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Just wanted to know if anyone else went through basic in the summer of  "77"?  Overall had a pretty good time.  Knew what to expect coming from a Navy family (Mother, father and Grandfather).  Where some times I'd like to forget, but all in all a good time.  A couple of things I'd like to bring up was it was during the time the Irainians were there training as well,  quit an expierence hearing the yelling, screaming from their side of the fence.  Could only hear them during nights like when the company had to hit the grinder after midnight with our rifles above our heads.  Can't remember why we had to do this....think someone goofed off or did something wrong, so the whole company had to pay for it.  Oh and another thing I wanted to know if anyone else seen the female Cadets marching around the grinder?   They really were sharp and smart at marching.  If anyone else remembers these things or has something to add, please to do.  EN1 James Aultman, Compay 172 Tyson's Tigers (July-Sep 1977).

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Yes, I went through in August 1977, I turned 18 in September there. I started 8/11/1977 on "Worm Island" and stayed there approximately 4 weeks until we went across the bridge to the advanced side. I couldn't fold clothes very good and ended up doing a "Short Tour" for 3 hours while everyone else was moving to the new barracks. My C.C. was P.O.1 Riffe, he was a real turd to us but, I really had an all around good experience there. I will never forget it! Our company was 211 and we made "Color Company" for our efforts. It got us a weekend in town! I had gotten sick because I drank too much Sloe-Gin, then went to Sea World and blew chunks at the Killer Whales! We had Hell Week in the Scullery on the Worn Island side, some worked in Supply, and some had to stand bridge watch between the two sides. But yeah, I was there during the end of the summer of 1977!

Thanks for the reply, brings back alot of memories.  Drove past the place a couple of years ago, place looks like a dump, boy what a shame.  USS Neversail looked like a rust heap.  I had it good during Hell week, worked in the bake shop.  Didn't get a weekend off..had 4 guys try to jump the fence, we all suffered for it.  August will stick in my mind as that is when the "KING" Elvis Presley passed away.  Thanks again and take care.

James, I was at NTC RTC Nov 1976, Co 006  Georgiani was CC. Had hell in hell week too. Got put in charge of the clipper and ended pealing onions in the freezer with my guys., The drains plugged up! We were standing in shin deep grease and hot water for the week! We all put the names of our home towns on our paper hats. Someone dumped a fifty gallon barrel of pig slop on an officer! So, we all had marching parties after the chow hall duty.... I never saw a female in camp.  I trained with the Saudis.  Later became a hospital corpsman and was sent to the USMC>... would like to hear form you.

I was in Company 264 Sept-Nov 77. Hot during the day, cold at night. I did a "Marching Party" one night for too many demerits. Fun and scary times.

Only one marching party? I can not remember how many I did/ I think it was every night mostly.


James, I was at NTC RTC San Diego Nov 76 CO 006 Georgiani. We were trained esentially as a unit with the Royal Saudis.  Intersesting to see that the Irainians were also brought there. There is a declassified document on the net stating that President Ford, made an agreement with the Saudi Goverment to send troop to San Diego and allow them to be trained as esssntailly a unit with them. The goal was to inprove the Saudi command of the English language, allow cross cultural understanding, and provide the basis of the  Royal Saudi Navy. I under stand the US provided Ships to Saudi Arabia after. I spent a lot of time with these guys. There was an incident were on of the Saudis was according to one source, clubed over the head, but I remeber being suddenly marched out after he droped his rifle in front of us while in first order rilfe drill. On our return a few minutes later there was blood all over the wall, enough to convince me and my mates he had been killed. The Saudi trainees said he was killed too.for insulting their father the king.

James, it is interesting you have your class picture, we of 006 was never provided with such,. There is no copy of the year book for us eighter that is findable.



Hello shipmate! We were both there at the same time. I started on July 20th, 1977 and left after apprentice training on  - September 30th, 1977 (38 years ago TODAY!), which ironically, was the same day my Brother started boot camp there. I was in company 184 just behind you. We probably graduated on the same day.

I think it took me about three weeks just to adjust to that kind of lifestyle and the culture shock really hit hard. My Dad was an Army Ranger in World War II, so I was raised in a strict military-style environment all my life - even had a regular crew cut until I finally rebelled at around age 13. But this was something completely different. People yelling at us constantly and threatening us with bodily harm. I vividly remember the feeling of being trapped and feeling completely helpless to do anything about it. But those feelings soon passed as we started to bond as shipmates and brothers and realized that we were all in this together. 

The training was fast-paced and intense and there was so much to learn and remember. I still have my notes detailing exactly how to fold my underwear "up to and touching". I never knew it then, but soon came to realize how important "attention to detail" would be throughout my Navy career. There was a reason for everything we did. But as a short, skinny, introverted and naïve seventeen year old kid, I didn't have a clue then. The Navy sure broke us down, but then built us back up and molded us into United States Navy Sailors. I went from a boy to a man in eight weeks and I don't regret a single minute of it.

Some of my vivid memories are of our first haircut. I remember hanging out with about five guys who flew in with me on the plane. We hung out for days together as the company was forming up and became good friends. But after we got our first haircuts, we couldn't recognize each other. Any of us! We had to go around and re-introduce ourselves because most of us came in with long hair, mustaches and beards and now everyone was bald and clean shaven.

Back in July and August of 1977, it was hot. Really hot. And spending hours and hours marching in the hot sun burnt the hell out of our virgin ears. If you came to boot camp with long hair, as most of us did in the '70's, your ears weren't used to sun exposure. So the tops of our ears blistered really bad in the hot southern California sun. I remember waking up in the morning and finding that my ear was stuck to my pillow and I had to peel it off, leaving some skin and yellow puss behind. It hurt like hell and you just had to deal with it. We didn't dare tell anyone we had problems or that we were sick. If you did, you got a trip to sick bay, but then you had to hobble along behind the company with the "sick, lame and lazy." No way they were putting that label on me. Eventually the ears healed up. Crazy...the things you remember.

Learning how to march as a company was another interesting task. I guess I was one of the lucky ones having spent a couple of years in marching band in High School, so it didn't take me long to pick it up. However, as a company we were in trouble. There's always a Gomer Pyle in every company that doesn't know his left from his right - and we sure had ours! To this day, I still remember his name, but I'll refrain from using it. Needless to say, we ALL paid the price for his errors!

How about mustering at 0' dark-thirty outside your barracks and then marching over to the grinder to stand there forever looking up at the moon until your company got called to chow. Then marching over to the chow hall and waiting in line to go in. We only had so much time to eat, and the tall people who were in the front of the company got to go in first. By the time us short people went in, grabbed our powdered eggs and whatever else we could pile on our trays, and took a few precious bites, it was time to go.

My Company Commanders were tough cookies. One was an aviation Chief who reminded me of Louis Gossett Jr. in "An Officer and a Gentleman", except this guy had a loud, deep gravely voice and the whites of his eyes were always red! He instilled complete fear in us and you didn't ever want to get called on the carpet in front of this guy. Unfortunately, I had my turn and it wasn't pretty. We had a surprise locker inspection one day about five weeks into boot camp. Apparently we pissed the Chief off and everything in our lockers was thrown onto our racks. He went through everyone's stuff with a fine tooth comb. When he got to my stuff, he unraveled all my shirts and socks and then came to my seabag which he turned inside out. Uh oh! I was in big trouble! I completely forgot that I had stashed a green button-up shirt in the bottom of my seabag on day one, just in case I ever needed to escape from this prison. And here it was dumped out of my seabag onto my rack for all to see. You could've heard a pin drop as all eyes (even the ones that were supposed to be looking straight ahead) turned to look. "What in the F---ing holy s--t is this civilian shirt doing in my barracks!!!!!!," exclaimed my CC. Are you f---ing kidding me?? Yowsanhetrapentbreakinnecksheezdeadkillboot!!!!!! Is all I heard for the next ten minutes. I might have been a young naïve kid, but I had huge brass balls!! Needless to say, I spent the entire next night on the grinder with a rifle working out with the Navy Seals until the sun came up. Almost killed me! I never saw that shirt again, which sucked, because that was my favorite shirt! How I managed to only do one "Marching Party" while I was there, is beyond me. There was another punishment called "Short Tour". Anyone remember that?  Supposedly that was more intense.

During the time I was there, we had an intruder sneak onto the base and he was beating up the roving patrols at night. Beat some of them really bad. So we doubled the outside patrols and inside we had two watches at each end of the barracks and one rover - just in case this guy ever showed up. Apparently he was a disgruntled ex-marine or sailor and was pissed off at being kicked out of the service so he decided to get some revenge by beating up boots. They said he had a beard and was possibly living in some abandoned barracks, but they couldn't find him. One night, after we were all sound asleep, we heard a huge scream and a bunch of yelling and running around. When the lights came on, we could see blood spattered all over the door at one end of the barracks. Everyone was freaking out! Then after some investigation, we found out that one of our guys had a nightmare, screamed, and fell out of his rack hitting his head on the corner of his steel locker. Then he ran, half-asleep, smack dab into the door splattering blood everywhere. Everyone thought the intruder came in and shot someone! Talk about intense! It's a good thing that we closed both of the doors at night, because if our shipmate hadn't hit the door, he would've gone flying off the third floor balcony. Before the intruder came, we always left the doors open at night. He was extremely lucky that night! I don't know what ever happened to the intruder. I think they may have caught him or he may have just left on his own.

During "hell week" I worked in the bakery. It wasn't too bad. Throughout the day, I would always push the pastry carts down a long p-way to the galley. One day as I passed another sailor, we kind of just kept glancing at each other as we passed. The next day I saw him again and as we slowly passed each other, we kept looking back. Something was familiar with this guy, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then as we both reached the end of the long p-way, still staring at each other, he yells out, "Bill?" And I'm like, "Yeah!" And then it hit me. "Mark?" And he says "Yeah!" and we ran back and met in the middle of the pway. He was a friend from Jr. High and High School and I'd known him for years (with long hair) and I didn't even recognize him. I had no idea he was even in the Navy! It sure was good to see a familiar face!

As a young seventeen year old from Colorado, I'd never even seen the ocean. We attended some classes on the third floor of a building and the view was incredible! One thing I do remember, is how mesmerized I was watching the ships pulling in and out of San Diego Harbor. I'd never seen anything so immensely large moving behind the city skyline. They looked so close! My "wow" button was on overtime! I couldn't wait to actually go aboard a ship and to actually be part of a ships crew!

When it came time for graduation, we were ready. Right before graduation, our company commanders came and told us how proud of us they were, even though we hadn't won any stars or fancy doodads to go on our flag. That was a real shocker! It didn't matter. We had come a long way and made huge strides - and they saw it. It made the whole grueling two months worthwhile just to hear that. And during the last week, they were actually pretty nice and civil to us. It was sad seeing your buddies hop on a bus heading off to the airport. I knew that I would never see 99% of them ever again. And I was right. I never did. But I will always remember those guys and always have those great memories of the time we spent together - all of us trying to become top-notch sailors - at Naval Training Center San Diego in the Summer of 1977.


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