curious_WI saidI am leaving for the Navy in a couple of months and was wondering if anyone could give me any advice? This could range from what to expect in boot camp to tips on hooking up while serving our your experiences. Thank you for your time.
My Army basic training was 40 years ago, so little is likely to be the same procedurally with the Navy today. But I also enlisted as you have, not drafted, and here's a few philosophical things that helped me get through it:
- When some abusive Drill Sergeant got in my face, screaming at me at the top of his lungs, I reminded myself that I had chosen this. I wasn't forced into it against my will, like a draftee, but rather had freely taken an oath to allow guys like this to order me around.
And I told myself: "He only has power over you because you gave it to him. And if you don't like it, then don't blame him, but blame yourself. He's just doing the job you allowed him to do."
A mind game, no doubt, but it helped me to accept the total authority over me that the Sergeants in basic training had. They had no authority that I had not myself agreed they could have. Think about it.
- When things got really tough, when I was wet and freezing cold, tired to death and hanging on by a thread, I reminded myself that it all had to end shortly. This was not for eternity, but just a miserable interlude that could not continue indefinitely.
Eventually we'd be returning to our barracks, taking a warm shower, getting into clean clothes, having a regular meal, sleeping in our bunks. All along I knew it was merely scheduled training, that had to end eventually. I could go through any torment standing on my head when I knew it was just temporary. When you're experiencing it, you tend to think it will never end. Using your intellect will tell you it's merely passing, and very unlikely to kill you.
I used this very logic years later, when as an Army Major (US Navy Lt. Commander equivalent rank) I taught college ROTC Cadets who would be future officers. It worked for them, and it will work for you.
My sincere respect & admiration for you, and my wishes for your greatest success & happiness. I can tell you my 25 years in the Army were among the happiest in my life, and I wish I could still be wearing a uniform today. You are an American Hero by the very act of putting on the uniform of your country. Make us all proud, and my best to you!