Boot Camp: Making a Sailor (Full Length Documentary – 2018)

RDC: Come on, let’s go! Hurry up, let’s go Get on the bus Let’s go All the way in the back – all the way in the back – let’s go! [birds chirping] Simon: Oh, wait. Are you going first
or I’m going first? Gabriel: I’ll go. Simon: Okay [laughing]. You introduce yourself and
I’ll introduce myself. Gabriel: All right. Hi, my name’s
Gabriel Cashat. I’m 18. Simon: I’m Simon Cashat
and I’m also 18. We’re from Australia, but
we were born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gabriel and Simon: And
we’re shippin’ out to Navy boot camp. Simon: Ugh! We get asked
everywhere we go. Yes, we are twins. We’re not
identical, though. Gabriel: Fraternal. Simon: Or is it paternal? Gabriel: Fraternal. Simon: Ah. It doesn’t matter. I guess you’ve always got
that best friend next to you. I guess we never
really had that. So, it’s going to be
different once we get assigned to a boat or if
we’re not in the same company in boot camp. …To serve… My Navy’s… Simon: My country’s? Gabriel: My
country’s Navy? Simon: I haven’t been
practicing as much as I should. That’s for sure. I’m not going to
lie about that. Gabriel: All
over the world? Simon: Around the world. [laughing] Simon: You’re really
butchering it here. Gabriel: It was a
long waiting period. But then this past month
has just gone by so quickly that, yeah,
it’s unbelievable. Simon: No turning
back now [laughing]. Gabriel: Yeah. Rachel: All right. Recruiter: You got
that doctor handwriting. Rachel: Rachel Jones. Then what else
did you say? Recruiter: You can put
like a personal message. Like, a quick word of
wisdom for everyone to read. Rachel: What would I put? Hi. My name is Rachel. I am 24 years old. I live in Alexandria,
Virginia. And I’m getting ready to
ship off to Navy boot camp. So, I studied French
at George Mason. I was there for four
and a half years. I took a year to study
abroad in France. Friend: When
we were in college, I would’ve never expected
you to go to, like, the military. Rachel: I really
appreciate the group of friends that I have made. I made them at
Mason as well. Friend: I’m
not going to cry. Rachel: Don’t cry. Mm-hmm. I’m proud. Friend:
I’m proud, too. Friend:
Kind of like a mom. Rachel: Future Sailor
Jones requesting permission to come aboard. Initially going in there
and talking to the Navy I was a little bit
apprehensive. Once I walked into the
recruiting station, that this is something that I
really did want to do. Recruiter: Future Sailor, what
is your first general order? Rachel: Petty Officer, my
first general order is to take charge of this
post and all government property in view,
Petty Officer. Officer: Hmm. Rachel: [laughing] I expect
it to be challenging. I don’t expect it to be
difficult because thinking about how many people a
year go through boot camp, it cannot be that hard. Rachel’s Father: Basic
training is designed to actually train you —
break you down from who you are as an individual
and lift you up as a team, you know? So, you’ll get that. And it’ll give you direction
for the rest of your career. Rachel: Yeah. I remember seeing my dad
come pick me up from elementary school
in his uniform. And I was just like,
“Yeah, that’s my dad. Yeah. He fights bad guys.” So, now that I’m getting
to put on that uniform and now my youngest brother will be able to see me and
think that I’m super cool. [laughing] Rachel: [squealing] Ew! Get off me! Ah-ha. That’s enough affection. I think it’s really cool
that I get to be one of the select few who does
get this honor of being able to defend
our country. So, I feel very
proud about that. It’s an adventure. [camera clicking] Luis: Hi. I’m Luis. I’m 19 years old. I was born in El Salvador. I live in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. And I’m about to
leave for boot camp. My favorite part of Baton
Rouge would be downtown. You know, me, as a being
a creative person, I love taking pictures of the
places of the — of the city. But from whenever I moved
to Baton Rouge I remember I heard laughs and I heard
people talking about me. And you know, saying that
he’s the guy who doesn’t know any English. And it’s stuff like that. And then, here I am now. I’m about to join the Navy
and really excited about it. Recruiter: Right. Luis: It was so quick. Like, it feels like it was
yesterday that I called you. Recruiter: [laughing] I
mean, that’s what it feels
like for me — Luis: Two weeks before
I got my citizenship, I called my recruiter. And then at, like, I think
two weeks after I got my citizenship, I got
sworn in at the office. So, it all — it
was perfect timing. Luis: Are you
going to be sad? Happy? Luis’ Sister: Happy? Luis: You’re going to
be happy when I’m gone? Why? Luis’ Sister: Because — Luis’ Sister: And
I’m gonna be proud. Luis: I did a lot of
research — well, not a lot — but I’ve done some
research on what boot camp is like. I’m not really
scared about it. I have a mindset, I think,
that if I go in there thinking I’m the best,
it’s going to higher my standards of what
I can actually do. I’m nervous. It didn’t hit
me back then. But now it’s just starting
as the time’s getting closer. You know, it’s getting
— they’re proud. My parents are really proud
about me joining the military. Of course, they are a little
bit sad that I’m leaving. But they know it’s
for the best for me. So, that makes up for it. And I’m going to
miss you guys. Luis’ Mother: We
will miss you a lot. A lot. Luis: I’ll miss you guys. Luis’ Father: But you
know, I’m sad but I feel so happy. And if you’re
happy, I’m happy. Luis’ Mother: That
makes us happy. Luis: Whenever we left El
Salvador, my mom left all her family behind. Um, she came here to
absolutely nothing. She did it all for me. And I really consider my
parents heroes for me. You know, doing that huge
sacrifice of leaving the whole family behind just
to give me and my brothers a better life is something
I’ve got to take advantage of. You know, if I’m living in
this beautiful country, I’m going to take
advantage of that. And I’m trying to do that
the best way I can by joining the military. Rachel: So, we’re going
to work all night. Then we get breakfast. And then, it’s all day. RDC: Hurry up! Let’s go! Get on the bus! Let’s go! Hurry up! Move! Let’s go! Get on the bus! Go! RTC CO: [over TV] We’d
like to commend you on your decision to serve
this great nation and welcome you to the
beginning of your journey in the United States Navy. Now you are about to
undertake a rigorous and intense training program
that has prepared generations of sailors for
service in the world’s most powerful Navy. Whether you call it
recruit training or boot camp, make no
mistake about it. It’s hard. It’s designed to be hard
because joining the Navy is so much more than just
getting another job. RDC: When you get off
the bus, you will walk with a purpose, like
you mean to accomplish something tonight. Is that understood? Recruits: Yes,
petty officer! Chief Kalaw: [shouting]
Quickly! On the hop! Let’s go! Hurry up! Let’s go, female! Hurry up! Hurry up! Let’s go! Move faster, you! Rachel: Night of
arrival was just — Chief Kalaw: [shouting] Get
off the bus and get in the building! Move it! Move! Move faster, you! Luis: I’m like, “What
did I get myself into?” Rachel: It was like one
second, we’re on the bus, watching a little video,
trying not to fall asleep. And then, as soon as we
get off the bus, like, it’s immediate screaming. Chief Kalaw: Let’s go! Move! Move! Move faster, you! Chief Kalaw: Go! Hurry up! Luis: I mean, I’m remember
getting yelled at. That’s pretty much all
I can remember is just getting yelled at. RDC: [shouting] Move! Move! Make two even rows! Move! Move! Let’s go! Move out! Let’s go! Chief Kalaw: [shouting]
Smile at me again! Smile at me again! RDC: Look down! Chief Kalaw:
Good afternoon. I’m Chief Petty Officer
Jaime Kalaw and I’m a recruit division
commander. The minute you get off the
bus there’s going to be a lot of stress
applied upon you. The yelling. The go, go, go, go! Can you do this? Can you get that done? You know, and it’s up to
you to basically perform under pressure. Look straight! [shouting] Look straight! Welcome to the
United States Navy. For the next eight weeks,
you will not do a single thing on your own. I tell you what to do, how
to do it, when to do it! Nothing that I ever tell
you is a request, an option, or a suggestion. Luis: So, you make it —
you’re given direction and you have 0.5 seconds to pay
attention to it to the letter. So, you can’t mess up. If you mess up,
then that’s on you. And it’s really going
to fall back on you. Chief Kalaw: Then you will
roll up your pant legs three inches up. When you are done, you
will be on the toe line, standing straight,
looking straight, awaiting further instruction. You have 15 seconds. Go! Go! Hurry up! [indistinct shouting] Chief Kalaw: I
said behind you! Behind you! Not next to you! Behind you! RDC: Is that touching your heels? No, it’s not! Fix it! Pull yours up! Chief Kalaw:
[shouting] Fix it! Put your garbage away! Aye, aye, Chief – that’s how you sound off Talk loud! He said get down to the last shirt with sleeves! Maybe I wasn’t
loud enough? Maybe you couldn’t
understand me? Fix yourself! Now! Chief Kalaw: When I say “go” you will make your initial phone call home You will call someone that can confirm your existance Someone who knows that you came here to Navy Boot Camp Chief Kalaw: Hang up! Hang up! Hang up! Give this phone back to whoever owns it! Simon: I thought it was going to be a little bit more relaxed but it definitely isn’t… It’s a lot more intense than I did think it was going to be… Chief Kalaw: Who said
to stand like that? You must love getting
special attention, huh? Simon: No, Chief. Chief Kalaw: Get
at attention! Now! I’m pretty sure that I
said your hands will never be behind you! Your hands will never
be in front of you! What is your problem? Chief Kalaw: Proper
military bearing will be maintained 24/7 and
it starts tonight. Do you understand me? Simon: Yes, Chief. Chief Kalaw: I
can’t hear you. Do you understand me? Simon: [shouting]
Yes, Chief! Yeah. That was the
hardest for me. Just to, like, not
even argue the point. Just take it. Gabriel: Yeah. RDC: [shouting] This
row’s going to fall out, and then that row! Let’s go – fall out, move out Rachel: We got our sea bag,
which was the big green duffle bag that
you have to carry. You take all of your
personal items off. Like, all of your
clothing, you shoes, everything you arrived in. You put it in a box,
including your cell phone, and ship it home. And then, you get
brand new everything. From T-shirts that we’re
wearing to the P.T. clothes, the sneakers. Nothing that you came
with, aside from maybe a hairbrush and a few
personal items, gets to stay with you. I knew that I would have
to carry my own luggage. Like, there was no
bellman service here. But I didn’t expect all
of my things to be that heavy. Like, when I was filling it
up, I was like, “Okay, great. This is so convenient. Everything fits in this little
green bag [laughing]. Wonderful.” And then
I had to put it on… and it wasn’t so
wonderful anymore. Chief Kalaw: Okay. [shouting] Then fix it! Now! Luis: I’ve been up since
3:00 in the morning. Since last night. And I don’t know how I am
awake right now at this moment. And I’ve been on my feet
and my feet are dying. Rachel: So, that’s it. I’m exhausted. My arms feel like they’re
going to fall off. And it’s not fun yet. Gabriel: I didn’t
even know — Simon: I didn’t
sleep at MEPS. Simon: Yeah, I nearly —
I nearly fell asleep standing. Luis: So, I am naturally
standing at attention right now. I’m not even trying to. But [laughing]. Chief Kalaw: It’s
definitely getting a lot tougher for recruits. I’m pretty sure I said
you will sound off. Recruit: Yes, Chief. Chief Kalaw: Huh? Recruit: Yes, Chief! Chief Kalaw: Didn’t I say
walk back on the toe line? I didn’t. Do you know
where you’re at? [shouting] Respond! Say something! Yes, Chief! No, Chief! Maybe, Chief! What is it? Recruit: Yes, Chief! Chief Kalaw: Because
responding is not an option. Simon: From what other
people would say, and like, how they said that
they’ve kind of — they’ve gone a bit softer
because of, like, the era that we’re in. But no, I think it’s still
kind of the same. Chief Kalaw: There is a
reason for everything that we do here. We do instill
that pressure. So, what is it
doing next to you? Huh? Let me guess, you want
— [shouting] ah, no! No! Now you want to fix it! Maybe had you just done
the right thing the first time you wouldn’t be
in this situation. Because again, when you do
get to the fleet we want to make sure that you
fight and you don’t fold. Luis: It’s nothing like Boot Camp – there’s nothing like Navy Boot Camp You are joining the United States Navy I expected it to be hard. RDC: I’m not a sir! Recruit: No,
Chief! RDC: I’m not a Chief! [indistinct shouting] No Petty Officer! Chief Kalaw: I tell them all the time that this is more your Navy than it is mine, You know, years from now
I’m going to retire and you’re going to
take over my spot. And I let them know that
I want to make sure I can tell my wife and kid
that we’re safe at night because there’s tough
people in the Navy. And I know for sure
because I put ’em in. RDC: We’re going to be going down this p-way in columns of files from the left Means the last rank is
going to take off first. Everybody will go down the
p-way in a single-file line and so on. Do you understand that? Recruits: [weakly]
Yes, Petty Officer. RDC: You’re going to have to get
a little louder than that for me. Recruits: [shouting]
Yes, Petty Officer! RDC: All right! So, columns of files
from the left! Last recruit sound off. Last recruit! Fall out! Stand by. Chief Kalaw: There, once
we receive them, we put them in divisions. So, we assign them to the
divisions as we need them. And then, around 0330
in the morning — once everybody goes through
that entire process — then the in-processing
barracks team picks them up and takes them to chow. And from there, you know,
later on that — later on a few hours from there,
they’ll meet their recruiting division commanders. RDC: Hey are you sleeping? Get up! Hey! RDC: Let’s go! Hurry up! Two per bunk! Gabriel: [exhaling] Yeah. I just want to get
boot camp finished. Simon: [laughing] Yeah. Luis: I like challenges. And I feel like
this is a challenge. And I’m going to beat it. I’m going to graduate
without a doubt. It’s going to happen. Rachel: I have a very set
goal of what I’m going to do. And if I have to get
yelled at, I’m getting yelled at and that’s fine. But in eight weeks, I’m
going to be outta here. So, I don’t have time to
fight with anyone, or to get into any type of
trouble, or get set back. Because that’s not
what I’m here for. Just in and out
and move on. Gabriel: Just get
out of here. Simon: Yeah. Just get out of here. Gabriel: I want to graduate. Like, I thought it just
comes with going to boot camp that you were
going to graduate. You have to earn it. So. Simon: Yeah. It’s definitely harder
than I thought it was. Petty Officer Sperry: Sit up straight – eyes on me! I’m Petty Officer Sperry, I will be your lead RDC. Petty Officer Tine will be your second RDC. Petty Officer Gonzalez will be your third RDC. Together, we have 8 weeks to transform you into United States Sailors. Petty Officer Tine: You are no longer a civilian. Whatever you were before is now over. You are about to begin a journey that’s going to make you a part of the greatest Naval force the world has ever known. This training will not be easy. It wasn’t meant to be. You will not be coddled, nor disrespected, but you will be held to a high standard. Our job, as your RDCs, is to turn you into basically-trained Sailors. Your job, as recruits, is to give us 100% motivation. Petty Officer Gonzalez: You will all be treated the same, no matter your sex cultural background, religion, or sexual orientation. Petty Officer Sperry: There are no individuals in the military. We are many, but we operate as one unit. For this team to be successful, you have to work together. If you fail, the team fails. Get on your feet! Get up! Let’s go! My name’s Petty Officer Sperry, I’m a Recruit Division Commander at Recruit Training Command. All divisions start out basically the same, they’re very scared, they don’t know what they’re supposed to expect during their eight week training. Turn your head! It’s easy! Say your number! Recruit: 51 Recruits: 52 No! As you were! Stop! Petty Officer Gonzalez: Pay attention! Petty Officer Sperry: Turn your head and say your number. Recruit: 59 Recruit: 60 Recruits: 61 Petty Officer Sperry: As you were! Wait for the person in front of you to turn their freakin’ head so you can say your number and then you go after them! Chief Stigall: I’m Chief Petty Officer Stigall I’m a Recruit Division Commander here at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes. Processing days – that’s where you’re issued all your initial issue – ditty issue – they have their basic medical indoctrination, where they get a series of shots. Rachel: So, during that week you get a lot of shots, you get everything you need to continue the rest of your training. The shots were not fun. We got dental work done, which we just finished today. Simon: It was long – a long, long process. Chief Stigall: Everything that you do, is with a purpose and you do it to the best of your ability. Chief Stigall: We want to give them a shock and we let them know that, you know, you haven’t even started training yet. You haven’t even begun to experience what we’re about to subject you to. Petty Officer Sperry: And then you start teaching them the very basics – how to stand at attention, how to salute, how to do facing movements, left face, right face, about face. Rachel: Learning how to fold things – learning how to do things correctly. Chief Stigall: I gave you 15 minutes to shave, and brush your teeth. We are going on 25 minutes. This is unsat. Let’s go! Petty Officer Sperry: The first few days of boot camp that’s when recruits don’t really know what to expect, so when you start yelling at them… You understand? Recruit: Yes, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: You’re here to get better! Not to stand freakin’ lazy! You understand? Recruit: Yes, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Then don’t stand like that! I shouldn’t be repeating myself when I already trained it! Some people really have a negative effect to that, and don’t like being talked to like that, and some of them understand the process, and understand that us being on them 100% of the time is what’s going to make them a better Sailor in the end. Luis: You know, everything they do, I don’t take it personal. Because I realize they are training me to be a Sailor. Rachel: It’s a lot of tough love. And I know they want us to succeed. I know that they want us to do well, you know, they’ve all been through this themselves, they have gone through a lot of training themselves to be RDCs so trying to just remember that, and give them that equal amount of respect, really helps me get through it. Simon: They’ve been good – they only really again, if you’re doing the right thing they’re not going to be yelling at you. Petty Officer Sperry: What division are you in? Recruit: 230 Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Then why are you here? You’re 230 – get across the freakin’ hall! We have to yell at them a lot and get them to understand that we need them not just to react to what we’re saying, but to react fast. Chief Stigall: We’re going to make it uncomfortable for them, We’re going to make it so that they are able to – one – have confidence in themselves and their abilities, but also to deal with the stress. And so that’s why we create a stressful environment – that’s why we keep the temp up. What did your RDCs tell you about failure? If you fail, who fails? Recruit: [quietly]
The whole team fails. Chief Stigall:
[shouting] The whole team! Petty Officer Gonzalez: Your
initial PFA is tomorrow. You need to understand
that if you fail, you will get sent back. Petty Officer Tine: So, tomorrow’s going to be a
reality check for the recruits. It’s going to be their
baseline PFA where they’re going to be required to run a mile and a half, do a number amount of situps and pushups, some won’t make it, so someone’s going to go home. Rachel: Ugh. I wanted to pass out and
just die [laughing]. Like, give me a gallon of
water and let me drink it. So, we were all really stressed about who was going to pass and who wasn’t going to pass. Petty Officer Tine:
Let’s go, Jones! Get up there! Come on! Don’t think about it – let’s go! Five more, give me five more! Luis: I’m happy that I was able to pass it. I’m glad. So, hopefully I can pass
the one with a better score. Simon: With the PFA, I knew I was ready for it before coming to Boot Camp but the day before I got really, really sick, still I felt sick during the PFA but I just pushed because I didn’t want to get separated. Chief Stigall: And so, that PFA baseline is just that – it’s the baseline. It’s not even the
actual PFA standard. And if they can’t meet the baseline, they probably need to go find something else to do. Petty Officer Sperry: [shouting] I don’t give a crap if you’re tired – if you think the sea bag’s too heavy you came here to serve, so hold up, and do it! Week one of actual boot
camp they can expect to deal with staying up,
late, long hours working at a fast pace. They’re going to be
expected to pass their swim qualification
and expected to march as a unit. And those are all things
that we’re training them from the beginning
in P days. But they’re going to have
bring it together week one. And make sure they’re
performing all the tasks. So, in P days we are loud
and we are aggressive with them. But we are
instructors at first. We’re teaching
them everything. We take our time. Because come week one,
then it’s not — we don’t have time to train every little
thing over and over again. They need to learn it. So, we’re telling them at
first, they need to pick stuff up and this is
how it has to be done. Come week one, we
expect that to happen. So, when they start
failing during week one, then they’re actually held
accountable for their actions. Chief Stigall: Anything that you were before you came here, you waved goodbye to that. That’s gone. Because as long as people
in this world want to take your life because of where
you live, because of where you breathe, you
must be ready! And if you’re not ready,
we don’t need you. Petty Officer Sperry: Toe line! Petty Officer Tine: Get up! Let’s go! Get on the toe line! Petty Officer Gonzalez: Let’s go, let’s go, hurry up! Get up! Luis: I wake up every morning and I’m like “I’m really in Navy Boot Camp…” Recruit: Good morning… Uhhh… Chief Stigall: “Uhhh” quit stuttering – it says, “good morning…” Simon: It doesn’t feel like we’re here and it’s like, you go to sleep, and you wake up, and then you look around and – Gabriel: And you’re like, “oh, crap” Petty Officer Sperry: Did you shave yet? Recruit: Yes, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: When? Recruit: Last night, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Did you shave this morning? Recruit: No, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Or, within the last hour? Recruit: No, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Then go shave. Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer. Rachel: Now we’re in our permanent ship, and it’s a heightened amount of stress, because there are so many more pairs of eyes looking at us. Simon: It’s stressful at the moment, I’m trying to get used to it, I guess. Petty Officer Sperry: I believe with Division 229 when we first switched from p-days where we’re coaching most of the time to week
one where we’re holding them accountable, it
scared a few of ’em that they weren’t going to be
able to meet the standard that we expect
them to hold. RDC: Everybody
on your faces. Now! Recruits: [shouting
affirmatives] Petty Officer Sperry: You
can’t hack it or what? You ready to quit? Recruit: No, Petty Officer! Petty Officer Sperry: Do
you want to quit? I can get you outta here. Petty Officer Tine: One,
two, three! Petty Officer Sperry: All the
recruits when you first pick them up from
basically civilians and then get ’em into the week
one training and then you start using intensive
training exercises on them, they
really struggle. It’s mostly a mindset when
someone’s in your face yelling at you. They’ll have a hard time
doing 10-15 push-ups. And they kind of start to
quit on themselves before they need to. Petty Officer Sperry: You’re quitting! You’re not sweating! You’re not putting
any effort into it! You’re just quitting! Petty Officer Sperry: Colms! Colms: Yes, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry:
Get over here! What side does the open
side of your pillow go to? Colms: The open side of the rack, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: So, why
is your pillow backwards? Colms: Uh, I
must’ve did it in — Petty Officer Sperry:
[shouting] Fix it! It’s the same
hits every day. You both had that
hit yesterday. Only one of you fixed it. Why didn’t you look at it? Recruit: I didn’t see
it, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry: Once he
makes his rack, look at it for him. It’s called teamwork – figure it out! Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer. Rachel: That’s been the
most challenging part. It’s just getting along
with everyone and trying to work together. And putting all
differences aside and understanding that we have
one goal to accomplish. So, some people have
adjusted to that better than others. Petty Officer Sperry: [counting exercises] So, that IT session was
to show them after Taps they’re not allowed to
argue with each other. And they have to just
handle things internally as a division. [shouting] What number? Recruit: [quietly] 12. Petty Officer Sperry:
[shouting] Then yell it! 12! Do it! Do it! Recruit: [normal volume]
12, Petty Officer. Petty Officer Sperry:
That’s not yelling! Yell 12! Recruit: 12,
Petty Officer! Petty Officer Sperry:
[mockingly] 12, Petty Officer! [shouting] No one feels
sorry for you, Coleman! No one! You want to be
a part of this? You want to act like them? You’re going to pay for
it just like they do! But they can’t bring every
situation to the RDCs. And also, they can’t argue
with each other like they’re still
in high school. They need to realize that
they’re grown women –and across the hall — men,
and they need to handle amongst one another. I don’t want to hear one
recruit knocking on my door telling me, “Seaman Recruit so-and-so did this.” Handle it
amongst yourselves. Like grown women. You understand? Recruit: [shouting]
Yes, Petty Officer! Rachel: When you come to
boot camp it’s not just about me as an individual. It’s about us as a team. Petty Officer Sperry: They are
not sure who’s going to step up and take
leadership positions. Who’s going to help
support those leaders. So, it’s just a forming
stage at the very beginning of boot camp
where they learn how to come together and
work together. Luis: I’m kinda learning leadership There’s a chain of command in our division – I’m a head PO which means I clean the bathrooms I actually enjoy doing it – I actually like to keep it clean and what I don’t enjoy is people not listening to what I tell them so that’s where being a team comes into part. Rachel: [laughing] I
barely passed the swim. Instructor: So, this is a
baseline swim test to just make sure that they have
the basic skills required to survive if they were to
find themselves in the ocean. Rachel: So, we walk in
and I see the platform. And I was like, “Okay.” Ten feet is not that bad. I mean, you get up there
and you like down, and you’re like, “Whoa. That’s 10 feet. And oh.” And he
says okay, step. And I kind of hesitated
and before I knew it I was over the edge. So, once I finally got out
of the pool and made my swim, I was like,
“Okay, great. The worst part is over.” And then, we go to
the other side and we have
to jump off again. And I was like, “Man. Why didn’t they tell us
this before we joined? I would’ve reconsidered
that [laughing].” But I passed. But he did inform me that I
need to take swim lessons. Simon: It doesn’t
look as high as it is. And it’s not the fact that,
like, I’m afraid of heights. Gabriel: It’s
just a feeling. Simon: Yeah, it’s a
feeling your stomach gets when you drop. Luis: You have to hold
on to a little boat and everybody has to get
in it one by one. And the water
was really cold. But it was quick. It was fast. And I really enjoyed
jumping off the tower. Rachel: Yeah. That was not for me. I did not enjoy that. Other people said
that they loved it. I didn’t. And I hope I don’t
go overboard. Petty Officer Sperry: We started
off with 79 recruits. And going through the
first couple days, you lose a lot of recruits
for medical reasons, for testing reasons. And a lot of times, those
recruits get processed back into training. So, they’ll continue on
with another division. Petty Officer Sperry: Boot Camp’s very challenging – we push the recruits to their limit and beyond what they think their limit is, because when because when they’re here at Boot Camp if we can push them and push them and make them uncomfortable, but they keep succeeding and going through the mission, then those are going to be the Sailors who are out there in the fleet, ready to serve once they do graduate here. And if they find out Boot Camp’s not for them it’s better for us to filter out the people who are going to have an issue under pressure while they’re here at Boot Camp before they get out there in the fleet and they need to perform and that’s the point they decide they break, so Boot Camp’s hard for that reason. Rachel: Even though I’ve only been in Boot Camp for a week and and some change, I can see things turning, and I see goals I can set for myself. It makes me a lot more sure of the decision that I made I knew deep down inside I really, really, really wanted to be in the service. So it made me a lot more sure and a lot more confident that this was the best decision that I could have made for myself. Luis: Whenever I was back at home I used to judge myself a lot I used to think “am I doing this right? What am I doing with my life?” And I don’t have that feeling anymore. I’m satisfied with where I’m going to. I’m really satisfied. Rachel: Yesterday was our first day wearing the actual uniforms, so when we got them, and I see my name is on my right, and it says “U.S. Navy” on the left, I’m just like, wow, I get to wear this uniform, this is so cool! It’s mindblowing, and it’s like wow, my name is on here, and it says “U.S. Navy,” I’m doing this. I’m doing it! I’m doing it! It’s happening! I’m so excited for graduation – I’m just… I’m ready for it, and I’m excited for my family to see me in my uniform, and for me to just get out of here. Luis: That’s my number 1 inspiration to get through this is just seeing how my parents are going to react to it how they’re going to feel – how they’re going to see how I changed… Just making them proud. I can’t wait for graduation for that reason – and it feels so far away but it’s just knowing that I’ll make them proud. [Recruits singing cadence] Petty Officer Sperry: So now that we’re going into Week 4 with Division 229, the division as a whole is just starting to work together a lot better. RPOC: Division 229 all present and accounted for, Sir! Petty Officer Sperry: Very well. The standard is set, and they have to do what they can do to meet the standard. and that’s helping to bring them together as a team. Rachel: They say that basic training doesn’t get better, you get better, and I think that’s definitely true. Petty Officer Sperry: When we first picked the division up we could barely get them to stand still or just left and right face, but now coming into Week 4 of training, they’ve been marching everywhere, every single day together since the first day we got them. AROC: Now I’m marching every day! Recruits: Now I’m marching every day! Rachel: Yeah, our progression, it’s just been really cool seeing it, and just looking back on our P-Day days, and the first day that we tried to start marching, and how horrible it looked and it’s kinda like the progression just happened right before our eyes. Chief Stigall: The transition is night and day. Luis: Every time cadences come on I’m always in the back screaming, and you can hear my voice all the way in the front. AROC: The U.S. Navy is the best! Recruits: The U.S. Navy is the best! Petty Officer Sperry: The division has come a long way physically, but they still have a long way to go. Here at Recruit Training Command we have physical fitness training 6 days a week so about 3 days a week we do some in-house physical fitness activities which are a lot of push-ups, jumping jacks, running planks, different exercises we can do here in a small space, to get the recruits in better shape, and then four days a week we go over to Freedom Hall where they get to run. [Recruits singing running cadence] Petty Officer Sperry: So it’s all a building block to get them up to the standards that the Navy wants them to be at prior to leaving Recruit Training Command. Rachel: Yeah, I’ve seen my waistline go down, which is awesome physical fitness is going well, you know, it also helps that we’ve been put on our faces every day. So I try to think about that when we have to do our flutter kicks and 10-count core builders. So it has certainly improved PT for sure. Male Recruit: From my
perspective, I do think we are good friends, Chief. Female Recruit: [sniffing]
In a professional standpoint, yes, Chief. Officer Stigall:
Professional. Explain to me what
professionalism is when you’re going out of your
way to talk to each other. You’re talking to each
other in inappropriate places. You’re talking to each
other when you should not be. So, you tell me about
professionalism. Female Recruit: Every
single day [crying] — Officer Stigall: You
better fix your military bearing right now. Female Recruit:
I’m sorry, Chief. Officer Stigall:
[shouting] Shut up! Male Recruit: Aye, Chief! Officer Stigall:
Here’s the point. Conversations
shouldn’t be had. Good friends… not in my boot camp! Everything that you guys are doing is against good order and discipline. I’m going to ensure that whatever relationship you’re trying to have here in Boot Camp whether it’s just good friends social buddies, or whatever you word it, I’m going to make sure that it doesn’t happen here. Do the workout correctly. Get off the deck! Chief Stigall: [counts off exercises] Instructor: 229 are you ready? Recruits: Always ready! Chief Stigall: Marlinspike is a huge team evolution. So if a division feels they operate as a team they get to Marlinspike and they find out exactly what real teamwork is. Rachel: Learning how to tie a knot, and cast off the line and actually tie down the ship it felt like that was a lot more practical. Chief Stigall: Everyone has to be able to get the ship underway. So when it comes to line handling, and it comes down to that Marlinspike evolution, they gotta work together. Life before Marlinspike and life after Marlinspike was night and day. Recruit: Come on, we got this! Let’s go! Rachel: So, that was really hard, but I felt like it made us – it forced us to work together. Instructor: What division is this? [Stomping] Recruits: 229! Instructor: Hooyah! Recruits: Hooyah! Instructor: You all have been outstanding – I am BM2 Murphy, any questions, just ask me – I’ll see you out in the fleet. Chief Stigall: Every single Sailor is a firefighter. Damage control training is extremely important. Everybody has to know it. If they don’t have the proper training, then you lose the ship, and that’s one of the damage control 10 commandments, is you do not give up the ship. Rachel: You don’t really think about all the things that can happen when you’re in the middle of the ocean you know, your ship going down or being attacked, and really all that you have is eachother and the skills that you learned. Luis: Yes – I’m really confident if something was wrong – you know for example we did the confidence chamber… Instructor: This will be the best worst day of Boot Camp, hooyah? Recruits: Hooyah! Instructor: I want everyone to repeat after me: embrace the suck! Recruits: Embrace the suck! Instructor: Let’s go – step it out! Let’s go – step it out! Step it out! Instructor: Move! Let’s go! Four! Three! Two! One! Luis: You would think – so is this mask really gonna cover me, and keep me alive? It’s called confidence chamber for a reason – it gives you the confidence in the equipment of the Navy. Rachel: Seaman Recruit Jones – Division 229! [Coughing] It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. On a scale of 1-10 I would have given it like, a 5. It burns… Right here… Right under my nose… It burns…. But… I think we siced it a little bit more than we needed to. Luis: I just cried a lot. My eyes were watering – they’re still watering. It wasn’t that bad as they said it was… Chief Stigall: All right – you know what? Ya’ll got confidence in that gear? Recruits: Yes, Chief! Chief Stigall: That’s what I’m talking about. Ya’ll see this? Recruits: [Laughing] Yes, Chief! Chief Stigall: That means it’s a good day. Good day to be in the Navy. Hooyah, Navy! Petty Officer Sperry: I do believe that they’re doing a lot better of a job getting these recruits a basic knowledge of what they’re going to be expected to do when they get out to the fleet. So, I know when I came to Boot Camp nine years ago, we had a three or four day course on firefighting, and then two days on line handling, and now the recruits are getting it every single week when they hit Week 4 until the week they graduate. And I think that will help prepare Sailors for the fleet a lot better. [Gunshots] Instructor: One of the primary things that we all do as instructors, is we give these recruits the experience – the real life experience of, first of all handling this weapon in an environment that’s close to reality it’s not quiet – it’s not passive it’s going to take enthusiasm to survive in an environment like this – so that’s pretty much what we do. Get a good aggressive stance! Point it at your target – like you mean it! Verify the weapon’s clear and safe! Rachel: I didn’t miss my target, which was great. So I think I did alright. Luis: I enjoyed it, I enjoy shooting weapons. AROC: Hey, hey, hey, hey! Recruits: Hey, hey, hey, hey! AROC: Woah – a – woah – woah – oh! Recruits: Woah – a – woah – woah – oh! AROC: Momma, momma, can’t you see? Recruits: Momma, momma, can’t you see? AROC: What the Navy’s done to me! Petty Officer Sperry: Since the P-Days to now, they’re completely different recruits. Rachel: Every time we walk past Pearl Harbor, which is where P-Days was, we kinda see through the window, the people in their PT sweats, and we’re like, “man, that was us only a few weeks ago, and that was us looking out the window at some of our senior Div’s,” and we’re like, “man, I wish I was there, and they have on their uniforms, and their flags, and that’s so cool, and we just got here three days ago…” Petty Officer Sperry: They understand that they have to work together as a team, they understand that no one can make it through Boot Camp completely by themselves. That’s the biggest thing, and the thing that makes you the most proud as an RDC, is when you see them work together as a team understand eachother’s weaknesses, and really, really just come together. Recruits: [Quiet chanting] [Louder chanting] [Loud chanting] Chief Stigall: Hooyah Battlestations! Recruits: Hooyah Battlestations! Chief Stigall: I can’t hear you! Recruits: [Yelling] Hooyah Battlestations! Chief Stigall: That’s what I’m talking about. Ya’ll take that same thing into the ship! Instructor: You will now have two minutes to complete as many proper push-ups as you can are you ready? Recruits: Always ready! Instructor: Ready up! Begin! Rachel: I feel great – I really do. Like, all the hard work paid off. Luis: It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m coming for Battlestations. That’s for sure. Battlestations is gonna get the best of me right now. Chief Stigall: Take all of that, work together as a team execute the mission and the next time I see you you’ll be Sailors. Hooyah Navy. Recruits: Hooyah Navy! Chief Stigall: Battlestations is a crucible event. They go in as recruits and they come out Sailors. Rachel: The most nerve-wracking part about going in to Battlestations was knowing that if we don’t pass Battlestations there is no way you will graduate. Petty Officer Tine: Hooyah Battlestations! Recruits: Hooyah Battlestations! Petty Officer Tine: Hooyah Future Sailors! Recruits: Hooyah Future Sailors! Luis: Well, we got to Battlestations around eight o’clock at night. Instructor: Alright – ya’ll are motivated, that’s great. You need to maintain that motivation all throughout the night. You’re tired now? This is gonna be nothing at 0400, 0500, 0600. RPOC: Chief, Division 229 manned and ready for Battlestations, Chief! Instructor: Very well. Rachel: So Battlestations is the final test before you can graduate Boot Camp. It is all night long. And it’s basically all the classes that you’ve had and all the training that you’ve had since you came to Boot Camp just all crammed into one. Luis: We tried to keep everybody in line, tried to keep everybody awake, tried to keep everybody as less stressed as possible, tried to keep everybody happy, and I think we did a good job. There’s not much that I can say about Battlestations, it’s just that it’s very tiring, it’s very stressful. Rachel: You have to rely on your shipmates next to you to make sure that you all got through it efficiently. It made me kind of think about my job, and my role as far as the Navy goes. It really made me appreciate how important it is for every single member on that ship to know exactly what to do and where to go to get things done efficiently. That way you’re not just looking for that one firefighter or that one DC-man to come and save the day, so to say. So I really appreciated that part, and that aspect of my training because everybody needs to know that. Luis: Everybody is just really excited that we get to graduate tomorrow. And get to see our family, and everything is done pretty much. That’s the main thing. We’re happy to be done with this. And I’m happy for all you guys that we’re done with this. And everybody finished this together. Recruits: Hooyah! Petty Officer Sperry: You’ll hear people say Boot Camp is a filter, not a pump. We’re supposed to evaluate these people, and decide whether they’re Sailors or not. But I refuse to lower the standard to help someone achieve the goal that in my opinion is one of the greatest things you can do, and that’s become a Sailor. So all the recruits that make it through my divisions I’ll be proud of and feel like I’m really helping out the fleet. Luis: Well, for the capping ceremony, I got the chills. I got the goosebumps… I didn’t tear up – well I kinda teared up, I’m not even gonna lie… It’s emotional, you know, it’s been a long eight weeks… All the things that we’ve been through… Rachel: It was kind of emotional – it was nice finally being able to shake my RDC’s hands and shake my fellow shipmates’ hands, and trade in that recruit ballcap, and finally get that ballcap that’s been sitting in my rack since the day we got here. So it feels like a sense of accomplishment. Just that whole ceremony and switching over – it feels great. Rachel: I thought coming into the Navy as someone who had already finished college and and been on my own, and worked at my own job, that this experience wouldn’t change me as much as it has but I can see the difference in it, the way I talk to people, it gives you so much more respect for yourself, and so much more respect for other people. Luis: I don’t even know if it will ever hit me. I feel like it’s just a change in my life. You know, when you change you don’t really notice it, but other people do. Announcer: Division 229! Luis: Boot Camp has made a product of myself that I want everyone to see. A personality that I never knew I could have. And I’m really proud of myself. There is 1% of the United States that joins the military and to be that 1% in the Navy… It’s a sense of pride that you carry with you. Chief Stigall: Our day-to-day job – it’s a tough job. You have to be tough. That’s what Boot Camp does. We create tough Sailors. So that ultimately, our Navy is what the nation needs. Petty Officer Sperry: It’s a challenge to come up here and do this job and to make civilians into Sailors. It is the hardest job I’ve ever had but it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. It’s a feeling that you can’t really explain to someone until they come up here put the rope on, and graduate a division. Rachel: I’m really looking forward to not only what the Navy has for me, but what I can give back to the Navy and to my country. I’m excited to be able to serve and say that I did serve which wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list when I walked into the recruiting station. Honestly I was thinking more about, “Oh, I want to go to college, or back to college, I want the benefits, I want this, I want that…” But after being here, and after seeing how passionate my RDCs were about being in the service, and how much this means to them it really made me redirect my attention for my reasoning of being here. I just want to be here, I want to make my parents proud, I want to make my RDCs proud. So I just want to go out there and give my best, and at the end of the day, whether my time ends up four years or my time ends up thirty years, I want to say that my time I served in the Navy I gave everything I could have given… And that was it. Announcer: Now hear this: liberty call, liberty call! Luis: I finished Navy Boot Camp… [Laughing] I really finished Navy Boot Camp… Wow… I never thought I would have said that. Rachel: Yes – I am a United States Sailor. It’s kind of surreal. And I’m so proud of myself I’m proud of the journey that I had to take to get here and all of the challenges and obstacles it just makes this moment so much greater knowing how far I had to come. Luis: I’m a United States Sailor now, and… …And I feel completely different. I didn’t come here a United States Sailor but I’m leaving a Sailor now… And it’s an amazing feeling, honestly. Luis’ Mom: We missed you a lot! Luis: I missed you a lot too!

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