Navy Veterans

A Social Network for Navy Veterans of the United States of America

Blue Jackets Choir, San Diego Recruit Training Command


Blue Jackets Choir, San Diego Recruit Training Command

Searching for all members of The Blue Jackets Choir while attending Boot Camp at San Diego RTC

Veterans: 48
Latest Activity: Apr 3

Discussion Forum

bluejacket choir 1967

Started by frank b. mccullough. Last reply by Thomas L Bateman Apr 3. 2 Replies

I saw the photo that John Vaclav posted and it really looked familiar.  Then I saw the date.I also graduated boot in Sept 67 but was in section 4, I believe one week behind John.  Anyway,am adding my…Continue

BJC Feb 1968

Started by frank reams. Last reply by Roy H. Scott Mar 31, 2018. 4 Replies

Greetings all.  I entered San Diego boot camp the last week of Jan 1968.  I moved into the BLJ they had not long retgurned from tge Hollywood trip where they recorded the record.  Does anyone have a…Continue

new to this group

Started by Rick Sullins. Last reply by L. Michael Barney Aug 8, 2015. 6 Replies

Glad we called it a choir back then... truly was ! I was in BJC in April/May 1969 ... Trying to find any recording of our voices from that time frame or in general from the 1960's or early 70's ...…Continue


Started by HARRY L RASMUSSEN JR. Last reply by William Mahodil Mar 18, 2010. 2 Replies

I was stationed at Fort Allen from Jan 1970 to Jan 1972 as a Radioman. It being somewhat of a small base one got to know most everyone. I remember that the chow hall was the tops at this base and…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Blue Jackets Choir, San Diego Recruit Training Command to add comments!

Comment by Steven Strehle on August 4, 2015 at 6:38pm

Louis E. Washington asked a question a while back about the BJC verse to the Navy Hymn.  Sorry, I have not checked this site in a while.  I still sing it in the shower, on occasion.  When we sang in front of the assembled parents, etc. at my graduation the RCPO tried to cut us off, but we sang the last verse anyway.

Fraternal Brother raise your song of pride and truth and friendship strong.

May God be with us as we sing the spirit of our Heavenly King.

Blue Jacket forever reign, and may God bless our glad refrain.  Amen.

Comment by Raymond Kozlowski on August 4, 2015 at 3:10pm

I was a member of the Blue Jacket Choir in a June of 1961 Naval Training Center San Diego California

Comment by Louis E. Washington on July 29, 2014 at 11:16am

Does anyone remember the words to the fourth verse of the Navy Hymn? I'm referring to the verse that was specific to the BJC. Obviously, this verse was added by the choir unit long after the hymn was published. My memory is that it started with the words: Fraternal Brother . . .  If anyone remembers and could share the complete verse, I would appreciate it.

Comment by William L Chessher on December 26, 2013 at 11:37am

My daughter gave me one of the best Xmas gifts I've ever received...a link to this site! I enlisted just before my high school graduation in May of 1964 and when I reached San Diego RTC was assigned to Rifle Company 330. As soon as I heard about auditions for the Blue Jacket I signed up, only to then face Farrold Stephens' icy glare as he pointed out that I needed to learn to control my vibrato if I expected to sing in his group!  To my surprise, I was accepted, and went on to enjoy boot camp far more than I expected too...and learned more about vocal performance in 3 months than ever before, or since.  Sadly, I never ran into any of my BJC shipmates during my remaining years of duty, (WestPac - South China Sea, with an HS4 detachment flying SAR missions off CVAs like the Ranger and the Enterprise), so I'm hoping to hear from some of them...maybe from somewhere down here in South Texas.

Comment by Barry Sherry on November 1, 2013 at 9:54am

I went to San Diego on 21 Sep 1973. I think it was Week 4 before we actively joined our units which was the time Dr. Williams was seeking a new recruit choir director. I was lucky because the search was limited to three classes at best, the newest three, so my competition didn't include Gary Goodlin, who was about four weeks ahead of me. Anyhow, he was a much better singer than I and it would have hurt the choir to have him direct. I directed the choir under Dr. Williams' guidance until graduation in December 1973. We had the usual three church services every Sunday, graduation every Friday, plus off-base functions at Balboa Park for Veterans' Day, a Chaplains' Christmas party in Mission Valley, and a Christmas show at Sea World. Not a bad way to spend boot camp.

Comment by Louis E. Washington on March 26, 2013 at 6:15am

@Marc Vellat - Marc, I checked my copy of The Anchor and found your picture! When I read your posting I realized that we would have overlapped with my coming in about one month behind you. You are pictured next to Wheeler, who I remember was known as the "King of 4050"!

Comment by Carl W. Robinson on March 20, 2013 at 9:28pm

I was in the Blue Jacket Choir from Oct 1973 until boot camp ended in January 1974. I was the Guide-on Bearer for the BJC.  I remember doing every graduation, and every Sunday we would sing for the services at the Chapel. 

After boot camp I attended Hospital Corps School in San Diego. My next set of orders sent me to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.  I really liked being at the Naval Hospital, and I learned so much from the doctors there.  In 1977 I won the Base Talent Contest playing guitar and singing.  They still have my name on a plaque at the theatre. I left the Navy in October 1977, but re-entered when they gave me the orders I wanted, Naval Hospital San Diego where I met my future wife, a civilian nurse.  She passed away in 2002, we had such a great time living in San Diego. I left the Navy in 1985, I was sent from Naval Hospital San Diego to the FMF school and then to Okinawa Japan for a year unaccompanied.  I came back and was at Medical Battalion teaching the M.E.D.I.C. program. I have worked in the Medical Field ever since, and played gigs all over San Diego, and for 18 years I played the Del Mar/ San Diego County Fair.  Great Memories!!

Comment by Marc Vellat on February 12, 2013 at 12:33am

Entered RTC San Diego 1/28/71 in Rifle Co. 4007, took the shot to join BJC in order to get 2 more weeks of shore duty - for the rest of my USN education, that 2 weeks' seniority made me the Section Leader in every class ;)

I'll never forget CC MR1 Krider (he said he mistrusted his own wife because she was a "SillyVillian"). More than half of us smoked cigarettes back then, and Krider disapproved (bad for the pipes, y'know). If we flubbed anything on a Preble ceremony he'd hoist the Bravo flag and we'd go through withdrawal for a few days as punishment.

Krider's personnel inspections were legendary. He was one sharp-looking sailor and pushed us all to rise to his standards. My shoeshine always passed his "3-finger test", where you could see the reflection of a hand held high above them...I owe that to some guys from the Phillipines in my rifle company who taught me the art of the spit-shine, in years to come it was often able to distract an inspector from my slightly-too-long haircut.

I marched my last Preble 1/5/71. As an atheist, i did barracks QM duty in Rifle Co. and Honor Guard in BJC to avoid the mandatory church services. Got the RTC Academic Award `cuz I'm really good at multiple-choice tests (I'm a TNS member based upon my Navy GCT/ARI scores) - I was constantly ribbed for it by Curt Miner (will never forget his grunting "HUT, HUT" cadence commands in Honor Guard). He called me "High-GCT"...although IIRC, his score was pretty close to mine, a point or two either way and he might've held that title.                                        

I went on to ET and Nuke schools (got an "outstanding" on almost every Personnel Inspection for the rest of my Naval career, thanks to Krider's obsessiveness). Became a Reactor Operator on SSBN626 and SSN680; ET1(SS) when discharged 1/26/78.

Living near Seattle now, just celebrated 30 years with wife #2, two fine grown children. I spent too much time in the Reactor Compartment and toasted my cartilage, for which I've suffered for the last 10-15 years. I've had 2 shoulders, 2 knees, and one hip (so far) replaced...recently took early retirement from USPS, hoping to get back into my classic Volkswagen hobby while I'm still able.

Comment by Henry Earl Lusk on July 18, 2012 at 10:30am

I also saw John Vaclav's photo and recalled some faces from long ago.  I was in Section 2, just ahead of him.  How strange does it seem, that we have three members from 3 consecutive sections out of 25 members?  I'll try to get my section photo scanned in.

Comment by Camburn Shephard on February 12, 2012 at 9:10pm

I have a toss up.  Our local choral group sang with the Winnipeg Symphony......that was quite an experience.  Handel's Messiah.


Jim:  I am sure you sang well, but rest assured, if you were as good as we were, your group was realllllllly good.



Veterans (47)


© 2020   Navy Vets, Inc. Created by Douglas Karr in accordance with regulations covering all websites which are not government websites, neither the United States Navy or the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this web site.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service