Recruit Performance Divisions Return to RTC’s Pass-In-Review: Triple Threat

30 August 2021

From Aviation Structural Mechanic Second Class Dewaylon Wilson, Recruit Training Command

GREAT LAKES (NNS) - Recruit Training Command (RTC) returned to in-person guest attendance at graduation Aug. 13, 2021, for the first time in 17 months, and with that came the return of performing divisions, sometimes better known as 900 divisions.

Performing divisions are comprised of recruits in training who were selected upon arrival to boot camp to assist graduations. They are divided into staff divisions, state flag divisions, and triple threat divisions, which is comprised of the band, choir, and drill team.

The triple threat is unlike any other division with natural talent just waiting to be put on display.

“The best part about triple threat is seeing the pure talent that comes here to us,” said Hull Technician 1st Class Anthony McGinley. “With the musicians, the vocalists, and the armed drill team, there is rarely a moment with triple threat where at least one of these three units doesn’t ‘wow’ you with what they can do.”

Screening the incoming recruits can be challenging at times because the level of talent received is truly unknown.

“Sometimes we get recruits that are phenomenal in playing an instrument or they have an outstanding voice, or can spin the rifle like no one else,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Erik Jenson. “However, there is always a risk that you may not get any of those qualities at all.”

 Once the screening process has been conducted, RTC staff members start to populate divisions. The triple threat division consists of the choir – instructed by Alan Miller; the band – directed by Chief Musician Brandon Barbee; and the drill team – taught by McGinley. Each part of triple threat is so important that they are taught by experts in each field.  

 “There is so much put into triple threat that trying to put it in words wouldn’t do it justice,” said Jenson.

 The growth of the triple threat divisions from their day of arrival to the day they graduate does not go unnoticed.

“The most rewarding aspect comes twice per division,” said McGinley. “After the first performance you see how happy and proud they are about the show they just put on. Then, you see them again at their own graduation after they have worked hard on perfecting their performance. It’s a special kind of appreciation some of which I will never forget.”

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, Seamanship, firearm, 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 the Navy's only boot camp.

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