themselves across it to their eternal shame and horror.
MEDICAL REVELATIONS: You will never get as many shots as you do in Boot Camp, including a giant square needle full of penicillin in your ass. 80 grown men rolling around on the ground trying to ‘work in’ that cold lump of antibiotics. Also, the Navy can’t have you complaining about wisdom teeth out at sea. Those buggers come out whether they are ready to or not. I remember grown men crying in their racks at night because you took out all 4 wisdom teeth and then gave them Tylenol for the pain. Lastly, did you know not everybody even has 4 wisdom teeth? Some people only come with 2 or 3. Evolution in the making? This was news to me.
Since I went to Boot Camp in 1992, many things have changed.
First Off, there is now only one Boot Camp for the Navy, Orlando and San Diego have closed. As a result, Great Lakes is now co-ed.
Great, missed that boat by 2 years. Went 110 days without seeing a woman, as a 19 year old. Probably, the rumors about Saltpeter are actually true.
Other changes include shooting a lot more guns. Every since our Country started using Sailors as Ground Troops in overseas wars, someone figured it was a good idea to have them at least know how a rifle works.
I also learned that Service Week is no more. Apparently, all the jobs on base are now done by Private Contractors rather than the free labor of recruits. This makes no fiscal sense and is a giant waste of tax payer’s money.
Apparently, Week 7 is now taken up by something called ‘Battle Stations’ and is ‘Fun’. A cumulative final for skills learned and has been significantly upgraded since I attended.
In conclusion, I am glad I have this notch in my belt. Young People should do it after high school. If you lack direction and focus in your life, I think this is Where Discipline Might Come From.