SSGT NICHOLS - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
What Is Navy Boot Camp Like? (Part 2)
Posted by Joshua Kelly

During my last post about Navy Boot Camp, I talked about the P-Days (better known as processing-in days).  In this article, we will explore what you may actually find during the rest of the time you are in Navy Boot Camp.

With the first week now in the books, beginning the second week you will start getting into a basic daily routine.   You wake up at 6 am (usually getting hollered at by instructors) and told you have five minutes to get your rack made and your physical training clothes on before lining up at the end of your rack for inspection.  Once this is done, you are then marched out to the physical training area and begin doing a pretty intense workout, which includes everyone’s favorites: pushups, sit-ups, bear crawls, and running in place.  Sometimes your unit will get to do the exercises in intervals – meaning that you start with 30 reps of each and then work your way down by increments of 5.   Afterwards, you then find your unit lining up to do some running.  Usually the instructors have a set distance they want the recruits to run each day, along with a set pace to get everyone into that good old team spirit.

If you recall what I wrote in my earlier post, I mentioned that if you get yourself in shape prior to arriving at Boot Camp, the physical training should be an easy workout for you.

After PT

After your morning workout session, you usually find yourself marching back to the barracks.  You will then be given usually 15 minutes to shower and get into the uniform of the day, before lining up beside your rack for inspection. This inspection can consist of two types: a personal inspection  and a rack inspection.  Men, make sure that you are good and shaved during your shower time, or you may find yourself in a world of hurt.  If the instructors decide to do a rack inspection, they look at the uniform items in your rack and also the neatness of your rack.  If they do not like it, don’t be surprised (or upset) when they throw all your stuff on the deck and give you a wonderful 5 minutes to get it fixed up and back into your rack neatly. Remember, this is all part of the fun, with the purpose of teaching you attention to detail and teamwork.

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Chow Hall and Classroom

For the next item on the agenda, you will line up outside and head to the chow hall.  You might feel a little more important during the second week as you are now in the uniform of the day (recall that new recruits are in their processing uniforms (aka the “smurfs”)).  Being in a regular uniform should make you feel a tad bit better with yourself.  Usually you will be given 20-30 minutes for chow.  Then turn your plates in and line up outside the chow hall in formation.  Get ready to march over to the classroom, where you will find yourself for most of the day.

This routine continues until around the fifth week, at which time you get introduced to Service Week.  During Service Week, you will find yourself working at various places throughout the recruit base.  Some of you will get lucky and work at the chow hall, others will get sent to yard detail.  This allows you to have a different feel to Boot Camp life after the past five weeks of adjusting.

The difference to the above daily routine takes place on Saturdays and Sundays.  On Saturdays, the Boot Camp routine is dialed back a bit, while Sundays are everyone’s favorite day.  The mornings are given to you so that you may attend religious services.  You also have time in the barracks to write letters and postcards to friends and family.  It does not take long in Boot Camp to find yourself looking forward to this day each week.

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Battle Week

Finally, you get down to your final weeks at training and you will see that classroom time becomes less and you start spending more time preparing for your Battle Week.  During these final weeks, you will be working on board a ship simulator in many different scenarios to prepare yourself for the fleet.  Then the last week is when you have Battle Week.   This is the final test in Boot Camp, when you are faced with various simulated shipboard emergencies and scenarios.  This tests you as an individual and as a unit on various aspects of ship life.   Once your unit passes Battle Week, you will find yourself ready to march down the drill hall in preparation for graduation from Boot Camp.

**Be advised that this is just some information in regards to Boot Camp.  You may find your experience different when you arrive, so remember to keep your mind open, stay fit and keep yourself prepared for anything that may come your way.  This includes the gas chamber, Battle Week, testing, and the physical readiness test (to name a few).  Just remember that when you graduate from Boot Camp, all these skills will come into future use during your career in the United States Navy.


Joshua Kelly is a 13-year United States Navy Veteran. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science and Math. Along with several military decorations, Joshua was certified as a Community College of the Air Force Instructor. Joshua is currently self-employed with Dakota Weather Consultants.

“I am passionate about the military way of life and also the self-employed way of the future, and of course, the weather. You will find me, every day, running my weather consulting firm when I am not spending time with my family. I enjoy sharing information by writing to help others prepare themselves and learn from my experiences”. Joshua Kelly

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