Navy Recruit Training Command Graduation | December 13, 2019

Navy boot camp graduation from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, December 13, 2019.

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Today’s members carry on that noble tradition in the spirit of their motto, Pride in Service. With a wide range of performing ensembles, this talented group of professional military musicians appear in hundreds of parade, concert, school, public, and recruiting performances throughout its 11-state area each year as the Navy’s ambassadors to the Midwest. The commander, Naval Service Training Command, Rear Admiral Jamie Sands, is proud to present the men and women of Navy Band Great Lakes.

To honor those who have served, Navy Band Great Lakes will conclude today’s concert with a performance of the Armed Forces Medley. As your service song is played, please stand to recognize your service or your family’s service to our country.

“The Army Goes Rolling Along” The United States Army!

“Marines’ Hymn” The United States Marine Corps!

“The US Air Force” The United States Air Force!

“Semper Paratus” The United States Coast Guard!

“Anchors Aweigh” And your United States Navy!

The drum major for today’s concert is Musician Second Class Kristin Gayle, and conducting Navy Band Great Lakes is Musician First Class David Dresser. Another acknowledgement, please, for their outstanding performance this morning.

Band, post.

The parade of graduates is underway and will arrive at Midway Ceremonial Hall in just a few moments. Please make sure that all personal items are clear of the aisle and the drill deck. Guests in the balcony are reminded that standing along the rail is prohibited for the remainder of the ceremony. We know that your sailors will have many wonderful and amazing stories for you about their bootcamp experience. However, at this time, we would offer some video evidence that reveals our side of the story.

Good morning and welcome to Recruit Training Command and today’s graduation. We are very excited to have all the family and friends of our Sailors, both here and online, because you are about to watch the formal transition from recruits to full-fledged Sailors in the world’s greatest and most powerful navy. As we honor the accomplishments of America’s best and brightest, we must also honor the family and friends of these new Sailors. Without you and your steadfast support and devotion, this day would not be possible. Throughout our nation’s history, the secret to our military success has always been the military families that stand the watch at home and support their Sailors. The Department of the Navy has made the determination that the men and women graduating today have what it takes, and that is thanks to you. So, on behalf of the United States Navy, thank you for the support and care you provide. This celebration is not just for the graduates, but for you as well. Take special pride in what your Sailor has accomplished and the tremendous journey they are about to embark on. They are our future. Thank you again for your support and all you do to keep America safe and strong. Enjoy this ceremony. It gives me distinct pleasure to welcome you to our Navy family.

Hooyah, go Navy!

State flags, carry arms.

As the parade of graduates approaches, we salute the states and territories whose sons and daughters will graduate today.


Pennsylvania. New Jersey.

Georgia. Connecticut. Massachusetts.


South Carolina.

New Hampshire.

Virginia. New York.

North Carolina. Rhode Island. Vermont.

Kentucky. Tennessee. Ohio. Louisiana. Indiana.


Illinois. Alabama. Maine. Missouri.

Arkansas. Michigan.

Florida. Texas. Iowa. Wisconsin.

California. Minnesota.

Oregon. Kansas. West Virginia. Nevada. Nebraska.

Colorado. North Dakota.

South Dakota. Montana. Washington.


Wyoming. Utah.


New Mexico. Arizona.


Hawaii. District of Columbia. Puerto Rico.


American Samoa. Northern Mariana Islands. Virgin Islands.

State flags, order arms. And now we invite you to join the staff of Recruit Training Command in welcoming the graduating divisions with your applause as they enter Midway Ceremonial Hall and are announced in the following order.

Please welcome Division 013.

Division 014.

Division 015.

Division 016.

Division 017.

Division 018.

Today’s graduating performing unit is Division 903.

Division 903 provides the arrival honor staff, honor guard, the recruit review commander, adjutant, and graduates who provide support assignments for today’s ceremony. Ladies and gentlemen, you may be seated. Thank you. Divisions, right face. Section leaders, fall out and collect outer garments.

State flags, carry arms. Forward platoon, formation march. State flags, order arms. Parade, rest.

Divisions, countermarch. Divisions, halt.

Prepare for review at a normal interval. Dress left, dress. Ready, front. Left, face. At close interval, dress right, dress. Ready, front. Right, face. Parade, rest.

May I have your attention please. For the remainder of the review, no one will be permitted to pass in front of the review stand, and we ask this as a courtesy to our reviewing officer. Photography is certainly encouraged, but we ask that you remain seated and off the drill deck. The photographers you will see on deck throughout the review are the official photographers of Recruit Training Command.

Division commanders, left or right face. Parade, rest.

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I’m Lieutenant Rob Griffin-Duncan, Recruit Training Command’s drill division officer. I would like to welcome you to today’s Pass in Review. Today, you will see seven divisions comprised of 538 Sailors participate in their graduation ceremony and soon join the most powerful navy in the world. Please draw your attention to the unit positioned at center deck. There is the review commander and staff. The review commander is responsible for conducting the graduation ceremony. Today’s review commander is Fireman Apprentice Alexander Pabey from Hammond, Indiana. Let’s give him a hand, folks.

Performing today is the state flags unit on their sixth week of training, triple threat unit on their seventh week of training, and staff unit on their eighth and final week of training. These units are comprised entirely of recruits. During their night of arrival, all recruits are placed into divisions of 88 personnel and assigned their division commanders. Recruit division commanders form the backbone of recruit training and are the key individuals in the life of every recruit. Division commanders must serve as counselors, disciplinarians, administrators, and military leaders. Above all, they must show themselves as outstanding examples of military bearing, appearance, attitude, and behavior. Each division also has a recruit chief petty officer. This is the senior recruit who supervises the divisional staff positions and leads the division in the absence of their division commanders. Now ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the graduating divisions, their division commanders, and recruit chief petty officers. As I introduce each division, they will raise the competitive flags that they have earned throughout their training. As I introduce each recruit chief petty officer, the flag representing their home state will also be raised. Please hold your applause until all introductions have been completed. I will be starting from their right. Division 013, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Rick Lacasse, Petty Officer Second Class Derek Finn, Petty Officer Second Class Marian Diaz, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Jack Stripling from Laguna Beach, California. Division 014, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Michael Cooper, Petty Officer First Class John Deleon, Petty Officer Second Class Michael Cherry, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman James Webb from Chicago, Illinois. Division 015, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Darrell Craig, Petty Officer First Class Sarah Mills, Petty Officer Second Class David Cooper, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Jordan Sanchez from Menifee, California. Division 016, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Lucas Gaynor, Petty Officer First Class Stephanie Hare, Petty Officer Second Class Emmett Clarkson, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Joshua West from Long Island, New York. Division 017, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Terrence Symonds, Petty Officer First Class Christopher Gamble, Petty Officer First Class Joshua Jenkins, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Isaac Cruise from El Paso, Texas. Division 018, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Tracy Caldwell, Petty Officer First Class Jessica Viel, Petty Officer Second Class Carlos Davis, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Jayson Faypon from Lake Elsinore, California. Division 903, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Robert Plenny, Petty Officer First Class Michael Yonke, Petty Officer Second Class Brady Arnes, and their recruit chief petty officer, Seaman Alexander Pabey from Hammond, Indiana. On behalf of the commanding officer and staff of Recruit Training Command, we congratulate these division commanders and recruit chief petty officers on a job well done.

In a moment, you will see the ceremonial sideboys, bosun, and honor guard take their places for arrival honors. This time-honored tradition is our formal greeting to this morning’s reviewing officer. When requested by the announcer, please stand for the arrival honors, marching on of the colors, the national anthem, and the invocation. As a reminder, military guests shall remain covered throughout the entire graduation ceremony. And ladies and gentlemen, one final note. As befitting the importance of this occasion, our ceremony is conducted in a formal manner. However, we do encourage you to participate in today’s graduation ceremony by letting your applause show your Sailors just how proud of them you are. Once again, welcome aboard.

Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Honor guard, march. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. March, halt. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Honor guard, halt. Left, face. Order, arms. At a normal interval, dress left, dress. Ready, front. Parade, rest.

Divisions, attention.

Will the guests please rise and remain standing for the arrival of the official party?

Side Orderly, strike four bells.

Recruit Training Command arriving.

Order, arms. The guests may be seated.

Good morning, Captain. Honor guard standing by for inspection, sir. Inspection, arms.

Thank you for your inspection comments, sir. Right shoulder, arms. Close ranks, march. Right, face. Forward, march. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Left.

Color guard, parade the colors.

Will the guests please rise? Present, arms.

♪ O say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn’s early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight’s last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets’ red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that star-spangled ♪ ♪ Banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home of the brave ♪

Order, arms. Retire the colors.

Present, arms. Order, arms. Chaplain Fong will offer this morning’s invocation.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank thee for this day that you have given to us and for this occasion that brings us together to celebrate the graduation of our newest and finest Navy Sailors. Thank you for your blessings, first of strength, protection, and health, that allows these young Sailors to complete their training here at Recruit Training Command. Thank you for the RDCs, instructors, and staff members that have worked very hard to instill honor, courage, and commitment in each Sailor today. Thank you for the parents and family members that have faithfully supported them and helped them to get to this day of celebration. So as these young Sailors go forth to defend freedom and democracy around the world and become forged by the sea, Father, continue to protect them and guide them in your love, joy, and peace. May God bless you, may God bless America, and may God bless the United States Navy. I pray all this in your holy name, Amen.


♪ Eternal Father ♪ ♪ Strong to save ♪ ♪ Whose arm hath bound the restless wave ♪ ♪ Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep ♪ ♪ Its own appointed limits keep ♪ ♪ O hear us when we cry to thee ♪ ♪ For those in peril on the sea ♪ ♪ Amen ♪ ♪ Amen ♪

Our guests may be seated. At this point, the commanding officer would issue orders and instructions to the unit commanders. Then the unit commanders would face about and relay the information to their divisions. Today’s events show how orders are passed through the chain of command.

Divisions, report.

Division 013 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 014 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 015 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 016 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 017 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 018 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well.

Division 903 all present or accounted for, sir.

Very well. All divisions present or accounted for, sir.

Very well. The 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 fair treatment of all.

Good morning, Captain. I present the graduating divisions. Request permission to commence the review.

Very well, commence the review.

Aye aye, sir.

Parade, rest.

Sound off.

♪ I am America ♪ ♪ I am the wheat fields of the plains ♪ ♪ I am the warm Pacific rains ♪ ♪ I am they ♪ ♪ I am the city by the bay ♪ ♪ I am the southwest burning sand ♪ ♪ Burning sand ♪ ♪ I am New England’s forest land ♪ ♪ Fording the stream ♪ ♪ I am the light of liberty ♪ ♪ I am as far as you can see ♪ ♪ O beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ For amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ For purple mountain majesties ♪ ♪ Above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ America ♪ ♪ America ♪ ♪ God shed his grace on thee ♪ ♪ And crown thy good with brotherhood ♪ ♪ From sea to shining sea ♪ ♪ We stand our colors, raise a hue ♪ ♪ But stand we all in Navy blue ♪ ♪ In Navy blue ♪ ♪ We stand the red, the white, the blue ♪ ♪ America ♪ ♪ We are you ♪ ♪ America ♪

Hooyah Navy.

♪ Anchors aweigh, my boys ♪ ♪ Anchors aweigh ♪ ♪ Farewell to foreign shores ♪ ♪ We sail at break of daaaay ♪ ♪ Through our last night ashore ♪ ♪ Drink to the foam ♪ ♪ Until we meet once more ♪ ♪ Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home ♪

Drummers, singers, one, two, three, four.

Award winners, left or right face. Award winners reporting, sir.

Very well. Good morning, I’m Captain Erik Thors, commanding officer of Recruit Training Command, and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the loss of our family, our shipmates, the three that lost their lives in Pensacola, two most recently graduates of Recruit Training Command, so please if you’d take a moment of silence. Thank you. I welcome you to this morning’s recruit graduation ceremony. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where our Navy heritage meets the future and where these young men and women enter the profession of arms. Division 903 graduates today. They are the staff unit, providing arrival honor staff, honor guard, recruit review commander, adjutant, and support for the ceremony. Please join me in giving them a hand for their outstanding performances.

Welcome to the families and friends of our graduates who’ve come here today to share in this significant milestone with our newest Sailors. I would like to also welcome and recognize the veterans in our audience for their service to our country. Would our veterans please stand?

The men and women of Recruit Training Command are dedicated to providing the United States Navy basically trained, physically fit, and sharply disciplined Sailors like those whom you see before you, ready to run to the fight. They and others like them serve as the bedrock of our naval forces. They give our Navy its combat edge, and they enable us to help keep this nation secure. These Sailors have successfully completed eight weeks of demanding recruit training. They have recently demonstrated their knowledge and their courage during battle stations. They have earned the right to wear the uniform recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom. This training group is ready to graduate and serve in the world’s most powerful navy. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 538 of the newest and sharpest Sailors in the United States Navy.

Recruit Training Command’s competitive system among individual recruits and divisions promotes teamwork, attention to detail, and pride in accomplishment. Divisions performing above standards throughout their training are awarded recognition flags in five mission areas, academic achievement, military drill, compartment readiness, applications, and physical fitness. These flags are carried as a visible symbol of divisions’ success. Each flag indicates that your Sailors, individually and as teams, met performance standards in one or more mission areas. A division that excels in every phase of training qualifies for the Battle Efficiency Honor Division recognition and is awarded the Battle E Honor Flag for this exemplary achievement. Division 013 has earned this honor today, and we congratulate them on a job exceptionally well done.

Parade, rest.

Captain Thors will now present this week’s individual awards, and he’ll be joined on the drill deck by our executive officer, Commander Schmitt.

Good morning, Captain. Fireman Apprentice Pabey reporting.

Very well.

It is our pleasure to recognize the review commander for today’s ceremony, Fireman Apprentice Alexander Pabey, Division 903, from Hammond, Indiana. Throughout his training, Fireman Apprentice Pabey has exhibited great pride in naval service and has consistently demonstrated his potential as an effective leader. He has maintained a high standard of personal appearance and displayed excellent military bearing and command voice. Congratulations on your outstanding achievement. Well done, Sailor.

Good morning, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Seaman Miller reporting.

Very well.

For achieving the highest overall academic score during recruit training, Seaman Travis Miller, Division 013, from Post Falls, Idaho has earned the Academic Excellence Award, which is sponsored by the Lake Defiance chapter of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Seaman Miller receives a letter of commendation from the commanding officer. Well done, Sailor.

Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Fireman Palatinus reporting.

Very well.

For having displaying extraordinary qualities best expressing the American spirit of honor, initiative, and loyalty, Fireman Reilly Palatinus, Division 015, from Butler, Pennsylvania is awarded the Navy League Award, which is sponsored by the Navy League of the United States. Fireman Palatinus is presented with a commemorative plaque and a letter of commendation from the commanding officer. Well done, Sailor.

Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Airman Faypon reporting.

Very well.

Airman Jayson Faypon, Division 018, from Lake Elsinore, California is the winner of the United Service Organization Award for best exemplifying the spirit and intent of the word shipmate. Airman Faypon is given a commemorative plaque from the United Service Organization. Well done, Sailor.

Thank you, Captain. Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Seaman Daubar reporting.

Very well.

Seaman Leticia Daubar, Division 015, from Tampa Bay, Florida is the recipient of the Military Order of the World Wars Award of Merit. This award is presented for meritorious performance during recruit training. Seaman Daubar is presented with a commemorative plaque from the Military Order of the World Wars. Well done, Sailor.

Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Airman Kim reporting.

Very well.

The Military Officers Association Leadership Award is presented to Airman Yong Chan Kim, Division 018, from San Diego, California for demonstrating exceptional tenacity and professionalism. Airman Kim is awarded a letter of commendation from our commanding officer. Well done, Sailor.

Thank you, Captain. Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Good morning, Captain, Fireman Sugden reporting.

Very well.

Fireman Carter Sugden, Division 013, from Round Rock, Texas is the recipient of the Navy Club of the United States of America Military Excellence Award for best exemplifying the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military bearing, and teamwork. This award places him at the pinnacle of today’s newest Sailors. He is awarded a flag letter of commendation. Fireman Sugden, the staff of Recruit Training Command salutes you as the finest of this group of graduates. Well done, Sailor.

Good morning, Commander. Thank you, Commander.

Divisions, attention.

It is appropriate to recognize such outstanding individual accomplishments by these Sailors with a round of three cheers. The adjutant will lead all graduating divisions in three cheers for this morning’s award winners.

Hip hip.


Hip hip.


Hip hip.


Good morning. Good morning. I’m privileged and honored to have this opportunity to address you this morning. I want to extend a warm welcome to the friends and families of these outstanding sailors. Your presence here today matters. Your ongoing support in their decision to serve matters. For that, I thank you. I know many of you have traveled far and wide to be here and celebrate this special day with them as they begin the new chapter in their life, the first day of the rest of their life. And for that, I thank you. Before us today, we have Sailors who have demonstrate that they are ready to take up the profession of arms. And so before we go any further, we’re gonna get some energy out and let these Sailors know just how much we love them. And so on the count of three, I want you to yell, scream, stomp, clap, I don’t care what you gotta do. Just get it out of your system, but let them know that we love them. Here we go, one, two, three, let it go.

All right, well done. And that’s how you do that, well done. Over the past eight weeks, or maybe a couple extra weeks for some, I know it took me a little extra seasoning in ’87 when I came in, these young men and women have undergone a transformation from civilian to Sailor. They have proven themselves to be smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Sailors, warriors. I say warriors because they have trained to begin their Navy life with a fighting spirit. Never give up the ship, never let their shipmates down, and be tough in the face of challenge. They are warriors because they’ve been instilled with the characteristics to be selfless, always placing God, country, family, the Navy, their ship, and their shipmates above and before themselves. I’m also humbled and proud to lead the men and women of Recruit Training Command. These recruit division commanders, instructors, and support staff have dedicated their lives, sacrificed family time and the easy life to give everything they have to build this next generation of Warrior Sailor. Please join me in commending these Sailors.

To our newest shipmates standing before us, America is safe and free because of the service and sacrifice of those before us who chose to serve in the profession of arms, and now you have answered the call to carry the torch of liberty and become the shield of our republic. You are the real deal, the 1% of Americans who choose to serve and become part of something bigger than yourself. You are serving during a time when your nation needs you most. We are surrounded by a complex world and those who do not agree with our way of life and wish to deny our liberties, our prosperity, and disrupt the international order which maintains the peace. We are once again engaged in a great power competition. Our Navy is critical to America’s defense in securing our place in the world. Your Navy is positioned where it matters, where it is needed. America’s Navy is always present and ready 24/7, 365 both in peace and war. To be clear, we sail ready to fight and win. Shipmates, you must adopt this aggressive fighting spirit and protect that which you hold so dear. To our families and friends, again, thank you for being an integral part of your Sailor’s development and success. We cannot and could not have succeeded without your love and support. Our strength comes from family readiness and steady support throughout our career. You have raised these young men and women with a strong foundation, and we have built upon that, strengthening their honor, courage, and commitment. Your efforts have created what you see before you, selfless, dedicated warriors. Sailors, make the most of every day. The Navy is a wonderful life, hard but wonderful. So I’ll end with a short sea story of my father. As a young child, I grew up with a father who was disabled at the age of 38. He couldn’t remember what he’d just eaten, what he ate or that he just ate. But his long-term memory was razor-sharp, and it happened that he too was a Sailor as a young man. And so growing up, I heard many a sea story, many which I cannot repeat in this forum. But the one ringing element common to all of them was his love and admiration for his fellow Sailors. It was with his people, his buddies that brought him the greatest joy. This was my motivation to join 32 years ago, and I can tell you my father was absolutely right. It is the people, your shipmates, that make this the best adventure. And so I say to our newest Sailors and their loved ones, welcome to the Navy family. May God bless you, the United States of America, and the United States Navy, thank you.

State flags, carry arms. Forward platoon, formation march.

Captain Thors will now receive the salute of the graduating divisions, and he’ll be joined on the drill deck by Command Master Chief Twiford. Please remain seated until your graduates have been placed on liberty.

Please join me in one more round of appreciation for our wonderful musicians of Navy Band Great Lakes.

Flags, post. Section leaders, fall out and retrieve outer garments.

Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall will be closing at the conclusion of today’s graduation. Please check the area around you to ensure you have all your possessions. For those families with strollers, please retrieve them as you exit the drill hall. And as a reminder to all the graduating Sailors, ensure that you are in proper uniform of the day prior to exiting the drill hall. Thanks again to each and every one of you for joining us on this most memorable of Navy days. And without further delay, now hear this, now hear this. Liberty call, liberty call, fall out.

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