Building Tomorrow’s Fleet Sailors

By Rear Admiral Michael White
Naval Education and Training Command

After nearly 6 months as the Commander of the Naval Education and Training Command, I have had the opportunity to see once again how we transform our young men and women into Sailors to become the future of our Navy. They have volunteered to serve our country in a time of conflict and the pride I see in this young generation as they step into these new roles is astounding.

Recruit Division 191 enters the USS Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall at the beginning of a pass-in-review graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command, May 17, 2013. Ten divisions and 795 recruits graduated at the weekly Friday graduation. Recruit Training Command trains more than 35,000 Sailors annually. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Recruit Division 191 enters the USS Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall at the beginning of a pass-in-review graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command, May 17, 2013.

 

A new Sailor’s initial impression of the Navy, and how well they succeed, is often determined by the first people they meet. After a recent trip to Recruit Training Command (RTC), Great Lakes, I met with some of our Recruit Division Commanders (RDC) who train and prepare those recruits to not only become Sailors, but provide the mentorship they need throughout boot camp.

Admiral White with two NMTI's - ACC(Sel) Shelly Cosman, and AT1 Hubert Bird, at the USS Theodore Roosevelt barracks here in Pensacola.

Admiral White speaks with Naval Military Training Instructors, ACC(Sel) Shelly Cosman, and AT1 Hubert Bird, at the USS Theodore Roosevelt barracks in Pensacola.

RDCs complete a 13- week- course which provides them the skill-sets and knowledge needed to succeed, but what is most impressive is their willingness to dedicate their time both on and off duty to help our new Sailors as they begin their journey.

Once our Sailors graduate and begin their core training at various “A” schools across the country,  Naval Military Training Instructors (NMTI) continue to provide “Sailorization”, enhancing the professional growth,  training and  mentorship of those new to the Navy. NMTI’s typically live in the barracks with the Sailors providing round- the- clock guidance and reinforcement of instruction if needed.

RDC’s and NMTI’s are designated by their aiguillettes, the “red ropes” or “red and white ropes” they wear. Earning the “red rope” or “red and white rope” signifies a true dedication and passion for the Navy – leading from the front as our newest Sailors join our force. These instructors have earned their ropes by setting the highest examples of standards and commitment. Our new Recruits and junior Sailors respect them and know where to turn in the time of need.

If you haven’t been to a graduation to see the transformation of our newest Recruits into Sailors, you can now do so. We broadcast graduation day via livestream every Friday beginning at 8:45 a.m. CDT at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/  so that friends and family who are unable to be present can share in their Sailor’s special day. Take a look – it will renew your pride and patriotism!