This site is for mothers of kids in the U.S. Navy and for Moms who have questions about Navy life for their kids.

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Make sure to read our Community Guidelines and this Navy Operations Security (OPSEC) checklist - loose lips sink ships!

Join groups!  Browse for groups for your PIR date, your sailor's occupational specialty, "A" school, assigned ship, homeport city, your own city or state, and a myriad of other interests. Jump in and introduce yourself!  Start making friends that can last a lifetime.

All Hands Magazine's mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

...and visit Navy.com - America's Navy and Navy.mil to learn more.

OPSEC - Navy Operations Security

Always keep Navy Operations Security in mind.  In the Navy, it's essential to remember that "loose lips sink ships."  OPSEC is everyone's responsibility. 

DON'T post critical information including future destinations or ports of call; future operations, exercises or missions; deployment or homecoming dates.  

DO be smart, use your head, always think OPSEC when using texts, email, phone, and social media, and watch this video: "Importance of Navy OPSEC."

Please note! Changes to this guide happened in October 2017. There are now tickets issued, and there are no longer parking passes for PIR.

Please see changes to attending PIR in the PAGES column. The PAGES are located under the member icons on the right side.

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Recruit Petty Officer Positions

The standard Recruit Petty Officer Positions are:

Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO or RPOC): The RCPO is the primary recruit assistant to RDCs and is responsible for:

  1. Maintaining good order, discipline, and security within the division at all times.
  2. Ensuring compliance with standing orders and regulations.
  3. Assisting RDCs with implementation of schedules.
  4. Reporting any abnormal condition to RDCs, including violations of good order, discipline and security, when RDCs are not present.

Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO) (RPO1): The RLPO is responsible to the RCPO and RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the Recruit Chief Petty Officer.
  2. Ensuring compliance with standing orders and regulations.
  3. Assuming duties as Recruit Chief Petty Officer when required.

Recruit Master-at-Arms (RMAA or RMA) (RPO1): The RMAA is responsible to the RCPO and RDCs for:

  1. Configuration and cleanliness of division spaces.
  2. Procurement, proper stowage and use of all cleaning gear required by the division.
  3. Supervision of the division in the absence of RDCs, RCPO or RLPO.

Port and Starboard Watch Section Leaders (RPWSL/RSWSL) (RPO1): The PWSL and SWSL are the senior Recruit Petty Officers for respective watch sections.

  1. The Starboard Watch Section Leader (SWSL) shall serve as the division's watchbill coordinator. Watchbills will be prepared and subsequently submitted to the RDCs via the RCPO.
  2. The Port Watch Section Leader (PWSL) shall coordinate the rotation of the ship watchstanders with the RDCs.

Recruit Yeoman (RYN) (RPO1): The Recruit YN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Performing general clerical duties in the division and assisting RDCs with preparation and maintenance of divisional reports, records, class attendance rosters, mail pick-up and distribution.
  2. Coordinating with the Medical YN, Education Petty Officer, Athletic Petty Officer and Religious Petty Officer to ensure compliance with special schedule events.
  3. Attending the Mail Orderly, Medical/Dental, BMO/Testing and Physical Fitness Testing briefings.

Recruit Medical Yeoman (RMYN) (RPO2): The MYN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the RDCs in preparing and maintaining recruit medical documentation.
  2. Coordinating appointments with the Medical Liaison.
  3. Tracking the status of all special physicals.
  4. Attending the medical/dental brief.

Recruit Dental Yeoman (RDYN) (RPO2): The DYN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the RDCs in preparing and maintaining recruit dental documentation.
  2. Coordinating appointments with the Dental Liaison.
  3. Tracking the status of all special physicals.
  4. Attending the medical/dental brief.

Recruit Section Leaders (RSLPO) (RPO2): Each SL is responsible to the respective Watch Section Leader for:

  1. Supervise and assisting the recruits in respective sections.
  2. Monitoring personal cleanliness, military appearance, clothing care and watch standing for recruits assigned to respective sections.

(There are often 6 Section Leaders in the division, three on each side. There are Port and Starboard Section Leaders.)

Division Laundry Petty Officer (RLPO) (RPO2): The LPO is responsible to the RMAA and RDCs for:

  1. Executing proper laundry handling procedures.
  2. Maintaining the Cash box and division expense log.

Recruit Education Petty Officer (REPO) (RPO2): The EPO is responsible to the RDCs for:

  1. Assisting RDCs in administering and mustering night study and mandatory night study classes.
  2. Attending a BMO/Testing brief.

Recruit Athletic Petty Officer (RAPO) (RPO3): The APO is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting RDCs with Physical Readiness Training.
  2. Providing non-participation or substandard performance documentation to the Recruit Medical Yeoman.
  3. Attending a Physical Fitness Testing brief.

Recruit Religious Petty Officers (RRPO) (RPO3): There will be at least a Catholic and Protestant RPO appointed for each division. If a division has three or more recruits of the same religion, a religious petty officer shall be appointed to represent that faith. RPOs are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring all recruits who desire to pray are afforded such an opportunity at tattoo.
  2. Attend mandatory meetings at the Chaplain's Office Thursdays at 1900 commencing on the first Thursday following 1-2 DOT (Day of Training) and continuing until graduation, with the exception of FAST Cruise and Recruit Reception Night.
  3. Report to the chapel each Sunday 30 minutes prior to the scheduled service to serve as a chapel assistant or usher.
  4. Ensure all personnel desiring to attend divine worship services are aware of location and time of services. (See http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/chapel.html and http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=86362.)

Recruit Mail Petty Officer (RMPO) (RPO3): The MPO is responsible for:

  1. Pick-up and delivery of all mail. Designation as MPO includes special qualifications at mail orderly orientation and custody of a mail orderly card.

Recruit Damage Control Petty Officer (RDCPO) (RPO3): The DCPO is responsible to the RMAA for:

  1. Correcting any fire hazards.
  2. Maintaining division fire extinguishers, to include proper location and working order.
  3. Assisting RDCs with minor repair and general maintenance of the compartment.

    4.  Documenting any material discrepancies on the MDCOL that cannot be corrected.

The above is from http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/recruit_petty_officer.html.

Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO or RPOC) is easy to spot at PIR since this Sailor will be the one carrying a sword at the front of the division.

Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO) was Assistant Recruit Chief Petty Officer (AROC) in the past and the term AROC is still used since it sounds way cooler than RLPO:  This Recruit is the second in command when the RDC's are not present as indicated above. The AROC is also in charge of calling the cadences to keep the division in step when marching.

Recruit Petty Officers on Ship Staff have duties related to the entire Ship to help maintain good order, discipline and security for the entire ship. Ship Staff runs the entire ship, stands watches on the official Quarterdeck, cleans common areas, etc. If a recruit is on Ship Staff, s/he won't get assigned to Division Staff, so s/he won't have extra cleaning duties like daily head cleaning or taking out the trash every day. Since they are Recruit Petty Officers, they also wear collar devices. Ship Staff is comprised of recruits from all divisions in that ship, so that means all different DOT's mixed together, assigned by 2-1 DOT. Recruits who've experienced academic set back don't get to be in Ship Staff (the most common way to assign Ship Staff is by ASVAB score). A recruit may be "promoted" from Division Staff to Ship Staff.

For integrated divisions, Division Staff has to be evenly divided between male and female. It is also the common practice that if the division has a female RPOC it will have a male AROC and vice versa.

Some of the above RPO's may have an assistant on Division Staff, such as Recruit Religious Petty Officer Assistant (RPOA), who will also have a collar device.  We also hear about these other positions:

Recruit Chaplain Program Assistant (RCPA) (RPO3):  assists in the chapel on Sunday (or other day as needed) and assists the division's RRPO and acts as a liaison between recruits and the Chaplain or Religious Program Specialist.

Recruit Forward Hold Petty Officer (RFHPO) (RPO3):  in charge of cleaning supplies.

Recruit Head Petty Officer (RHPO) (RPO3):  Although this one sounds very important, it means the recruit is in charge of keeping the bathroom (Head) clean, which would be an important position given that up to 88 recruits would be using that Head.

Recruit Ironing Petty Officer (RIPO) (RPO3):  assists the RLPO and is in charge of ironing some items for the division and overseeing the ironing that is done by the recruits to assure that it is up to Navy standards. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Repair Petty Officer (RRPO) (RPO3): assists the RMA and assists with any repairs needed within the compartment. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Sweater or it may be Sweats (Smurf) Petty Officer (RPO3):  assists the RLPO with the washing and folding of the sweat suits. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Weapons Petty Officer (RWPO) (RPO3):  assists the RMA and oversees the exchange of the weapon at change of watch.

RTC Great Lakes Recruit Command Structure

Recruit Petty Officers (RPOs) are given their authority from the Commanding Officer through the chain of command. They are appointed by the Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) and have the authority and responsibility in the division to preserve good order, discipline, and security. RPOs are seen as leaders and wear collar devices signifying their place in the recruit chain of command. A collar device is a pin on the recruit’s collar to indicate that s/he has a job and extra responsibility while at BC. Some recruits who hold their Recruit Petty Officer (RPO) position for the whole time will get meritoriously promoted one rate to E-2 or E-3, but that happens more often for the RPOC and/or AROC if s/he kept the position for the entire time at RTC, but this could happen for any of the RPO positions. We have also seen where a recruit held 2 of the RPO positions at the same time, such as RMPO and RDYN; when this happens, the recruit wears the collar device for the higher of the 2 positions.  Here are the collar devices for RPO3, RPO2, RPO1, and RPOC.

Holding an RPO position at BC means nothing afterwards in the Navy, but it does help your recruit to gain confidence and to learn more about doing things for the good of the Navy and his/her shipmates. Some of those who hold RPO positions may be singled out as Honor Recruits or Award Winners. (See Honor Recruits, Award Winners and Flags.) The RDC can meritoriously promote up to 10% of the division one paygrade; this sometimes happens for the Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RPOC) and/or Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO aka AROC) and/or the Recruit Yeoman (RYN) if s/he kept the position for the entire time at RTC, but could happen for someone who holds one of the other RPO positions as well. (See E-1, E-2, or E-3? How did that happen?.)

The RDC may change recruits for any or all of the RPO positions until s/he finds the person who seems to be the best suited for the position. If the recruit's scores drop due to having a particular position, then the RDC is going to move him/her out of that position. If the recruit seems to take the position way too seriously or not seriously enough, then the RDC will move him/her. If the recruit struggles with PT or any of the tests or has an injury, then the RDC may remove him/her from the position.

Recruit Leadership Positions in Navy Boot Camp is a video by a current RDC (Spring 2018) that explains each of the RPO positions and how recruits are chosen for those positions.

Ship Staff

Some recruits from each ship will be chosen for Ship Staff for the ship (barracks) where they are housed. This is not to be confused with a 900 division that is Ship Staff for PIR--see 800 and 900 Divisions. There will be recruits who are in a 900 division who are on Ship Staff for Ship 2 and also on Ship Staff for PIR, but the duties they perform in each capacity are very different.  These Recruit Petty Officers have duties related to the entire Ship to help maintain good order, discipline and security for the entire ship. Ship Staff runs the entire ship, stands watches on the official Quarterdeck, cleans common areas, etc. 

Recruits holding a Ship Staff position may be told that they will be able to skip Phase I at "A" School and go straight to Phase II of the Liberty Phases, but this has not been the case for most, if not all, of the Sailors once they reached their "A" School. This apparently is told to them in order to motivate them to do well; unfortunately it is not true.

The above information is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.

Last updated 05/12/2018

Comment

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Comment by lemonelephant on March 24, 2018 at 4:18pm

RDC's assign the positions based on scores, military bearing, ... or whatever reason s/he has determines at the time; sometimes recruits will volunteer for some positions. (An RDC I know of had brothers in the same division and made them Port and Starboard Watch Section Leaders so that they were on opposite sides.) Being assigned to a leadership position is not a punishment. The RDC wants the recruits who will be the best fit in each position so that the division will do well. Recruits can be moved around within the positions and some may have two positions.

Comment by NedajLil on March 24, 2018 at 3:42pm

Just wondering who gets appointed section leader ....is it those seen as demonstrating good leadership skills and abilities? Or is it assigned as punishment because it sounds like it is a stressful position (responsible for actions of other unruly recruits) and those that are  put in those roles don't get much sleep or study time. Just curious if anyone knows...thanks!

Comment by lemonelephant on May 27, 2016 at 2:01am

Trojans12, yes, being RPOC is a very stressful position and that is one of the reasons that a division will often go through several before PIR and why one who keeps the position is often rewarded by being advanced in pay grade.

Comment by Trojans12 on May 27, 2016 at 12:59am
That's great. My daughter told us she was made RPOC and is very stressed. She said she is unsure if she wants that responsibility and thinks she will get fired. My daughter is very strong physically and mentally so for her to say that, makes me nervous for her. We didn't have time to ask too many questions, so just waiting to possibly get a letter or maybe another phone call!
Comment by Actuallychar on May 27, 2016 at 12:55am
Thanks Lemonelephant. I'm excited!
Trojans12 my son graduates June 30th. He is ship 12 DIV 241 TG 34.
Comment by Trojans12 on May 27, 2016 at 12:17am
ActuallyChar.. When does your child graduate and what division are they in?
Comment by lemonelephant on May 26, 2016 at 10:51pm

Actuallychar, that is great!

Comment by Actuallychar on May 26, 2016 at 10:36pm
Received letters today and my SR became an AROC. He's homesick but doing well. Yayyyy!!
Comment by lemonelephant on May 22, 2016 at 8:44pm

Trojans. that is great!

Comment by Trojans12 on May 22, 2016 at 7:14pm
We received a phone call from our daughter tonight!!! She is a RPOC!
Comment by lemonelephant on August 30, 2015 at 10:51pm

Claire-Pippy, See E-1, E-2, or E-3? How did that happen?. Navy Enlisted have rate not rank. Rank is for officers. If she signed on as an E-1, expect her to be an E-1. She may be part of the 10% that are meritoriously promoted, but that happens more for RPOC and AROC than for an RYN. She gave you good instructions for locating her. There will be a sign with the division number on it and the division will be near that sign in formation. Where you sit is up to you, but be at least a few rows up from the floor. See the info in PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend.

Comment by Claire- Pippy on August 30, 2015 at 2:51pm
Lemonelephant- my daughter is YN and has been since her first letter we have only received 2 letters and 2 phone call where she says she is doing fine but really busy! I asked her her rank and she said she won't know until PIR? Also she said she will be 3rd from front on the right side I think, carting a flag, what will be on the flag to help identify her? Div 316 where should I try to sit to see her best?
Comment by lemonelephant on June 1, 2015 at 11:48pm

ProudNavyMom, that is nice.

Comment by ProudNavyMom on June 1, 2015 at 11:31pm
My son was appointed RMAA
Comment by lemonelephant on May 21, 2015 at 2:02am

Alcmom, you are very welcome.

Comment by Alcmom on May 20, 2015 at 8:05am
Thank you for the info on that, wasn't sure how it all worked
Comment by lemonelephant on May 20, 2015 at 1:46am

Alcmom, the RDC typically chooses the RCPO. Although your recruit is currently the RCPO, he may not hold that position all the way to PIR. It would be great for him and the division if he does though.

Comment by Alcmom on May 19, 2015 at 11:42am
Ah I found it! This list! My son wrote that he is RCPO and carries the sabre. Now my question is, did he volunteer for this or was he appointed the position? Any ideas how this happens?
Comment by lemonelephant on May 1, 2015 at 4:57pm

applesauce, I indicate above "Some recruits who hold their Recruit Petty Officer (RPO) position for the whole time will get meritoriously promoted one rate to E-2 or E-3, but that happens more often for the RPOC and/or AROC if s/he kept the position for the entire time at the RTC, but this could happen for any of the RPO positions. We have also seen where a recruit held 2 of the RPO positions at the same time, such as RMPO and RDYN; when this happens, the recruit wears the collar device for the higher of the 2 positions." That implies that the RDC can change the positions, but it doesn't say it outright, but the last paragraph does address that. The quoted portion also includes the info on holding two positions at the same time.

Comment by applesauce on May 1, 2015 at 4:38pm

Thank you lemonelephant! Hmm, I didn't realize they change the recruits/positions around like that. Very interesting. Thanks again :-)

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