Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes is located in Northern Chicago, Illinois

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  • Some things I have "found"memories of..

    The weather at Gt Lakes in the winter will make one think they are at the North Pole...

    In the early 60's recuits were 1 step away from being POS...

    Yes I could do 50 pushups although AFTER doing them I couldn't get up off the floor...

    Stood a few Dempsi Dumpster watches...and in the wintertime they were from INSIDE the dumpster.

    After basic and being assigned to ADCOM SECURITY one learns how to stay warm and NOT burn the guard shack down

    If you can't handle anything stronger than BEER then DO NOT drink anything else.

    Moving along here...When I got orders to VAH 6 @ NAS WHIDBEY I screwed up and l couldn't get to the squadron I had orders I caught a ride from one of the squadrons on the other side of the base...flew from NAS Sandpoint(IIRC) to NAS WHIDBEY...and upon walking to the squadron hanger I learned I was being sent to the SEAPLANE BASE on the other side.After mess cooking for 90 days I was sent back to the NAS WHIDBEY and assigned to MAINTAINCE CONTROL

  • Hi again Philip,

    I went through Great Lakes in the summer of 1965, in our company we had petty officers responsible for every little detail; one man was responsible to make sure that only two toilets we used in the morning (because if the inside wall of the commode was wet, that could be a hit) he was also responsible to make sure that everyone's first morning urination was in garbage barrels, we were told that they were collecting these barrels for medical drug reasons.

    Another man was assigned to make sure that all the sheets and pillow cases were right side up.     

    There were many strange assignments to be observed, the average recruit didn't know of the many details that were check listed before each mornings barracks inspection,  its easy to forget all these little things but to us that were assigned to these jobs, we will never forget them.      

    To show you how hard it was to get a good score; once we were so perfect that we got a hit for unseen dirt !

    Thus my job was as described earlier and what would drive me crazy was I would have perfect drying lines, then as the last man went out the door, I would give a last look and behold sometimes  a couple of gaps were there where a man might go and remove garments at the very last minute making me rush to correct all the deficiencies.     

  • I was in boot camp in 1968 in San Diego. We had no washroom or drying room. We did our wash on the concrete wash tables in the courtyard behind the barracks. Then even though it was November we dried our laundry on the clothesline. In southern California you can dry outside, even in "winter"

  • Even tho I am currently ?? years old I DO NOT remember ANYONE ME INCLUDED doing anything even close to a clothesline watch..Not saying it wasn't done at all.The way I remember  washing uniforms was in the laundry room usually on the ground floor.Drying was done by the furnace in the laundry room.If it was summertime or spring time we would hang stuff in the center area had clothes line.If the weather was really bad there was a dryer room usually on the bottom floor and you had to get your stuff in there usually before hitting the rack at taps.

  • Looking for my Company Commander CPO SENIOR John Poissant Company 121 1962

  • I do remember the smoke bucket. I am glad I did not get caught for I had a few in the bathroom. 


  • When I started "BOOT CAMP" there was:

    Camp Barry..Indoctrination,seabag issue,at that time there also Camp Moffett,Camp Dewey,Camp Downs,Camp Porter.From what I remember Dewey,Downs,and Porter were newer.Barry and Moffett were built some time between WW I and WWII.Buildings were basically "TINDER BOXES" as in smoking could ONLY be done around "BUTT BUCKETS" IF you did smoke it was only around the "BUTT BUCKETS"

  • When I was at Great Lakes in the Fall of 1965 I came down with a bad cold and had a fever and I knew it without actually taking my temperature. I had heard about being set back in training for medical reasons and I had and still have a history of upper respiratory infections that can lead to bronchitis and/or pneumonia. Of course now, I get a pneumonia shot. But back then, with not wanting anyone to know that I was sick, I went into that heated drying room where the laundry was hanging and sat there instead of sleeping that night and sweated the fever out of me. I didn’t get much sleep that night but by next morning my fever had broken and I felt much better and got on with my training. 

  • Leaving my home from California and wearing nothing but jeans and a tee-shirt as directed by my recruiter I arrived at RTC Great Lakes on the last day of 1983 at midnight at the USO at the airport in Chicago, with the temperature being way below zero! I was assigned to company 84011 and after a couple days of shoveling snow in temperatures well below zero my company was formed and boot-camp started! With the storm being well below zero temperatures for a couple of weeks we  where not allowed outside after a couple of recruits slipped and received injuries that sent them back in their training until they were medically cleared to start again! These are great memories for me to remember, I hope to come across others from my company to help meremember even more!

  • Philip, I note that your first duty after boot camp was with security Great Lakes while my first duty station was with the police depart (security) Sub Base Pearl Harbor ........ sorry Philip but I think I won ...... LOL


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