NS Great Lakes Community
A Family Matter
Story by PO1 Caitlyn Strader on 05/22/2019
TRENTON, ME To those that serve in the United States Navy, your shipmates are family. However, for Hannah Craig, 22, and Cameron Cole, 18, that term is quite literal as the siblings both enlisted to join the Navy.
For Hannah, her brother enlisting was a catalyst to get her to join, “about a year previously I had tried to enlist in another branch, but for one reason or another it didn’t work out.” She continued by saying, “I told him [Cameron] to contact his recruiter, tell him my situation, and see if he would be able to work with me. Three weeks later, I also enlisted.”
Cameron’s a strong family connection helped cement the decision to join, “I have had family in the service, more specifically an uncle who retired from the Navy a couple of years ago.” After witnessing his uncle retire in Norfolk, VA, he was given a tour of the base, “something just clicked in my head telling me this is what I want to do.'” Cameron was also drawn to the Navy for its vast career options, “[the Navy] has something for everyone. You can work on a ship or on shore; you can patrol the waters, and work on a flight deck. Whatever you want to do, the Navy has it.” Cameron joined the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in February and Hannah joined three weeks later.
Hannah hopes that by being a little older she comes into boot camp with an open set of eyes to the process, “I understand that when the RDC’s are yelling at us or working us because we messed up, it is absolutely nothing personal. They are there to help us grow not only as individuals, but as a team.”
Hannah shipped to Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, IL on April 29, 2019 and is projected to graduate in June. Upon completion of RTC, she will then attend Intelligence Specialist (IS) “A School” in Dam Neck, VA. Cameron will ship to RTC July 11, 2019 upon completing high school. After graduating RTC, he will stay in Great Lakes, IL to attend Advanced Electronics/Computer Field (AECF) “A School.”
Both siblings hope to make a career out of the Navy and eventually earn the title of Chief, E-7, before retiring. Hannah is ready to work to accomplish this task, “I know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the job, but I look at life from the perspective that you can’t do the exact same thing twice and expect a change. It takes hard work.”
New England covers over 93,500 square miles encompassing the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Eastern half of New York. Headquartered out of Boston, Massachusetts the command has more than 37 recruiting stations, 8 Navy Operation Support Centers, 4 Military Entrance Processing Stations, and maintains two stations overseas at Kaiserslautern, Germany and Naples, Italy covering the entire territory of Europe, Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
The Navy’s recruiting force totals over 6,100 personnel in more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the globe. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the country.