Port Gibson native serves the Navy as an instructor with the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC)

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Sailors are some of the most highly trained people on the planet and this training begins at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, otherwise known as boot camp.

Every enlisted sailor starts their Navy journey at boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL), Ill.

Petty Officer 1st Class Bobby Bailey, a native of Port Gibson, is currently stationed at NSGL as an instructor with the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).

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Bailey, a 2010 graduate of Port Gibson High School, joined the Navy eight years ago.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something greater than myself and to gain access to experiences and opportunities that would shape me into a better person,” Bailey said.

Bailey added that skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Port Gibson.

“Growing up, I learned that having discipline, dedication and a strong desire to be the very best that you can go a long way in life,” he said.

During the 10 weeks at RTC Great Lakes, sailors learn five warfighting competencies: firefighting; damage control; seamanship; watchstanding; and small arms marksmanship.

NSGL is the Navy’s largest training installation and the home of the Navy’s only boot camp.

Located on more than 1,600 acres overlooking Lake Michigan, the installation includes 1,153 buildings with 39 on the National Register of Historic Places.
NSGL supports more than 50 tenant commands and elements as well as more than 20,000 sailors, Marines, soldiers and Department of Defense civilians who live and work on the installation.

The two commands at NETC are Surface Warfare Engineering School Command Great Lakes (SWESC GL) and Surface Combat Systems Training Command Great Lakes (SCSTC GL).

Every surface Navy engineer, quartermaster, boatswain’s mate and deck seaman attends SWESC GL for technical training.
Instructors at SCSTC GL strive to provide a culture of excellence and warrior toughness by building a surface warrior mindset to complement the technical and tactical skillsets, Navy officials said.

“I enjoy watching sailors grasp the concepts of the information I teach,” Bailey said. “I have confidence that the future of the Navy is in great hands because they were taught how to do things the correct way and take that knowledge to the fleet and be great sailors.”

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.

“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Adm. Lisa Franchetti, chief of naval operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”

Bailey said he serves a Navy that operates forward, around the world and around the clock, promoting the nation’s prosperity and security.

“Serving in the Navy is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience,” Bailey added. “To take people from all walks of life and come together to accomplish a common goal is what our country is all about.”

Bailey said he is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career/career in the civil service possible.

“The person I have become in the Navy can be attributed to the way I was raised by my parents. I was taught to be goal-oriented, respectful and the very best at whatever I do.”