NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. — Battle Stations, the grueling 12-hour simulation that all enlisted members of the United States Navy must complete before graduating recruit training, is undergoing a major overhaul, according to sources.
Gone are the simulated missile attacks, mass casualties, and shipboard fires, the hallmark of Cold War training, sources say. Instead recruits will now face challenges more suitable to the 21st Century threat environment: sexual harassment training; drug and alcohol response; and leadership more worried about covering asses than using common sense.
According to Lt. Matt Comer, spokesman for Naval Service Training Command at Great Lakes, crises recruits will face include many things. "For instance, a man overboard drill when someone tosses away a chemlight. Simultaneously, sailors will be tasked with sorting over 500 pounds of trash into metal, plastic, and paper."
"To turn up the heat," Comer continued, "damage control teams will have to clear smoke from the galley when someone accidentally burns a bagel. Officers will then order a command-wide urinalysis." Comer says the grueling test ends when all recruits attend the reenlistment ceremony of Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph R. Navy, during which their division will be unknowingly reenlisted for an additional four years.
Since 2007, Battle Stations has been held in a replica of an Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer USS Trayer (BST-21). The test is meant to simulate the shipboard experience in a wartime situation.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert told Duffel Blog, "I'm proud of the changes. Today's Navy no longer has to contend with capable foreign naval forces. However issues such as retention, drug and alcohol related incidents and environmental sustainability need to be at the forefront of today's sailors' skillsets. The changes to Battle Stations truly reflect the mission of the 21st Century Sailor."
So far the changes have been positively received.
"I'm excited," Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Albert Jensen, a Recruit Division Commander, claimed, "I've never endured a missile attack. But being jolted awake at 0300 to muster when some idiot decided to toss a chemlight into the water is something that occurs on a daily basis out to sea."