GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Members of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, attended the commissioning ceremony of Navy Recruit Division 267 at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, Illinois, June 29.
The Recruit Division Sponsorship Program allows Navy commands to interact with recruits during training and take part in the "Sailorization" process of turning a civilian into a well-rounded Sailor.
"Half the challenge is getting them to be motivated. I'm excited because the Blue Angels will be their motivation, especially in these early days when it's really rough," said Chief Recruit Division Commander (RDC) Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Kristal Pena. "The Blue Angels are an excellent example of the Navy's strength in teamwork and esprit de corps and their reflection on our division will be a great motivational boost for our recruits."
During the commissioning ceremony, the Blue Angels presented Division 267 with their official guidon; a flag displaying the division's number and images that represent their sponsoring command. The commissioning ceremony marked the official start of the division's training.
Recruit Division 267 is slated to graduate August 14. Pena says the recruits are excited to officially start their training.
During RTC, recruits learn military fundamentals; including how to properly wear uniforms, maintain military bearing, and render military greetings. They also undergo intensive physical fitness training and classroom instruction and training on U.S. Navy history and seamanship.
"Before I joined the Navy, I was working in an office," said Seaman Recruit Carolyn Willeford. "I was tired of small things being turned into big things and I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and strive to inspire people to be better."
The recruits also had the opportunity to speak with Blue Angels team members about their naval service, as well as their experience with the world-renowned squadron.
"I hope to inspire the recruits to be better than they were yesterday," said Aviation Ordinanceman 1st Class Jared Heathcote, a member of the Blue Angels Maintenance and Support Team. "If there is anything I would like for them to get out of this experience, it would be to take pride in what it is they do in their everyday lives, from the start of boot camp, throughout their military careers, and to wherever life's journey takes them."
For more information regarding the RTC Sponsorship Program, contact the RTC sponsorship coordinator at 847-688-4949 or the RTC public affairs office.
For more news from the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil or www.navy.mil/local/blueangels/.