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



Choose your Username.  For the privacy and safety of you and/or your sailor, NO LAST NAMES ARE ALLOWED, even if your last name differs from that of your sailor (please make sure your URL address does not include your last name either).  Also, please do not include your email address in your user name. Go to "Settings" above to set your Username.  While there, complete your Profile so you can post and share photos and videos of your Sailor and share stories with other moms!

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.

Link to Navy Speak - Navy Terms & Acronyms: Navy Speak

All Hands Magazine's full length documentary "Making a Sailor": This video follows 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. 

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor (Full Length Documentary - 2018)

Boot Camp: Behind the Scenes at RTC

...and visit - America's Navy and also Navy Live - The Official Blog of the Navy 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."

Follow this link for OPSEC Guidelines:



**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


Please note! Changes to this guide happened in October 2017. Tickets are now issued for all guests, and all guests must have a ticket to enter base. A separate parking pass is no longer needed to drive on to base for parking.

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

Format Downloads:

Navy Speak

Click here to learn common Navy terms and acronyms!  (Hint:  When you can speak an entire sentence using only acronyms and one verb, you're truly a Navy mom.)

N4M Merchandise

Shirts, caps, mugs and more can be found at CafePress.

Please note: Profits generated in the production of this merchandise are not being awarded to the Navy or any of its suppliers. Any profit made is retained by CafePress. Para Familias

Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.



What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology)

You will be hearing/seeing a lot of abbreviations and terms that are just used in the military or Navy. It can be a daunting task sometimes to figure out what your recruit/Sailor (or some of us on here) really means. These may help. Each is a clickable link. (You may want to bookmark them or this Page on your computer so you can easily find them. I have a folder I have labeled "Navy" within my "Favorites" where I have links like this stored.)

Navy Speak on

Naval Terminology, Jargon and Slang FAQ (Part 1 - A through M)

Naval Terminology, Jargon and Slang FAQ (Part 2 - N through Z)

Terms, Traditions and Customs of the Naval Service (this was at, but has moved)

Navy Terms and Trivia



Appendix:Glossary of U.S. Navy slang (from Wiktionary)

Military Slang

List of U.S. Navy acronyms (from Wikipedia)

USN Ship Designations (defines the letters used to designate each type of Naval vessel)

US Navy Program Guide 2017 

Module 1—Basics of Shipboard life has interesting info on life at sea. (You can check out the other modules by clicking the "Next" button at the top or bottom.)

The old DEP Guide includes many terms on pages 26-29 and includes a lot of other useful information on the other pages as well. (This DEP Guide is old and some of the information is no longer correct, such as the info on pages 65-66 about what to bring. I include it because of the section, "A Brand-New Language," which is not included in the most recent DEP START Guide.

List of United States Navy enlisted rates Rate=Rank for other branches or Pay Grade

List of United States Navy ratings Rating=Job or Occupational Specialty

The last two links are from Wikipedia. This information is also available on, but you have to open several pages to see everything and the information is easier to view at one time within the above links.

Here are the terms that have come up on N4M or have been discussed with me privately.

A/B Drawer: the small drawer that recruits must keep all of their personal and valuable items (wallet, Bible, letters…) in while at RTC. It is about 8-9 inches wide, 14-16 inches long, and 4-6 inches deep. The recruits must keep anything they brought with them here as well as anything that loved ones send them while at BC. Recruits are able to lock this drawer. The A/B drawer with lock is visible in the photo at This is an RDC ("Red Rope") doing the inspecting. The bunks flip up for access to the storage areas below.

ACDO: Assistant Command Duty Officer

Adopt-A-Sailor Program: There are programs to Adopt recruits in the senior divisions for Thanksgiving and Christmas and to Adopt Sailors at GL for "A" School or training for Thanksgiving. These recruits and Sailors are adopted by a family member or one of several organizations the area. The Thanksgiving Adopt-A-Sailor program is for the next 2 TG's after Thanksgiving and Sailors who are in "A" School or training at the TSC. The Christmas Adopt-A-Sailor program is for 2 TG's after Christmas--it has been the 2 TG's following Christmas, but RTC has also skipped the TG immediately after Christmas and adopted out the first 2 TG's in January. There will be information on the program, including what TG's are eligible, posted on RTC’s fB page and you will get a form from your recruit if s/he is eligible for either program that you must return by a specified date if you plan to adopt him/her. Eligible family members who are authorized to arrive on base to pick up their recruit include: husband, wife, mother, father, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.

AEF: Advanced Electronics Field; the ratings that fall under AEF are Advanced Electronic Computer Field (AECF): Electronics Technician (ET) and Fire Controlman (FC); Cryptologic Technician - Technical (CTT); Missile Technician (MT); and Sonar Technician, Surface (STG). (See

AFQT Score: Armed Forces Qualification Test Score; the "Overall" ASVAB Score.

Aft: behind or to the rear

All Hands: the entire ship’s company, both officers and enlisted personnel. There is also a magazine by that name. (See and

AGF: The designation for a Command Ship.

Airdale, Airedale: Naval aviator, aka "Brownshoe." Can also refer to any member of the aviation community, officer or enlisted.

Air Wing (Airwing): The officers and men assigned to the aircraft aboard a ship, whether a carrier (usually referred to as a "carrier airwing") or a smaller vessel (generally referred to as an "air det" (detachment)); the airwing has a separate administrative and operational chain of command.

AIT: Advance in Training; a term used while a recruit is in the RCU meaning the recruit can do some training within the limitations of his/her current disability. Recruits must have advanced to Phase Three of physical therapy in order to participate in AIT.

Alignment: The dressing of several elements on a straight line.

Allotment: an amount of money a member has coming out of his/her regular pay.

AOE: The designation for a fast combat support ship. (See and

Aquaflague: a nickname for the Navy Working Uniform Type I. (See NWU.)

AROC: AROC used to be the Assistant Recruit Chief Petty Officer, but it would have been a mouthful to say ARCPO or A-R-POC. and the position was also known as Assistant Recruit Officer in Charge, so the acronym was AROC. Assistant Recruit Chief Petty Officer (AROC) has been replaced with Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO), but 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. The AROC is also in charge of calling the cadences to keep the division in step when marching. (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

“A” School: Apprentice School; this is where Sailors begin learning their job before joining the fleet. Basic Operator or Basic Training for a particular rating.

ASMO: ASsignment Memorandum Order; Recruits who are ASMO'd are set back in training, typically for failing a training requirement (academic, swimming or PFA), medical, or disciplinary reasons.

As You Were: command to cancel an order and to indicate that the recruit/s or Sailor/s should carry on with the previous duty.

ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; Test administered by the military to determine qualification for enlistment in the armed forces and to determine areas the individual is best suited to perform within based on the skills indicated.

At Ease: a position assumed by a Sailor in which the Sailor maintains the position of the right foot in formation and moves the left foot shoulder width apart and turns his/her eyes to the speaker, the thumbs are interlaced in front of the Sailor and the Sailor remains silent.

ATF: Advanced Technical Field; the ratings that fall under ATF are Naval Aircrewmen Mechanical (AWF), Naval Aircrewmen Tactical Helicoper (AWR), Naval Aircrewmen Helicopter (AWS), Naval Aircrewmen Operator (AWO), Naval Aircrewmen Avionics (AWV), Cryptologic Technician - Interpretive (CTI), Crytologic Technician Networks (CTN), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Interior Communications Electrician (IC), Intelligence Specialist (IS), Information Systems Technician (IT), Information Systems Technician - Submarine (ITS), Navy Diver (ND), Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB), and Special Operations (SO). (See

ATT: Apprentice Technical Training; a course that teaches the basics of electronics down at the component level so that everyone has the same core knowledge. Anyone joining the Navy in an electrical rating will go through ATT before their "A" school.

Attention on Deck: Alert that an officer (O-5 or above) is entering the space.

Aye-Aye: what a recruit or Sailor says to demonstrate that they have heard and understood the command that was given and they will carry out that command.

Bag Nasty: Sack containing breakfast or lunch provided for times when a recruit does not have a lot of time to eat, such as during Phase 1 (P-days). Despite the name, many Sailors say the sack lunch was actually pretty good. It includes a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a drink (often Capri Sun or small bottled water), and a cookie or granola bar.

BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing (See When Will the Recruits be Paid? and Information for Spouses and for more information.)

Barracks: building where recruits/Sailors live. The barracks at RTC are named for US Navy ships and are referred to as ships. (See Ship/Division--How it Works.)

BAS: Basic Allowance for Subsistence; the meal allowance (See When Will the Recruits be Paid? and Information for Spouses  and for more information.)

B.A.S.E.S.: Balance Agility Strength Explosion and Stamina; a weekly exercise routine which incorporates shipboard required skills with aerobic and strength training. (See PHYSICAL TRAINING in It is essentially stations that challenge them to work together as teams, to test their physical stamina, strength and all the P.T. that they have been doing these last few weeks. Some sailors say it was intense, fun and very challenging.

Battle Stations: On board ship, a location and conditions to respond to when under attack or in a simulated attack in a training situation.

Battle Stations-21: The final boot camp test. It is a twelve hour long simulation of battles, crises, and ship life. It's a make or break event, that takes place on a state of the art simulated ship called the USS Trayer. The ship actually sits in water, and sights, sounds, smells, and motion provide very realistic simulation of various historical Naval crises that the Recruits must successfully overcome. If the Recruits pass, they graduate from boot camp, and are allowed to trade in their recruit cap for a Navy cap in a very moving ceremony. (See Battle Stations-21 (BST).)

BC: Boot Camp

BCA: Body Composition Assessment; conducted as part of the PFA or PRT if a recruit/Sailor is outside of the height/weight requirements. (See

BCG or BCG’s: Boot Camp Glasses (aka Birth Control Glasses); sometime after January 2012 recruits began receiving an updated version  and some even like them. (See

Beat: don't worry; this is not a physical beating; it is intensive training (IT) given as a corrective measure to a recruit or the division. Some use BEAT; Better Education and Training.

BECC: Basic Engineering Common Core; this self-paced course is for Sailors who have a contract for one of the engineering ratings so that they will all have the same basic knowledge about the field before going on to "A" School for more specific training.

Below: Downstairs

BEQ: Bachelor Enlisted Quarters; the barracks for enlisted personnel.

BESS: Basic Enlisted Submarine School; an 8-week introduction to the basic theory, construction, and operation of nuclear-powered submarines. 

Berthing: the part for sleeping on a Naval vessel or of the compartment at RTC. (The entire compartment is divided up into different sections.)

BFTT: Battle Force Tactical Training

Big Navy: Those in Washington making decisions that must be followed by and carried out by the entire US Navy.

Blueberries: Navy Working Uniform Type I, blue camouflage utilities. The blue camouflage NWU Type I was replaced with the forest-green NWU Type III camouflage utilities. Sailors had the option of wearing either the NWU Type I or III beginning Oct. 1 2016, and were required to wear the NWU Type III as the primary working uniform ashore and in port by Oct. 1, 2019. The NWU Type III is now issued at RTC. (See

Blue Candle : During BC, it is common to light a blue candle when your recruit is going through Battle Stations-21 (BST) to send your warm wishes, thoughts, and prayers to him/her and the others in the division. After BC, it is common to light a blue candle when your Sailor is going through training, is taking an advancement exam and/or awaiting the results, or is deployed or in harm's way. (See Blue Candles.)

Blue Rope: the nickname given to a prospective RDC (RDC-in-training) at RTC; prospective RDC's wear blue braided cords (ropes) called aiguillettes on their left shoulders. (RDC "C" School is at RTC. See

Blue Star Service Flag : The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities. At PIR and after your Sailor will have The National Defense Service Ribbon indicating service during the War on Terrorism, so yes, you can hang the banner. Some hang them once the recruit has been sworn in (the service member is Enlisted at that point after all) and some hang them once they have received the "I'm a Sailor!" call after BST since the initial training needed to serve has been completed at that point. (See

BMO: Basic Military Orientation

BNO: Basic Naval Orientation (See Classes in What to Expect in for the classes included in BNO.)

Boomers: The Navy’s fleet ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “Boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for intercontinental missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth and the precision delivery of nuclear warheads.

Boots: a nickname for recruits; the term is also used for those fresh out of boot camp or new to their first duty station.

Bravo Zulu (BZ) : Well done!

Brother (or Sister) Divisions: two or more consecutive numbered divisions that are housed on the same ship that train together and will have BST and PIR together. If the Brother Divisions are integrated divisions (containing both males and females), the males of the two divisions share a compartment and the females of the two divisions share a compartment. Integrated divisions are called brother divisions; there are only Sister Divisions if there is an all female division. If a TG has two or more 900 divisions or 800 divisions, then they are brother divisions. During COVID-19 males are placed in all male divisions and females are placed in all female divisions unless the RTC sees a need for an integrated division.

BST: Battle Stations-21; The final test at Boot Camp that determines the passage to becoming a U.S. Navy Sailor. (See Battle Stations-21 (BST).)

BUD/S: Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training. (See and 800 and 900 Divisions for more information.)

Bulkhead: wall.

Bunk: bed.

Bunkmate:  a person who shares the same sleeping quarters; often refers to the one who occupies the other bunk in a bunk bed.

BUPERS: Bureau of Naval Personnel; the BUPERS organization serves to provide administrative leadership, policy planning, and general oversight of the Command. (See If someone cites BUPERS in a comment, you can be assured that that is the Navy's current policy on the issue.

CAC: Common Access Card; a "smart" card about the size of a credit card is the standard identification for active-duty military personnel, Selected Reserve, DoD civilian employees, and eligible contractor personnel. It is also the principal card used to enable physical access to buildings and controlled spaces, and it provides access to defense computer networks and systems.

Cadence: what the AROC calls to the division to keep them in step. One two, one two, three four, one two, one two three four or, left left left-right, left left left-right.

Cammies: nickname for the Navy Working Uniform. (See NWU.)

Captain's Cup: a friendly competition between graduating divisions that usually occurs during the morning of the Saturday before PIR. This serves as a morale builder for the Divisions and pumps them up before they have BST. (A few divisions will have had BST before the Captain's Cup to give the Recruits from the previous TG who had failed a test and then passed it a chance to do this prior to PIR.) There are trophies and events for the all-male divisions and the integrated divisions to give everyone a chance to shine. (See Captain's Cup for more information.)

Captain's Mast: a formal hearing during which the commanding officer of a naval unit studies and addresses issues involving personnel under his/her command. This can be a form of Non-judicial Punishment (NJP). This is only used when other options to correct deficiencies have been unsuccessful or when the violation is fairly egregious--some examples are under-age drinking, drinking and driving, adultery, UA (unauthorized absence), integrity violations (cheating/lying) and assault. If a negative determination is made, Captain's Mast does not end the Sailor's career although it will affect it. The CO is limited in the punishment (extra duties and/or restriction) that can be awarded and the Sailor also receives aid and often some form of retraining during the punishment period.

Carry On: the command to continue on doing whatever it was you were doing, always given by the superior service member.

CART: Command Assessment Readiness Training; phase 2 of boot camp; this phase follows Phase 1 (P-days) and includes both personnel inspections and bunk and locker inspections.

Caterpillar: A division that has not yet been commissioned; so named for the tightly bound guidon and ship's flag, which look like antennas, leading 160 or more legs.

Cat 4-A Waiver:  Category IV-A waiver; a waiver needed if a potential DEPer has an AFQT of less than the required score. "Category four-A" recruits (by regulation) cannot exceed more than one percent of all recruits per year. (Note: A "Category IVA recruit is a recruit who scores between 21 and 30 on the AFQT).  We see Cat 4-A Waivers in the Army and a few in the Air Force (probably less than 0.1%), but not in other branches, so it is best for a candidate wanting to join the Navy to go to Plan B or to take steps to increase the AFQT Score. Navy recruits must score at least 35 points on the 99-point ASVAB. (See for more information.)

CCC: Command Career Counselor; the command specialist who provides career management advice, guidance, and counsel to Sailors and the Chain of command.

CDB: Career Development Board 

CDO: Command Duty Officer

CEODD: Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (See for more information.)

Ceremonial Guard: Recruits may be asked to be part of the US Ceremonial Guard. If the recruit accepts, then s/he would give up his/her contract and would go to Washington, D.C. following PIR and have 6 weeks of training before becoming part of the US Ceremonial Guard, which is a two year commitment. See and for more information.

CG: The designation for a Cruiser; large combat vessel with multiple target response capability. (See and

Challenge Coin: a small coin or medallion (usually military), bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. They are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization. (See and The challenge coin from RTC is available at the NEX and online and those for the Ship the recruit is on at BC (Craig designed them) are available on eBay through pirgifts and there are also different ones for the ships at RTC that are available PIR weekend.) has challenge coins for various ratings (although they mistakenly include them in "Rate"), some Navy vessels, and some bases and installations. There are other sites on the web as well. Do not give your Sailor a coin for his/her rating until after graduation from “A” School for that rating.

Chit: Request for special permission; A sailor fills out a chit for such things as requesting leave, getting a tattoo, or moving off base. Sailors with “A” School at the TSC must get a deviation chit in order to visit anyone at the Gateway Inn and Suites or the Navy Lodge while they are students at the TSC except on PIR weekend.

Chow: what they eat at the galley.

Chow Hall: A place to eat, Mess Deck.

Class Up: to begin training at "A" School, "C" School, or other training; some Sailors may be in holding for a week or more waiting for others to arrive to have enough for a class or the Sailor may have to complete some prerequisite before being able to begin classes.

CMC: Command Master Chief. The current CMC at RTC is Command Master Chief David C. Twiford. (See

CNO: Chief of Naval Operations; the highest ranking Officer in the U.S. Navy.

CNRC: Commander, Navy Recruiting Command

CO: Commanding Officer; also referred to as “Skipper.” A commissioned Navy Officer in charge of a designated Navy command. The Commanding Officer at RTC is Captain Erik Thors. (See

COB: Chief of the Boat on a submarine; this is essentially the CMC, but could be an E-7 or E-8.

COBRA: Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis

COLA: Cost-of-Living Allowance (See

Collar Devices: the metal devices worn on the uniform to indicate rate; at BC, 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. (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

Colors : Raising and lowering of the National Ensign, the American flag and organization flags. On all Naval installations and on Naval ships in port this is at 0800 each morning and each evening is at sunset, so the time varies depending on the season. All uniformed personnel not under cover must stand at attention and salute during colors; everyone else must also stop, face the direction of the flag or the music if the flag pole is not visible, and be respectful. Be aware that if you are on board RTC or Naval Station Great Lakes or other military base at Colors that you must stop what you are doing and face the flag. If you are in a vehicle, you will safely stop where you are. This may affect you PIR weekend.

Column: a formation in which elements are placed one behind the other. A section or platoon is in column when members of each squad are one behind the other with the squads abreast of each other.

Combination or Combo Cover: Female cover previously worn with the service dress uniforms.  All Sailors now wear the Dixie Cup with dress uniforms.

COMSEC: Communications Security; this involves ensuring that information communicated by any means (examples include, but are not limited to: face to face, telephone, cell phone, email, radio, television, US Postal Service, courier services, and hand delivery) or stored information is safe from others who would use the information to cause harm. COMSEC is closely related to OPSEC and PERSEC. (See OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile).)

Confidence Chamber: the gas chamber--they put a tablet in a liquid to make a noxious gas in the chamber. It takes place toward the end of week 5 DOT, so it's about a week before BST. Basically the recruits go into the chamber wearing a gas mask. They'll have them do some exercises and then instruct them to remove the gas mask. Then each recruit has to say something--the general orders or something like that, but most will be unable to finish it without coughing. Once they see that the tear gas is having an effect on the recruits, they will have them exit the room. It stings their eyes and faces some and they cough for a few minutes after until their lungs are clear, but they have no lasting effects.

CONUS: Contiguous United States. The contiguous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. (federal district), on the continent of North America. The term excludes the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii and all off-shore United States territories and possessions, which include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

CO's Top 6: the six very serious offenses that will get a recruit in trouble very quickly. They include sexual harassment, recruit to recruit contact, fraternization, racial discrimination, hazing, and substance abuse. All recruits must learn these and they are reminded every day of them. 

COT Leave: Continuous Overseas Tour Leave; when a Sailor transfers from one overseas tour to another overseas tour, the Sailor is eligible for Navy provided transportation to his/her home of record for leave before transferring to the new duty station. COT Leave may be deferred, however the Sailor may not touch down on US soil prior to reporting to the new duty station. (See

Cover: hat aka lid. Enlisted males wear a white hat aka Dixie Cup, a black Garrison cap, a Navy ball cap, or an eight point cap depending on the uniform. Enlisted females wear a white combination hat aka combo hat, Dixie Cup, a black Garrison cap, a Navy ball cap, or an eight point cap depending on the uniform.

Cranking: working in the Galley as a servant--bus tables, clean trays, work on food line...

Crows: The collar devices (and uniform insignia) for E-4, E-5, and E-6 are referred to as Crows. The eagle is also sometimes referred to as the chicken, as in  "The chicken always faces inward in a time of peace and outward in a time of war."

"C" School: Advanced training in which a Sailor gains additional training beyond "A" School to perform particular duties of a rating. Some ratings require "C" School immediately following "A" School for all Sailors in that rating and other ratings may have one or more "C" Schools that Sailors may attend at various points within their Naval career, but not every Sailor within that rating will attend a "C" School.

CST: Central Standard Time; GL is in the Central Standard Time Zone of the United States.

CVN: The designation for a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier. (See

DAR: DEP Action Request; Anytime something changes for a future Sailor who is in DEP, then this form must be filed by the recruiter to let others know of the change. Changes in status such as if the future Sailor gets married while in DEP or if s/he wants an earlier/later ship date or wants a different rating than the one in the current contract and many other changes are covered by this form. (See

DDG: The designation for a Destroyer. (See

DDS: Direct Deposit System; All members of the Navy are required to participate in DDS and be briefed on the contents of SECNAVINST 7200.17.

Deck: The floor or ground

Deck Log: what the watch stander writes all his/her entries in.

Deckplate Leadership: a higher ranking Sailor working with the Sailors under his/her authority to accomplish a task rather than directing them to do so; leading from the front rather than from behind the scenes.

DEERS: Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System; a worldwide, computerized database of uniformed services members (sponsors), their family members, and others who are eligible for military benefits, including TRICARE. All sponsors are automatically registered in DEERS. However, the sponsor must register eligible family members. Family members can update personal information such as addresses and phone numbers once they are registered in DEERS. The recruit fills out the paperwork to enroll a spouse and/or other dependents into DEERS about 10 days after arrival and mails a packet to the spouse. (See

DEP: Delayed Entry Program; the military status gained by an enlistment in which a service member’s entry on active duty (ACDU) or initial active duty for training (IADT) is postponed for up to 365 days (12 months) with the exception of juniors in high school who will be mid-year graduates. All up and coming new high school seniors (scheduled to graduate at the completion of the next school year) entering DEP during the months of May, June and July are authorized to remain in DEP for a maximum of 455 days (15 months). The Future Sailor has been to MEPS and has a ship date to BC and a contract for enlistment and meets regularly with a recruiter during the time in DEP. 

Deployment: 1. In naval usage, the change from a cruising approach or contact disposition to a disposition for battle. 2. The movement of forces within operational areas. 3. The positioning of forces into a formation for battle. 4. The relocation of forces and materiel to desired operational areas. Deployment encompasses all activities from origin or home station through destination, specifically including intra-continental United States, intertheater, and intratheater movement legs, staging, and holding areas. (Recruits are "shipped" to RTC for boot camp and Sailors are shipped to their "A" School or training location following BC; they are not "deployed" for those events. Deployment involves a specific mission, is generally undertaken as a unit, and potentially involves being in harm's way.)

Depth: the space from head to rear of an element or a formation. The depth of a man is considered to be 12 inches.

DET: Detachment.

Detail: 3 to 9 recruits/Sailors walking the streets together in formation without their division.

Detailer: the person assigned with the task of placing a qualified future Sailor, recruit or Sailor in an open billet at the proper time and place to ensure the success of the military mission. Sailors are assigned to jobs based on training and skills. Detailers listen to the Sailor's desires for orders and career intentions, and then discuss any issues that could affect orders eligibility or screening, such as exceptional family members or financial problems.

Digies: nickname for the Navy Working Uniform. (See NWU.)

Distance: Space between elements in the direction of depth. Between individuals, the space between your chest and the person to your front. Between vehicles, the space between the front end of a vehicle and the rear of the vehicle to its front. Between troops in formation (either on foot, mounted, or in vehicles), the space from the front of the rear unit to the rear of the unit in front. Platoon commanders, guides, and others whose positions in a formation are 40 inches from a rank are, themselves, considered a rank. otherwise, commanders and those with them are not considered in measuring distance between units. The color guard is not considered in measuring distance between subdivisions of the unit with which it is posted. In troop formations, the distance between ranks is 40 inches.

Ditty Bag: little mesh bag that recruit's “stow” their unmentionables, and maybe some other items, in.

DIV: Division. When recruits arrive, they are divided into divisions of up approximately 88 recruits each. This is the group they will live and train with for the next eight weeks or so.

DIVEMO: Dive Motivator PT: all special ops candidates have assigned Dive Motivator PT while in Boot Camp. There are DIVEMO programs for Sailors who are interested in applying to the special ops community. 

DivisionA group of approximately 88 recruits that live, work, train, and (hopefully) will graduate together. There can be as few as 55 to as many as 100 recruits in a division. (See Ship/Division--How it Works.)

Division Strength: when the recruits are all marching together as a division it is known as being in division strength.

Dixie Cup : the white hat worn by Enlisted Sailors. Beginning 04/04/2016 female Sailors began wearing the Dixie Cup that male Sailors have been wearing for years. (See

DMG: Distinguished Military Graduate. Sailors who receive this distinction at "A" School or "C" School are able to receive their choice of the duty stations offered and are often put on a fast track to E-4. These Sailors are the top performers in the class based on test scores, inspections, overall performance, and military bearing.

DMI: Dynamic Material Inspection; an inspection of the division’s racks and gear; an inspection of bed making, folding, and stowing of gear.

DMT: Diving Medical Technician

DOD or DoD: Department of Defense; Federal department in charge of organizing and supervising all agencies related directly to national defense, specifically the Armed Forces.

DON or DoN: Department of the Navy; Department established by Congress to provide support and leadership to the U.S. Navy.

DOR: This one depends on the context. Drop on Request; those with a contract for one of the special ops ratings and some other ratings can DOR (to willfully drop or quit the current program) any time during the training and ask for a contract for a different rating--for those in the special ops ratings, it can happen anytime after the candidate has signed the contract for that rating up until the training is completed; for other ratings, it typically happens while in "A" School. Date of Rate; the date that the Sailor obtained his/her most recent promotion.

DOT: Day of Training; once Phase 1 is over, each division has 6 weeks of training that consist of 5 weekdays; DOT refers to which day the recruit/division is in on the training schedule. For example, 5-1 DOT is week 5, training day 1. Weekends and holidays do not count when figuring the DOT and there are 5 days in each week of training. If your recruit reports that Thursday is 3-5 DOT, then if Friday is not a holiday, then Friday is 4-1 DOT and the following Monday is 4-2 DOT if it is not a holiday. The DOT will begin with 1-1 DOT on the next weekday after the division forms. (See Arrival and What Happens at RTC.)

Double-time: a command to move very quickly. The recruits are told to do this A LOT I think, when they need to hurry up and run somewhere. Cadence at 180 steps (36 inches in length) per minute.

DQ'd: disqualified.

DRB: disciplinary review board. A DRB is made up of Chiefs and/or Master Chiefs and the Sailor's immediate supervisor/s. At a DRB, chiefs listen to Sailors’ cases and determine if the case should be handled by an executive officer inquiry (XOI), a non-judicial punishment (NJP), extra military instruction (EMI), or be dismissed. (See

Drill: marching and marching maneuvers.

Dropped: made to do push-ups.

DTS: Defense Travel System; the DTS is a fully integrated, automated, end-to-end travel management system that enables DoD travelers to create authorizations (TDY travel orders), prepare reservations, receive approvals, generate travel vouchers, and receive a split reimbursement between their bank accounts and the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) vendor. Sailors must have DTS orders before going to a temporary duty assignment. (See and

EAOS: End of Active Obligated Service

8-Count Body Builder: one of the exercises used during PT at RTC and for IT. (See

Element: 10 or more recruits, but less than a whole division, walking the streets in formation without their division.

EMI: Extra Military Instruction. EMI is a non-punitive corrective measure used primarily to correct the behavior of a Recruit or Sailor who is deficient in their military duties. Specifically, EMI is an administrative measure authorized under Part II, MCM, (Rules for Court-Martial (R.C.M.) 306(c)(2)) and Part V, MCM, 2005 as a legitimate training device intended to improve efficiency of a command or unit and must, therefore, be genuinely intended as such. However, EMI must not be used as a substitute for punitive action that would otherwise be deemed appropriate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). (See

EPF: Expeditionary Fast Transport (See

ESB: Expeditionary Sea Base (See

Fair Winds and Following Seas: a traditional Naval farewell, often for someone who is retiring or leaving their present duty station. It has an implication of a permanent change. Fair winds make for a calmer journey; following seas help move you along the way. The new Sailors will most likely be wished this at PIR.

Fall In: command given to enter a building or to get into marching formation.

Fall Out: command given to exit a building or to get out of marching formation.

FAST: Fundamental Applied Skills Training; this program is for recruits with limited literacy or verbal skills. FAST focuses on two areas: verbal skills and literacy. The program is on Ship 4. Recruits assigned to FAST are typically there for 2 weeks and upon completion will be assigned to a new division with a new PIR date. (See

FEP: This one depends on the context. Final Evaluation Period; the final phase of training in boot camp before BST; this phase includes both personnel inspections and bunk and locker inspections. Fitness Enhancement Program; a program for Sailors that includes both physical fitness activities and diet and nutritional awareness to assist the Sailor in achieving and maintaining the level of fitness needed to remain in the Navy.

FFD: Fit for Full Duty; having no limiting medical problems. Recruits who are ill or injured must be determined FFD before being permitted to return to regular training and the normal duty activities.

FFG: The designation for a Frigate. 

FFT: Fit for Travel; this one affects recruits in SEPS or Sailors who have been injured or ill near an expected transfer date. They must be able to safely be transported to their next duty station or home and not be at risk for increased injury due to travel and cannot pose a danger to themselves or others. For example, the person must be able to handle changes in air pressure and other things that occur with plane travel.

FH: Family Housing

Field Day: general cleaning day, usually the day before an inspection.

Fish Bowl : a nickname for the RDC's office because of its wide windows; when a recruit is told to go wait in front of the "fish bowl," s/he will be on "display" more or less like a fish in a fish bowl.

FIT: Fitness Improvement Training or Fitness Improvement Team; Recruits who fail the initial run are sent to FIT and receive no training and then take the initial run and Baseline PFA again in about 48 hours before being able to begin training at RTC. Recruits who have failed the Official PFA (most often by failing the swim or run) are sent to FIT for intensive training in order to pass the test prior to having BST. The program is on Ship 4. (There is more on this in the Page, Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT). If your recruit is sent here, join the group, fit program. Also see and

Flank: The right or left extremity of a unit, either in line or in 
column. The element on the extreme right or left of the line. A direction at a right angle to the direction an element or a formation is facing. 

FLEACT: Fleet Activity 

FMF: Fleet Marine Force. The Fleet Marine Force Warfare Insignia, also known as the Fleet Marine Force pin or FMF pin, are three military badges of the United States Navy which are issued to those U.S. Navy officers and sailors who are trained and qualified to perform duties in support of the United States Marine Corps. There are currently three classes of the Fleet Marine Force pin, being that of enlisted, officer, and chaplain. The Enlisted Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist designation is most commonly awarded to the Hospital Corpsman (HM) and Religious Program Specialist (RP) ratings, although it is also awarded to other sailors who support Marine Corps commands (e.g. Logistics Specialists assigned to medical logistics companies).

Fore and Aft: means front to back. Ex: Clean the compartment fore and aft or make sure your cover aligns fore and aft.

Formation: arrangement of elements of a unit in line, in column, or in any other prescribed manner.

4-Count Mountain Climbers: one of the exercises used during PT at RTC and for IT. (See

FQA: Fleet Quality Assurance; the person who inspects the division and grades the effectiveness of the RDC and the division and actively searches for hits against the recruit and the division.

Frocking: the ceremony in which a Sailor is recognized as having attained the rate of E-4 or above and receives the collar devices; those selected for promotion to the next higher grade may be allowed to be "frocked" and wear the rate/rank devices of this higher grade. They are NOT entitled to pay, but are accorded the courtesies and responsibilities of that grade. This happens for E-4 and above and officers.

Front: The space occupied by an element or a formation, measured from one flank to the other. The front of a man is considered to be 22 inches. 

FSA: Family Separation Allowance; A servicemember with dependents who serves an unaccompanied tour of duty may be entitled to a Family Separation Allowance of up to $250 a month. (See and

"F" School: additional training beyond "A" School for some ratings; those in the CTI rating have "F" School for additional language training and additional work on technical skills. US Navy Class "F" schools provide team training to officer and enlisted fleet personnel who normally are members of ships' companies. They also provide refresher training, including operator and technical courses of short duration to meet the needs of a fleet or type commander.

FTS: Full Time Support; FTS sailors are members of the Navy Reserves who perform full-time active duty, receiving the same pay, allowances, and benefits as active duty members.

FTX: Field Training Exercise. Sailors go out in the field for a varying amount of time and practice what they have learned to get them ready to go on deployment. Includes weapons, surprise "attacks," time in the fox holes, etc. Previously called FEX.

FUBAR: the clean version of this is "Fouled up beyond all repair/recognition/reason"; not working; completely messed up; bungled; confused.

Galley: where recruits eat chow.

Gear Adrift: This refers to anything sticking out or not where it belongs. On uniform inspections, it refers to loose threads. It could refer to things sticking out of books, so the recruits should tape note cards into books rather than sticking them loosely within the book. It also refers to personal items, such as shoes, that are not lined up correctly or are otherwise not where they belong.

Geedunk: Candy, gum or other sweets often from a vending machine or ship’s store or Ricky Heaven, but can also refer to any such items or dessert; sometimes called pogey bait; may also refer to a cafeteria.

General Orders: The Eleven General Orders of a Sentry (See

General Quarters (GQ): work station; sounding General Quarters means that the Sailors are to report to their work stations; AKA Battle Stations.

Gig Line: This is the alignment of the tucked in shirt with the edge of the belt buckle and the visible edge of the trouser fly.

GL: Great Lakes, IL; where the Navy's only Boot Camp is located.

GQ: General Quarters. More commonly known as "battle stations," GQ is set for multiple reasons, to include preparing for battle, reacting to hostile forces, major equipment casualties when out to sea, or even just for training. When GQ is set, the Boatswain's Mate of the Watch will sound the GQ alarm, and then say the following: "General Quarters, General Quarters. All hands man battle stations. Traffic pattern is up and forward starboard, down and aft port. Reason for General Quarters is..." at which point they'll tell the ship's crew the reason for GQ, in order for everyone to maintain situational awareness.

Grad and Go/GradNGo/G&G: This is an outdated term meaning to leave Boot Camp for "A" School or training within 24 hours of graduation. By those standards, nearly all of the new Sailors are now Grad and Go since they now leave on the day of PIR if they stay in GL or leave the following day if they are flying out for "A" School or training except in rare cases when flight availability or other issues delay this. Some sites indicate that this term was for those leaving within 3 hours of graduation, in which case, all of those staying at GL fall into this category. The term "Grad and Go" was replaced in the spring of 2011 with "Friday and Saturday Departures" and although that term is not currently used (partly because PIR is not always on Friday), it still reflects what happens for most of the new Sailors. (See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend.)

Guidon: the recruit who carries the flag with the division's number and is the "guide" for the division when the division is marching. The RPOC and AROC take their cues for when to post road guards or to tell the division when to column left/right or mark time march to slow down based on cues given by the guidon as s/he raises or lowers the flag. When the guidon is marching with a rolled up division number that means that the division has not yet been "commissioned" by the Ship's Officer and the division is in Phase 1--the division is "commissioned" as soon as possible following Phase 1.

Great Mistakes: A nickname for Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Although you may hear your recruit or Sailor use this term, do not use it yourself.

Grinder: Large open areas (paved at GL) where drill is performed.

HARP Duty: Hometown Area Recruiting Program duty (See

Head: bathroom or restroom.

Headmates: Sailors who share the same bathroom (head). This term is seen most at "A" School and some BEQ where two rooms of one to three Sailors each have a bathroom between the two rooms that they share.

Heave Out: get out of bed; rise from the bunk.

Heel to Toe: while recruits wait in line, they are often instructed to stand very close--heel to toe--to the person next to them. 

Height Line: order from shortest recruit to tallest recruit; recruits line up from shortest to tallest before leaving the compartment to go outside the ship.

Hell Week: Week 4 of training at BC. This is where everything the recruits have learned to that point is tested. (See There is also a Hell Week during BUD/S, which is much more intense than the one at RTC.

HELO: Helicopter

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information.

Hit: infraction found during an inspection; a failure to meet standards. Don’t worry; these are not physical hits.

HOD: Head of Department

Holiday Routine: the time between 7 am and 1 pm CST on Sundays and federal holidays such as Christmas when recruits have “free time” to attend worship services, take long showers, shave (for females), write letters, catch up on studying, do ironing or other tasks, and get to know their shipmates and help each other with the things they are learning among other things. Holiday routine begins on the first Sunday that the recruits in the division are in their permanent ship after completing Phase 1 (P-days). This may be, but is rarely, the first Sunday after they arrive, but is often not until the second Sunday. For some recruits who arrive on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and have to remain in Phase 1 while waiting for additional recruits to arrive the following Monday or Tuesday to fill the division, it could be the third Sunday before they have holiday routine for the first time. Federal holidays that are not religious holidays, such as Labor Day and Independence Day, are treated more like a Saturday than a Sunday since there is usually no opportunity for a worship service and the recruits may still have some training (5-6 hours) throughout the day, but these days do not count as a DOT.

Hooyah!: The term has been around for several decades, but mostly in the diving, special warfare and explosive ordnance disposal communities, but it has been used more and more by other Sailors in recent years. It is used by the recruits in BC to help motivate them and encourage teamwork. It is a chant much like "Hoorah!" or the Marine Corps' "Oorah!” and the Army's “Hooah!” Some feel that it should not be used by civilians.

HST: High-Speed Transport (See

HSV: The designation for a High Speed Vessel.

Hygiene : the time to shower before evening chow.

IA: Individual Augmentee; a Sailor who has volunteered to fill a Request for Forces billet or a Global War on Terrorism Support Assignment (GSA) PCS orders. (See

ICE: Interactive Customer Evaluation; a web-based tool that collects feedback on services provided by various organizations throughout DoD. 

IDP: This one depends on the context. Individual Development Plan; a Sailor may use this to help plan out his/her career goals. (See Imminent Danger Pay; additional pay a Sailor receives for days s/he actually spends in hazardous areas. (See and 

IFA: Initial Fitness Assessment. To increase success rates of individuals arriving at Navy recruit training (boot camp), a physical fitness exam which demonstrates a minimum level of fitness must be completed in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) prior to arrival. All future Sailors must pass the IFA within 45 days of leaving for boot camp. The IFA consists of four elements: the sit-reach test, curl ups, push ups, and a 1.5 mile walk or run. (See

INDOC: Indoctrination; instruction related to a school, command, or rate

Interval: The lateral space between elements on one same line. Interval is measure between individuals from shoulder to shoulder and between vehicles from hub to hub or track to track. It is measured between elements other than individuals and between formations from flank to flank. Unit commanders and those with them are not considered in measuring interval between elements of the unit. Normal interval between individuals is one arm's length. Close interval is the horizontal distance between shoulder and elbow when the left hand is placed on the left hip.

Iron Watch: In RTC, recruits are expected to iron every night for 30 minutes at a time during lights out. The night watch will wake them when it is their time to iron. This helps to ensure a perfect uniform.

I support it: A statement indicating that the one making the statement agrees with what has been said by another. The converse is "I cannot support it"; an example of which is seen in the following statement now attributed to Captain W. Douglas Pfeifle, former CO at RTC: "Therefore, I cannot support allowing one recruit to 'borrow' seats from another as plans often change and a recruit that expected no guests on graduation day may suddenly learn that his or her family can attend; only to remember that they have given their seats away to another recruit."

IT: This one depends on the context. At BC, IT is Intensive Training or Instructional Training; extra PT given to a recruit or a division as a corrective action (punishment). IT occurs when a Recruit, Recruits, or a Division need/s an extra reminder of what the Navy way to do things is. A session of IT cannot be longer than 45 minutes. IT is also Information Technology; the Naval community made up of communications experts who process, transmit and analyze a wide variety of data. IT is also the Information System Technician rating (

ITE: Instructional Training Exercise. (See also IT and Orange Card.)

ITT: Information, Tickets and Travel, a division of Morale, Welfare and Recreation that assists Sailors and their families in looking for discounted tickets. (See

JAG: Judge Advocate General (See

Lagging: fixing the ship's insulation discrepancies

LANTCOM: Atlantic Command

LCAC: The designation for a Landing Craft, Air Cushioned; Air cushioned vehicle for transporting, ship-to-shore and across the beach, personnel, weapons, equipment, and cargo of the assault elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. (See

LCC: The designation for an Amphibious Command Ship. (See

LCM/LCU: Landing Craft, Mechanized and Utility (See

LCS: Littoral Combat Ship Class (See

Leave: authorized vacation time; earned time off. Every sailor earns 2.5 days a month, which adds up to 30 days a year. To take Leave, the Sailor puts in a special request form, aka a chit, and has it signed off by his/her immediate chain of command. Once the Sailor receives Leave papers from Personnel, s/he then can travel out of the immediate area. Sometimes a Sailor can borrow forward on his/her unearned Leave. This is called "going in the hole." Most commands frown on this, as the Sailor won't have Leave on the books later. The Sailor then has to decide when taking leave is going to be to his/her best advantage. Sailors are often permitted to go into the hole on Leave during the holiday stand down at the "A" Schools, but then they may not be able to take Leave before reporting to their first duty station. Sailors must pay the transportation costs to take Leave. Leave is like vacation days for a civilian. 

LES: Leave and Earning Statement. This is updated on a monthly basis and documents the Sailor's pay and leave status. The Sailor or an authorized dependent can access this online at The mypay account appears to be set up by the recruit at some point during the first week or so of BC.

LHA/LHD: The designation for an Amphibious Assault Ship. (See

Liberty: regular time off. This is normally weekends and holidays, not to exceed 72 hours. Four day weekends are 96 hours, the Sailor must have special permission to take all four days depending on his/her command and duty rotation. Sailors cannot leave the local area while on Liberty. Each base/school/ship sets different definitions of local area. It can be as low as 50 miles and as high as 400 miles. Plane trips on Liberty are not allowed. The Sailor must be able to quickly return to his/her command if recalled during that time. Liberty is like time after work and weekends and holidays from work for a civilian. There is no overnight Liberty PIR weekend. Some Sailors may have to return during Liberty hours following PIR to stand watch. (See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend.)

Line: a formation in which the elements are side by side or abreast of each other. A section or platoon is in line when its squads are in line and one behind the other.

LLD: Light Limited Duty; given to recruits who are not up to par physically due to illness, injury or dental work.

LIMDU: Limited Duty

LOD: Line of Duty; occurring during the performance of duty; this often refers to the investigation of an injury or illness to determine if the Sailor is entitled to any benefits, leave, or services.

LPD: The designation for an Amphibious Transport Dock. (See

LSD: The designation for a Dock Landing Ship. (See

LSV 2: Large Scale Vehicle; the world's largest unmanned autonomous submarine. (See

Make a Hole: command given to spread apart and make space for someone to walk through.

Marlinespike (USS Marlinespike): A three-day event on board a life-size model ship where recruits practice mooring, line handling, putting out to sea and other aspects of basic seamanship.

MAT: Minimum Activity Tour. This is the minimum tour length a Sailor must complete before being transferred. Most commands have a 24-month minimum activity tour for Accompanied orders and a 12-month minimum for Unaccompanied orders.

MCA: Mid-Cycle Assessment; Phase 3 of boot camp; this phase includes Weapons turnover.

MCM: This one depends on the context. The designation for a Mine Countermeasures Ship. (See Manual for Courts Martial, the official manual governing military law and the exercise thereof.

MCPON: Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy; the senior enlisted person in the Navy. The MCPON serves as the senior enlisted leader of the Navy, and as an advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and to the Chief of Naval Personnel in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families. The MCPON is also an advisor to the many boards dealing with enlisted personnel issues; is the enlisted representative of the Department of the Navy at special events; may be called upon to testify on enlisted personnel issues before Congress; and, maintains a liaison with enlisted spouse organizations. The current MCPON is MCPON Russell L. Smith. (See and

MEPS: Military Entrance Processing Station; Station where recruits take the ASVAB, physical exam, select a rating (or field or one of the PACT programs) and take the Oath of Enlist­ment; where your future Sailor goes for processing prior to enlistment. At the very least, your future Sailor will make a trip to MEPS for initial processing, then a second trip to MEPS for final processing on the day s/he ships out to basic training.

Mess Deck: A place to eat; Chow Hall.

MHC: The designation for a Coastal Mine Hunter. 

Midwatch: middle watch or mid-to-four watch; a watch on a ship from midnight to 4 a.m.  At RTC each watch is 4 hours long, but they sometimes split the midwatch, so it is possible for it to be two hours.

MIHA: move-in housing allowance

Moment of Truth: The opportunity to come clean about anything that the recruit did not include in his/her paperwork prior to enlistment. The recruit may spend extra time in Phase 1 (P-days) while the information is addressed or the recruit may be sent to SEPS (Ship 5) and then sent home to attempt to get a waiver if one is needed. Some recruits will be disqualified for enlistment based on what they reveal.

MTS: Master Training Schedule; this spells out their days literally hour by hour. The RDC's have little books printed up for them each push with it. Your recruit can consult this and let you know when BST will be.

Muster: Roll call.

MWR: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation; provides resources and supports for Sailors and their families. The MWRGL can provide information and assist with making airline or hotel reservations and can assist with information about attractions and services available in the area and may also have discounted tickets available. (See

NAM: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; the award shall be given for meritorious service or achievement in a combat or non-combat situation based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature, and shall be of such merit as to warrant more tangible recognition than is possible by a fitness report or performance evaluation, but which does not warrant a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal or higher. Professional achievement that merits the NAM must clearly exceed that which is normally required or expected, considering the individual's rate, training, and experience; and be an important contribution of benefit to the United States and the Naval Service.

NAT: New Accession Training Program. This is a program that when included in the rating of a contract for a Navy Reservist allows for the accession of Non-Prior Service personnel to complete basic training, rating-specific Class “A” School (and “C” School if applicable), and affiliation as a Selected Reservist (SELRES) with the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) closest to their permanent residence. Those under the NAT program may not apply for active duty while in the NAT program until they have completed a minimum of 24 months of their mandatory drilling obligation.

Navy fiscal year: The Navy fiscal year runs from 1 October to 30 September, the same as the US government's fiscal year.

NEC System: Navy Enlisted Classification System; the NEC designator is a four-digit code that identifies skills and abilities beyond the standard (or outward) rating designator. The NEC designator facilitates personnel planning, procurement, and selection for training; development of training requirements; promotion, distribution, assignment and the orderly call to active duty of inactive duty personnel in times of national emergency or mobilization. (See,Jan20(rev3).pdf.)  A naval rating and NEC designator are similar to the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) designators used in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps and the Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) used in the U.S. Air Force.

Negat Bravo Zulu: not so well done

NETC: Naval Education and Training Center

NEX: Navy Exchange. Typically, this is a department store where Sailors and their families can purchase many goods tax free. The NEX on board RTC, however, is much smaller, meant only for purchasing necessities needed during training.

NF: Nuclear Field; the ratings that fall under NF are Electricians Mate, Nuclear Power (EMN), Electronics Technician, Nuclear Power (ETN), and Machinist Mate, Nuclear Power (MMN). (See and 

NFO: Naval Flight Officer

N4M: Navy for Moms; this website. It provides valuable info and support for loved ones of those serving in the US Navy at all stages of the journey.

NIDT: Non-Instrumented Drug Testing; those in DEP receive drug testing at MEPS prior to being accepted into DEP and on the day that they will ship to RTC; they may also be tested at other times over the course of their time in DEP; Sailors also receive drug testing throughout their enlistment. (See

Ninja Attack : A "Ninja" comes in and plays pranks on the recruits. The recruits may find "gear adrift" (items not where they belong) among other things.

NMTI: Naval Military Training Instructor. Like Recruit Division Commanders, the NMTIs (signified by the red and white aiguillette) continue the 24/7 training on military professionalism once the new Sailors arrive at their "A" School or training facility. At the TSC NMTIs make up approximately 80% of the enlisted military staff and most are stationed full-time in the ships (barracks) providing around-the-clock mentorship. NMTIs are continuous positive examples of commitment, pride, and appearance. They are the TSC staff members routinely conducting inspections of living quarters and uniforms, overseeing watch standing, ensuring general health and wellness, upholding all Navy regulations and standards, holding weekly training, and personifying Navy core values. NMTIs are qualified 9502 instructors. NMTIs have the opportunity to obtain Master Training Specialist (MTS) designation.

NOS: Navy Occupational Specialties (NOS) (See and Ratings have been restored. (See

No-shave Chit: special chit from Medical allowing recruits to shave only after so many days usually due to severe folliculitis or ingrown hairs that are the result of daily shaving. It varies; it can specify to shave only every 2, 3, 4 or so days depending on the diagnosis of the doctor.

NQS: Nonqualified swimmer

NROTC: Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps; a college scholarship program used to recruit future commissioned Officers for the Navy and Marine Corps. 

NSU: Navy Service Uniform; it consists of a short-sleeve khaki shirt for males and a khaki weskit-style blouse for females, black trousers for males and black beltless slacks for females and optional beltless skirt, and a black unisex garrison cap; aka peanut butters. (See Service Uniform (SU) Female E-1 to E-6 and Service Uniform (SU) Male E-1 to E-6.)

NUPOC: Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program. (See

NWU: Navy Working Uniform; AKA Cammies or Digies. (See Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Female and Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Male.) The blue camouflage NWU Type I was replaced with the forest-green NWU Type III camouflage utilities. (See

OCONUS: Outside the Contiguous United States. OCONUS includes Alaska and Hawaii and all off-shore United States territories and possessions, which include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands, and all other countries.

OHA: Overseas Housing Allowance, a monthly allowance paid to service members assigned to an OCONUS PDS (permanent duty station outside the continental U.S., not including Hawaii and Alaska) authorized to live in private housing. OHA defrays the member's housing costs and includes rent, utility/recurring maintenance expenses, and move-in housing allowance (MIHA). (See

OIC: Officer in Charge; A commissioned Navy Officer in charge of an organization, facility or function, responsible for a group of Officers and Sailors in the organization.

OMPF: Official Military Personnel File. The OMPF is a collection of information which permanently documents a Service member’s career in the military. The OMPF contains documentation pertaining to the accession, training, education, assignment, performance, discipline, decoration, casualty and separation of the Service member. The most requested document from a Service member’s OMPF is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

1MC: the intercom system used on both an RTC ship and a real ship.

ONI: Office of Naval Intelligence

OOD: Officer Of the Deck

Open ranks: the order that allows room for the inspecting party to step between ranks to conduct an inspection of the Sailors

OPSEC: Operations Security. OPSEC is simply denying the enemy information that could harm you or yours (as a nation or as individuals) or could benefit them. (See OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes To Your Profile).)

Orange Card: used by the RDC to issue IT when a recruit or division has exhibited substandard performance. (I can't find the current Orange Card, but here is a pic of a previous ITE card, which is the same thing and is still how ITE is given by the RDC in accordance with the procedures set down in the Red Book.)

OTEIP: Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Program; offer for a Sailor to extend an overseas tour for an additional year in exchange for 30 days of leave, or 15 days of leave and Navy provided transportation to his/her home of record for leave, or a cash amount.

PACT: Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks. There are three different PACT programs--S-PACT, E-PACT, and A-PACT. Sailors in the PACT program have training after BC and do not go to an “A” School since they are Undesignated Sailors, meaning that they do not have an actual rating to train for yet. (See Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks (PACT) Program.)

PADD: Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (of human remains); The individual who fills this role is usually a family member (next of kin) and is entitled to direct the disposition of the remains. The determination is based on order of precedence as delineated on the Record of Emergency Data on Page 2.

Page 2: NAVPERS 1070/602 - Dependency Application/Record of Emergency Data (Page 2); the document in which the Sailor records his/her spouse and/or other dependents and the contact information for those who would need to be contacted in the event of an emergency involving the Sailor and, once filed, serves as the record of that information. (See

Page 13: NAVPERS 1070/613 - Administrative Remarks; an administrative remarks page in a Sailor's service record. It could include anything from an extension of enlistment to an administrative warning notice for failing the PRT. A permanent remark on a Sailor's page 13 remains in the Sailor's personnel file and will be seen by anyone checking on his/her evaluation for advancement. A negative remark could stall the Sailor's Navy career, if not stop it. (See

PAO: Public Affairs Officer or Public Affairs Office; Officer responsible for preparing and disseminating information relative to military operations through news releases, photographs, radio and television, and other informational material. You can contact RTC Public Affairs Office at 847-688-2405 or via e-mail at

PACOM: Pacific Command

PACT: Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks (See Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks (PACT) Program.)

Parade Rest: a position assumed by a Sailor in which the feet are 12 inches apart, the hands are clasped behind the back, and the head is held motionless and facing forward (when armed the left hand is behind the back at parade rest); a position of rest in which the Sailor is silent and motionless.

PASS: Personal Applied Skills Streaming; this program trains and mentors recruits with social skill deficiencies. Staff members teach recruits how to manage anger, stress and low self-esteem while emphasizing gender, racial and cultural diversities. Recruits assigned to PASS are typically there for 2 weeks and upon completion will be assigned to a new division with a new PIR date. The program is on Ship 4. (See

Pay Grade: the base pay based on the recruit's/Sailor's rate. Enlisted Sailors are rated between E-1 and E-9, where an E-1 is a recruit and an E-9 is a Master Chief Petty Officer. Though the rates may change across the services, the pay grades are the same.

PC: The designation for a Coastal Patrol Ship.

PCS: Permanent Change of Station; when a Sailor and his/her family have orders from one duty station to another.

P-Days: Processing days (AKA P-Week); Phase 1 of boot camp which begins when recruits first arrive on board RTC. The new recruits will begin filling in their paperwork; they are given further medical and psychological evaluations and receive their inoculations; they send home their box of civilian belongings and receive an initial set of PT gear; are interviewed; and will be assigned to a division. When P-Week is over, Boot Camp officially begins. Phase 1 can be as short as 4 days to as long as 2 weeks, but are seldom over 11 days. (See Arrival and What Happens at RTC and

PDRL: Permanent Disability Retirement List

PDS: Permanent Duty Station

Peanut Butters: the nickname given to the Navy Service Uniform (See NSU.) This is the uniform that your new Sailor will wear on Liberty on the Saturday and Sunday after PIR. This is also the uniform that is worn during Liberty at most "A" Schools before phasing up and being permitted to wear civilian clothes. They can't call them Khakis because that's the Chief's uniform.

Peanut Butter Shot: a gamma globulin shot given to boost the recruit's immune system to help prevent illness while at RTC. It is very thick, thus the name, and somewhat painful. Some Recruits will be unable to get it due to previous allergic reaction to penicillin. Note: The gamma globulin shot DOES NOT contain penicillin, but a high percentage of people who have a reaction to penicillin also have a reaction to gamma globulin since the gamma globulin is derived from blood serum and may contain penicillin antibodies, so they don’t give it to them. Recruits who are allergic to penicillin wear a red sign stating that and are given an alternative shot or pills. This means some recruits may get the Ricky Crud worse than others.

PEBLO: Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer; The PEBLO under the direction of the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) acts on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy in counseling Navy and Marine Corps personnel on their fitness for duty, rights, and entitlement to benefits. The PEBLO affords service members’ due process pursuant to the applicable laws and regulations while concurrently protecting the interests of the government and the Naval Service.​ (See

PERSEC: Personal Security. PERSEC is protecting the individual and his/her family and community. (See OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes To Your Profile).)

Personal Flag: the flag designed by the recruits in the division (It is the design that is on the Personal Flag that is placed on the Division T-shirts.)

PFA: Physical Fitness Assessment; a required basic physical test conducted to determine the physical fitness of Navy personnel. The recruit must meet the standards based on his/her age group. Recruits do the PFA three times in Freedom Hall. The first one is known as the Baseline PFA and helps the RDC know how much "help" the recruit will need. This one is conducted at the beginning of BC and those who pass then as well as passing the PQS test are advanced in rate. The run on the first PFA also determines if a recruit will continue training. (See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT).) The second one occurs in the fourth week of training. The third one, the Official PFA, occurs in the sixth week of training and must be passed in order to go on to BST and PIR. Regardless of the level of performance on other events, the PFA is failed when the recruit does not achieve "Satisfactory" performance standard or better for any PFA event. gives the PFA standards for females and males by age. The PFA consists of push ups done in 2 minutes, curl ups (sit ups) done in 2 minutes, a 1.5 mile run, and a swim test composed of two modules. Most recruits will be required to pass the third class swim test, which consists of TWO modules. Module one is composed of three separate events, a deep water jump from a 10 foot raised platform using correct form; a 50-yard swim using one of four strokes with proper form: breast stroke, freestyle--some have said this should say crawl instead, side crawl or backstroke; and a 5-minute prone float face down--the recruit can raise his/her head to breathe as needed, but must continue the prone float while doing so and not end up treading water. (The prone float can be done on the back now instead of face down as of 2018.) Swimmers who successfully pass module one continue on to module two. Module two consists of coverall inflation. Recent graduates in 2018 are indicating that the recruits then complete a man overboard drill or abandon ship drill in which 20 to 25 recruits have on a personal flotation device (PFD) and jump into the water and must swim to a life raft and once all have gotten to the raft, then they must help each other to get onto the raft one at a time. Those with a contract for Aircrew or special ops or who wish to be considered for a special ops rating must pass the second class swim test, which has more rigid standards. (See for more on the Swim Test.) Those who pass the PQS test with an 80% or above and pass their initial PFA with a SAT-MED (Satisfactory-Medium) advance in rate. (See E-1, E-2, or E-3? How did that happen?) To graduate boot camp, a sailor needs an overall category of "Good (Low)," which means their average in three events must be 60 points or greater. After boot camp, to pass the periodic Navy fitness test, a sailor needs to be in the Satisfactory (Medium) category, or above, which means they must have an average score of at least 50. (See for more information on how the scores are obtained.)

PFC: Personal Flag Carrier; the recruit who carries the Ship's flag. One would think that this recruit would carry the flag that the division designed, but if the divisional flag is deemed appropriate, then the recruit (stick) right behind the PFC will carry that when authorized to do so.

PFD: personal flotation device

Phase Up: to move up to a higher level of Liberty at "A" School by showing increased personal responsibility. Most commands have tests that the Sailors must pass in order to advance to the next phase. Each command has slightly different requirements to be able to phase up and the privileges with each phase may also be different, but there are generally three phases and the following privileges associated with each phase are fairly common at the commands. In some commands Phase I begins once the Sailor arrives at "A" School and at others, Phase I begins after INDOC. During INDOC, there is no off base Liberty and the Sailors are not permitted to wear civilian clothing except for sleeping with the exception of undergarments. During Phase I, which lasts 2 to 3 weeks in most commands, Sailors must remain in uniform except for sleeping and are not permitted to have Liberty off base (some commands permit off base Liberty on weekends and non-training days with a Liberty Buddy once the Sailors have completed INDOC, but the Sailors must muster each night). Sailors in Phase I usually have to muster 3 times each day. During Phase II, which lasts 3 to 4 weeks in most commands, Sailors can wear civilian clothing when not in class or on duty and can leave the base for Liberty with a Liberty Buddy, but they must return to their barracks each night for muster. During Phase III, which begins no earlier than week 7 in most commands and lasts for the remainder of "A" School unless the privilege is revoked, Sailors are able to have overnight Liberty from Friday evening after class to Sunday night muster or Monday morning muster in some cases if not on duty and must remain within a specified mileage limit of the base. This mileage limit is unique to each command and can be from 50 to 300 miles from the base. There may be certain cities that the Sailors are not permitted to visit even if they are within the specified boundary line from the base. Sailors must be performing in a satisfactory manner in class and on inspections and must remain within physical fitness standards and must have completed the requirements of the previous level in order to Phase Up. Student Sailors may be set back to a previous Liberty phase or denied the next phase if they are not performing in a satisfactory manner in class, fail inspections, miss PT or morning or evening muster, or for other military infractions or unsatisfactory performance. Whole classes have been denied privileges at times when one or a few Sailors have acted in an irresponsible manner. The actions of student Sailors in a previous class have resulted in the revocation of Phase III for following classes at some commands for several months to more than a year.

PI: Personnel Inspections; where the recruit’s military appearance and uniform are inspected.

PIA: planned incremental availability; PIA involves upgrades, maintenance and habitability upkeep to a vessel. Tiling, lagging and painting are the most basic tasks that are completed throughout the PIA evolution.

PiCAT: Pre-screening, internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test; an unproctored version of the full ASVAB that provides recruiters with the ability to effectively determine if an applicant is qualified before sending them to a military entrance processing station or military entrance test site. Recruiters will provide applicants with a unique access code. The applicant must start the test within 72 hours. Once the test is started, he or she will have 24 hours to complete the test. After the test is complete, the recruiter will have the ability to view the applicant's score instantly. By taking the PiCAT, an applicant will gain familiarity with the ASVAB and recruiters will be able to determine whether or not applicants will achieve qualifying scores on the official test.

PIR: Pass-in-Review; graduation from Navy Recruit Training; boot camp graduation. To Pass-in-Review means to move past an important person for a visual examination.

PM: Private Message; an email sent through the N4M site. If you "Friend" someone on N4M, you can send them a PM. If someone sends you a PM, you will find it in your "Inbox," which you can access in the upper left on any page on the site.

PO: Petty Officer

POD: Plan Of the Day.

Pollywog: a Sailor who has not crossed the Equator

Port side: left side of anything. Hint: P-O-R-T has 4 letters and L-E-F-T has 4 letters. During emergencies or General Quarters, use the port side to go down a ladderwell or to go aft.

POV: Privately Owned Vehicle.

PQS: Personnel Qualification Standards; the information that all recruits must learn; these are outlined in the DEP START Guide and recruits take a written multiple choice test over this knowledge while at BC. Those who pass the PQS test with an 80% or above and pass their initial PFA with a SAT-MED (Satisfactory-Medium) advance in rate. (See E-1, E-2, or E-3? How did that happen?)

PRT: Physical Readiness Test; A required basic physical test conducted to determine the physical fitness of Navy personnel. This is the same as the PFA at RTC. Sailors must meet these standards twice a year. Regardless of the level of performance on other events, the PRT is failed when the Sailor does not achieve "Satisfactory" performance standard or better for any PRT event, unless event is medically waived. If a Sailor fails to meet the standards 2 times within a 3 year period, the Sailor will receive an Administrative Separation (ADSEP) and be discharged from the Navy. (See, and 

PSA: This one depends on the context. Personnel Support Activity; the office that provides pay, personnel, and passenger transportation services to DOD personnel and their families. This includes assuring that pay account and service records are being properly maintained and providing transportation services. PSA is also Public Service Advertising; those involved in that PSA are responsible for various Navy advertising activities in the different media outlets like TV, radio, internet, and/or in print in brochures, magazines, newspapers, billboards: preparing information involved in recruiting, letting employers know the benefits of hiring vets, informing sailors of benefits available to them in the Navy and once they leave.

PSD: Personnel Support Detachment; another term for Personnel Support Activity (See PSA.)

PST: Physical Screening Test; a physical fitness test designed to test a candidate's overall physical readiness to participate in the rigorous Naval Special
Warfare or Special Operations training pipelines. (See

PT: This one depends on the context. Physical Training; exercises to get your recruit in top physical shape. (See PHYSICAL TRAINING in Physical Therapy; recruits who are injured may receive physical therapy to relieve pain and to boost coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical Therapist; a qualified health professional who administers physical therapy.

PTS: Perform to Serve; an end-strength force-management tool that uses a performance criteria within individual ratings and year groups to ensure long term sustainment of experience throughout our Navy. (See

PTU: Physical Training Uniform; this consists of a yellow (gold) T-shirt, blue workout shorts, running shoes and white athletic socks. At RTC, recruits wear knee high athletic socks or the lower cut white athletic crew socks. RDC's sometimes wear the low cut athletic socks that just barely show above the athletic shoe, but not recruits. (See Male Enlisted Working Uniform Physical Training Uniform (PTU) and Female Enlisted Working Uniform Physical Training Uniform (PTU).)

Push: when the RDC's are actively training (pushing) the recruits. RDC's are either "on push" or "on hold."

Push Division: a division in which some or all of the recruits in the division have less than 9 Fridays at RTC. Sometimes recruits who arrive at the end of one week (Wednesday and Thursday and the wee hours of Friday) are held in Phase 1 (P-days) until more recruits arrive at the beginning of the next week (Monday and Tuesday and the wee hours of Wednesday) to fill the division and they have PIR with the TG that began filling in the previous week. Sometimes some or all of the Wednesday shippers in the last two weeks before the holiday stand down in December will also be in Push Divisions. The recruits arriving the second week are pushed forward a week and are at RTC 7 1/2 weeks rather than the typical 8 1/2 weeks that others in the division are or that others who arrived on the same day will be. The Push Divisions are typically just the last two to four divisions in the TG and they will be among the last to go through BST, so they will make the “I’m a Sailor!” call only a day or two before PIR, which means there is less opportunity to redo something (like a failed run, which can only be run every other day), so the RDCs also push this group to be ready to be US Navy Sailors on time and the first time. There are times when everyone in a TG is in a Push Division, which could happen in a week following skipped PIR dates, but that is not always the case.  The actual training time for all divisions in 6 weeks so they have plenty of time to learn everything they need to learn to have PIR on time. It used to be common for those in an 800 division to be in a Push Division (See 800 and 900 Divisions.), but that does not happen as much any more although it does still happen. The last two to four regular divisions in many TG's are Push Divisions. 900 divisions are rarely Push Divisions, but it does happen at times, more often for a Triple Threat Division if they had difficulty finding musicians among the recruits.

P-way: passage way.

QNJ: Qualified-No Job; a candidate who goes to MEPS may receive this classification if there are no contracts available at the time.

Quarters: Assembling all hands for muster. Also refers to a home on base, a residence.

Quick-time: a pace that is in between regular pace and double-time pace. Cadence at 120 steps (12, 15, or 30 inches in length) per minute. It is the normal cadence for drills and ceremonies.

RAB: Recruit Aptitude Board. If a recruit is experiencing difficulty in boot camp, the RAB will review the information provided to determine if the recruit continues to meet the standards for eligibility to continue training to be a US Navy Sailor. The RAB will make a recommendation that the recruit continue with training or that the recruit should be sent to SEPS and have an entry level separation. If the recruit will continue training, s/he may remain in the same division or s/he may be placed in FAST or PASS or be placed in another division in the same TG or in a later TG.

Rack: bed.

Rank: a line of Sailors or vehicles placed side by side.

RAP Duty: Recruiting Assistance Leave Program duty; by assisting a recruiter while on Leave between Apprentice Training or "A" School and the first duty station, the Sailor can earn 5 days of unchargeable leave after turning in the paperwork at the new command. (See

Rate: similar to rank for other branches of the armed forces; often confused with rating. All recruits begin as SRs, the low man on the totem pole. Their rate will increase as they are promoted. Rate ranges from Seaman Recruit to Master Chief Petty Officer.

Rating: This is the job a Sailor does and it was signified by the insignia on their uniforms; often confused with rate. (Ratings shelved on 09/29/2016 and were restored on 12/20/2016

RCU: Recruit Convalescent Unit; where sick or injured recruits go to heal and be cycled back into another TG or to complete BC. Recruits who are moved to the RCU are generally able to make calls every other week (often on Saturday or Sunday), but those calls can be lost if someone in the division messes things up for the division or if the recruit made a call that week following a test or other appointment. Recruits who are sent to the RCU may spend a few days to several months there depending on how severe the condition is. Recruits in the RCU can continue studying and can take academic tests, but they cannot do any physical training and tests until they are declared FFD. Some recruits will rejoin their division or join another division, sometimes in their own TG or in a TG with a later PIR date. This happens most for those who spend 2 weeks or less in the RCU and most often for those who are sent to the RCU in the first few weeks after arriving at RTC. Some recruits will continue with training when declared FFD either in the RCU or in FIT and then do the rest of training from there and go on to Battle Stations-21 (BST) and then to "A" School or training without PIR. (See Recruit Convalescent Unit (RCU).) If your recruit is sent here, join RCU SHIP 04 DIV 741 for more information. (Also see

RDC: Recruit Division Commander; Sailor responsible for training recruits at the Navy Recruit Training Command (RTC); the Navy's version of the “drill sergeant” for other branches of the military; the person at RTC who, with the help of other support personnel at RTC, is charged with turning a group of former civilians into US Navy Sailors. These are Petty Officers with at least six years experience in the fleet who lead divisions. Each division has a Chief Petty Officer and two Petty Officers as the RDC's.

Recover!: the command given by RDC's during PT when they want the recruits to get up from the PT position they were in.

Recruit: a person who has been sworn in at MEPS and is on the way to or is a RTC to complete basic training in order to become a US Navy Sailor.

Recruit Candy: cough drops. Some RDC's allow recruits to keep and use cough drops brought to RTC or sent from home. Others only allow recruits to have those purchased at the NEX at RTC.

Red Book: The manual that contains all of the official procedures for RTC. The RDC has a copy and there is a copy within each compartment for the recruits, especially the RPOC, to refer to.

Red Rope:  the nickname given to a qualified RDC at RTC; RDC's wear red braided cords (ropes) called aiguillettes on their left shoulders. (See

Restriction: one of the punishments that can be handed out following Captain's Mast. (See and

REU: Recruit Evaluation Unit; where recruits are evaluated by a team that includes counselors and/or psychiatrists to determine if keeping the recruit poses a danger to the recruit, his/her shipmates, and/or the Navy at large. Recruits are sent to the REU for issues such as anxiety, depression, suicidal talk or activity, sleepwalking, severe homesickness, or other psychological concerns. Sometimes when a recruit is moved to the REU to see how bad things are, the recruit gets to go back to a division (either their same division or another one) and go on to have PIR and other times the recruit will go to Ship 5 and be discharged. Either way, it usually takes a couple of weeks at least. The REU is located on board the USS Tranquillity. (See

Reveille: A signal signifying the start of a work day; a bugle call, trumpet call or pipes call or announcement used to wake military personnel at sunrise. The name comes from "réveillé" (or "réveil"), the French word for "wake up." At RTC and on board ship, it is “Reveille, reveille. All hands heave out and trice up. Uniform of the day is as follows….” This means “Wake up, wake up, everyone on board get out of your rack and make up your rack. This is what you will wear today…”

RIB: 11 Meter Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boat (See

Ricky: Recruit

Ricky Carwash: short shower that the recruits take.

Ricky Crud: a collection of cold or flulike symptoms that many recruits (Rickies) suffer through while at RTC; recruits often suffer from upper respiratory symptoms, but they may also suffer from stomach ailments and/or diarrhea as well; this is due to the recruits being exposed to bacteria and germs from all over the US.

Ricky Heaven: the area by the NEX that your recruit may be rewarded with at some point during BC. It is common for the new Sailors to be able to enjoy Ricky Heaven after passing BST, but there is no guarantee that the RDC will be able to schedule it. (There are no longer any fast food restaurants at RTC.)

Rifle Division: The Rifle Divisions begin with 001 each year for TG 01 and go through the 300's by the end of the Navy fiscal year. Most of the recruits at RTC will be in a Rifle Division. (See Ship/Division--How it Works.)

RIMPAC: the Rim of the Pacific Exercise; the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy's Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. The US invites military forces from the Pacific Rim and beyond to participate. With RIMPAC the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. Described by the US Navy as a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. (See

Riverine: Riverine boats are vessels specifically designed to operate in littoral and shallow water environments. (See

RIVRON: Riverine Squadron

Road Guards: the set of recruits wearing orange vests that stop traffic for their division to cross streets.

ROM: Restriction of Movement; during COVID-19 recruits have two weeks of ROM before having in-processing at RTC (

Rover Watch: a type of watch in which the one on duty walks (roves) about the ship checking for any concerns.

RPO: Recruit Petty Officer (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

RPOC: Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO); the Recruit in charge of the division when the RDC’s aren’t there. The RPOC also leads the division when marching. (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

RTC : Recruit Training Command; part of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Great Lakes, where Navy recruits train to become Sailors; location of the Navy’s only Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois; another way to say Boot Camp.

SAFFIR: Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (See

Sailor: a service member who has enlisted in the US Navy and has completed BST.

S.A.M.T.: Small Arms Marksmanship Trainer or Small Arms Marksmanship Training, depending on the context; a simulator on board the USS Missouri in which the recruits fire electronic weapons prior to firing actual weapons in the following training day. The recruits learn to handle and fire the Navy's standard issue M9 Beretta pistol and the Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun. SAMT uses red laser lights and pneumatic air to simulate the firing and hits on a computer target.

S.A.S.E.  : Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope

Scuttlebutt: drinking fountain which is to be shined daily but never drunk out of; also a term for gossip.

Seabag Inspection: The Navy Uniform Seabag inspection should be done at regular intervals for E-1/E-2/E-3 to ensure that each person has a full and complete military seabag. Prior to transfer all E-1/E-2/E-3 will have a seabag inspection also. Any enlisted personnel should have seabag inspections at regular intervals to ensure that each person has all regulated items for the seabag.  A seabag inspection is also made before an enlisted person is transferred to another duty station. For full seabag requirements, see

Sea Daddy: Mentor; a more experienced Sailor who will help a Sailor; male counterpart to Sea Mom.

Sea Mom: Mentor; a more experienced Sailor who will help a Sailor; female counterpart to Sea Daddy.

SECO: Security Officer.

SELRES: Selected Reservists. SELRES is the largest and most relied upon of the Ready Reserve and consists of the Drilling Reservists/Units and Full-Time Support. (See

Semper Fortis: “always strong” or “always courageous,” according to Latin dictionaries; the unofficial motto of the Navy according to some Sailors and in use often by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. 

SEPS: Separations Unit; located on Ship 5, the ship is for those recruits in the process of being discharged (separated) and sent home from Boot Camp. (If your recruit is sent here, join the group, Ship 5 Moms(Formerly Ship 17) and see and FAQ about SEPS for more information.) Recruits in SEPS are only permitted to do physical training about twice a week if they have no medical limitations and spend a lot of time watching movies and cleaning. They are offered classes on careers and college. They do have access to the internet, but they must pay for it. Those in SEPS are usually able to go to the NEX at least twice a week--females on Monday/Wednesday and males on Tuesday/Thursday--and sometimes on Saturday and the recruits are able to access the phone banks on those days.

SEWIP: Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (See

SG: School Guaranteed; when included in the contract SG indicates that the future Sailor is guaranteed a seat in "A" School.

SGLI: Service Member's Group Life Insurance; an optional life insurance policy that the service member can buy that could pay up to $400,000 if the service member dies.

Sharks: This one depends on the context. “Sharks,” aka “Shark Attack,” are an exercise or PT (sometimes even IT) in which the recruits lie on the floor and wave their arms and legs like they are swimming. (Here is a YouTube video that just may make you giggle on "Sharks.") The RDC's are also known as "Sharks" and their office is the "Shark Tank." "Sharks" when swimming in the pool are pretty much the same as a Flutter Kick.

Shark Tank: a nickname for the RDC’s office.

Shellback: a Sailor (or Marine, or other embarked personnel) who has sailed across the Equator. Becoming a shellback involves a ceremony called "crossing the line" to celebrate your transitioning from a slimy pollywog to a noble shellback, a member of King Neptune's Royal Court. 

Shift Colors: When a ship is anchored or moored between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and sunset, it flies its ensign from the stern and the naval jack is flown from the bow. When it is underway, the ensign is flown from the main staff and the jack is not flown at all. The process of changing from one display to the other is known as shifting colors. When an official indicates the vessel is shifting colors, that indicates the vessel is now underway or has returned to port.  Shift Colors is also a newsletter for Navy Retirees.

Ship: Barracks on board RTC are referred to as “ships” and are named after famous ships from the fleet. (See Ship/Division--How it Works.)

Shipmates: fellow Sailors of the same rate or below.

Ship’s Company: Refers to the officers and men assigned to the ship, as separate from the Air Wing.

Ship’s LCPO: The E-7 to E-9 that is in charge of the Ship at RTC, always a Red Rope.

Ship's Officer: The officer in charge of a ship. Each ship at RTC has 1 Ship's Officer and 1 Ship's LCPO.

Ship Staff (not to be confused with a 900 division that is Ship Staff for PIR--see 800 and 900 Divisions): 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. (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

SIQ: Sick in Quarters; Recruits who are ill or injured, but not bad enough to warrant the RCU, are confined to their racks until they are well enough to return to duty.

Slow time: Cadence at 60 steps per minute. Used for funerals only.

Smurf : a new recruit; new recruits wear the Navy sweat suit during Phase 1 (P-days) until the first uniform is issued.

Smurfs:  Navy sweat suit or a division of recruits who are still in Phase 1 (P-days) depending on the context.

Snipe: Anyone who works in the Engineering department. This includes the ratings of DC, EM, EN, GSM, GSE, HT, IC, MM, and MR. (See What is a Snipe?.)

SNOOPIE: Ship's Nautical or Otherwise Photographic Intelligence Exploitation; the team aboard ship that is on call to report any unknown contacts that are visible while the ship is underway. SNOOPIE helps identify those contacts as well as any changes to a contact over time. 

Soft Orders: Verbal orders for the next duty station while the written orders are being processed. These orders may or may not end up being what are actually in the hard copy orders when they are issued. Soft orders are not the official orders and may change.

Space A Flight: Space Available Flight; military hop. Under the Space-Available (Space A) program, eligible passengers can fill unused seats on DoD-owned or controlled aircraft once all the space-required (duty) passengers and cargo have been accommodated.

Sponsor: Sailors who have orders to a new command are assigned a sponsor who has experience and has served at the same command. A sponsor is supposed to "help" the newly assigned Sailor get acclimated and be available to meet with his/her and show him/her the ropes, answer questions, and direct him/her to the proper resources/facilities.

Spooks : a nickname applied to those working in the intelligence gathering and dissemination community because they operate in the shadows and are hard to track like ghosts or spooks. This includes the ratings of CTI, CTM, CTN, CTR, CTT, IS, IT, and ITS. Spooks are carefully selected and highly trained members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps who do things they can never talk about for people they do not know with little recognition from those they have served. They got that name from the spy-vs-spy from Mad Magazine. Their logo is the black Spook since they work in the black ops (top-secret) community. Their famous motto is: "In God We Trust, in all others we monitor." We are no longer to use the terms "Spook" or "Spooks," but many Sailors still do. The preferred terms are now "Intel," "In Intelligence," or "Cryptology."

SQT: SEAL Qualification Training; the course provides the necessary skills to become a US Navy SEAL. (See and 800 and 900 Divisions for more information.)

SR: Seaman Recruit, the rate of all recruits on board RTC. 

SRDRS: Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (See

SSBN: The designation for a Ballistic Missile Submarine. (See

SSC: Ship to Shore Connector (See

SSGN: Guided Missile Submarine (See

SSN: The designation for an Attack Submarine. (See

Starboard: right side of anything. During emergencies or General Quarters, use the starboard side to go up a ladderwell or to go forward.

STA-21: Seaman to Admiral-21; a commissioning program that provides a path for qualified Sailors to receive a college education and earn a commission as a naval officer. (See Join STA-21 ECP if your Sailor is part of this program.

Static Inspection: a type of compartment inspection during the last phase (FEP) of training for a division.

STEP: A third chance for those who failed the initial PFA twice, but only by a wee little bit, thus, there are high hopes that they will pass it in a few days or they will be separated. Recruits in STEP are in Ship 4 DIV 746. 

Stick: a recruit/Sailor who carries a flag when the division is marching in formation.

Stow: to put away.

Straggler(s): 1. The LLD recruits that "straggle" behind the division since they can't march. 2. Recruits "straggle" to chow or class if they have been left behind due to standing watch, etc.

Street Hits: Recruits can get street hits either as a whole division or if they are walking to an appointment or are walking on duty alone or with one or more shipmates. If they get stopped and inspected and anything is wrong with them or their passes/paperwork, they get "hits." (See "Hit" above.)

Stress Fracture: a type of fracture to the tibia (the large bone in the lower leg) caused by repetitive motion due to the intense training at RTC; fractures (tiny cracks or breaks) actually occur because of the stress to the bone. Stress fractures require rest (usually the recruit is on crutches and/or wears a walking boot or leg brace), time to heal, and then recuperation time in the RCU. The recruit will have PT to get back in shape and to help him/her to be ready for the things ahead. As with most breaks, the recovery time for stress fractures can be around 6 weeks or more depending on the severity. Once the doctor determines the recruit is FFD, s/he will be released to continue training. The doctor or RDC will often suggest that the recruit request that insoles be sent to be worn for PT.

Swab : to mop.

T-ACS: Auxiliary Crane Ship (See

TAD: Temporary Additional Duty; the Sailor is temporarily assigned to another command or to perform duties other than what s/he normally does and then returns to his/her permanent station.

T-AGS: The designation for an Oceanographic Survey Ship. 

T-AH: The designation for a Hospital Ship. 

T-AK: Auxiliary Break-Bulk Ship (See

T-AKE: The designation for a Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ship.

T-AKR: Auxiliary Roll-on/Roll-off Ships or Auxilliary Heavy-lift Ships

(See and 

TAO: Tactical Action Officer

T-AO: The designation for a Fleet Replenishment Oiler. 

Taps: the bugle call or announcement to signal the end of the day; lights out, time for sleep.  At RTC at 10:00 p.m. the loud speaker inside the barracks building sounds, “Taps, Taps, lights out. Turn into your racks. Maintain silence about the decks. Now Taps.” This is the same call sounded on ships in the Fleet.

Tattoo: 5 minutes before Taps; the call to signal to go to quarters and prepare for bed. At RTC at 9:55 p.m. the loud speaker inside the barracks building sounds, "Tattoo, Tattoo; lights out in five minutes. Stand by for evening prayer." This is the same call sounded on ships in the Fleet.

TCNO: Tactical Computer Network Operations

TDRL: Temporary Disability Retirement List (See

TG: Training Group; the group of all the recruits in all of the Divisions that will have PIR together. TG 01 is supposed to be the training group that begins training the first week of October when the Navy fiscal year begins. A TG can have as few as 4 divisions to as many as 16 divisions. There could potentially be 52 TG's in a year since there are 52 weeks in a calendar year, but RTC skips about 4 weeks each year. (See Ship/Division--How it Works.)

THU: Temporary Holding Unit: where recently graduated Sailors go if they are on hold for "A" school. This is on Ship 5, but those in the THU are in separate quarters in a different part of the ship from those being discharged. Sailors who have passed Battle Stations-21 (BST) after being in FIT or in the RCU go to the THU before heading to "A" School or training with the next PIR group. Some Sailors will be sent here while awaiting clearance or to conduct a special physical or while waiting to class up if there is no housing available at the "A" School or to wait for a waiver or due to a medical issue or for some other reason. Sailors in the THU are permitted to have Liberty and make calls when they are not on duty. They have a curfew and have to meet for muster 3 times per day (early morning, 1400, and 2100). They have a lounge and arcade games they can access. They can have their cell phones, laptops, and hand held electronics. The racks are a bit larger than the ones in boot camp and a bit more comfortable. The Sailors get assigned duties and watches, such as watching the SEPS or helping with PIR security. Sailors in the THU may be called upon to assist with RDC "C" School with scripted training scenarios or to help Blue Ropes practice PI's. The Sailors can phase up during THU and can have Liberty..2 days off base..2 days in ship where they have to stay in Ship 5. The Phase that the Sailor attained MAY carry over to "A" School; that is up to the new command and some Sailors have been able to enjoy the level of freedom that they had attained while in the THU while others started back at Phase I when they arrived at "A" School. The time in the THU varies depending on the situation. (See

TIR: Time in Rate; the period of time from the date a Sailor was advanced.

TIS: Time in Service; the amount of time that a Sailor has served as an Active Duty service member. TIS begins when the recruit is sworn in at MEPS the second time prior to shipping to RTC. 

TOD: This one depends on the context. There are many possibilities, but these are the most frequent on this site. Time of Departure. Transfer on Death (used on automobile titles). Time of Day. Time of Death (I hope we don't see that one often.). 

Toe Line: the white line that recruits stand behind when preparing for division-wide activities (inspections, chow, hygiene...)

Topside: Upstairs

TPU: Transient Personnel Unit

Trainee Guide: this book includes all of the information that the recruits will be learning at RTC. It can be found at (This is not an official Navy site, but it is the Trainee Guide.) The recruits carry this around in their left hands wherever they go the whole time they are at boot camp. They now do not have to have it with them in the head or Galley. Many recruits just hold it and do not read it, but they are expected to have their nose in this book all the time. You can stress to your recruit, "If you are ever standing around waiting in line, or sitting in a class waiting for it to start, you better have your nose in that book."

TRICARE: the health care program for active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, survivors and certain former spouses worldwide. (See

Trice Up: make up the rack.

TSC: Training Support Center Great Lakes; where "A" School or training is for those who stay in GL after PIR to train. It is on the other side of the road from RTC and is one of the commands that is located on the main part of Naval Station Great Lakes.

TSV: The designation for a Theater Support Vessel or Training Support Vessel.

TTO: Training Time Out. Anyone can hold up a fist and say loudly or yell "Training Time Out" if something needs to be corrected or if someone is injured, has fallen, has passed out, or whatever to alert the recruits to stop what they are doing so the situation can be addressed and so they don't run into/over the injured person and/or so that medical attention can be obtained if needed. The most common times for a TTO would be during PT or marching.

Two-pack: nickname for a recruit’s rear end in BC. When told to “get on your two-pack,” it means to sit down. This is a much nicer term than is sometimes used for that body part.

UA: Unauthorized absence (Navy equivalence of AWOL)

Underway: the vessel has pulled out of port and is out to sea. Underways include sea trials (testing out new systems or repairs), drills and exercises (but those can be done on deployment too), and simple emergency underways such as getting out of port during large storms. Humanitarian missions are the best kind! Sailors love volunteering. An underway can be a few days, weeks, or even a couple months.  (Colloquially, Sailors call an underway of six to ten months a "deployment" and anything less an "underway.")

UPH: Unaccompanied Personnel Housing

URC: Undersea Rescue Command (See

URL: This one depends on the context. URL is Uniform Resource Locator and is the web address for a site on the internet. The URL for the NAVYForMoms site is URL is also Unrestricted Line Officer; the Officer of the line in the U.S. Navy who is qualified to command ships, subs and aviation units and can rise to high Navy leadership positions such as CNO.

USN : United States Navy

USO : the USO provides support for our troops and their families; there is a USO located in many airports to provide a place for our service members and their families to relax between flights. (See When meeting your Sailor at the airport after PIR, it is often a good idea to meet at the USO.

UUV: Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (See

Valuables Sock: a tube sock that the new recruit will carry during Phase 1 (P-Days) to hold all of his/her valuables--anything that s/he is allowed to keep after arrival at RTC. (You can see the "valuables sock" in the video at at 05:11 and from about 06:05 on for a bit at the waists of the "Smurfs" wearing their "Smurfs" soon after arrival.) Some have called this the "happy sock."

VBSS: visit, board, search, and seizure 

VFA: the designation for a Navy Strike Fighter Squadron

Waiver: a form that is needed to permit a recruit to continue training when s/he has a condition that would usually disqualify him/her from service. A waiver may be required at any point before or during BC or after. Candidates who want to enlist, but have a situation that would otherwise cause them not to be able to enlist—a medical condition (ADD/ADHD, asthma), a past criminal record, or any number of other situations--must fill out paperwork requesting a waiver in order to enlist. Sometimes waivers are reviewed by just one person and granted or denied; other times the request is sent to several people before a final decision is made so it can take months to receive a final decision.

Watch: Standing Watch; Time spent guarding the ship (barracks); a period of time (4 or 2 hours) during which some of a ship's crew are on duty. At RTC each watch is 4 hours long, but they sometimes split the midwatch, so it is possible for it to be two hours. (Rover, Snow, Fire- types of watches recruits stand to get them ready for watches in the Fleet. After BST, my Sailor and others in his division had Earthquake Watch for several hours and “had” to lie on the deck to check for the first sign of an earthquake and alert the division.) 

Wardroom: the wardroom aboard ship is where officers take their meals, relax, and socialize. The ship’s wardroom is also the name given to the collective group of officers aboard the ship.

Working Party: group selected to partake in a special cleaning or loading/unloading events.

WTI: Weapons Turnover Inspection

XO: Executive Officer; Naval Officer who is second-in-command, reporting to the CO. The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing the commander to concentrate on planning the unit's next move. The XO also takes charge in the absence of the commander. The XO at RTC is Commander Richard "Rick" E. Schmitt. (See

Yeoman: Clerk or secretary; a Yeoman takes care of paperwork, and spends a lot of time in the office. There are three Boot Camp Yeomen: Medical, Dental, and the "general" Yeoman. (See Recruit Petty Officer Positions.)

YP: Yard Patrol Craft (See

Zero Dark Thirty: 12:30 AM. In military terms Zero Dark is midnight, 00:00 on a 24 hour clock (0000 in military time), 30 being added to connote 30 minutes past. It is written as 0030 in military time.

Zone Inspection: a type of compartment inspection during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of training for a division. During Phase 3 (MCA), the division cannot be in the compartment during the inspection.


Phonetic Alphabet

The Navy also uses a special language for clarity in speaking. This language is called the phonetic alphabet and it provides a concise pronunciation for each letter.

A– Alpha          B– Bravo           C– Charlie         D– Delta            E– Echo

F– Foxtrot        G– Golf             H– Hotel              I– India             J– Juliet

K– Kilo              L– Lima           M– Mike              N– November   O– Oscar

P– Papa           Q– Quebec      R– Romeo          S– Sierra           T– Tango

U– Uniform       V– Victor         W– Whiskey        X– X-ray           Y– Yankee  

Z– Zulu tells what each of the signal flags means and provides information on other signal flags and Navy flags as well.

Military Time

Military time starts at midnight (0000 hours). In this format, the hours are listed from 00 to 23. It is a concise and unambiguous method to express time and is used by military and other emergency services.

Military time does not use any symbol to separate hours and minutes. There is no ante meridiem (a.m.) or post meridiem (p.m.) in military time. Regular time (or the 12 hour clock) uses a.m. and p.m. to identify the time of the day. In military time, a unique two-digit number identifies the hour, which is why there is no need to use a.m./p.m. For example: 0215 = 2:15 a.m. 1415 = 2:15 p.m.

To pronounce the military time, you just have to read it like a number. However, there are different ways of pronouncing military time if it begins with a zero. For 0800, you may hear, "Oh eight hundred" or "Zero eight hundred" for example in some branches, but in the Navy it will always be "Zero eight hundred." Midnight is "Zero hundred" or "Zero dark." 

Military time uses the same number of minutes per hour as regular time. It is just a different format in which you can express time. While converting a time from one format to another, there is no need to convert minutes.

Ribbons at PIR

Here are the ribbons your Sailor may be authorized to wear at PIR.

The National Defense Service ribbon: All Sailors will have this ribbon. It is authorized to be worn by all US service members serving in the armed forces between 11 September 2001 and a date yet-to-be-determined for service during the War on Terrorism.

Navy Pistol Marksmanship ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the Beretta 9mm pistol. If the Sailor obtains Sharpshooter status the ribbon will have a bronze S on it. If the Sailor obtains Expert status the ribbon will have a silver E on it.  

Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate ribbon: Since the 08/21/2015 PIR date, Honor Recruits receive the Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate ribbon. (See and Honor Recruits, Award Winners and Flags.)

Shirt Colors on an Aircraft Carrier

On the Flight Deck the crew members wear a variety of brightly colored shirts. They are also called "Rainbows."

White Shirts: Air wing quality control personnel. Squadron plane inspectors. Landing Signal Officer (LSO). Air Transfer Officers (ATO). Liquid Oxygen (LOX) crews.
White Shirts with a Red Cross: Medical personnel.

White Shirts with a Green Cross: Safety Observers.

Red Shirts: Ordnancemen. Crash and Salvage Crews. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Sometimes referred to as "BB Stackers" or "Ordies."

Green Shirts: Catapult and Arresting Gear crews. Air wing maintenance personnel. Cargo-handling personnel. Ground Support Equipment (GSE) troubleshooters. Hook runners. Photographer's Mates. Helicopter landing signal enlisted personnel (LSE).

Yellow Shirts: Aircraft handling personnel. Catapult and Arresting Gear Officers. Plane directors.

Purple shirts: Aviation fuels people. Referred to as "Grapes."

Brown Shirts: Air wing plane captains. Air wing line leading petty officers. (No ship's company wear brown shirts.)

Blue Shirts: Plane Handlers. Aircraft Elevator Operators. Tractor Drivers. Messengers and Phone Talkers.

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

updated 08/04/2020


You need to be a member of Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) to add comments!

Comment by lemonelephant on August 2, 2014 at 11:09pm

Austins mom, PTA (Physical Training Assessment) is the same as PFA. See the into in PFA above about his possible advancement to E-2.  BTU's should really be NWU's. I don't know why some refer to them as BTU's, which is a misunderstanding of BDU (Battle Dress Uniform, a term used by the Army for their camo uniform), but we see it every now and then on here.

Comment by Austins mom on August 2, 2014 at 10:58pm
Here is what she said.

He passed the DEP Advancement! E2 now and if he passes PTA this week E3! Was very excited about all of it. He really likes his BTU's. Said food is good but mostly very heavy and full of carbs. Living on lots of fruit in morning and big salads with tons of protein for other meals.
Comment by lemonelephant on August 2, 2014 at 10:42pm

Austins mom, give me the context please.

Comment by Austins mom on August 2, 2014 at 10:33pm
Then what is btu and PTA?
Comment by lemonelephant on June 22, 2014 at 11:54pm

Gmom, try PFA instead. I think that someone has combined PFA and PRT and gotten PFT.

Comment by Gmom318 ship 11 div 224 on June 22, 2014 at 9:16pm
I can' find PFT. Can you help me?
Comment by lemonelephant on February 8, 2014 at 4:33pm

ermklm1022, Yes, you can give him those coins and they would be the most appropriate ones for now. Some give the "Armor of God" coin or "Core Values" coin or others of that nature. Wives or girlfriends sometimes give an "I love my Sailor" coin. All of those are in See Gift Ideas for PIR for more ideas for gifts and additional info on the coins.

Comment by ermklm1022 on January 29, 2014 at 12:18pm

Quick question. If I've read this correctly it is ok for me to purchase and present our sailor (after PIR) with the following coins

1. U.S Navy-RTC-Recruit Training Command-Great Lakes-Challenge Coin

2. USS Hopper Ship 3- US Navy Recruit Training Command Challenge Coin

Also, am I to understand that both of these can be purchased at NEX or RTC at NEX and USS Hopper on Ebay?

Finally, are there any additional coins we as a family could present to our son after PIR? 

Thank you for your help with this 


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