Boot Camp: Making a Sailor – Episode 1

“Come on, let’s go!” “All the way in the back, all the way in the back – let’s go!” “Hurry up – move – let’s go, get on the bus – go!” Oh wait – are you going first or am I going first? I’ll go first. Okay… *laughter* *laughter* You introduce yourself, I’ll introduce myself. Alright. Hi, my name’s Gabriel Cashat, I’m 18. I’m Simon Chashat and I’m also 18 We’re from Australia, but we were born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and we’re shipping out to Navy boot camp. *laughter* We get asked everywhere we go – yes, we are twins We’re not identical, though. Fraternal. Or is it preternal? Fraternal. Eh – doesn’t matter. I guess you’ve always got that best friend next to you, I guess we’ve never really had that, so it’s going to be different once we get assigned to a boat, or if we’re not in the same company in boot camp. Serve… My Navy… My country’s… My country’s… Navy… I haven’t been practicing as much as I should – that’s for sure – I’m not going to lie about that. …All of the world? Around the world. You’re really butchering it here. It’s been a long waiting period, but this last month has gone by so quickly that it’s unbelievable. No turning back now! *laughter* Alright! You got that doctor handwriting! “Rachel Jones” – then what else did you say? You can put, like, a personal message – a quick word of wisdom for everyone to read. What would I put? Hi, my name is Rachel, I’m 24 years old, and I’m getting ready to ship off to Navy boot camp. So I studied French at George Mason, I was there for 4 and a half years, I took a year to study abroad in France. “When we were in college, I would have never expected you to go into the military” I really appreciate the group of friends that I have made – I made them at Mason as well “I’m not gonna cry!” Don’t cry… I’m proud. I’m proud – like a mom! Oh my goodness… Future Sailor Jones, requesting permission… Initially going in there and talking to the Navy I was a little bit apprehensive once I walked into the recruiting station that this was something that I really did want to do. “Future Sailor – what is your first General Order?” Petty Officer, my first General Order is
to take charge of this post and all government property in view, Petty Officer. I expect it to be challenging – I don’t expect it to be difficult, because thinking about how many people per year go through boot camp, it cannot be that hard… “Basic training is designed to actually train you – to break you down from who you are as an individual and lift you up as a team, so you’ll get that – and it’ll give you direction for the rest of your career.” I remember seeing my dad come pick me up from elementary school in his uniform and I’m just like, “yep, that’s my dad – yep – he fights bad guys” So now I’m getting to put on that uniform, and now my youngest brother will be able to see me and think that I’m super cool… No, no, no – ew, get off me – that’s enough affection! *laughter* I think it’s really cool that I get to be one of the select few who does get this honor of being able to defend our country – so I feel
very proud about that. “It’s… an… adventure.” Hi, I’m Luis, I’m 19 years old, I was born
in El Salvador, I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I’m
about to leave for boot camp. My favorite part of Baton Rouge would be downtown. Me as a creative person – I love taking pictures of the places, of the city. But from whenever I moved to Baton Rouge I remember I heard laughs, and people talking about me and saying “he’s the guy who doesn’t know any English” – and stuff like that. And then here I am now, about to join the Navy and really excited about it. It was so quick – it feels like it was just yesterday that I called you! *laughter* Two weeks before I got my citizenship I called my recruiter, and then, like, I think two weeks after I
got my citizenship I got sworn in in the office so it was the perfect timing. Are you gonna be sad, or happy? “Happy…” You’re going to be happy when I’m gone? Why? “Because… I’m going to be proud…” I did a lot of research – well, not a lot – but I’ve done some research on what boot camp is like and I’m not really scared about it – I have a
mindset I think that if I go in there thinking that I’m the best, it’s going to higher my standards of what I can actually do. I’m nervous – it didn’t hit me back then, but now as it gets closer, you know… They’re proud – my parents are really proud about me joining the military of course they’re a little sad that I’m leaving, but they know it’s for the best so that makes up for it. I’m gonna miss you guys. We will miss you – a lot! I’ll miss you too, but same like your mom – I feel so happy, and you’re happy – it makes me happy. Whenever we left El Salvador, my mom left all her family behind. She came here to absolutely nothing. She did it all for me and I really consider my parents heroes for me. You know, doing that – the huge sacrifice of leaving their whole family behind, just to give me and my brothers a better life… It’s something I gotta take advantage of If I’m living in this beautiful country, I’m going to take advantage of that, and I’m trying to do that the best way I can by joining the military. I love you. I love you. So we’re gonna work all night, then we
get breakfast, and then it’s a whole day. *sigh* Hurry up, let’s go, get on the bus, let’s go! Hurry up! Move! Let’s go – get on the bus – go! All your bags, all your straps, keep your legs inside this aisle will stay clear, so I can walk up and down the aisle. There will be no sleeping, there will be no talking – we will ride this bus in complete silence. Is that understood? Yes Petty Officer. Is that understood? Yes Petty Officer! “I would like to commend you on your decision to join this great nation.” “and welcome you to the beginning of your journey in the United States Navy.” “Now, you are about to undertake a rigorous and intense training program” “that has prepared generations of Sailors for service in the world’s most powerful Navy.” “Whether you call it recruit training, or
boot camp – make no mistake about it” “it’s hard. It’s designed to be hard – because joining the Navy is so much more than just getting another job.” When you get off the bus, you will walk with a purpose – like you mean to accomplish something tonight. Is that understood? Yes Petty Officer!

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