Hi. My name's Jackson Hill, aka Stringbean to my boot buddies. (Due to my being tall and eerily skinny.) I just went through almost the entirety of naval RTC, before being medically discharged due to COVID proving too much. My experiences range from both fantastically knowledgeable to downright painful. As anyone who’s been through it should expect, there was the one recruit whose name was memorized on Day 1, Hour 1. The kid’s name was Applebee. On QD watch he thought he was allowed to eat in the RDC lounge and even ate a senior chief's pretzels. The shocking part was that he didn’t get beat, only yelled at ... although he got us beat for bunk makeup several times later that day.
My favorite boot camp experience was the swim test way early into training. We had to do a five-minute dead-man's float; you’re supposed to dunk your head for five seconds and lightly lift your head to get a breath, I’d been prodded with poles twice by the team doing the test to check if I was alive because I had my head under for roughly half a minute each breath.
One thing I was disheartened about was not getting to do the gas chamber due to the virus, but maybe when I re-enlist it’ll be open again. We got some firearms training in the M9 but I was never truly a fan, I hope the Navy switches to a Sig sometime.
In my division I was a mail PO, and during my time in separations I was an MA and almost everyone hated me because I actually would punish if rules repeatedly were broken. But that’s okay. They forget in Seps you’re still subject to the UCMJ just like anyone else. Other than that my boot camp experience was likely pretty normal to anyone who’s gone through it. My favorite part of the day was definitely when we were told to hydrate. I gained almost 20 needed pounds when there.