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(This is the first grilling you’ll receive; on top of the weight of your disappointed parents, you have been sleep deprived for the past 36 hours.)

Getting denied head privileges by the Filipino Chief was my first taste of what was to come in the next few months. I was expecting some Full Metal Jacket type things, and I was getting a similar result.

The next couple of hours involved the new recruits going through gear issue. Everything that every recruit brings is put in a 1×2 box: this includes your phone, your wallet, any civilian clothes, and just anything that a recruit brings. Everything that made you who you are, as an individual, is taken and shipped back home. After exchanging personal items, I went with the rest of the recruits to get issued our basic uniforms and toiletry items.

There are 3 times in boot camp where you are issued gear. The first one includes very basic things:

x2 set of PT gear (work out clothes)

x7 white socks

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Nail Clippers

Sneakers (nicknamed “go fasters”)

Gillette Fusion Proglide 5

(Some other sh*t, there’s a lot of stuff)

We get gear issued to us, and while we wait for the rest of the recruits, we pack boxes full of the gear that was just issued to us to prep for the recruits behind us. We do this for almost an hour.

After that, we move to the barber, where we get our hair removed. Completely gone. To be honest, it was quite nice. As much as I love having a flow, having my head free of hair was quite liberating, to be honest. I did enjoy having my head look like a cue ball.

After all of this, we get brought into this big room where these Chiefs, Petty Officers, and Officers are waiting for all the recruits to show up. There’s about 150 recruits in this room by the time everyone arrives from gear issue. This event is known as the moment of truth.

The moment of truth weeds out any recruits who joined under false conditions; this could include lying about medical issues, conflicts with the law, or just lying about prior history in general. This setup gets intense. The moment of truth is meant to scare the living sh*t out of everyone. It definitely scared me.

“Who here is a scumbag?” The Chief at the front of the room said. “Who here is trying to join the US Navy as a criminal? We can look up any part of your medical record with the push of a button, and see your lies right away. Who here is a lying bastard that thinks they can enter this oath of service?”

The moment of truth. The staff will not stop interrogating the 150 recruits until a certain amount of people drop out. They will question everyone, and with the sleep deprivation in full effect, some of these guys already wanted out.

-Matt Cuartero

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