Bone Earns Military Excellence Award at RTC

Story Number: NNS170421-10Release Date: 4/21/2017 9:19:00 AM
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By Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician, Electrical Seth Schaeffer, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Seaman Recruit Kailey Bone, Division 125, graduated as the top Sailor from Recruit Training Command earning the Military Excellence Award April 21.

Bone, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, joined the Navy to work on airplanes and the aviation community while serving her country. She selected the rate of Aviation Electronics Technician because of the opportunity to work on different types of aircraft. Prior to enlisting, she graduated from Bellefonte Area High School. While she waited for her enlistment date and journey to begin for boot camp, she worked as a customer service representative at the YMCA.

The Navy Club of the United States Military Excellence Award (MEA) is the top award presented to the No. 1 recruit of their graduating training group. The MEA is awarded to the recruit that best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military bearing and teamwork. The award placed her at the pinnacle of today's newest Sailors. Bone is awarded a flag letter of commendation.

"When I first arrived at RTC, my only plan was to do my best and make it through to graduation," said Bone. "I didn't even consider that winning an award was an option, but when my RDCs told me that I won, words could not describe how shocked and grateful I was to my RDCs and shipmates for making this possible." Bone mentioned one of the most memorable moments in boot camp was receiving the notification from Petty Officer Rocha, an RDC for Division 125, when he told the entire division she was the MEA. All the division's recruits responded with a loud "Hooyah, Bone!"

After graduation, Bone will head to Pensacola, Florida to attend her "A" school, which normally lasts an average of 21 weeks. Bone will study basic technical knowledge, aviation electrical systems, and skills of electricity.

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. About 30,000 to 40,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.

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