• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

Navy basic training extended to 10 weeks, first major overhaul in 20 years

ByJanice K. Merrill

Jan 7, 2022

Sailors from Recruiting Division 012 demonstrate class and 2d Marine Division (MARDIV) rifles in the ceremonial drill hall of USS Midway during their graduation from boot camp at Navy Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, December 10, 2021. US Marine corps photo

New Navy recruits will now have 10 weeks of basic training, in the service’s biggest overhaul of training in nearly 20 years.

The 10-week course, which took effect Jan. 3, includes two weeks of life skills and mentoring, Rear Admiral Jennifer Couture, commander of Naval Service Training Command, said during a Friday press briefing. .

The last two weeks are called “Sailor For Life,” Couture said, adding that it’s not necessarily all new lineups. Instead, the two weeks will add practical work and mentorship that sailors typically get once they join the fleet.

Based on fleet feedback, hands-on training will be centralized and conducted in the boot camp so Sailors are better prepared for fleet life once they arrive at their assignments.

“Overall, our goals are to ensure that when recruits graduate, these initiatives connect them to each other, they are engaged, part of the Navy, part of the organizational culture,” said Sewing. “They are tough, they are resilient and they can apply their tactics, techniques and procedures at fleet level.”

The training camp change isn’t the first time the timeline has been changed, Couture said. In 2004, the Navy overhauled its training curriculum to create “smart ships,” which allowed for less computer-based training and training that better simulates life on a ship, said Rick Mengel, the Naval Master Chief. Service Training Command Command.

This overhaul created the eight-week schedule, Mengel said.

The first eight weeks of training will continue to focus on teaching new recruits what a sailor is and what they will be expected to do once they join the fleet, Couture said. This also includes character development, based on the Chief of Naval Operations’ plan for the fleet.

Then, over the course of the last two weeks, recruits, who will now be considered sailors, will be required to use those skills in scenarios and in focused discussions to better understand Navy culture, she said.

Adding two weeks doesn’t seem like a huge change, said Wes Koshoffer, senior fleet manager for manpower, personnel, training and education, but it provides the time needed to help. to the transformation of identity that recruits go through when they become sailors.

“And I think adding two weeks to our basic military training is a big step forward for the Navy,” Koshoffer said. “I think it shows our commitment to deliberately developing our sailors to be successful in the Navy.”

One of the additions to the training is warrior tenacity, which Couture describes as preventative measures to prepare sailors for scenarios they might encounter in the fleet, as opposed to resilience, which she sees as after an event. stressful.

Training gives that mimics high intensity or acute stress, she says.

While the additional two weeks will focus on the mental development of sailors, they will also include high performance physical activities that will enable sailors to endure more strenuous scenarios.

Navy training will also include life skills, such as financial planning. Many recruits have left high school and this is the first time they have received a regular salary. Financial planning will help them manage their money and live on their own.

Life skills also include more about Navy policy and general military training, sexual harassment awareness, small unit leadership, team and individual decision making, goal setting and career progression, Couture said.

Sailors will also receive instruction on how to transfer, basic boarding procedures and basic life on the ship.

The Naval Service Training Command aimed to introduce mentoring into this phase, borrowing the idea from the Marine Corps, which incorporated it into the training, Couture said.

The goal will be for sailors to graduate with the tools they need for the fleet, including preparation for high-stress situations and commitment to the Navy’s mission, she said.

The extra two weeks won’t slow the pipeline of sailors to the fleet, Couture said. There are sailors going through basic training every week and graduating every week, which will continue to attract sailors to go to ships even with two weeks of additional training.

The decision to extend the two-week training camp was made based on feedback from the fleet, Couture said, adding that it’s not unusual for the schedule to change based on feedback she receives from the fleet.

It’s also in response to the big power competition, Koshoffer said. Competition is high, bringing a new sense of urgency to the Navy and the need for sailors to be ready when they arrive in the fleet.

Sailors don’t have time for basic training when they first join the force, Couture said, so it’s crucial the program meets fleet needs.

“And that’s really what it’s all about,” she said. “It improves their peak performance and optimizes them for success.”