U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps - American Veterans Division
What is Recruit Training ?
RT: Recruit Training
No one goes home the same . . .
The Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) Recruit Training (RT) is the cadet’s introduction to military routine and discipline and is the first step toward advancing in the Sea Cadet Program. Cadets spend nine days or two weeks learning basic Navy subjects, elementary seamanship, basic damage control, and quarter’s maintenance. Additionally, cadets participate in physical fitness training, drill basics, and following orders. A cadet must pass the RT physical fitness test (PRT) during training in order to receive credit for completing the RT. Successful completion of RT is required before the cadet is allowed to attend any other NSCC training offered any where (Advanced Training). It is the unit Commanding Officer’s responsibility to ensure that cadets are prepared physically, academically, medically, and psychologically prior to attending RT.
A cadet must qualify to RT. In order to qualify, a cadet must complete the required Basic Military Requirements (BMR) numbers 1, 5, 6, 9, and 10. In Addition, the cadet must pass the unit PRT, have a medical exam no sooner than 30 days from the first day of RT and documented on the appropriate form, pay the appropriate fees, and have orders signed by the parent or guardian. Orders are initiated by the Admin Officer.
The NSCC recruit training is very much like an abbreviated version of its U.S. Military counterparts. The NSCC RT, like the Navy and Coast Guard training, focus on water survival training, physical fitness, basic seamanship, and such skills as shipboard firefighting, basic engineering, and signals, among others. Standard uniforms are issued by the cadets' unit and a sea-bag list of required items is distributed by the respective Commanding Officer of the Training Contingent (COTC) prior to RT. The recruits must ensure that all of the required items on the COTCs list are acquired, in good order, and present when they report to the training site, no more and no less. Sea-bag inspections are conducted. Recruits will have their hair cut or shaved on-site in order to meet grooming standards and homogenize their appearances. Recruit training must merge divergent trainees often from different levels of culture and society into a useful team. Basic training will include provision for the basic needs of the recruit - food, shelter, clothing - and these will meet certain unit standards and unit requirements, such as 'mobility' for an infantry unit. A recruit therefore will be 'issued' basic provisions or equipment according to the requirements of the unit and taught responsible management of these provisions.
Recruit training has changed over the years as tactics of war have changed. Infantry units no longer attack in mass formations; however, to move units around a base, formations are useful and practical. Sailors on dry ground may have to call-in artillery and/or air strikes must be more intelligent and thoughtful than ever before. As such, the NSCC puts much emphasis on a cadets academic development and grades must be maintained in order to remain in good standing.
Recruits are typically instructed in "drill": to stand, march, and respond to orders. Historically, drills are derived from 18th-century military tactics wherein soldiers in a fire line performed precise and coordinated movements to load and fire muskets. Today’s drilling trains the recruit to act unhesitatingly in the face of real combat situations. Modern militaries have learned that a service member often must make critical decisions on behalf of his team and nation. Drill also enables the modern infantry soldier to maintain proper position relative to his peers and thereby maintain the shape of his or her formation (arrowhead, line abreast, etc.) while moving over uneven terrain or in the dark of night. Drill serves a role in leadership training. Combat situations include not only commands to engage and put one's life in danger, but also commands to disengage when military necessity so demands. Drill is essential for military function because without the ideally instantaneous response to command that drill conditions, a military unit would likely disintegrate under the stress of combat and degenerate into a mere armed mob. According to Finnish Army regulations, the close-order drill serves four functions:
Some aspects of basic training are psychological: instructors reason that recruits who cannot reliably follow orders and instructions in routine matters will likely be unreliable in a combat situation wherein they may experience a strong urge to disobey orders or flee and thereby jeopardize themselves, their comrades, and the mission. Volunteers in a combat unit will experience a unique level of 'agreement' among participants, termed unit cohesion, that cannot be equaled in any other human organization because each team member's life may depend on the actions of the recruit to their right or left. Special forces and commando units fully develop this unit cohesion.
The process of transforming civilians into military personnel has been described by military historians as a form of conditioning that encourages inductees to partially submerge their individuality for the good of their unit. This conditioning is essential for military function because combat requires people to endure stress and perform actions that are simply absent in normal life. Military units are therefore incomparable to civilian organizations because each participant is in mortal danger and often depends on the others.