NORFOLK, Va. — For the 40,000 or so recruits who go through the Navy's Basic Military Training program for enlisted sailors every year at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, boot camp just got longer.
Starting this week, it went from eight to 10 weeks.
"We want them, when they graduate here, to be ready on arrival. We want them to be fleet-ready," said Rear Adm. Jennifer Couture, commander of Naval Service Training Command. "All of the changes we have made is to ensure warfighting readiness, the lethality of our people, and to optimize their performance. We want them performing at their peak capability."
The additional two weeks will be devoted to something called "Sailor for Life," a new training phase designed to provide recruits more training in mentorship, small-unit leadership, professional and personal development and advanced Warrior Toughness training.
"It's reinforcing the things that they've learned the first eight weeks, giving them more practical applications, more scenario-driven, more hands-on training," said Couture.
The idea is to advance the recruit's conversion from civilian to sailor.
"Identity transformation in eight weeks is a lot to ask for," said Wes Koshoffer, Fleet Master Chief of Naval Personnel. "Developing toughness, resilience, forging character are processes that take time. And so, adding this time, it doesn't sounds like a lot, but that two weeks really makes a difference."
With the extra training days, more time will also be spent focusing on anti-sexual assault anti-sexual harassment, anti-hazing, and suicide prevention training for the sailors.
This is said to be the first major overhaul of the Navy's Basic Military Training timeline since 2004.
- Marine Corps boot camp is the longest, at 13 weeks.
- The Army is nine to ten.
- The Coast Guard is eight weeks.
- The Air Force is seven-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half weeks.