The Navy announced Friday that it has added a two-week boot camp to its eight weeks of basic training to provide recruits with leadership and life skills that reinforce “character development with a warfighting spirit.”
The boot camp also addresses suicide prevention and combat issues such as sexual assault, hazing and extremism, which have risen in recent years, the Associated Press reports.
“We’re telling our recruits … here are all of the things that we expect you to do, and here’s how we expect you to behave and act,” said Rear Adm. Jennifer Couture, according to the AP. She added that the training involves treating people with respect and holding peers accountable.
“We believe very strongly that those types of behaviors are directly impacting our fighting readiness and the performance of our sailors.”
The US military as a whole reported more than 20,000 instances of “unwanted sexual contact” in 2018, a 38 percent increase from the last report in 2016. Last week, the Navy relieved Cmdr. Richard Zamberlan and Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Lundberg of the Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery of duty “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command.”
While the Navy declined to release any more detail, a source told the San Diego Tribune they were let go in connection with the mishandling of a sexual harassment complaint on board. The Navy lost 66 active-duty sailors to suicide in 2020, with a suicide rate of 19.3 deaths per 100,000 service members.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AXIOS
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