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

First Month on the Job at the Navy’s Best First Flag Duty

By Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans
Commander, Naval Service Training Command

Families, Friends, Shipmates,

As most of you know, I assumed command of Naval Service Training Command last month. I want to express my sincere thanks to all the Sailors, midshipmen, cadets, officers, staff and families for your warm welcome aboard.

It is pretty well known that this job is the best First Flag Duty in the Navy and my first month here has certainly lived up to that reputation.

Since checking on board, I have been extremely impressed with the superb young men and women who have volunteered to serve our country.

Some are just starting out, like our midshipmen from Northwestern University and Marquette University who conducted new student orientation, drill and sail training here in Great Lakes.

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Some are seasoned veterans who are about to become our Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers.

GREAT LAKES, Ill., (August 17, 2015) – Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), visited with chief petty officer selectees from Training Support Center (TSC) and Naval Station Great Lakes during a visit to the TSC headquarters building here, August 17. More than 30 CPO selects from TSC and Naval Station Great Lakes were on hand to listen to the admiral and ask questions of what officers expected from a new Chief. (Official U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

I offer my congratulations to all the newly commissioned officers of Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, and the new Sailors from Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes.

OTC Newport Parade

Welcome shipmates!

As the semester begins for NROTC midshipmen and NJROTC cadets, that means summer vacation is over. It is time to start a new chapter in your life. First and foremost, enjoy yourselves this school year and stay safe.

This can be a time of high stress and situations you may not be accustomed to. You are part of one big Navy family now and our family takes care of one another. Whether you have an academic, personal or other issue, remember to seek out help from a peer or staff member.

Our Navy is a great career choice and as family or friend of your Sailors, you will join them in their adventure supporting our Navy and our nation. Please take care of yourselves and each other so that we can have a great year.

This first month has been extremely busy for the command. We have had several distinguished visitors including the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michelle Howard,

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (July 24, 2015) Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Michelle Howard congratulates a recruit following a capping ceremony next to the USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Howard visited Recruit Training Command to tour the base and attend a recruit pass-in-review while serving as the ceremony's reviewing officer. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Walsh/Released)

as well as Brazil’s top Navy officer, Adm. Eduardo Leal Ferreira, commander of the Brazilian Navy.

GREAT LAKES, Ill., (August 21, 2015) – Adm. Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira, commander of the Brazilian Navy, congratulate U. S. Navy recruits following a capping ceremony here, Aug. 21. Ferreira and his staff were the guests of Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) during a two-day visit of Naval Station Great Lakes. The Brazilian admiral toured Training Support Center (TSC) training facilities, “A” Schools and Recruit Training Command (RTC), the U. S. Navy’s only boot camp. A capping ceremony is where recruits are congratulated for completing Battle Stations, a grueling 12-hour culmination of basic training and the last evolution they must accomplish before they graduate. It’s also where recruits change out their recruit ball caps -- they have worn since arriving at RTC -- with a Navy ball cap. This signifies a recruit is now considered a U.S. Navy Sailor. (Official U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

One of my favorite parts about this job is that I get to show our guests firsthand how the Navy’s top Sailors train the Navy’s newest Sailors.

We also introduced the Honor Graduate Ribbon at Recruit Training Command last week. This ribbon demonstrates how hard work pays off during basic military training, just as it will in the fleet. It serves as a physical recognition of the Sailor’s outstanding achievements in academics, physical fitness, recruit leadership and commitment to the Navy core values.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (August 20, 2015) -- Seaman Recruit Richard Cassube, of Roy, Wash., left, assists Seaman Recruit Jeremy Cryer, of Gilbert, Ariz., with the proper measurements of the ribbons on his dress uniform in preparation for their upcoming graduation at Recruit Training Command (RTC). Cassube and Cryer are among the first 15 recruits to receive the Recruit Honor Graduate Ribbon. The Honorable Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus approved the award to recognize initial accession enlisted personnel who demonstrate superior performance throughout basic military training in the areas of academics, physical readiness, recruit leadership and commitment to the Navy Core Values. Honor Graduates earning the ribbon will be authorized to wear it during the PIR graduation ceremony held on most Friday during the year. No more than 3 percent of graduates from each training group will be designated as Honor Graduates. (U.S. Navy Photo by Susan Krawczyk, RELEASED)

Additionally, we completed an update to the officer Professional Core Competencies (PCC) manual. Using an innovative web-based feedback game we call “MMOWGLI” (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet), leaders in the fleet were able to provide input on the necessary skills officers need to develop during training before reaching the fleet. The world we operate in is constantly evolving, and the preparation of our officers must keep pace. The revised PCC Manual will prompt curriculum changes throughout the accession programs, improving the readiness of junior officers entering the service.

I have also had the opportunity to participate in a great deal of community outreach in the past month.

GREAT LAKES, Ill., (August 17, 2015) – Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), visited with chief petty officer selectees from Training Support Center (TSC) and Naval Station Great Lakes during a visit to the TSC headquarters building here, August 17. More than 30 CPO selects from TSC and Naval Station Great Lakes were on hand to listen to the admiral and ask questions of what officers expected from a new Chief. (Official U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

It was my great honor to represent our Navy in the Bud Billiken Parade in downtown Chicago. There, I was extremely humbled to meet a few of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen, great American heroes!

I also had the distinct pleasure to speak at the WWII Black Veterans of Great Lakes annual dinner, another venue filled with national treasures.

CHICAGO (Aug. 15, 2015) Rear Admiral Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command, greets LeArthur Dunlap, president of The WWII Black Navy Veterans of Great Lakes at the organization's annual commemoration dinner. The purpose of the organization is to honor all Veterans, regardless of color, creed, or sex and focus on the legacy of WWII Black Navy Veterans. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Sean Brophy/Released)

Additionally, I was very fortunate when the Chicago Federal Executive Board asked me to speak at their Regional Congressional Briefing. Our entire community benefits when federal agencies come together to discuss common issues and share resources and information to enhance common goals.

CHICAGO (Aug. 17, 2015) Rear Admiral Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command, presents at the Chicago Federal Executive Board Congressional Briefing. The Federal Executive Board connects federal agencies in order to share resources and information to enhance preparedness, workforce development and government and community partnerships. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Sean Brophy/Released

Events such as these allow me to showcase our Navy to our community and local leaders. We appreciate our neighbors and there is no better way to show that appreciation than to get out and show them what their tax dollars are paying for!

I look forward to what the future has in store for NSTC and our Great Lakes community.

This was a fantastic first month on the job! I appreciate all your hard work!

Finally, I want to thank all you family members and friends who sustain us while we serve. Your support can’t be measured other than to simply say we couldn’t do what we do without you.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet as many of you as possible and thank you in person.

 

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