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Navy RTC Battle Stations 21

Recruit Training Command (RTC), also known as boot camp, for the United States Navy typically lasts for eight weeks. During this time, recruits go through a rigorous program of physical training, classroom instruction, and practical application of the skills they have learned. The eight-week program is designed to transform civilians into Sailors, teaching them the military customs, courtesies, and traditions of the Navy, as well as the physical and mental discipline required to serve in the Navy.

Recruits practicing line handling during BST 21 (image courtesy of RTC PA)

Navy Recruit Training Command's Battle Stations is the capstone event of boot camp for recruits. Battle Stations 21 is conducted aboard the USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator. The event is a realistic simulation of a variety of Navy scenarios and is designed to test the recruits' ability to work together as a team and apply the skills they have learned during their time in boot camp. It typically lasts for around 24 hours and includes a range of physical and mental challenges, such as firefighting, damage control, and navigation. The goal of Battle Stations is to prepare recruits for the challenges they will face as sailors in the United States Navy.

The following video was created by a Navy Veteran describing Battle Stations. (see more videos). Images are courtesy of RTC Public Affairs.

Immediately following Battle Stations 21 the traditional capping ceremony takes place. The Recruit Training Command (RTC) capping ceremony is a significant event that marks the end of boot camp for Navy recruits. During the ceremony, the recruits are "capped," or officially become Sailors by receiving their Navy covers (or "cover" in Navy terms) which symbolize the transition from recruit to Sailor.

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Spencer Fling U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command

The ceremony also signifies that the recruits have completed the rigorous training program and are now ready to move on to the next phase of their Navy careers. The ceremony is usually attended by family and friends, as well as by Navy personnel, and is often followed by a reception or other celebration.

Send one off our 7 original ship watercolor postcards to your recruit or a veteran.

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