GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- A Sailor belongs at sea, and the foundation of life at sea depends on seamanship skills. Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp, builds the foundation of seamanship skills for all enlisted Sailors.
During their eight weeks of basic training, recruits conduct more than 30 hours of seamanship training.
"Seamanship is a warfighting skill that all Sailors rely on to accomplish our mission," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Matthew Timour, one of the RTC instructors responsible for seamanship training. "We develop that skill through deliberate and repetitive practice."
Part of the new hands-on learning curriculum, designed by RTC's senior enlisted instructors to develop tough, more qualified Sailors through realistic training, recruits receive familiarization with equipment used in each seamanship evolution, then practice in applied labs and on the USS Marlinspike dedicated practical seamanship trainer.
Recruits train in line handling, sea and anchor details, and basic underway operations. They are drilled, timed, and tested to ensure they report to their first ship with a strong foundation of seamanship skills and ready for service.
With no notice, at any time of day or night, recruits also experience man-overboard drills, a timed evolution, where recruits must account for each one of their shipmates and report an accurate muster to the bridge. The goal time for man overboard drills starts at 10-minutes for new recruit divisions, and becomes increasingly more difficult as they progress in training. By their final week at RTC, recruits must complete the drill within five minutes.
On board USS Trayer, where recruits experience their final exam called "Battle Stations-21," recruits are graded on their seamanship proficiency among other critical skills. During a series of stressful overnight scenarios, recruits must properly and safely demonstrate ship replenishment, sea and anchor detail, operations at sea, and emergency procedures before completing basic training and becoming a United States Sailor.
"We believe in practicing skills exactly how you are supposed to in the Fleet," said Machinery Repairman 1st Class Jeffrey Tumacder. "Our training provides recruits with a lot of practical experience. They handle real mooring lines and practice with real chocks and bitts, conduct surprise man-overboard drills, and learn to properly employ these skills under stressful conditions."
To view some of the seamanship training experience at RTC, click here.
Recruit Training Command 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 40,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.
For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/.
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