Once you graduate from Basic Training and A or C School, the United States Navy will then send you to a shore duty station or a sea station. These initial duty stations will either be stateside or overseas. As a new sailor, the first duty station after Boot Camp can be very intimidating. Almost everything you experience will initially be “new”, requiring you to spend time to learn how it all works.
Stateside duty places range from San Diego, CA to Norfolk, VA, with smaller stations in Florida and Washington. The final location to which you get sent will really depend upon your job description. I will look at a meteorologist for this article. The meteorologist/weather forecaster/weather observer will most likely get sent to San Diego, CA, Pearl Harbor, HI, Stennis, MS, or Norfolk, VA. Now if you get sent overseas, Spain and Japan are the likeliest two locations. You can also be sent directly to ship’s company either in Sasebo or Yokosuka, Japan.
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If you’re a new sailor reporting to an overseas command, you will first get signed in and then will meet the chain of command, from your division officer, to your leading chief petty officer and your leading petty officer. You should get assigned a sponsor. The sponsor will take you around the base or ship and get you introduced to all the locations and also get you signed in with your personnel department and all the other major components of the command. Then you will be issued a date to go to base orientation. Here you will be given all the information about the local base and you will also be given a brief time period of orientation to your new host country (including your new host country’s culture, how to adapt to living away from the United States, what to expect when you are out in the country, how to respect the country and what your responsibilities are as a United States sailor). You will be held to the highest of standards as you are representing the United States.
Once you have completed the orientation, you will then return to your division for follow-on training. If you’re on board a ship, you will be required to attend a ship orientation. Here you will be given a lot of information from shipboard firefighting training to medical training, ship qualifications training, how to live on board the ship, and different responsibilities you will have while a member of the crew.
Once you have completed all of that training, the great news is you are now ready for even more training. This time you will be doing your job-specific training, which will be related to the day-to-day operations that you will be doing at your new command. For example, if you are working on the flight deck, you will be given training on flight deck procedures. If you are working as a weather observer, you will be given the training on how to do your job on a moving ship.
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One other item that you will run into once you get to a new shipboard command is that you will be sent TAD (Temporary Assigned Duty). On board the ship, this means that you will be required (for 90 days) to spend time working in the Mess Hall as a member of the dining facilities. You will work from the dishwasher, to the table cleaners, to the food handling and also supply inventories and stocking. This is a pretty standard requirement all throughout the Navy. You may also find that instead of going to the Mess Hall, you are sent to Security Duty. Here you will be trained and qualified in the 9mm and shotgun and then sent out to stand sentry post duty.
So as you can see, once you leave Basic Training, the training doesn’t stop. You will be training for at least the next three months. Then after all your initial duty station training, you will find that it never really stops as you will always be learning. All new sailors that are leaving Basic Training and their initial schools need to prepare for what’s next in their lives.
Joshua Kelly is a 13-year United States Navy Veteran. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science and Math. Along with several military decorations, Joshua was certified as a Community College of the Air Force Instructor. Joshua is currently self-employed with Dakota Weather Consultants.
“I am passionate about the military way of life and also the self-employed way of the future, and of course, the weather. You will find me, every day, running my weather consulting firm when I am not spending time with my family. I enjoy sharing information by writing to help others prepare themselves and learn from my experiences”. Joshua Kelly