The U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command welcomed 836 new Sailors to the fleet at their basic training graduation ceremony on Nov. 22, in Great Lakes, Ill. Rear Adm. John Okon, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), addressed Training Group Fifty-Five about their tremendous achievement.
“Shipmates, you are now the steward of the standard. You no longer represent just yourself. You represent over 300,000 Sailors - officer and enlisted - and the millions that have gone before us,” said Rear Adm. John Okon. “We are the United States Navy and we represent the fighting spirit to defend freedom and democracy around the world. For over 245 years, stewardship has mattered, and it matters more now than ever before.”
Roughly 38,000 men and women, from all walks of life, graduate from Navy boot camp every year. They raise their hands and vow to serve our country with courage, honor and allegiance. At the Recruit Training Command (RTC), recruits undergo several weeks of intense training to transform from civilian to Sailor and ultimately, prepare them for service.
“Navy life is tough. As you have had over the past eight weeks, more challenges lie ahead for you. There will be stumbles and setbacks along the way,” said Rear Adm. Okon. “Your resiliency, esprit de corps and toughness in how you respond and rebound will be critical to your success—our success. You must maintain a balanced lifestyle in mind, body and soul to be ready to respond. I will leave you with a quote that sums up your time at RTC and sets you on a course for success. It is the Riesenberg saying: ‘The sea is selective, slow at recognition of effort and aptitude but fast in sinking the unfit.’”
After basic training, these recruits are not done yet. They will report to A School where they attend technical training for each of their respective Navy Enlisted Ratings. Upon graduation of A School, the Sailors will be sent to their first duty station. This is the true beginning of their greatest adventure yet - as a United States Sailor.
Naval Oceanography consists of more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who define and apply the physical environment, from the depths of the oceans to the stars, to ensure the U.S. Navy has the freedom of action to deter aggression, maintain freedom of the seas, and win wars.