Story Number: NNS140324-13Release Date: 3/24/2014 1:53:00 PM
By Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs
GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The new head of Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) visited Recruit Training Command (RTC), the headquarters of Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) and Training Support Center (TSC) here March 19-21.
Rear Adm. Michael S. White made his first visit to Naval Station Great Lakes and area training commands since assuming command, Jan. 24, as the 18th commander of NETC, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
During his visit, he toured RTC's state-of-the art facilities and served as the guest of honor at the weekly Pass-In-Review (PIR) graduation in RTC's Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall, during which 742 recruits, after completing recruit training requirements, officially became Sailors.
"Any trip to Great Lakes to see how we transform young men and women into Sailors is inspiring, motivational and really highlights the quality of our Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) and all those involved in the process," said White.
White said it was just his second visit to Great Lakes, the first time not having an opportunity to see the training at the RTC, the Navy's only boot camp.
"I also had the chance to see several of our "A" schools (designated Navy Enlisted Classification training for ratings after boot camp) and Battle Stations 21 at RTC," he said.
Battle Stations 21 is the culmination of eight weeks of training by recruits. It is a 12-hour test of a recruit's skills in several shipboard scenarios, including firefighting, combating flooding and transporting casualties. It is held on board USS Trayer (BST 21), a 210-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer replica, the Navy's largest simulator.
White also toured some of RTC's most distinctive structures including the 173,000 square-foot, three-story physical fitness training facility, Freedom Hall. He also toured other RTC facilities, including the In-processing Center, known as "Golden 13" and named after the first 13 African American Navy officers. He visited the USS Indianapolis Combat Training Pool, USS Chief Fire Fighting Trainer and USS Arizona recruit barracks.
The NETC commander said he was very impressed with all the training he observed but mostly he was impressed with the instructors.
"I was impressed with the high quality of our instructors and their ability to take what we can provide them with laboratory and training equipment and mold young men and women into highly-trained Sailors," said White.
White added that even though he's only been the NETC commander for a few months, he is already looking at how Navy training can become better.
"I think the generation of young men and women that are joining our service are certainly more technical savvy than I was when I came in. We want to look at ways to engage and motivate them through the technology they are used to growing up in this century," he said.
RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. The command is commonly referred to as "boot camp" or "recruit training" and has been in operation at Great Lakes since 1911.
Boot camp is approximately eight weeks, and all enlistees into the United States Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is, today, the Navy's only basic training location, and is known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy." Today, more than 39,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.
RTC is overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), headquartered in Building 1, the historic clock tower building on Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. NSTC (NSTC) oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. NSTC also includes the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command at Naval Station Newport, R. I., and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
The vision of NETC is to be the global leader in rapid development and delivery of effective, leading edge training for U.S. naval forces. The mission of NETC is to transform civilians into highly skilled, combat-ready warfighters, and enable their career-long growth and development.