This is the 14th in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the letters.
Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 10 Jan 1970
I know it's about time I wrote. I'm sorry but I really haven't had the time. We only have about three hours each evening to get everything ready for the next day. I really don't know where the time goes except that it goes fast. I only have thirteen days left. It's hard to believe. We graduate on the 23 Jan 1970. I think I'm going to spend a day or so with one of the girls and then come on home. I'm not real sure yet though. Anyway, I wrote to Jack and told him I would be there the last weekend in January so I think he'll try to come home then too. I'll have to be back to my next duty station around the 6 Feb. I get fourteen days leave.
We got our orders yesterday. I will be going to Norfolk, Virginia for on the job training for Photographer's Mate. I think I'll like it.
My grades for last week were not as good as they have been or should have been . Mainly because I had a bad cold like everyone else. Actually, compared to everyone else I didn't do too bad. Only twelve people had averages above me. Bunk was 3.10, Locker 3.06, Cube 1.90, IO inspection 3.5, CC inspection 3.5 and average was 3.01 - the highest average in the company was only 3.25. We didn't have any academic tests because of service week last week. But we do get graded in service week for personal appearance, adaptability, military behavior, and performance. I got a 3.8 in all four areas, which is pretty good.
This weeks inspections have gone a lot better but I'm not sure what my scores were. We'll get them on Monday.
For Company 13 graduation, which was yesterday, I was an alternate in the Honor Guard. That is a part of each company in the regiment that is "inspected" by the reviewing officer which was Rear Admiral Cooper. Actually all he does is walk past you and maybe he glances at you. But anyway, it is one of Navy's many customs. The people chosen for Honor Guard had to pass inspection by 2/0 Sturgeon and if they didn't then an alternate would take her place. One of the girls didn't pass and as I was an alternate I was chosen to take her place. It is supposed to be an honor to do this but I didn't think it was anything special.
For the next graduation, which is Company 14, which is also me, I am to be the National Ensign Bearer. I will carry the flag throughout the ceremonies. This is really an honor. The person that carries the National Ensign cannot have any demerits. I only have next week to worry about and then I'm home free (excuse the phrase).
Each graduating company has an honor-woman to represent them. We had our first balloting last Monday. The top three people were then put on the next ballot for voting on Tuesday. Guess who was one of them. Me! I couldn't hardly believe it. Anyway we had the final vote on Tuesday but our CC hasn't told us the results as yet. We'll find out who is the honor-woman for company 14 sometime next week. Also, these three people are candidates for the American Spirit Honor Medal which is the highest award a recruit can receive during basic training. We all three will go before a reviewing board of RTC(W) officers. But every company does not have an American Spirit Honor Medal winner. Company 13 didn't have.
Last Saturday we went to Lancaster, Pa. It was fun. We didn't do too much except walk around and shop for lingerie which we were inspected for last Monday. There was a dance at the USO. They didn't have a band, just music via record player. Anyway it was fun.
This Saturday - make that next Saturday the 17th, we go to Washington, D. C. It will be a guided tour but it will be interesting and it will also be a chance to get out of the barracks because I don't think we'll get base liberty next weekend.
Tell Doug I'd be glad to sell him my car for what I owe on it. I'm not sure what that is now but I can find out real easy. Tell him to decide by the time I get home cause if you can't make payments on it I'll have to sell it to somebody. How I'll do it I don't know but I'll have to cause I sure can't afford it. Tell him to buy it!!
Have to go to mess now. Be back later... Hi again, I'm back. Boy is it ever cold out. We are actually wearing our wool slacks. They said it never gets cold enough around here to wear them but we're wearing 'em. I don't think it has gotten below zero yet but it's been close to it. To make matters worse the heating system hasn't been working very well so we freeze at night as well as during the day.
I probably won't have any time to write next week but I'll write again to let you know what I'm gonna do. We make travel arrangements next week. I'll see you in about two weeks or so. Tell everybody I said Hi.