NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES – Nine hundred and sixty new sailors were formally welcomed into the U.S. Navy on Friday by Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, when she delivered remarks at the basic training graduation for Navy recruits.
Kanter served as the reviewing officer for the ceremony, held at Naval Station Great Lakes, where every Navy recruit in the country undergoes an 8-week boot camp for sailors. Fittingly, it was one of the last events Department of Education staff participated in on the final day of the “Education and the Economy” bus tour.
Before the ceremony, Kanter toured the USS TRAYER, where the recruits underwent Battle Stations 21: a rigorous 12-hour capstone training exercise to test their skills in everything from routine activities like loading stores and getting underway, to handling emergency conditions like floods and shipboard fires. The TRAYER is a _ scale model Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, housed within a 157,000-square-foot building, and equipped with salvaged components. The training simulator uses Hollywood-style special effects – including controlled flooding and fire – to create challenging and realistic training scenarios that gauge the readiness of the recruits.
“The program has been rigorous, demanding incredible dedication and persistence from every single recruit,” Kanter said during her remarks before row upon row of sailors dressed in gleaming dress whites. “The experiences these sailors have had here at Naval Station Great Lakes serve as a reminder of the importance of dedicating one’s self to service and education all through life.”
After her remarks, Under Secretary Kanter met with a number of graduating sailors and their families, including Dominique Wright, from Leonardtown, Maryland, who received a Military Excellence Award as the top recruit of the class.
“Watching the superior performance of these newly minted sailors, I’m confident that the nation’s future will be a secure and prosperous one,” Kanter said afterwards.
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