“O Captain! My Captain ! Our fearful trip is done, the ship has weathered every rock, the prize we sought is won, the port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting.” Walt Whitman
These are the last few days of what will probably be the most transformative experience of your life. As I write this you are probably sitting on a bench with your unit, gas masks on, preparing to experience what you hope you never have to go through in real life. When you get this you will be preparing to experience your graduation, a moment in your life that will never be repeated. Relish it, you have worked hard to get to this place.
Seize this day, because it will be a unique one in your life. The port is near, you are almost a sailor in the US Navy, the most powerful and respected Navy in the world. You have weathered the rocks of the last few weeks and the prize you sought is within reach! Take a moment to appreciate your accomplishment son. Appreciate that for every 100 SR’s that come in the doors, only about 84 of them leave as sailors. It’s important to stop and recognize milestones in your life, and this is certainly a big one.
Even though it is a milestone, it is only a waypoint on your journey. As you navigate through your life you are going to look back and see moments where you paused and the direction changed a bit. Your next big one is graduation from “A” school and then you are off to the fleet. Attack “A” school with the same vigor as you hit bootcamp and you are sure to be a success. Find ways to excel and rise above your peers and show those up the chain that you are self motivated and a man of integrity. Small things can impact your career in a big way. (I always picture you stealing moments to get in a few clandestine pushups.)
At the end of these letters, I want to share one more piece of advice. And as you travel the world, it might just be one of the most important to remember: No matter where you travel, it is widely accepted that some of the most beautiful women in the world are Thai teenager boys. Advance carefully.