Navy Launches Prep Course to Help Recruits Overcome Obstacles

US Navy | Apr. 19, 2023

By Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill.  - The Navy’s only boot camp, Recruit Training Command (RTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes launched the Future Sailor Preparatory Course (FSPC), physical fitness training pipeline, to help potential recruits meet or exceed Navy accession standards April 10, 2023.

Official Seal of the Department of the Navy

“The Future Sailor Preparatory Course is about building the complete person,” said Rear Adm. Jennifer Couture, commander, Naval Service Training Command, who oversees RTC. “The individuals who are participating have a sincere desire to serve their country. This course is about connecting their desire to serve with an opportunity to meet our standards while receiving life-skills training which will serve them throughout their career.”

Between 40-88 male future Sailors are participating in the initial pilot in April, with both female and male cohorts to follow this summer. The pilot course will provide physical fitness training along with nutritional and life skills course work for individuals who are up to 6% above accession training entry body-fat standards.

“The men and women we recruit to participate in this program have the desire and commitment to be Sailors,” said Rear Adm. Alexis “Lex” Walker, commander, Navy Recruiting Command. “FSPC is going to help our recruiters identify individuals who can be great assets to the fleet and give them the tools and the opportunities they need to excel.”  

Once selected, future Sailors will ship to RTC and participate in four days of in-processing. At this time, they will be enrolled in their FSPC division to begin the three-week training course.  At the conclusion of the three-week course, recruits who have met or measured below the Navy training entry body-fat standards will join a Basic Military Training division to continue their accession pipeline. Future Sailors who do not meet Navy standards will recycle through the course up to four additional times. Upon completion of the fourth iteration, recruits who are unable to meet Navy standards will be evaluated for continued service.

“Recruit Training Command is about turning civilians into Sailors, this program is just another avenue to accomplish that mission,” said Capt. Kertreck Brooks, commanding officer, Recruit Training Command. “FSPC allows us to fine tune our methods in order to help connect with citizens with the potential to serve, while maintaining the exacting standards we demand of our basically-trained Sailors.”

FSPC, modeled on the Army’s Future Soldier Preparatory Course, was developed to help mitigate societal trends that have reduced the available pool of citizens who meet Navy entry standards. As an all-volunteer force, the Navy depends on the citizenry to fill the ranks. Removing barriers and developing citizens with a desire to serve is a way to adjust to societal realities, without lowering standards.

Boot camp is approximately 10 weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. More than 40,000 recruits train annually at RTC and begin their Navy careers.

The NSTC commander, Rear Adm. Jennifer S. Couture, and her staff oversee 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. This includes Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) on Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NJROTC)/Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC).