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Recruit Training Command
Great Lakes, Illinois


Company 72-210

29 June - 11 August 1972

Please see note on the Command page about the actual dates I attended RTC

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Directions The one thing about the Navy I always admired was the way nothing was left to chance. The attitude was that directions should be posted so that no one was confused as to what was required of you. I took a train from South Bend, Indiana up to Great Lakes, Illinois. The station was wedged in between several sets of tracks and there was only one exit to the street, either up over the tracks or underneath I don't remember which, unless you jumped down onto the tracks and crossed over. Despite there only being one exit a sign was posted with an arrow and the directions to the Recruit Receiving Unit (eg: This Way!). As soon as you made your way to the street there was another sign (the picture on the left) and when you crossed the street there was another sign (the picture to the right). I wonder how many 'new recruits' were lost trying to find the place? Directions
The Gate For those who passed the orientation test and found their way to the front gate a welcome party was on hand to greet you. After we were officially greeted and told to put out all cigarettes we were arranged in a single line, in Navy terminology called 'nuts to butts'. I don't remember the official spiel but the Recruit dress in whites was the first to utter the words that would follow me through my career, "You're in a world of shit". We then shuffled our way through the gate not yet having learned to march and were greeted by a Chief Petty Officer with a red braid wrapped around his left shoulder. The look on his face told the whole story, yes indeed we were in a world of shit!

The Recruit in the picture to the left is wearing a Petty Officer Second Class Chevron on his right sleeve. This was an honorary rank not his official rank. Recruits were chosen from the ranks to act as petty officers within their respective companies. Subject to reconsideration of course. The official rank insignia was worn on the left sleeve.


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This page was last updated on March 10 2013