Navy Vocabulary is an interesting mix of words, letters, numbers, and stuff that can’t be printed. Recruits at Boot Camp in Great Lakes become familiar with all the new terms very quickly. Here is a top ten list of Navy vocabulary words that will be learned in Boot Camp:
- Petty Officer – An enlisted individual in the US Navy who has the necessary time in rate and has been promoted – after passing necessary training and exams. A Petty Officer starts out as a Third Class E4, and competes for advancement through Master Chief Petty Officer, an E9. The Petty Officers at Great Lakes are quite intimidating.
- RDC – Recruit Division Commander. If the Petty Officers are intimidating, RDC’s are terrifying. Recruits are divided into Divisions during Boot Camp, and the RDC is in charge of one division. Their job is to make raw Recruits into a cohesive group of Sailors. By most accounts, RDC’s yell a lot.
- Rack – Bed. Recruits spend more time learning to make their racks than they do sleeping in them.
- Head – Bathroom. If your Recruit informs you that he or she is in charge of the head, understand that they pulled bathroom cleaning duty.
- PT – Physical Training. Recruits do a LOT of Physical training during basic training, starting early in the morning and continuing until all hours. Sometimes, if a Division or a Recruit doesn’t perform to the RDC’s expectations, they get IT.
- IT – Intensive Training – Getting IT’d is a consequence for all sorts of infractions. One Recruit can cause the entire Division to get IT.
- PFA – Physical Fitness Assessment. There are two assessments that a Recruit must pass in order to graduate. Running, situps and swimming are involved. The second PFA takes place during the 6th week of training. One of the reasons for all the PT and IT is so Recruits can pass the final PFA.
- Ricky Crud – Recruit Sickness. A large number of Recruits catch this in Great Lakes. It involves the upper respiratory system, headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nosebleeds. (Read our Boot Camp guide to find out how to avoid getting the Ricky Crud.)
- Chit – A permission slip. In the Navy, Sailors must get permission to do many things – like get a tattoo or go on vacation. Recruits might need a chit to go to medical.
- PIR – Pass In Review. Boot Camp Graduation is commonly called Pass in Review. Family and friends are invited to Freedom hall in Great Lakes, Illinois, where they get to see their Recruit’s division perform. It’s a once in a lifetime, impressive ceremony that should not be missed.
Bonus. Two words NOT to use: Ma’am and Sir. In the Navy, enlisted personnel do NOT like to be referred to as Ma’am or Sir. If you ask them why, they will inform you that they work for a living.