GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Two groups from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Dam Neck Activity in Virginia traveled to the Navy’s Recruit Training Command the week of May 14 to participate in activities with Division 213.
Recruit Division 213 – sponsored by NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity during the recruits’ initial training –carried the Dam Neck flag from the beginning of training all the way through graduation on May 18.
The recruits met with Dam Neck’s Sailors and Civilians of the Quarter during their Battle Stations 21 and graduation events. Dam Neck Chief of Staff Nancy Maloy led the Battle Stations 21 group from May 14-15 and Commanding Officer Cmdr. Andrew J. Hoffman led the graduation contingent from May 17-18.
"Being able to stay up all night to watch our recruits running drills to protect their ship and our nation was exciting and humbling,” said Maloy who led the first group that included a Civilian of the Year, two Civilians of the Quarter, and a Sailor of the Quarter. “The amount of knowledge and skill that we expect from our young military is staggering. The next morning when they received their Navy Ball Caps to signify that they are now Sailors was one of the most moving things I've witnessed!"
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.
“Watching this rite of passage as all of the young recruits turned into Sailors was an incredible experience,” said Raoul Sheridan, an NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity Civilian of the Quarter this year. “Seeing them run though the demanding, exhausting, and dramatic experience of dealing with all the difficult scenarios and even going through much of it with them gave me a new respect for what Sailors do. It's easy to get caught up in our day to day work and lose sight of why we do what we do and who we do it for. Observing this training evolution gave me the very rare and valuable opportunity to see the Navy from a newcomer's viewpoint.”
Later in the week, Hoffman led the graduation contingent that included two Sailors of the Quarter. It was the second time that NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity sponsored a recruit division.
“It was exciting to meet our newest recruits and see how motivated they are to serve our Navy and nation. I was able to speak to the recruits and attend their graduation ceremony, which is always inspiring,” said Hoffman. “They are Fleet Sailors now and already at their follow-on duty stations. Seeing them graduate after sponsoring their division through eight weeks of training was a great reminder of who we truly serve at Dam Neck - Fleet Sailors who utilize the things we do here. Our role is to work even harder to develop to field superior Naval Warfare Systems that expand the Navy's advantage over our adversaries."
NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity, formerly known as Combat Direction Systems Activity (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.
To learn more about sponsoring a Navy boot camp division see NAVADMIN 326/03, or go to www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes.