RTC Great Lakes

Week Five is a turning point in your sailor’s boot camp journey. Having established a strong foundation, they’re now ready to push their limits. This week is packed with challenging experiences designed to develop further their resilience, marksmanship skills, and overall Navy knowledge. Topics such as anti-terrorism and force protection, they’ll engage in classroom sessions, familiarize themselves with the Navy’s standard-issue firearms, and participate in live firing range exercises.

Sharpening Sailor Skills

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo E. Fernan/Released

They’ll dive deeper into practical skills through classroom sessions on anti-terrorism and force protection measures. Additionally, they’ll gain in-depth familiarity with standard-issue Navy firearms like the M-9 pistol, M-4 rifle, and 12-gauge shotgun.  The week culminates in live-fire range exercises, putting their newfound knowledge to the test in a real-world scenario.

But firearms training goes beyond simple familiarization. Recruits will master marksmanship fundamentals like proper stance, grip, and sight alignment. They’ll learn the specific characteristics and handling procedures for each weapon. To hone their skills further, they’ll participate in practical exercises on the Small Arms Marksmanship Trainer, a simulated firing range environment. Finally, they’ll demonstrate their progress in live-fire range qualification, striving to earn recognition as Marksman, Sharpshooter, or Expert.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo Fernan

In addition to classroom instruction, recruits will undergo specialized training with the Navy’s standard-issue firearms, including the M-9 pistol, M-4 rifle, and 12-gauge shotguns. Practical exercises on the Small Arms Marksmanship Trainer and live firing range provide hands-on experience, with the opportunity to qualify for different marksman levels. Depending on their performance, they may earn recognition as a Marksman, Sharpshooter, or Expert.

Becoming a Sailor

Week Five isn’t just about weapons training. Recruits will continue their non-technical training sessions focused on mentorship and holistic development. These Warrior Toughness sessions will help them explore long-term career options within the Navy and encourage self-reflection as they contemplate their future career paths.

Recruits continuously practice for three drill evaluations, testing their mastery of formations, teamwork, communication, and following commands to prepare for their graduation ceremony.

This week marks your recruit’s halfway point in their boot camp journey. The changes in your recruit are beginning to take form in how they Stand, Walk, and Talk. They are starting to feel and act like Sailors. 

Your letters and support are crucial during this demanding week. Ask about their experiences on the firing range and personnel inspections, and make communication easy by encouraging them to use prepaid reply postage and Sandboxx envelopes.

Stay tuned for more insights into Week Six and beyond. 


MCPO Don Garcia, USN (Ret)