If you have been following the news (my condolences) you may have noticed about a thousand articles (or possibly, one article posted a thousand times on social media) reporting that the U.S. Navy boot camp has been extended from eight to ten weeks of training. Fortunately, in this ever-divided world, the Navy is finally taking action that cannot possibly be interpreted as a partisan political issue.
Don’t be a moron. Everything these days is a partisan political issue. If you watch Fox News, you know that this is part of the plan for the woke military leaders to turn the Navy in to a hippy commune. On the other hand if you watch CNN, you realize that this is a vital change to ensure that our sailors aren’t extremist neo-Nazi rapists. If you watch MSNBC, you probably have a long stream of drool puddling in your lap. No matter where you look, you can see the military’s public image is doing well.
I for one support this new plan. Why, you may ask? Because I, like so many retired sailors, realize that it in no way affects me.
What’s going to happen during these additional two weeks? That’s a great question. The focus is on preparing sailors for the fleet. Now I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t that what the other eight weeks are for?”
Don’t be stupid. The first eight weeks of boot camp are devoted to marching, making your bunk 47 times a day, and doing pushups as a punishment for not marching well or making your bunk correctly. Also there are classes on naval culture and procedures and some uniform inspections.
With all this vital training there is no spare time to teach recruits what they need to know in the fleet. Initially the plan was to make boot camp even longer. At the planning stage they wanted to lengthen boot camp to 20 years and at the end, instead of graduation, there would be a retirement ceremony.
But the question still remains, what is the important training that will take place in the additional two weeks? To answer that we turn to the Navy Times, the source of all naval wisdom for those who don’t know how to look up instructions. According to the Navy Times this time will be utilized for the “Sailor for Life” module, which is a retention tool designed to ensure that all graduates reenlist. As part of the training all sailors will be implanted with a microchip that will provide an electric shock any time they think about getting out.
Okay, that’s not 100% true. It turns out that the Sailor for Life module contains training on sexual harassment/assault prevention, suicide prevention, anti-hazing, organization, financial management, and time management. Since this is basically the same training sailors in the fleet attend at regular intervals, it is perfect for preparing new recruits for their first assignment. Although the article doesn’t mention it, I like to think that the module incorporates simulated ATG assessments, underway schedules, watch rotations, 3M maintenance, etc. throughout the day while sandwiching the training in the middle as the instructor speed reads 150 slides to a half-awake audience.
The fact is, sailors need this training in the fleet, and the last thing the Navy wants is new sailors reporting for duty without the basic ability to attend this training without falling asleep. We train the way we fight.
The only problem with the Sailor for Life module, is I don’t think it covers everything. The U.S. Navy is a complex organization with many nuances that are confusing to new recruits. With just a couple additional weeks the curriculum could be expanded to include the following essential subjects:
-Where to find all the 400 million instructions and references (from the Defense Department, the Navy, your region, your fleet, your squadron, your command, your department, etc.) that regulate every part of your life. There are four people in the Navy who know where all of these are.
-How to set Yoke. (Everyone not in the engineering department is guessing).
-How to draft an outgoing message (ask the ITs to do it for you).
-How to conduct drills without waking up the air detachment personnel, who require 16 hours of sleep.
-What to do if the shower curtain touches you (report to medical immediately, they may have to amputate).
-What to do if you take a shower without shower shoes (get your affairs in order).
-What you should say at captain’s call when they ask if there are any questions (nothing).
-What to do when you are late for watch (apologize profusely, offering up your first born as a sign of contrition).
-What to do when you wake up naked in a foreign prison with a hangover (pray).
-How to make more money by marrying someone you just met.
I’m sure I’m leaving out something here. If you have any ideas let me know and we’ll send them off to the Navy. Remember, boot camp is ten weeks now, but with a little imagination we can round it out to a solid three months (or more).
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