N-FAQs 13 – Getting Kicked Out of Navy Boot Camp

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In this N-FAQs, I talk about what caused some guys from my boot camp division to get discharged and moved to other divisions.

Before we begin, I’d like to announce that starting February 1st 2011, everyone who sends me in a question that I use for an episode of N-FAQs will get a shout-out from me as well as a little link love to their YouTube page. If would prefer to remain anonymous, please say so in your message.

I’m starting this program so that I can give a little link love back to the community. Thanks guys!! Without further ado, let’s get right into this week’s question…


Hey Andy I have a question, I go to RTC in like 3 months and I’m confident for the most part, I can do all the physical stuff pushups, situps and the 1.5 mile. But I’m concerned about getting a minor injury at bootcamp and being sent home. Alot of deppers from my recruiting station have had this happen to them as of late and I don’t want that to happen to me, also I’ve heard of people getting booted for dumb reasons.

During a dep meeting about a month ago we had a recent A school grad doing recruiting assitance and he said one guy got sent home because he sold a cookie to someone….yeah apparently he was the chaplain’s assistant. Well I guess what my question is what are some of the reasons recruits were kicked out of your division and how many? And can you give me any tips on how to avoid getting kicked out? I really really really dont want to get kicked out.


Hey man, thanks for the email!

We had about 10-15 people get kicked out of our division for one reason or another, mostly due to medical or disciplinary reasons. However, only a couple of them actually got sent home.

For example, while we were getting beat (doing jumping jacks, eight-counts, etc), my section leader severely injured his right leg. He stayed with us for about two weeks after that, but ultimately, he couldn’t continue with us and was sent to Ship 06 for physical therapy in hopes that he would get better and be able to finish boot camp, but the injury was too much so he was medically discharged. The bright side is that he can reenlist a year after his discharge date if he’s fit for full duty.

Another example of people getting kicked out of our division that comes to mind is when we had four guys (two of them section leaders) get ASMO’d (set back in training) because they drew explicit material on people’s books. It was a seemingly innocent prank, but someone was so offended by it that he filed a sexual harassment complaint against them, so appropriate actions were taken. Before they left, they admitted to the division what they did and apologized.

Oddly enough, I caught my rackmate bringing back cookies from chow (he was a chaplain’s assistant too; small world). Initially, I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want him to be mad at me and label me a snitch, but I knew that it would only get worse so I told my Chief about it in private and he handled it accordingly. His increasingly bad behavior eventually got him ASMO’d and the last I heard about him was that he was discharged for malingering (faking an illness or injury, i.e. an ear infection). Although my rackmate hated me and called me a snitch, everyone else said that I did do the right thing and I think they began to respect me more after that.

Ultimately, your career in the Navy depends on you and your actions. If you take care of your shipmates and do what you’re told, then your RDCs will do anything they can to keep you with the division. If you think that this is just another job and only care about yourself and turn out a poor performance, then don’t expect your RDCs to help you out when you’re in trouble.

I remember when I failed my final PFA by 5 pushups. My Chief ran with me during the 1.5 mile run and although my time was abysmal (13:13), he saw that I was doing my best even though I had failed my PFA because of the pushups and gave me the chance to try again a couple of days later. I passed and even got a better run time as well (13:07).

When it comes to injuries in boot camp, it all depends on the extent of the injury. If it’s just some boot rash, don’t freak out about getting ASMO’d; just put some powder on it and you’ll be good to go! As I said before, if the injury is extensive enough that it’ll take more than two weeks to heal, then you’ll most likely be set back in training and possibly discharged. However, in most cases, you’ll be able to reenlist after a year’s time along with a clean bill of health.

Once again, thanks for the email and good luck!!

Thanks so much for all of the questions so far!! This is your show, now let’s keep up the great work! Hooyah!!