Recruit training, or “boot camp,” will be approximately ten weeks long. The goal of this training is to transform you from a civilian into a Sailor with all of the skills necessary to perform in the fleet. Your training will include physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control, and lessons in our heritage and core values, teamwork, and discipline. Your training will be challenging but highly rewarding.
The goal of military training is to instill and reinforce the Navy’s Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment with the basic skills of training in a team environment. You will be academically, physically and emotionally challenged. RTC will prepare you for life in the Navy.
Your first week will be taken up by medical, dental and administration screenings. This processing week – or “P-Days” – will fly by as you are prepared for your training to start. The first two weeks of training are very difficult: your body and mind will have to adjust quickly to new rigors. You must memorize information such as your chain of command, the general orders and rank recognition.
During the next four weeks of training, much of your day will be spent in class or in a hands-on technical training environment. Teamwork, self-discipline and attention to detail are the keys to successfully completing this stage of your training, preparing you for challenges that lie ahead.
“Sailor for Life,” a new training phase in the additional two weeks, provides recruits with more training in mentorship, small-unit leadership, advanced Warrior Toughness training, and professional and personal development through the Navy’s MyNavy Coaching initiative.
Before your formal training can begin at Recruit Training Command, you will undergo further medical, dental and administrative screenings. You will also receive an initial round of inoculations and an initial issue of uniforms.
All Recruits will be given a thorough drug screening urinalysis by a Navy Drug Lab upon arrival. The Navy has a Zero Tolerance policy regarding drug use, including any prescription drugs for which a Recruit does not have a valid prescription. There are no exceptions to this rule, so be sure that even before you arrive onboard, you are adhering to the Navy’s Code of Conduct regarding drug use.
Your first week of training consists of processing days (P-Days). This period lasts for approximately five days, but can run a little longer depending on weekends, holidays and the schedule of arriving Recruits.
During P-days, you will be taught the basics of watch standing, given information to memorize, will meet your RDCs and will learn to organize your gear and life. This marks the official start of your training. During your first week of training, your Ship’s Officer will commission your division and give you the orders to carry out the mission.
The Basic Naval Orientation (BNO) staff is responsible for teaching you various classroom topics during your training. The lessons are taught in a group-paced classroom setting or are self-paced by Computer Based Training.
The following is a list of some of the lesson topics:
- Direct Deposit System (DDS) brief
- Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB)
- Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
- U.S. Navy Ships and Aircraft
- First Aid
- Rank/Rate Recognition
- Uniforms and Grooming
- Conduct during Armed Conflict
- Military Customs and Courtesies
- Equal Opportunity
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR)
- Naval History
- Anti-Terrorism / Force Protection
- Thrift Savings Plan
- Weapons Familiarization (M9 Service Pistol)
Pay attention and study hard. You will take three academic tests covering this material during boot camp.
Our hands-on learning curriculum will provide you the opportunity to practice the lessons learned through classroom and practical application throughout basic training. Here you will ‘train how we fight’ and learn the skills of a basically trained Sailor.
Marlinespike (Basic Seamanship Phase)
One of the most physically challenging and motivating events in your training calendar is Basic Seamanship. You will start with the basics of line handling and shipboard watch standing. Don’t relax, your training will move quickly. By the end of the third day you will be tested on getting the USS MARLINESPIKE (simulated training ship) underway and back to port safely as a team.
Every Sailor onboard the ship is a firefighter and must know what to do when an emergency happens.
Firefighting is one of the most important phases of your training at RTC. You will be trained to respond as a team so that you can return from sea alive. The firefighting phase will consist of 5 days of classroom lectures and hands-on fire team training. You will learn about basic shipboard damage control, how to combat flooding, how to make casualty reports, the chemistry of fire, and how fire is extinguished. We will teach you to protect yourself and your shipmates against the hazards of fire, smoke, and a chemical weapon attack. By the end of training, you will man a hose as a team and give orders at the scene to put out the fire rapidly and safely.
RTC’s Water Survival Division will provide you with basic Survival-at-Sea techniques, including lifeboat organization, survival kit contents and usage, an Abandon Ship Scenario, and the 3rd class swim qualification. Your training will ensure that you can stay afloat and stay alive without the use of a personal floatation device in open water long enough to be rescued if you were to fall overboard. This includes swimming 50-yards, a 5-minute prone float, and clothing inflation.
Water Survival Instructors are certified experts in swim instruction, in-water rescue, life guarding, and CPR. Every Sailor graduating RTC must be a qualified swimmer.
The 3rd class swim qualification consists of:
- Jumping off a platform, swimming
- Treading water
Successful completion is required to graduate from RTC.
Your weapons training will consist of marksmanship fundamentals, M9 service pistol characteristics, clearing barrel procedures, and weapons safety practices for successful completion of the Navy Handgun Qualification Course. In addition, you will receive basic Anti-Terrorism / Force Protection training. You will be going into harm’s way. We will give you the skills you need to protect your ship, your shipmate, and yourself.
Your physical training will be both rigorous and challenging and includes one-hour daily workouts, six days a week. Training alternates between strength and conditioning exercises that focus on building your body’s major muscle groups and cardiovascular endurance. B.A.S.E.S (or Balance Agility Strength Explosion and Stamina) is a weekly exercise routine which incorporates shipboard required skills with aerobic and strength training.
In order to graduate from RTC, you must pass a Navy Physical Fitness Assessment. The minimum requirements are in the table below. You also must be within approved body composition measurements for your height and weight.
Before new recruits are allowed to commence basic training, they must participate in a PFA, and meet the following standards, in the table below. You also must be within approved body composition measurements for your height and weight.
Age Group Gender Push-ups (in 2 minutes) Planks 1.5 Mile run
17-19 Male 46 2 x 30 sec. 12:15
Female 20 2 x 30 sec. 14:45
20-24 Male 42 2 x 30 sec. 13:15
Female 17 2 x 30 sec. 15:15
Recruits who fail to meet this standard will be afforded additional opportunities to pass, however, there will be a delayed start to training, and continuous failures will be processed for separation.
The demanding exercise program will continue rain or shine, in extreme heat or bone-chilling cold. Freedom Hall is your gateway to physical fitness in the U.S. Navy. It provides a clean, climate-controlled environment for strength and cardio training and physical fitness assessment testing for all recruits and staff members every day of the year, no matter what the conditions are like outside.
While you will receive ample physical training at RTC, to maximize success, you should start preparing yourself physically NOW!
Your life as a recruit will be unlike anything else you have experienced before. At first you will find it quite difficult. You will be obeying orders for the first time and expected to lead others. As the daily routine becomes more familiar, you will notice that your division is starting to work together. By the end of training your team will be “running on all cylinders,” and you will feel that you can accomplish anything together.
Vast improvements have been made to the training environment in the past few years. State-of-the-art and climate-controlled ships (barracks), computer-assisted electronic classrooms, new galleys and proudly decorated drill halls will remind you that you are in fact joining the world’s finest and most technically advanced Navy.
Where do I live?
The barracks in which you will live is called a “Ship” and is named for an important ship in naval history. Each state-of-the-art ship can house up to 1,300 recruits and contains multiple berthing areas, a galley, and classrooms. Each climate-controlled ship is designed for maximum quality of life.
Where do I sleep?
Your berthing compartment (sleeping quarters) houses your entire division. Male-female integrated divisions are housed in single-gender compartments but come together for training. It is where you sleep, shower, dress, iron your uniform, and polish your shoes. It also is where your RDC instructs you on proper folding and stowing techniques, passes out vital information, and hands out letters from home. You will be inspected, stand watch, PT, and practice marching in this space. You will be responsible for cleaning every square inch of it (all 350,000 of them). This is your home for the next seven weeks.
Where do I eat?
Each ship has its own galley, serving 3 nutritious meals a day for up to 1,300 recruits and staff members. Your food will be carefully prepared and served by our dedicated galley staff.