By Brian Walsh
Training Support Center Public Affairs
In addition to A School training where students learn their rates, Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes continue the sailorization process to prepare them for the Fleet.
Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) at TSC provide a wide range of activities meant to provide Sailors a full experience of what is expected from the U.S. Navy, including weekly after-hours training sessions covering a wide range of subjects.
"The Sailors we a responsible for are still new to the Navy," said NMTI Chief Fire Controlman Daniel Erickson, leading chief petty officer for Staff/Student Training Department at TSC. "Boot camp is the only exposure they have had to the Navy. While they are at TSC it is our goal to build a well-rounded Sailor. We want to provide the Fleet a Sailor that not only knows the basics of their rate, but also, understands our history, how to conduct themselves on and off duty, ways to stay healthy, and how to work as a team to prevent harm to come to their shipmates."
Topics range from military etiquette and courtesy, code of conduct, stress management, and career management to historical subjects such as the battle of Wake Island and Coral Sea.
"We communicate to the students that 'working out is only half the battle,'" NMTI LS1 Laurie Motley, coordinator for the Navy Military Training at TSC. "You also have to eat right in order to be in the best physical and mental shape in order to carry out the mission. What they eat will determine how they perform or feel mentally and physically,"
NMTI's make up approximately 80 percent of TSC's enlisted military staff and most of them are stationed full-time in ships (barracks) of up to 400 Sailors providing around-the-clock mentorship.
"Navy Military Training Instructors are responsible for mentoring a population of 4,000 (primarily 18 to 24-year-old) students. They provide guidance and encouragement to the students for them to make the right decision rather than the wrong one," said Mark Meskimen, commanding officer of TSC. "Not only are the NMTIs providing these students mentoring but they are providing them the necessary skills and training needed to be good Sailors both on and off duty.
TSC staff members also provide indoc classes for all incoming Sailors, routinely conduct inspections of living quarters and uniforms, overseeing watch standing, ensuring general health and wellness, upholding all Navy regulations and standards, and personifying Navy core values.
"Unlike the students last command, which was at Recruit Training Command, where they were isolated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the students now have some freedom and outside influences as they are allowed to go on liberty and to make those good decisions that have been etched into their daily routines," Meskimen said. "Our job here is to set them on a path to be a most successful Sailor."