GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Sailors are some of the most highly trained people on the planet, according to Navy officials, and at Recruit Training Command, otherwise known as “boot camp,” these skills are taught by hard-charging Navy professionals who transform civilians into disciplined, qualified U.S Navy sailors.
Fireman Brendan Sheerin, a native of Jackson, recently graduated from RTC and will be learning the necessary skills needed to be a machinist’s mate (nuclear).
A machinist’s mate (nuclear) is responsible for working on engines and nuclear reactors onboard Navy warships.
After “boot camp,” students attend advanced technical schools where they are taught the basic technical knowledge and skills required to be successful in their new careers.
Sheerin, a 2018 graduate of Jackson Liberty High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Jackson.
“I learned to try to improve myself every day,” Sheerin said. “This has translated well for me since I’ve joined the Navy.”
In 1994, RTC Great Lakes became the Navy’s only recruit training facility. The mission of RTC is to transform civilians into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained sailors who are ready for follow-on training and service to the fleet while instilling in them the highest standards of honor, courage and commitment.
Recruit training involves a change in the mental and physical capacity of the new recruit, according to Navy officials. From the first day at RTC through graduation day when new sailors board the bus to depart, recruits find themselves in a whirl of activity. Every recruit entering the Navy today will remember RTC as their introduction to Navy life.
Boot camp runs for about eight weeks and all enlistees into the Navy begin their careers at the command. Their basic training curriculum is comprised of core competencies: firefighting and damage control, seamanship, watch standing, and physical fitness.
Through a hands-on learning approach, recruits “train how they fight” and receive critical war-fighting skills during the sailor development process. The command consists of more than 1,100 staff members, with an average of 6,000 recruits in training at any time.
Sheerin plays a crucial role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of national defense strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Sheerin and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I’m proud to serve and set an example for both my family and friends,” Sheerin said.
This article was written by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jerry Jimenez, Navy Office of Community Outreach.