Great Lakes

This week marks Week Eight of boot camp, and your Sailor is entering the home stretch toward graduation. Let’s dive into what they’ll be up to!

Maintaining Physical Fitness

Boot camp reaches a turning point this week with the arrival of the Official Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). From the very first day, recruits have been relentlessly training for this moment. The long runs, intense cycling sessions, recovery days, and grueling PT sessions have all been designed to build their physical resilience and mental fortitude. Earning at least a “Satisfactory-Medium” score on the PFA is essential for graduation.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher O’Grady

The PFA is a demanding test measuring core strength and endurance through push-ups, planks, and a 1.5-mile run. Success in the PFA is a major accomplishment and marks a critical step toward a fulfilling career in the Navy. Physical fitness will remain a cornerstone of their development throughout their service, alongside mastering the technical skills required for their specific Navy role.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephane Belcher

Building a Warrior Spirit

The “Warrior Toughness” challenge is a grueling obstacle course that isn’t just a test of physical strength. It’s a mental gauntlet demanding unwavering resolve. Here, recruits showcase the resilience forged in training, proving their transformation into capable Sailors.

Warrior Toughness, is a holistic program, demanding mental and spiritual fortitude conducted at Freedom Hall. This group challenge pushes recruits to their limits, testing their individual toughness and fostering connections with Shipmates and mentors.

U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Rashawn Lynch

Becoming a Sailor

Preparing for their Dress Uniform inspection tests a recruit’s ability to maintain an immaculate appearance. Every inch of the uniform, from the white hat to the gleaming black shoes, is scrutinized. This isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about instilling precision and meticulous attention to detail—skills essential for any Sailor who might operate complex machinery or follow critical procedures. Acing this inspection fosters pride, not just in personal presentation but in becoming representative of the well-oiled Navy machine.

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dominique M. Lasco

Their final Drill inspections present a different challenge. Here, the division transforms into a single, unified organism. Marching in step and executing commands with unwavering focus becomes paramount. The exertion isn’t just physical; it’s the pressure of maintaining flawless coordination as a team. Drill goes beyond marching – it ingrains discipline, teamwork, and the ability to follow orders under pressure. These are the very cornerstones of military service.

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dominique M. Lasco

Graduation Preparation

Preparing for Graduation is an exciting time! There are some key things to remember as you begin to make plans and travel arrangements for this memorable event.

All guests attending graduation must be on the access list to pick up tickets. Tickets are picked up in person at the Navy Exchange in Burkey Mall’s Recruit Family Welcome Center. Graduation information can be found on the RTC Official website.

Support Leads to Success

Remember, your unwavering support has been crucial in your Sailor’s journey. Be proud of them and yourself for getting them this far!

In a few weeks, your Sailor will graduate and head to A School, where they’ll receive specialized training in their chosen Navy rating. Locations vary for A School, and you’ll soon find out from your Sailor where they’ll be stationed. Once they know, discuss post-graduation plans, including liberty (free time off base). You can write to them and ask about this.

Stay tuned in for more insights into Week Nine and beyond. 


MCPO Don Garcia, USN (Ret)