Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Navy ODS

Ah the fun of a journey back into military "basic training." It will be interesting to go through this training with members of several other Navy communities (medical, dental, legal, etc.). And I take comfort knowing that I will not be the oldest student in my ODS class.

Navy ODS Tips and Insights
Navy ODS Tips and Insights

Hey Ya'll! I just got out of Navy ODS and I'm here with some tips for you guys.

Things to bring:
unscented baby wipes (unless you like to smell like baby): you don't always have time to take a proper shower
those facial cleansing clothes that don't require water (see above)

iPod. They never specifially say you can use them, but they're fair game on weekends and evenings (well, evenings after the second week)

computer. Yeah, they say you can bring on on the website. There is PLENTY of storage space in YOUR room, locked up with YOUR lock. Bring it. You won't get internet access unless you're in wing 6, but it comes in handy, nonetheless.

watch. You won't be allowed to wear it until week 4 or 5, but you'll be glad you have it then.

Crappy glasses (if you wear them). You'll need crappy ones.

Contact lenses. At the very least, you'll want them for fire fighting and abaondon ship. They also make PT better. Nobody likes to run/do pushups with their glasses sliding down their noses!

Notebook. Scrap paper comes in very handy, and the last few weeks, you'll be allowed to carry it to class. Taking notes is a handy way to stay awake in power point hell. You'll understand when you get there.

Blanket. If you are in RI during anything except July and August, you'll want a blanket. They turn the heat off in the building because of the smell (remember the lack of proper showers?). The blankets you'll be issued are crap, plus you can't actually use them. You won't be sleeping in your bed. On it, maybe, but not in it. Bring a blanket, or buy a cheap on at the NEX when you get there.

Civilian clothes. Yeah. The website says to bring as few civvies as possible. Ignore that. Figure you'll have three weekends of liberty while you're there. That's Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday for three weekends. Pack accordingly.

Gel insoles. You'll be standing and walking pretty much 18 hours a day the first week or two. Then you'll be drilling for grad practice for HOURS at a time. Bring insoles. They'll save you.

Air freshener. Your room will need it.

Swiffer, and all swiffer-related items. You'll need them to clean your room. They place is ALWAYS dusty. You'll need them. There is a gear locker where you can check out items. These are at a premium, and you won't always have time to go all the way to the gear locker.

Books, if you like to read. I read more at ODS than I had in years. Bring reading material.

Playing cards. You'll have spare time, especially the last two weeks. Playing cards are a GREAT passtime, plus you get to socialize with your division. Use that iPod and the cool thing that turns it into a stereo. Good times.

Okay. I'll post more items to bring as I remember them. Here is the lowdown on what to expect the first few days.

You'll check in Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Enjoy these days. No one will yell at you. Leave the building. Use this opportunity to get to know your division. Go off base. You won't leave base again for three weeks. Enjoy it.

Monday: no one will yell at you this day, either. It's admin day. You'll be bored. Enjoy the boredom. Relish the boredom. You won't be bored again for a while.

Tuesday: it's go-time. They will tell you to be up and ready at 5am. It's really 4am. Be ready to go, IN YOUR ROOM by 0345. You won't regret it.

Make sure the people near the hall doors are comfortable with rank and recognition. Also, make sure somebody is posted there watching to see who's coming through the doors. You'll have to call "attention on deck," "chief on deck," ect all the time. You'll get dropped (pushups, punitive PT, etc) if somebody walks in and nobody calls it.

You'll be issued a water bottle. It will be with you AT ALL TIMES. They will try to trick you with this the first REAL day of training. They'll tell you to ground your bottle. Tell you it goes with you everywhere, then send you to your rooms to get something. TAKE YOUR BOTTLE WITH YOU!!! This is a trick. You may not get YOUR water bottle back if you don't take it to your room with you.

Know your left from your right. This is invaluable.

Learn how to iron.

Know how to do your own laundry.

Practice taking REALLY quick, REALLY cold showers.

Get used to having no privacy. The shower curtains...not large enough to cover most of...anything.

When you check into your room on the day you arrive, you'll notice a little green notebook on your desk. Take this notebook, and write in it:
you chain of command (located on one of the bulletin boards in your hallway)
11 general orders of a sentry
Sailor's creed
Anchor's aweigh (all verses)
Navy/USMC rank and recognition
This is your knowledge. Memorize it. You'll be expected to recite from memory at will ANY and ALL of this. Especially during uniform inspections.

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Stephen August 12, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

Stumbled across your blog after typing ODS into Google. Thanks for the tips...I head to ODS on Saturday.

B April 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM  

Is it marine or Navy DIs? After having been through marine boot camp, this will make a big difference in my eyes.

Greg April 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM  

Most likely a Navy Chief or Senior Chief. Don't stress over ODS. It's not that bad.

B April 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM  

Thanks for the reply. I'll prob be heading to ODS soon. Scheduling a time to go has been tough because of ordination requirements (the many hoops of the PC (USA)). Any other tips or suggestions would def be welcomed. You mentioned u weren't the oldest there. Whats the age range look like. I am 28, so would i be within the oldest or somewhere in the middle? Thanks, -B

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