How to Prepare for Navy Boot Camp

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Recruits going to Navy boot camp at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command will experience 8 weeks of mental and physical challenges, and if successful will graduate a United States Sailor. To help you be successful at Navy boot camp, we’ve put together a list of things you should begin to learn to prepare for Navy boot camp.

  1. Navy Ranks
  2. Navy Core Values
  3. 11 General Orders
  4. Sailor’s Creed
  5. Physical Requirements to Join the Navy
  6. Blue Jacket Manual
  7. Phonetic Alphabet

1. Navy Ranks

Memorizing the rank structure before going to Navy boot camp will help you with your confidence in knowing who you are addressing.

Pay Grade Title Insignia
E-1 Seaman Recruit No Insignia
E-2 Seaman Apprentice  Navy-E2-Seaman Apprentice
E-3 Seaman  Navy-E2-Seaman
E-4 Petty Officer Third Class Navy-E4-Petty Officer Third Class
E-5 Petty Officer Second Class  Navy-E5-Petty Officer Second Class
E-6  Petty Officer First Class Navy-E6-Petty Officer First Class
E-7 Chief Petty Officer  Navy-E7-Chief Petty Officer
E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer  Navy-E8-Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer  Navy-E9-Master Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Command Master Chief Petty Officer Navy-E9-Fleet:Force Master Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer of The Navy  Navy-E9-Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

Sandboxx Tip: Make flash cards with the rankings on them to help you practice.

2. Navy Core Values

Honor.

I am accountable for my professional and personal behavior. I will be mindful of the privilege I have to serve my fellow Americans.

Courage.

Courage is the value that gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right, with confidence and resolution, even in the face of temptation or adversity.

Commitment.

The day-to-day duty of every man and woman in the Department of the Navy is to join together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people and ourselves.

Sandboxx Tip: Make flashcards with these core values and what they mean. Talk to your friends and family about what Honor, Courage and Commitment mean to you.

3. 11 General Orders

The 11 General Orders or General Orders for Sentries are the basic rules that every member of the military must obey. Each branch uses the 11 General Orders but the wording varies slightly between the branches.

It is a very good idea to learn these before boot camp because all recruits are expected to learn these verbatim. Here’s all 11 Orders with an explanation to help you better understand them.

1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

When you are a sentry, you are “in charge.” You have the ultimate authority in carrying out your orders with the only exception being if your superior changes them officially. It is also your responsibility to treat all government property as though it were your own.

2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

You must be vigilant at all times, investigating anything you think to be unusual. Do not be tempted to hide from the rain or cold in poor weather. 

3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

All and any incidents that occur while you are on your post must be reported, regardless of your opinion on their threat. Let your superiors make the judgment calls.

4. To repeat all calls from any post more distant from the guardhouse or quarterdeck than my own.

Not as relevant today with modern communication systems at calls will be directly transmitted to those who are to receive, this order is in regard to relaying the word.

5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.

If the person relieving you is late or you are unable for some reason to continue your post, you should notify your Petty Officer and wait until they make on order which relieves you.

6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Command Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, and Officers and Petty Officers of the watch only.

It is important to remember that you receive and obey all of the special orders that apply to your watch but that you also pass these on to your relief.

7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

Talking while on duty is to be avoided unless it pertains to your duty. You must inform those who try to engage you in unrelated conversation. 

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

Your first action in the case of fire or disorder is to report the incident. Once reported and you are sure it is not a distraction, you should fight the fire if you have the means to do so.

9. To call the Officer of the Deck in any case not covered by instructions.

If you are not sure what you are supposed to do in a particular situation, it is better to ask for clarification from the Officer of the deck than to make an assumption or to guess.

10. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

While at your post, you must extend the appropriate military courtesy. “Colors” and “Standards” refer to the national ensign and is “cased” when the flag is furled up. If duties allow, you should take part in morning or evening colors ceremonies, but do not sacrifice your vigilance by doing so. 

11. To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and allow no one to pass without proper authority.

When on your post, you are required to challenge persons on or near it. Once they are identified, they are allowed to pass. If you are not satisfied with that person’s identification, you must detain the person and call the petty officer of the watch.

Sandboxx Tip: Make flashcards, in order to graduate you will be required to know these orders verbatim. If flashcards aren’t for you, write each order out multiple times on a page front to back. Repetition will help you remember them.

We’ve also put together some quizzes to help you study. Bookmark these and use them as often as you would like.

First 5 General Orders
Last 6 General Orders
All 11 General Orders

4. Sailor’s Creed

I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

Sandboxx Tip: Practice along with the video above until you can recite by heart.

5. Physical Requirements to Join the Navy

Navy boot camp will be physically demanding, and it’s important to be physically fit before you get to boot camp. You will not be able to begin your training at boot camp until you can pass the Initial Navy Fitness Assessment (IFA).

Men and women have different standards that they must meet. Below are the requirements to join the Navy and begin training.

1.5 mile run

Male Ttime: 16:10
Female time: 18:07

Curl-Ups

Minimum of 50 in two minutes

Push-Ups

Minimum of 50 in two minutes

Sandboxx Tip: Start running weekly to time yourself and see where you are at. Begin doing push-ups and curl-ups daily. Start with a number comfortable to you and everyday add five more. Read more about Fitness and Nutrition prep on our other post. 

6. Read the Bluejacket’s Manual

The Bluejacket’s Manual is the official handbook given to all Navy Personnel. It was first issued in 1903 and has been updated frequently since as a guide to all things Navy.

You will receive a copy of this upon enlisting and it would be extremely wise to read through it before heading to boot camp.

Sandboxx Tip: Make sure to have a general understanding of these topics; damage control, seamanship, History, Grooming and Uniforms.

7. Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet is uniform across all branches of the military as well as widely used by other organizations such as NATO. It is the technique of using a specific, distinct word to ensure that the receiver understands exactly what letter you are using.

 

A Alpha
B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-Ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu

Sandboxx Tip: The best way to memorize the alphabet, is to start spelling words out loud. Start with your name, spell it using the phonetic alphabet. Then practice spelling other words. To really get it down ask your family or friends to have you spell words for them.

Final Tip

Get more Letters during boot camp with the Sandboxx app.

This is the easiest preparation tip of them all. Sandboxx is a mobile app that makes keeping in contact during boot camp so much easier.

Loved ones of those in boot camp can send letters through the app and insert pictures which Sandboxx will convert into a physical letter which sends overnight to the recruit.

Author: SANDBOXX

Connecting service members to their loved ones, to each other, & to expert military knowledge, Sandboxx illuminates the entire military.

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