How tough is navy boot camp?

Im off to boot camp in a few months and I just want an idea of what its like from someone whos been there.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I went through Navy boot camp in 1975 and served for 10 years.

    US Military boot camp is very carefully pitched so an average American 18. y.o. - with a little motivation - can get through it. It's not Sunday in the park, but nor is it the hell, some movies or TV shows (or some posters here) make it out to be. The US Military does not get so many recruits that it can afford to reject huge numbers of them. If you were involved in athletics in HS, you will likely find the physical demands no problem. But I was a totally un-athletic 120 lb. chess-team weakling in HS, and I got through Navy boot camp with nothing more than an occasional muscle ache.

    Boot camp is more about teaching you to do exactly what you are told, exactly when you are told to do it, and exactly how you are told to do it. This is why the endless drill - so you don't even think about it anymore, you just do it. Some other posters have mentioned folding clothes. Yes, in boot camp you will be taught, and expected to demonstrate a precise, exact way to fold and stow each and every item of your uniform (and a precise, exact way to do a large number of other things). Once you get out of boot camp, no one will give a damn how you fold your underwear. The point is not to teach you to fold clothes, but to teach you to follow precise, exact instructions and to produce a precise, exact result - attention to detail.

    More than anything else, boot camp is a form of psychology. The point is to the extent possible, to strip away individual self-identity and replace it with the identity of the group - the organization, the unit. "I am a sailor.. I am a soldier ... a Marine, etc." This is why military organizations prefer younger recruits - they have a still imcomplete sense of their own identity.

    "Very few men have died in battle, when the moment actually arrived, for the United States of America or for the sacred cause of Communism, or even for their homes and families; if they had any choice in the matter at all, they chose to die for each other and for their own vision of themselves....

    The way armies produce this sense of brotherhood in a peacetime environment is basic training: a feat of psychological manipulation on the grand scale which has been so consistently successful and so universal that we fail to notice it as remarkable. In countries where the army must extract its recruits in their late teens, whether voluntarily or by conscription, from a civilian environment that does not share the military values, basic training involves a brief but intense period of indoctrination whose purpose is not really to teach the recruits basic military skills, but rather to change their values and their loyalties. "I guess you could say we brainwash them a little bit," admitted a U.S. Marine drill instructor, "but you know they're good people."...

    It's easier if you catch them young. You can train older men to be soldiers; it's done in every major war. But you can never get them to believe that they like it, which is the major reason armies try to get their recruits before they are twenty. There are other reasons too, of course, like the physical fitness, lack of dependents, and economic dispensability of teenagers, that make armies prefer them, but the most important qualities teenagers bring to basic training are enthusiasm and naiveté. Many of them actively want the discipline and the closely structured environment that the armed forces will provide, so there is no need for the recruiters to deceive the kids about what will happen to them after they join."

    Gwynne Dyer - "Anyone's Son Will Do"

    I'm not trying to talk you out of joining. I joined the Navy when I was 18 and it was one of the great experiences of my life. I have gone around the world - literally - twice - once in each direction. I woud recommend the Navy to any young person with a sense of adventure and a desire to see something of the world.

    A few concrete suggestions:

    If you don't know how to swim - learn or at least learn the basic ability to stay afloat. You have to pass a (really rather easy) swim test in boot camp, but if you don't pass, you will be held back until they can teach you. It absolutely flabbergasted me in (Navy!) boot camp, how many people didn't know how to swim.

    If you smoke - QUIT - now! When I went through boot camp in the '70s smoking was accepted if not actually encouraged and they gave you up to 5 or 6 five-minute smoke breaks a day. From what I understand, there is now no smoking in boot camp - PERIOD! It will also help with the physical training (especially running). I was considered odd then because I didn't smoke, until I turned in the second best time in my unit on the distance run.

    Have your recruiter find you a copy of "The Eleven General Orders of a Sentry" and start memorizing it.

    Source(s): Other good sources of information: A little book called "The Blue Jacket's Manual". You'll be issued one in boot camp and expected to read it, so get a head start ($30.00 from the US Naval Institute Press ) "What the Recruiter Never Told You "
  • Debra
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Maybe he means he is going to be a plane director. Since that isn't a Navy rating he wouldn't know that until he is actively in a squadron. I can assure you he has never met a sailor or marine who thought Navy boot camp was harder than Marines'. Even the sailors joke about their boot camp when discussing it with Marines. What I would like to hear is the opinion of one who was in the Army and went to the Marines as to the relative difficulty.

  • Ethel
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    If you go from the Navy, Army or Air Force into the Marines you have to go through boot camp for the Marines. A Marine going to any other service does not have to repeat the boot camp/basic experience. Marine Corps boot camp is the longest and hardest of all of the services.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just practice folding and ironing and let the Navy do the rest. Its just a huge stress test. Go get a job at a clothing store, I noticed they fold their clothes like the Navy does.

    Source(s): PO2 USN
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    your first night will be hell... you get in late at night do some processing/ paper work, take a wizz quiz, get your first gear issue, after that's all over they march you off to Pear Harbor which is one of the barracks right next to medical/ dental. they will put you to bed at 5am and wake you up at 6am to start whats called "P-Days" where you get poked and prodded for a few days, you just get shots, get blood drawn, eye exams, dental exams, more paper work, more processing, more paper work. the best i can describe it is that's its like being "reborn" and also don't all asleep! you going to want to it all long and boring. p-days usually last 7 to 10 days. during this time my best advise it don't fall asleep.!!!! don't even close your eyes. you want to lay low. stay under the RDC's radar. you wont do any physical activity until everyone in your division has been cleared by medical. after all they pack all your crap up and march to the other side of RTC to Camp Paul Jones to your real barracks. once you get there you officially start 1-1 day. the first 2-3 weeks they will try to break you down, then they build you up to their standards. they make you do what seems like pointless stuff. like striping you rack. and making over and over again. you'll be good at folding and stowing your clothes, they will tell you this everyday,"if we cant trust you to fold your underwear right, how can we trust you with a million dollar peice of equipment". you'll hygiene (shower) then they will PT and put you to bed sweaty. PT is a joke honestly, its pretty much just push ups, situps, arm circles, lunges, 8 counts. unless you get into trouble, then they I.T. (intensive training). they pull out their little card out of their pocket and beat you until you can do anymore. (not literally though)

    after awhile your RDCs will mellow out a bit. every night they will talk to you give advice tell you what you need to work on. most of the time your out of the barracks doing various evolutions, gun range, marlinspike, firefighting, swimming, drill practice.during these Evos DO NOT FALL ASLEEP!! dont even rest your head on your hands, they will kick you out of the evo and you'll have to do it another day everything you do will get you ready for "Battlestations" and graduation. but really boot camp simple. just do what your told. and if your told to be somewhere be 15 minutes early.DO NOT FALL ASLEEP(very importaint and you'll see alot of people do it and get busted) do all of this and you'll be fine.

    Source(s): in the Navy. currently in AW 'A' school
  • lilmax
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I hardly think it's nearly as hard as it was in 1973!

    Now they have to be politically correct and coddle you.

    Source(s): U.S. Navy/Marine Hospital Corpsman & disabled Vietnam Veteran.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    well, my fiance told me it was fine except he had a time folding and ironing his cloths - now he says that was the hardest part - and going two months without a ciggarrette.

    Source(s): Lwann
  • Get ready for some folding and ironing action!!!

    Source(s): Worked with squids on occasion
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Oh please!...if you can fold your clothes your good to go!

    USMC 68 Vietnam

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Pffft! Nothing to it.

    Eight weeks of playtime.

    In the Marines, we had to run 26 miles a day with a 200 pound pack on our back. Our morning began at 4am with 150 pushups, 200 situps, 1000 Jumping Jacks, and THEN we had to hold our breath for 20 minutes while we made our racks tight enough to bounce an M-16 rifle 5 feet into the air.

    After the 2 year length of the program, we all had .0001% body fat and could SPRINT full-out for 100 miles through the desert with a Volkswagon Beetle tied behind us . . . with the park brake ON.

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