GREAT LAKES, Ill. - The commanding officer, Sailor of the Quarter and two Civilians of the Quarter from Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA) Dam Neck traveled to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes to visit with Navy boot camp Recruit Division 287 from Sept. 7-8.
Recruit Division 287 - sponsored by the Virginia Beach-based command during their initial training - carried CDSA's flag from the beginning of training all the way through graduation on Sep. 15.
What's more, two CDSA employees returned to Great Lakes for the graduation ceremony. One of them, Angel Quezada, a retired Navy chief petty officer, said, "there have been many great changes since I went to boot camp in 1984." He added that, "the integrated divisions, new barracks where the recruits live, learn and train, and Battle Stations 21 - none of those were part of my training and I feel they are important changes to initial training."
Recruits must pass the 12-hour battle stations event aboard USS Trayer (BST 21), a mock ship "tied" to a "pier". The intensive training tests Navy values and basic skills and only successful recruits may participate in the capping ceremony that follows the next morning.
As CDSA personnel observed, Division 287 recruits trained in their barracks, marched, and prepared battle stations. CDSA guests also dined with recruits in the mess hall, and the recruits freely spoke with their guests - a rare treat for them.
"It was inspiring to meet the recruits and see how motivated they are to serve our country," said CDSA Commanding Officer Cmdr. Andrew Hoffman. "We were able to witness the end product of their eight weeks of training which culminated in the Battle Stations 21 exercise. They are Fleet Sailors now and this opportunity was a great reminder of who we truly serve at CDSA. Speaking to them and watching them train reinforces the fact that we must challenge ourselves to work even harder as we develop and field superior naval warfare systems that expand the Navy's advantage over our adversaries."
"I love when sponsor commands come to see the division during training," said Senior Chief Warren Caverly, the Recruit Division 287 commander. "It gives the recruits a feeling of already being part of the Fleet. The division carries the flag from the very beginning of training and sometimes they struggle to understand what it's truly about. When the sponsors get to come out, it shows they genuinely care about the recruits and our Navy's future."
CDSA is a Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division command that provides research, development, test and evaluation, analysis, systems engineering, and integration of complex naval systems associated with surface warfare and strategic combat and weapons systems. CDSA's work is focused on providing engineering, acquisition, and logistical support to Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Special Warfare, Coalition, and Joint Forces.
To learn more about sponsoring a Navy boot camp division see NAVADMIN 326/03, or go to www. navy.mil/local/greatlakes.