2014 Recruit Training at Devens, Massachusetts

2014 Recruit Training at Devens, Massachusetts

I’m very happy to announce that we’re posting some initial information about this year’s Recruit Training at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.  Head over to our dedicated “official” RT-MA page on this site for all the dates and info.  (This blog post you’re reading now is not the official RT-MA content.  It’s just my personal observations.)

Although MUCH more information is about to drop on the official RT page, I’d like to share a few initial thoughts I have about the major changes happening this year at Recruit Training.  You may be interested to know what some of the plans are for this year.

First, as you may have heard, LCDR David Carchia has decided not to serve as COTC this year.  We appreciate his decades of service and are happy that he’ll continue to be involved in many aspects of boot camp.  The job of commanding Recruit Training now belongs to LCDR David Hull, NSCC, the Regional Director of 1-3 and longtime COTC of Petty Officer Leadership Academy in Newport.

In addition to the new commander at the helm, please note that we’re restoring the full two-week boot camp, which will be four days longer than recent years.  Among other reasons, we feel that this additional time is necessary for the full development of the recruit experience and the “team-building” concept.  I still remember quite vividly when I was a 15-year old recruit, and the two week training was quite a challenge.

Other changes will be announced later.  For any leaders reading this who plan to send cadets to RT-MA this year, let me say something about recruit preparation.  While most recruits show up at check-in 100% ready to go, there are always exceptions that become an issue every year.  There are always a few recruits who arrive without the needed uniforms, expired enrollments, who are underage, etc.  Unfortunately, the primary reason for unprepared recruits is that a few home units are inadequately preparing their recruits for training.  The key, as with so many things, is communication from the unit CO and Training Officer to the recruit and his/her family.

Look guys, boot camp is challenging enough for the recruits.  We don’t need to make it even more stressful for them and their families by not doing all we can as leaders to prepare them in advance of training.  On that note, here are a few suggestions:

1.  Every family should receive the courtesy of a pre-boot camp briefing by the unit, at which the unit CO carefully goes over the standard operating procedures of boot camp, sets expectations with parents, and directs them to all the resources which answer 99% of the most common questions, and are easily available online.  The brief should be conducted 1-3 months prior to boot camp.

2.  Medical paperwork MUST/MUST be current and accurate, and the request for training orders must be timely with payment in full.  We will absolutely NOT, under any circumstance, accept any cadet medication unless the proper procedures have been followed.  Some families think they can show up at our door with undisclosed medication and expect us to happily dispense it without any documentation at all.  For both legal and ethical reasons, we will not do that, even if it means the recruit has to be turned away from training.

3.  The seabag list isn’t a “suggested” list which units and recruits are free to ignore or modify as they wish.  The list (when released) will be designed to ensure that all recruits have enough gear to get them through training, while protecting their health and safety.

4.  The Physical Readiness Test has been completed by each recruit at the home unit, as provided by the NSCC/NLCC PT Manual (available on Homeport) and each year’s Summer Training Information Letter.  The PRT is required prior to training, and the unit CO must check “yes” or “no” on the NSCTNG 001 to reflect whether the recruit has passed the PRT or not.  Starting this year, as is the practice at most other RT’s across the nation, all recruits will take a full, properly administered PRT during check-in day.  If the recruit passes the PRT on check-in day, he/she will not need to worry about passing it again to graduate.  If, however, the recruit does not pass, he/she will have 2-3 more opportunities to re-take it during training.  As per NSCC policy, recruits who finish Recruit Training without passing the PRT cannot receive credit.

(If recruits have a qualifying disability that prevents completion of the PRT, such must be disclosed in advance, and a Americans with Disabilities Act reasonable accommodation requested on the proper form by the family in conjunction with the home unit.  Again, if this process isn’t done properly, the recruit will not commence training.)

5. Consider the fact that recruits who show up unprepared are, in effect, detracting needed resources from those recruits who did show up prepared.  It isn’t fair to the staff, to the other cadets, or really to the recruit him or herself, who is deprived of a meaningful training, either because the home unit failed to properly prepare its recruits for training.

I hope that’s helpful.  Again, be sure to check out the official RT page regularly.  I’ll update the Region 1-1 Facebook page when new things are posted, so be sure to “Like” that page if you haven’t already.

We’re very excited about RT 2014 and are looking forward to providing a safe, structured and highly compelling experience for all our recruits and staff cadets.  We are looking forward to seeing you at Devens this summer!


LCDR Landry

PS – Be sure to bookmark the official RT-MA page, and also “like” us on Facebook to be notified when we update or post new content!


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