US Navy Officers Trained as Superhuman


US Navy training programs are rated among the hardest in the military. Those who aspire to join the force are warned to prepare in advance, from physical strength to knowledge, if not wanting to “be subjected”.

For example, if a candidate is smoking cigarettes: one is to quit smoking, the other is abandoning his intention to become a Marine. The US Navy is extremely strict about this.

If the candidate does not know how to swim, it is best to learn before going to the training camp. Those who do not have the swimming skills will have to go through the “special” course in “Kiddie Pool”.

There is a common practice that is passed down in the US Navy: In training camps, it is best not to be caught up in any “special course”!

The training usually lasts eight weeks, plus one more week of preparation.

training camp
Stepping through the door of the training camp will be the hardest day in the soldier’s life – Photo: US NAVY

A normal day at the RTC (Recruit Training Command) begins at 6 am (with a wake-up call), and ends at 22:00 – all lights are off.

Initially, rookies were provided with some essential items such as free uniforms, personal hygiene items, sewing clothes, T-shirts, shorts, sunscreen, etc.

“Fun” only really begins when rookie is assigned to the company and “get acquainted” with the trainer. Hearing of commanders in the military is “particularly bad,” so recruits when greeting or answering commands must shout loudly. In the US Navy this must be very memorable!

During basic training, rookies are not allowed to wear contact lenses or “civil” glasses. If the vision does not reach 20/20, they will be given another eyeglasses according to military standards. However, they are not required to wear them when they are not needed, and after the basic lock they can re-use the “civilian” glasses with general rules.

A company usually consists of about 80 men and women. They are housed in dormitories that can accommodate up to 1,000 people, slang called “the ship”. Men and women practice together but  can not sleep in the same room.

The rookie must alternately perform the “Security Guard” mission, instead of sleep, they will keep watch “ship”. “Luckily,” if it’s winter, they might get up in the middle of the night to go for snow scraps if the snow falls to a certain extent.

After looking at the rookie for a few days, the commanders will pick out a few prominent men, to shoulder a variety of responsibilities, often tracking the order, discipline and security of the company.

A theory class of the future sailors of the US Navy – Photo: US NAVY

Week 1: This is where “hell” begins. It can be said that the first three weeks in the US Navy Training Camp are the most difficult, both physically and psychologically. Going through these 3 weeks can be considered as a grasp of graduation tickets!

In the first week, recruits need to master basic swimming skills, marathon skills … Theoretical learning will focus on the recognition of the ranks, the sense of coercion, sexual harassment, equality, teamwork, basic values. This is also a period of intense physical training.

Week 2: The theory shift to the content of professionalism, chain of command in the navy, guard duties, rules and rituals. Students will take the first written test covering everything they have learned. Of course, physical training, combat exercises will continue.

The second week ends with emergency work on the ship, including the use of an oxygen tank, lifejackets, sandbags, escapes through escapes with equipment on the body. Working in groups, a team of 4 people must complete the test rather than individually.

A physical training session at RTC – Photo: US NAVY

Week 3: Theoretical part begins to decline, focusing more on practice. Theory covers naval history, armed conflict rules, money management, onboard communication, maritime basics … all wrap up in the second written test.

Then the rookie will learn the basic skills of rope use, first aid techniques … Particularly screaming, rehearsing and physical training continues with high intensity.

Week 4: Escape the rookie will notice the commander less scolding. Start shooting with guns like M16, shotgun. New soldiers were given official uniforms and photographed graduation souvenirs.

Queue received uniforms. Many rookie items have to buy money and be deducted from basic salary – Photo: US NAVY

Week 5: Add up to 30 hours for training, administrative procedures and career / information options. Additional time is spent on shooting practice, learning the experience of counter-terrorism in threatened conditions, terrorist history, informatics classes, and familiarity with naval occupations.

Week 6: Take a picture with the company. Continuing up and improving physically, mediating is the basic lesson in controlling damage and gunfire (this is especially important on a ship between the seas).

There will be a day when recruits are advised to eat less, which is when the event “Room gas poisoning” happens. About 100 people will be cornered in a room and they will have to endure for 30 seconds before wearing a respirator mask while the spear man releases it!

At last, the commander would ask the rookie to remove the mask, remove the filter in the trash, and read out the full name and social security number.

Torture Training Room in “Air Combat Room” – Photo: US NAVY

Week 7: Academics study the history of uniforms, hair standards, dependency and counter-terrorism. Another written test will test your knowledge.

In practice, there will be a major rehearsal that examines all the recruits that have been learned, including survivors, group co-ordinates, gun battles, damage control. In the closing ceremony, they received a helmet – the equivalent of recognition as a Marine.

Week 8: If you pass the final exam, this time period is mainly to prepare for the graduation parade and add some theoretical knowledge (professionalism, core values, career advancement …).

The graduation ceremony of the US Navy training course on May 13, 2016 – Photo: US NAVY

Finally, on the fifth or sixth day, recruits will wear uniforms and attend a graduation parade. Weekend is a free period before rookie is assigned tasks or continuing advanced education.


About Savi

Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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