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    Chief of Chaplains congratulates Navy's newest Sailors to graduate Recruit Training Command

    Capping ceremony

    Photo By Brian Walsh | 151023-N-BN978-668 GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 23, 2015) Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben,...... read more read more



    Story by Christianne Witten 

    Navy Chaplain Corps

    Great Lakes, Ill. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben, chief of chaplains, visited Recruit Training Command (RTC), Great Lakes, to attend a recruit Pass-In-Review while serving as the ceremony's reviewing officer, Oct. 23.

    RTC, the Navy's only boot camp, graduated 772 Sailors from nine divisions and was attended by more than 3,000 family members and friends of the recruits from across the United States. Kibben was joined by other staff including Rear Adm. Stephen Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command, and Capt. Doug Pfeifle, commanding officer, Recruit Training Command.

    Kibben began the morning by having breakfast with recruits at the USS Triton.

    Next, she toured Battle Stations 21 (BST-21), a 12-hour test of a recruit's skills in several shipboard scenarios, including firefighting, combating flooding and transporting casualties. The test is held on board the 210-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer replica, the USS Trayer, the Navy's largest simulator.

    Kibben also observed a capping ceremony, the culmination of eight weeks of training by recruits. Recruits change their "recruit" ball cap for their new "Navy" ball cap to signify the transition from Recruit to U.S. Navy Sailor.

    After Kibben watched the recruits navigate and complete the challenges in BST-21, she congratulated them and welcomed them as Sailors.

    "After spending a little time here, you can't help but be inspired by America's youth. These young men and women are willing to dedicate their lives to give back to their country," said Kibben. "To see these recruits come together after eight weeks of developing teamwork and congeal into a unit is incredibly inspiring."

    During the pass-in-review ceremony, Kibben addressed the graduating Sailors and had a special message for the guests in attendance.

    "Your Sailor probably looks a bit different to you. Perhaps more slender or more muscular, more poised and somewhat relieved that this part of the journey is now over," said Kibben. "All of them can follow orders, know how to make their beds, shine their boots, and prepare their uniforms - all before sunrise," she quipped. "For your tireless support of these recruits throughout their lives, but especially in these last eight weeks, we are truly grateful. We now welcome you into the Navy Family," Kibben added.

    The chaplain staff at RTC, the largest in the Navy, also welcomed Kibben and was honored to host the senior leader of the Chaplain Corps.

    "I thought her speech revealed a pastor's heart. While it was humorous, it really cut right down to where moms and dads were. She really struck a chord with the guests," said Lt. Cmdr. Richard Townes, a Navy chaplain assigned to RTC.

    This was Kibben's first time participating in the recruit graduation since assuming her duties as the 26th chief of Navy chaplains on Aug. 1, 2014. Kibben was also part of the award presentation for 15 honor graduates who graduated at the top of their training group.

    Reflecting on the extreme talent present in the graduating class, Kibben shared, "The Navy really has received the best that America has to offer and is in a much better place because of it."

    (This story was originally published on www.navy.mil by Susan Krawczyk, Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes Public Affairs)

    For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/.



    Date Taken: 10.23.2015
    Date Posted: 10.29.2015 10:25
    Story ID: 180315
    Location: GREAT LAKES, IL, US 

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