What is Navy Boot Camp? (with pictures) (2023)

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What is Navy Boot Camp? (with pictures) (1)

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon Last Modified Date: July 25, 2023

Navy boot camp is a training program that is designed to prepare people for service in the Navy. Depending on where one is training, the format of Navy boot camp can vary. As a general rule, the goal is to bring new enlistees up to a basic standard of physical fitness while providing them with a grounding in Naval procedures, protocol, and values. After boot camp, enlistees either attend an officer candidate school to train as officers or a program such as a school in the United States Navy to learn their jobs.

Before people attend Navy boot camp, they meet with a recruiter to fill out enlistment paperwork. They are sent through a battery of tests including physical and psychological evaluations to confirm that they are fit for service. Aptitude tests are also given for the purpose of job placement. With this aspect of the enlistment process over, new enlistees can be dispatched to boot camp, where classes of new recruits are processed and trained together.

Specialized training, such as that needed to serve aboard a submarine, occurs after a sailor graduates from boot camp.

At Navy boot camp, people spend time in physical fitness classes including swimming classes. They are also in the classroom, learning about the history of the Navy, the chain of command in the military, and the standards of behavior expected of people in military service. Every aspect of boot camp, from the barracks where people sleep to the marches on the parade ground, is designed to prepare people for the rigors of service while also providing them with valuable skills.

The Navy has ships positioned in waters around the world.

People can fail Navy boot camp for a number of reasons. Behavior violations that indicate someone is a poor fit with the Navy for reasons of morals or values can result in expulsion. Likewise, if people do not pass the periodic physical tests required of recruits, they can be sent home. Most people prepare ahead of time by engaging in a fitness program before they go to boot camp so that they will be ready, and it is also common practice to read up on procedures, protocols, and regulations before attending.

The rigors of boot camp are infamous. Many people are nervous about going to Navy boot camp. Recruiters can provide people with advice and information, including guides to help people prepare. Current members of the Navy can also share details about their time in boot camp. Online, there are a number of communities of current and former military members that offer support and assistance to each other, as well as people who are considering military service.

What is Navy Boot Camp? (with pictures) (5)
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced theexciting challenge of being a UnitedStatesNow researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College andspends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

What is Navy Boot Camp? (with pictures) (6)
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced theexciting challenge of being a UnitedStatesNow researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College andspends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


It can make or break you. It broke me in 1975. I wasn't ready emotionally and was very immature. I got caught sleepwalking so I used it as an excuse to get out. It's the worst decision I ever made and I have regretted it ever since. I lost an opportunity to grow up. Instead, I went home and became a drunk.


What is the best way for someone to learn what Navy boot camp is really like? My son is thinking about joining the Navy, and I want him to really know what to expect.

I think there are several kids who join the military because they aren't quite sure what they want to do with their lives. This isn't a bad thing, but I think they should be prepared before they sign up.

I do think the structure of the Navy boot camp schedule would be a positive thing for my son. This is an area that he could really use some discipline in. Other than that, I really don't know much about it.

If someone were to ask me what is Navy boot camp like, I wouldn't know what to tell them.


After high school my nephew didn't know what he wanted to do and decided to sign up for the Navy. We were all surprised by this decision as it was something he had never talked about before.

Unfortunately this didn't work out so well for him, and he never made it to Navy boot camp graduation. He had a hard time consistently following all the rules and emotionally wasn't ready for this change.

After one particularly frustrating day, he left base and went in to Chicago without permission. He ended up being pick pocketed while in the city, and lost all of his identification.

Needless to say, when he got back to base and didn't have any identification, it wasn't hard for them to figure out what happened.

He found out the hard way this wasn't the place for him. There are many ways you can learn how to prepare for Navy boot camp, but if you aren't ready emotionally, I think it would be a long road.

One of my son's friends enlisted in the Navy and she began preparing for Navy boot camp. She was in good physical shape, but worked on increasing the intensity of her workouts.

When she was home for her first break, I had the chance to ask her how things were going. She said the physical part of boot camp was not nearly as tough as she thought it would be.

The hardest part for her was sleeping in the barracks and living in such close quarters with so many other people. She grew up with one brother who was several years older than her.

Living in the barracks, and the lack of personal privacy was really hard for her. She knew it would be tough before she went, and also knew she just had to get through it.


@MrsWinslow - I haven't heard that, but it could be true for the military, I guess. In my experience, "boot camp" is used colloquially for all the branches' different basic training - while "basic training" is generally the "official" name, I suppose.

I heard something interesting about Navy boot camp in particular. A young woman I knew from high school enlisted in the Navy out of high school because she didn't have money for college, but she was very bright and her superiors convinced her to apply to Annapolis. Well, she got in, so she had to attend basic training all over again with her class of cadets. She was twenty-one by then, so older than the others. At any rate, she said that it was hard not to *laugh* the second time! I guess it's one of those things that you can really only experience once.


I was interested to see that this article refers to Navy "boot camp." My understanding was that the term "boot camp" actually referred specifically to the basic training undergone by Marines, while what they do in other branches of the service is "basic training."

A niece of mine is considering the military for after high school, and we're trying to get our terminology right!

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    What is Navy Boot Camp? (with pictures)? ›

    The first week also will be filled with conditioning, swimming, marching, drilling and, most importantly, attending Navy classes. Everything you do from this point on is designed to prepare you for what lies ahead. You will push your physical limits and achieve higher performance levels than you ever thought possible.

    What do they do in Navy bootcamp? ›

    Navy basic training consists of physical conditioning, physical testing, academic testing, and a healthy dose of in-classroom learning.

    How long is boot camp for the Navy? ›

    How long is Navy boot camp? Within the past year the length of U.S. Navy basic military training (BMT) has been extended from eight weeks to ten. “We've added more leadership and professional development to the basic training toolkit, which sailors can rely on throughout their careers,” said Rear Adm.

    How easy is Navy boot camp? ›

    The training is rigorous and demanding. And once you finish, it's something to be proud of. Here's what to expect throughout the 7- to 9-week schedule. There's a good chance that your most stressful week of Basic Training is Processing Week.

    Do I keep my phone in Navy boot camp? ›

    A. After recruits arrive, all cell phones are boxed up with their personal belongings and stored locally, to be returned to the recruit the day before graduation. From that moment on, the primary means to communicate with a recruit will be through the mail.

    What's the hardest part of Navy boot camp? ›

    Five Hardest Things About Boot Camp
    • Receiving.
    • Missing Home.
    • Lack of Sleep.
    • Hunger.
    • The Crucible.
    Jan 17, 2022

    How much does Navy bootcamp pay? ›

    As of Aug 14, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Navy Training in the United States is $21.44 an hour.

    Do you go home after Navy boot camp? ›

    Do Sailors Get Leave After Navy Boot Camp? After Navy boot-camp graduation, sailors will not be given leave and are required to travel to their next training location, A School. There are many locations for Navy A School, and not all sailors will go to the same school.

    What happens immediately after Navy boot camp? ›

    After Pass-in-Review (PIR), your graduation ceremony, you'll be sent to Navy A school. Ascension training, or A school, is where you'll learn the specific skills needed for your job in the Navy. The length of A school varies depending on your job, but it can vary between 6 weeks to two years, depending on your rating.

    How long are you home after Navy boot camp? ›

    After Navy boot camp, you attend a naval accession school for technical training. There's no leave until you graduate from "A school" training. After graduation, most sailors get 10 days of leave.

    Do you get paid in Navy boot camp? ›

    Yes, your pay starts the day you get to boot camp. Newly enlisted Sailors start out at the E-1 pay grade, but there are exceptions. You may also be eligible for additional bonuses and allowances. Talk to a recruiter for more information.

    Can you quit boot camp Navy? ›

    Getting Out During Boot Camp

    But at the end of the day, you can quit military service without graduating from boot camp and go back home like nothing happened. The caveat here is that those who choose this route are NOT veterans, do not qualify for veteran benefits, and are not viewed to have served at all.

    Do you have to swim in the Navy? ›

    Whether you're a skilled swimmer or have never swum a stroke, you're welcome in the Navy. Part of Navy boot camp is the swim test. Many Sailors join the Navy without knowing how to swim, but instructors at boot camp are trained to teach you everything you'll need to know before the test.

    Do you get Sundays off in Basic Training? ›

    Unlike high school or college, where you may have been in class and studying around six hours a day, the Army trains for about 12-14 hours a day, six days a week. You'll come to love Sundays, unless you've managed to "earn" some extra-duty time during the week.

    Do you make friends in boot camp? ›

    You'll get a lot of chances to make friends at boot camp. Keep an open mind, respect others, and be kind. Last but not least, remember that you're not alone and that both your fellow recruits and instructors are there to support you.

    Do you get to go home after Basic Training? ›

    Soldiers are not given the opportunity to go home after basic training as most AIT school check-ins are required the day after basic training graduation. AIT schools Phase IV is usually three weeks long. It focuses on training soldiers in the values of the Army, and also starts a focus on their specific MOS skills.

    Is Navy bootcamp physically hard? ›

    Navy boot camp will be physically demanding, and it's important to be physically fit before you get to boot camp. You will not be able to begin your training at boot camp until you can pass the Initial Navy Fitness Assessment (IFA). Men and women have different standards that they must meet.

    How stressful is Navy boot camp? ›

    Boot camp is physically and emotionally demanding. The emotional demands involve extreme stress, fatigue, and the need to dig deep into one's self.

    How many times do you run in Navy bootcamp? ›

    Recruits train for one hour, six days a week. Training alternates between strength and conditioning exercises. How often you run may depend on your instructor's preferences, but you can expect to run at least once every two days. You may run the test distance of 1.5 miles, but some runs may cover 2 to 3 miles.


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