News: Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center sponsors second Recruit Division
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class James Brown
By OSCM Tarrance Holcombe
Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For the second straight year Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC), Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, sponsored a recruit division at Recruit Training Center (RTC) Great Lakes, Ill., as a part of the recruit division sponsorship program. Division 158 convened February 25, 2013, and 73 recruits graduated April 26, 2013.
ECRC's sponsorship began once Division 158 was presented with the ECRC command pennant by Master Chief Operations Specialist Tarrance Holcombe during the division's commissioning. The pennant, which is emblazoned with the ECRC credo, “Nauta Primoris,” represents the ECRC mission of putting ‘Sailors First’. Master Chief Holcombe and two of ECRC’s finest junior Sailors traveled to Recruit Training Command (RTC), Great Lakes during the division's final week of Basic Training, participating in Captain's Cup, Divisional Pride Run, and in-ship training.
"This was another great opportunity to convey the meaning of ‘Nauta Primoris’ to the Navy's newest and brightest sailors," Holcombe said. "This was a very humbling experience. As I get closer to the end of my time, I am proud to know that my relief is being properly trained and readied to perform in the most powerful and diverse Navy in the world. These young men and women have taken hold of this new experience while bringing fresh energy and innovation."
During the sponsorship, ECRC sailors provided the recruits with guidance and motivation as they observed their Captain's Cup event and divisional Pride Run. During the final night of Basic Training, the recruits were joined by Capt. Eric Jabs, Commanding Officer, ECRC, the guest of honor for the graduating divisions of Training Group 24. ECRC's Command Master Chief Steven Timmons accompanied Jabs for pizza night before graduation the following day.
"I was very proud to have our pennant flying from their guidon," Jabs said. "It was also a charge to see how extensive their training is, plus how good battle stations is now--it's so realistic! The whole effort has really shaped my perspective on how we as a Navy prepare our new recruits. Finally, the enthusiasm of hundreds of families for these recruits to now be a part of the world's finest Navy was invigorating! You leave that graduation ceremony pumped up to be a sailor!"
Recruit Division 158 sailors said the sponsorship inspired and motivated them during their time in "boot camp."
"ECRC topped off my experience during recruit training. They were motivated and honest," said Seaman Richard Okpani. "I learned the three (3) basic expectations of a Sailor: (1) Be on time; (2) Be respectful (don't be bashful); and (3) Always wear a sharp uniform. The rest will follow. "
Sailors from the sponsored Recruit Division 158 are continuing their naval training at various schools across the nation and soon will be joining their fellow sailors in the fleet.