U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command Graduation July 24, 2020

The virtual graduation ceremony for Training Group 37 at Recruit Training Command, the Navy’s only bootcamp, July 24, 2020. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Camilo Fernan)

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(dramatic music)

[Man] And right! (dramatic music) ♪ Taps, taps, get into your ride ♪ ♪ Taps, taps, get into your ride ♪

[Erik] Hello, everyone. I’m Captain Erik Thors, Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command. I welcome you to the virtual edition of our recruit graduation ceremony. Even though we can’t be here in person, it is important to be able to share this experience with you, the families and friends, watching this significant milestone online. Next time you see your Sailor, I’m sure they will have many stories to tell you about their boot camp experience, but allow me the opportunity to tell you our side of the story.

[Man] Hurry up! Let’s go! Get on the bus! Let’s move. (man yelling)

[Erik] Recruit Training Command is the quarterdeck of the United States Navy.

[Man] Good order and discipline will be maintained 24/7. Proper military posture will be maintained 24/7.

[Erik] Every enlisted sailor begins their Naval career here. And our mission is fairly simple. It’s to transform civilians into smartly disciplined, physically fit sailors, ready to follow on training and service to the fleet and while doing so, to instill in them the highest values of honor, courage and commitment.

[Woman] You are no longer a civilian. Whatever you were before is now over. You are about to begin a journey that’s gonna make you a part of the greatest Naval force the world has ever known. This training will not be easy. It wasn’t meant to be. (heavy breathing)

[Man] Our training environment is controlled chaos. (man screaming) And while it may not seem like that to the recruits, each and every event has meaning and purpose.

[Petty Officer] You’re gonna sound off at the top of your lungs. Do you understand?

[Recruits] Yes, Petty officer.

[Man] We were designed to develop skill sets that sailors can carry throughout their entire career. We push hard on fitness.

[Man] You’d better do this, you better not–

[Man] Watch standing.

[Petty Officer] You’re not looking man, look! Try it. You’ll look.

[Man] Yes, Petty officer.

[Man] And creating a warrior mindset.

[Man] Now, with a mental stand, you’re gonna be focused on your mind.

[Man] A true body, mind, and soul approach.

[Man] When I say, gas, gas, gas, you’ll have 51.5 seconds. Tighten your straps, check for a seal and put your hands in your pockets.

[Man] All of our recruits receive training that will help them the second they get to the fleet. (men yelling)

[Man] This end! Put your glasses down. All the way.

[Man] Firefighting, damage control, weapons and seamanship, our recruits get hands-on training and application with them all. (dramatic music) (men mumbling)

[Man] Stand by. (dramatic music) (men yelling)

[Man] Bottom one, right here.

[Woman] So, I need everything you got, because once we start this evolution again, I’m going to expect you to protect, overcome and beat.

[Man] Petty officer, Petty officer! (slow music)

[Man] Work together as a team. Execute the mission. And the next time I see you, you’ll be sailors. Hooyah Navy.

[Recruits] Hooyah Navy!

[Man] Everything they learn is tested in a battle station. (buzzer)

[Man] Identify yourself.

[Man] Chief, Division 001, manned and ready for battle station, Chief.

[Man] Do not relax anything that is on you.

[Man] A 24 hour event where the recruit ceases to exist. (recruits yelling) And a sailor is forged.

[Man] It’s filling up with water. It’s filling up with water. Just wanna make sure you hang tight. Hang tight.

[Woman] Breathe!

[Man] Maybe bootcamp really is a machine, with a swarm of moving parts, all working for the same goal, making a sailor.

[Recruits] I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with honor, courage, and commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all. (soft music)

[Man] The sailors forged here, are the bedrock of our Naval forces. They give our Navy it’s combat edge, enable us to help keep this nation secure. Each of them you see here today, has earned the right to wear the uniform recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the newest and sharpest sailors, of the United States Navy. (drum beats)

[Man] Division 214. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer, Joshua George. Petty Officer First Class, Thomas (sound cuts out). Petty Officer First Class, Dallas Bellaman. The recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman David Bush, from Glenside, Pennsylvania. (drum beats) Division 219. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer Dallas Band. Petty Officer First Class, Pia Plumber. Petty Officer Second Class, Emmanuel Shirley. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Matthew Jordan, from Sebastian, Florida. (drum beats) Division 241. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer Ricarde Arnold. Petty Officer First Class, Tiffany Willis. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Benny Serenay, from Cut Off, Louisiana. (drum beats) Division 243. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer Zipper Wigman. Petty Officer First Class, Hubbard Nince. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Michael Bild, from Wiesbaden, Germany. (drum beats) Division 244. Commanded by Petty Officer First Class Ronald Rakeem. Petty Officer Second Class, Gabriella Vasquez. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Andrew Gillespie from Hampton, Virginia. (drum beats) Division 246. Commanded by Petty Officer First Class, Anthony Harrison. Petty Officer Second Class, Theresa Mayer. And Petty Officer Second Class, Nicholas Jones. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Whitney Harper from Brooklyn, New York. (drum beats) Division 812. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer, Dwayne Williams. Petty Officer Second Class, Steven Unquin. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Ethan Bromley from Dallas, Texas. (drum beats) Division 813. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer Rafael Tiluga. Petty Officer First Class, Russell Clark. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Tyler Williford from Waldo, Wisconsin. (drum beats) Division 814. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer, Aaron Buloff. Petty Officer Second Class, Kevin Leon. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Joshua Williams, from Ephrata, Washington. (drum beats) Division 815. Commanded by Chief Petty Officer, James Atey. Petty Officer First Class, Ali Talenos. And the recruit Chief Petty Officer, Seaman Jonathan Doer, from Hot Springs, North Carolina. (drum beats)

[Man] Congratulations, sailors. You’ve all made it. You’re graduating from bootcamp and doing so at a time of extraordinary circumstances. Today, we recognize your transformation from civilian to sailor. A sailor is a member of a profession, forged through shared adversity, confident in their abilities and certain in their conviction that they are ready to handle any challenge. The RTC staff and your RDC’s see these traits within each of you. I personally could not be more proud of how you’ve risen to challenges we’ve presented and proven that you have what it takes to be members of our Navy and profession of arms. While your time here has been different than others have experienced in the past, fundamentally, most things haven’t changed. Like every sailor, you’ve been trained in firefighting, damage control, seamanship, small arms and watch standing. You proved you were tough, mentally, morally, and physically. You showed you could work as a team, both relying on one another and being relied upon. You demonstrated the warrior spirit of sailors and earned the right to wear that title. The coronavirus has certainly impacted your experience, but the Navy is inherently flexible and agile and excels when faced with challenges, just like you’ve all done here during bootcamp. But we’re not just congratulating you today. We’re welcoming new members of the Navy family, watching from afar. While I wish you could all be here in person, I’m glad I’m at least able to virtually welcome you. The term Navy family isn’t just a slogan. It’s a real thing. And I’m going to let you families in on a secret. We need you to love and support us throughout our service to our nation. Thank you for your love and support of your sailor. You are truly part of our family and essential to the Navy. To the sailors graduating today, well done. We’re all very proud of you. Take care of one another and stay in the fight. (upbeat brass music)

[Man] Throughout your time here, you’ve been taught toughness. You have been taught to run to the fire. You’ve been taught to deal with acute stress, how to process it and still move forward. You’ve been taught all that stuff. You’ve been taught to overcome challenge and you have overcome challenges. The fact that you’re sitting here today, says you’ve done that. ‘Cause here’s what I’ma tell you. You’re gonna be tested. It’s coming. One of you is gonna be sitting in your gym, working out and you’re gonna hear a loud crash off the back of your ship. And when you get up top side, a helicopter with 25 people has hit the back of the ship and fell in the water. And now you go to mass casualty and start rescuing people. One of you is gonna be eating on the mess decks and you’re gonna hear the flight deck fire alarm go off and you’re gonna run to the flight deck to suit up, and there’s a Harrier jet with two 500 pound bombs on board, a pilot in the cockpit and the plane’s on fire. And you’ve gotta go combat the fire. One of you is gonna be sitting in combat, off the coast of Africa and you’re gonna hear, “Missiles inbound, this is not a drill.” And you’re gonna have to react. Everything I just said has happened to our Navy in the last four years. And sailors like you responded and took action. Your test is coming. Are you ready?

[Recruits] Yes (mumbles).

[Man] Are you ready?

[Recruits] Yes (mumbles)!

[Man] I am proud of each and every one of you. You are absolutely the generation of sailors I want to go to war with. Be proud of what you’ve done. Earn it every day. I’m proud to call you shipmate. I look forward to seeing you in the fleet. I look forward to seeing you at graduation tomorrow. Congratulations to your parents. Hooyah.

[Recruits] Hooyah!

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