Oh, so you’re headed to Navy recruit training in Illinois next year? Fair winds and following seas — but don’t forget to do your stretches when you get there.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, all new recruits will be required to pass a run test in order to enter boot camp, the Navy announced on Nov. 15.
"It is the responsibility of each recruit to work hard and maintain all Navy standards," Capt. Mike Garrick, the CO of the Navy’s Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill., said in a release. "Physical fitness is one of the greatest predictors of Sailor success. Before they arrive to boot camp, recruits are expected to train to meet the physical fitness standards."
From here on out, aspiring sailors will have to clock a mile and a half on their initial Physical Fitness Assessment in under 16 minutes 10 seconds for men, under 18 minutes 7 seconds for women — that’s just to be able to train as a recruit for 8 weeks, after which they’ll be expected to attain a medium “satisfactory” score on their run, pushups, and curl-ups.
Recruits who don’t pass their initial run will get another chance within 48 hours. But if they fail that, they’ll be sent home with an ELS, an entry-level separation from the Navy that will require them to get a waiver if they want to try and enlist again.
The recruits who do pass will be “placed in groups based on their initial fitness abilities” when they officially enter boot camp, the Navy says.
"All military services have an initial physical fitness standard before recruits can commence basic training," Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi the commander of Naval Service Training Command, said in the release. "The initial run standard raises the bar at RTC, helping us develop tough, more qualified Sailors during basic military training and send a more lethal force to the fleet."
For decades, the Navy’s motivated brethren in the Marine Corps have had to endure an “initial strength test” just to get through the door of the recruit training depot, with standards that include a maximum time of 13:30 for men to pass their 1.5-mile run — nearly three minutes faster than the new Navy cutoff. But hey, having a standard is a pretty good start.
NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.
The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.
Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.
Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018
How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."