07/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/03/2019 09:44
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Brian Kobleur did not expect to return to Navy boot camp after graduating in 1988. More than 30 years later, he looks forward to his annual visit to Recruit Training Command (RTC) in his role as U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Chief of Staff Region 9, and commanding officer for the Sea Cadet training at Great Lakes.
Cadets new to the organization, most of whom are 13-15 years old, participated in the 10-day Sea Cadets' boot camp designed to teach basic seamanship, Navy history and tradition, drill and other skill sets taught to U.S. Navy recruits attending the Navy's only boot camp.
USNSCC Lt. Cmdr. Kobleur spoke to 340 Sea Cadets who graduated from basic training and approximately 50 Sea Cadet officers and staff during a ceremony held June 30 at RTC.
'Sea Cadets have had recruit training here at RTC Great Lakes for the past 57 years; this is our 57th consecutive year,' Kobleur said. 'I've commanded the training here for the past eight years and I've been part of the department staff for 16 years.'
Sea Cadets is a non-profit civilian organization founded in 1958 at the request of the Department of the Navy and established by the Navy League of the United States to 'create a favorable image of the Navy on the part of American youth.' Sea Cadet units are in nearly every state as well as two in Puerto Rico and two in Guam.
Kobleur said that Sea Cadets hold recruit basic training at various sites throughout the country, but many Cadets choose to train at RTC. This year, recruits from 26 states encompassing 93 units participated in training at RTC.
'For me, and it's the same reason for the cadets, this is the place they want to come; this is the authentic experience,' he said. 'Cadets want to come here because they're thinking of coming into the Navy and they want to look around and want to understand what it's going to be like and get a head-start of that Sailorization process.'
Sea Cadet Petty Officer Alyssa Vossen, 17, of Toledo, Ohio, said she plans to join the Navy and values the opportunity to train at RTC.
'It's really amazing that you know that everything you're learning here is the Navy standard,' she said. 'A lot of the Sea Cadets who come to this training go on to join the Navy and they use this as sort of a test to see if they think it will be a good fit.'
Kobleur said that nearly two-thirds of Sea Cadets choose to join the military, the majority of them becoming Sailors or Marines.
Sea Cadets' training curriculum is approved by the Navy. Cadets receive 106 hours of instruction, with a focus on the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment. Both tone and tenor of instruction are modeled after the Navy's recruit training.
Senior Chief Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) Kevin Remmers, RTC Sea Cadet coordinator, said the purpose of the Sea Cadet training at RTC is to prepare them for the rigors of military entry, as well as character development and mentoring.
'Recruit division commanders (RDCs) are the U.S. Navy's experts in these fields, so the relationship between recruit (cadet) division commanders and their cadets is instrumental to accomplishing these initiatives,' Remmers said. 'RDCs drive cadet development for the duration of their training and begin to embed the fundamentals of our Navy's Core Values, Ethos and Core Attributes.'
Remmers noted the growth of Sea Cadets during the 10-day period and commended RTC staff for the role they play in making it possible.
'We train many of the core areas of basic military training to a competent level in an extremely short period of time and it is due to the hard work and dedication of the RDCs who train them,' he said. 'In addition to the RDCs, there are also petty officers teaching leadership courses to cadet support cadre, coordinating scheduling requirements, handling logistics and facilities, and standing security watches.'
Under the supervision of RTC instructors, recruits received hands-on training in basic seamanship, small arms marksmanship, damage control and firefighting.
Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Matthew Timour led cadets during basic seamanship classroom instruction and line handling aboard the USS Marlinespike trainer.
'It's pretty much getting a ship underway and back into port together as a team,' Timour said. 'That's really what we want to instill - working together to accomplish the mission. So we have motivation, communication, team work and attention to detail - those four things could save your life, so we want to instill that here at the USS Marlinespike.'
Timour was one of 35 RTC staff who dedicated a collective 1,100 hours of volunteer service.
'Besides just learning line handling, you break down the walls between one another,' he said. 'You stop being individuals and actually work cohesively to accomplish the mission. That's what we're trying to teach here.'
RDCs also provided training and inspections of Sea Cadets' racks, uniform and military drill. Additionally, Sea Cadet senior cadets received advanced training, such as the Petty Officer Leadership Academy. Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) 2nd Class J Seymore provided guidance and his expertise to the group.
'They're young and they're sharp,' Seymore said. 'It's really neat to see how quickly they catch on. As much as I can teach them everything, I'm watching them train and learning just as much as some of these kids.'
Seymore said the Sea Cadets provide valuable feedback.
'I've been in a leadership for a long time in the Navy, but I'm actually learning a whole lot more about my own style of leadership,' Seymore said. 'It works both ways. If you're doing this and not learning and getting something out of this, you're just doing yourself a disservice.'
Kobleur said he appreciated the dedication and caring of the RDCs.
'They're just a phenomenal group of people to watch work,' Kobleur said. 'The recruits don't know it, but you can tell they care very deeply about the success of the recruits that come here and the recruits are very well-cared for in training them. I have nothing but respect for every RDC here.'
Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. More than 35,000 recruits are trained annually at RTC and begin their Navy careers.
For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/
For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/.