Once the recruits arrive, those with contracts as candidates to Naval Special Warfare operator ratings are moved aside to be in the 800 division/s. Those ratings are SEAL or Special Warfare Operator (SO), Navy Diver (ND), Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) or Special Warfare Combatant – craft Crewman (SWCC), Aviation Rescue Swimmers or AIRR, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). There are usually only 25 or fewer 800 divisions a year, so not every TG will have one, but some TG's will have one or two 800 divisions.
We often see that loved ones of those in an 800 division receive "the box" and the form letter on the same day or within a day or so of each other and sometimes the form letter comes before "the box" because these divisions do not have to wait for P-days to be over to be formed since the recruits in these divisions are determined by their contracts before arrival. It is also very common for those in an 800 division to have 8 Fridays rather than the typical 9 Fridays that others do. Most 800 Divisions are Push Divisions, but if females with special ops contracts ship on a Monday or Tuesday, then they usually have 9 Fridays and so will the 800 division/s for that TG. See Arrival and What Happens at the RTC.
Those in an 800 division do the same training that recruits in regular divisions go through and then they have a second PT (physical training) time each day when PT is scheduled so they have PT in the morning and in the afternoon. They also have regularly scheduled time at the pool for training in addition to the times that they would have pool time if they were in a regular division. They may learn and be tested in the Combat Swimmer Stroke (CSS) or be able to test using a freestyle stroke depending on the field they are going into. The recruits in an 800 division can receive an extra ration of food around midnight at the galley if they want it due to the extra calories that they burn due to the physical training that they go through. These recruits are not permitted to work out except during PT or IT (intensive training; extra PT given as a corrective action).
The 800 divisions go through Battle Stations-21 alone, with another 800 division if there are 2 or more 800 divisions in the TG, with the 900 division/s, or with a pair of brother divisions from the regular divisions. See Battle Stations-21 (BST).
We often think of the 800 divisions as being all male divisions and most of the year that is true, but there are integrated 800 divisions at times because candidates for AIRR, EOD, and ND can be male or female. Females who have a contract for AIRR, EOD, or ND will be assigned to an integrated regular division rather than an 800 division if there are not enough females to fill a compartment and may not be all be assigned to the same division, but several are usually together. When that happens, the form letter is mailed at the end of P-days and arrives about 10 days after arrival. (See Arrival and What Happens at the RTC.) These recruits will train with the 800 division/s for the additional PT sessions and pool times at 0430. (I need more information on this. If you have a female recruit with a contract for one of those ratings, let me know in a PM what your recruit's experience is/was.)
Sometimes recruits with a special ops contract will be placed in a regular division if there are not enough to form a full division. When that happens, the form letter is mailed at the end of P-days and arrives about 10 days after arrival. (See Arrival and What Happens at the RTC.) These recruits will train with the 800 division/s from other TG's that are at the RTC for the additional PT sessions and pool times at 0430. Although all of the special ops recruits may not be in the same division, several are usually together.
Those with a recruit in an 800 Division or special ops contract need to be especially aware of OPSEC and PERSEC. See OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile) for more information and make any changes at the bottom of that Page that you need to make. Changes 1 and 2 will tell you how to remove your name or that of your recruit from your Username and URL for your profile page and offers suggestions for making your Profile Page less obvious as to your identity and that of your recruit/Sailor and his/her special ops status, such as changing the ZIP code so that it does not reflect your hometown and not mentioning the rating that your recruit/Sailor is contracted for. Change 3 will tell you how to fix your Privacy settings--I suggest "Just My Friends." Change 4 deals with your profile picture--don't include one with your recruit's face and to be even safer, don't use your own picture or that of any person who is associated with your recruit/Sailor. Change 5 will tell you how to delete photos if you have posted them--don't include any of your recruit or Sailor or of any person or thing that will be easily associated with your recruit or Sailor. Change 6 will tell you how to turn off the "Latest Activity" log at the top of your My Page so that your posts are not readily available to those who visit your My Page. Change 7 will tell you how to hide the groups that you have joined on N4M so that it is less obvious to others who visit your My Page that you have a recruit or Sailor with a contract for a Special Ops rating by the groups you have joined.
It may be a good idea if you lurk within some groups and not post. Although there is a discussion within each PIR group for the 800 division/s that does not mean that you have to participate in it. N4M is not a private site and ANYONE with access to the internet can come on the site and see what is posted, so post very little about your recruit and later Sailor and never post pictures of him/her or his/her last name (not using his/her first name also increases PERSEC). There are groups on fB for the PIR groups and even some groups related to special ops training; it would a good idea to avoid those groups because if you join those groups, your profile information will be readily associated with someone who is a candidate for a special ops rating, including your name and hometown unless the group is a secret group rather than just a private group. (I delete comments on this page from people who indicate that they have a recruit in an 800 division once I have reason to believe that the question or comment has been answered or acknowledged.)
While s/he's in BC, if someone asks for his/her rating, you can mention that s/he will stay in GL (or will fly out) after PIR and just avoid the question. Later, you can truthfully say, "I don't know much about it."
If a recruit with a contract for a special ops rating arrives at MEPS and fails something (such as the vision screening) that is a requirement for special ops, but does not prevent him from being eligible for another rating, then that will be noted in the recruit's file and the recruit will be assigned to a regular division upon arrival at the RTC. The recruit will later meet with the detailer and will be given a new contract for a different rating that s/he qualifies for.
If a recruit in a regular division displays exceptional potential for special ops, s/he can be singled out and invited to attend PT and swim sessions to see if this may be something s/he is interested in. The choice to accept or decline the invitation is always his/hers. If the recruit accepts the invitation, s/he then remains with his/her same division, but attends the extra sessions with an 800 division. If it is determined that the recruit is suited for a special ops rating, then s/he will be offered a new contract, which s/he can choose to accept or decline.
Sometimes a recruit who was assigned to an 800 division will be removed from the division for various reasons, often related to the first PFA (physical fitness assessment). The recruit may also choose to Drop on Request (DOR) if s/he no longer feels that special ops is appropriate for him/her. When that happens the recruit will be placed in a regular division and later will meet with the detailer and will be given a new contract for a different rating that s/he qualifies for. Sometimes when this happens, the recruit will call a loved one to say that s/he has been moved to another division and that his/her address has changed. This is known as being ASMO'd (Assignment Memorandum; a change in what is happening with the recruit). This usually does not affect the PIR date, but if it does, you will be notified of that as well. If the PIR date does change, be sure to get the password to get the vehicle/gate pass because it will be different than the one for the previous date and you will not be able to drive onto the RTC without the vehicle/gate pass.
When recruits are ASMO'd, whether it's to go to SEPS to go home, to go to the RCU to recover from a sickness or injury, or to go to another division, the RDC most likely will say that the recruit has been ASMO'd and the others in the division will not know what has happened unless they happen to see him at the RTC during the course of training or at PIR or sometime later in the Fleet. This is due to confidentiality and/or HIPAA requirements.
Many of the Sailors who were in an 800 division or who have a contract for one of the special ops ratings will stay at the Training Support Center (TSC) at Great Lakes following PIR for training prior to flying out for the next part of their training--only AIRR does not. Plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday if you are able. See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend to help you know how to plan your weekend. In addition to the items listed within that Page, your Sailor may thank you if you bring Boudreaux's Butt Paste to help prevent chafing. It is available at Baby's R Us and at http://www.buttpaste.com.
Aviation Rescue Swimmers (AIRR) candidates fly out to Pensacola, FL to Naval Air Station Pensacola, usually the day after PIR, where they first attend Naval Aircrew Candidate School (NACCS). Your Sailor will most likely fly out the day after PIR, but may fly out on Sunday due to flight availability issues. Plan to leave on Sunday if you are able. See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend to help you know how to plan your weekend. Other groups you will want to join if your recruit is a candidate for this rating are Sailors In Pensacola, FL For A School....Corry Station too!! and Parents of A School Sailors in Pensacola. For those with a husband or wife with this rating, check out Spouses of Sailors going to A-school in P-cola.
If your recruit has enlisted under one of the Warrior Challenge Programs rather than as "A" School Guaranteed, then your recruit will attend the "A" School for the source rating before beginning the training for the special ops contract, so you will need the information on your recruit's source rating as well in order to know how to plan for PIR weekend since your Sailor could fly out instead of staying in GL. For example, the source ratings for the EOD Challenge Program are AB, AO, BU, CM, EM, EN, GM, HT, IC, IT, LS, MC, MM, MN, OS, PR, and QM. Of those, EM, EN, GM, HT, IC, MM, MN, OS, and QM remain in GL for "A" School.
The address to write to your recruit is:
SR LAST NAME, FIRST NAME MI
SHIP 04 DIV 8XX
3600 OHIO STREET
GREAT LAKES IL 60088-7103
Here are some of the groups and the links for the Rating Information Cards associated with Special Ops ratings:
SEAL Rating Information Card: https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/enlisted/rating_info_cards/so.pdf
SEALs info on navy.com: http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations/seals.html
Additional SEAL info: http://www.sealswcc.com/seal-default.html
Navy Diver Rating Information Card: https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/enlisted/rating_info_cards/nd.pdf
Navy Diver info on navy.com: http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations/diver.html
Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) Preparatory Course [VIDEO] gives info on the Dive training in Panama City, FL.
SB Rating Information Card: https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/enlisted/rating_info_cards/sb.pdf
SWCC info on navy.com: http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations/swcc.html
Additional SWCC info: http://www.sealswcc.com/swcc-default.html
AIRR Rating Information Cards: https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/enlisted/rating_info_cards/aircrew.pdf
AIRR candidates will be assigned to a rating of Naval Aircrewman -Tactical Helicopter (AWR) or Naval Aircrewman - Helicopter (AWS) while in Naval Aircrew Candidate School (NACCS). Assignments will be based on the applicant's test scores, personal desires, needs of the Navy, and continued eligibility for the aircrew program.
AIRR info on navy.com: http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations/air-rescue.html
EOD Group: EOD
EOD Rating Information Card: https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/enlisted/rating_info_cards/eod.pdf
EOD info on navy.com: http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations/eod.html
NAVY EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL PROGRAM is a Word document that gives more information about the training for EOD and more. It is old since it still includes SK (Storekeeper) as a source rating and that merged with PC (Postal Clerk) into LS (Logistics Specialist) some time ago and PH (Photographer's Mate) merged into MC (Mass Communication Specialist), but the info is still good.
Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) Preparatory Course [VIDEO] gives info on the Dive training in Panama City, FL.
Currently females may enlist as candidates for AIRR, EOD, or ND, but they may be able to join SO and SWCC in 2016. See http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2014/12/27/navy-seal-integration-women-2015-report/20769871/.
If I have used a term or abbreviation that is unclear, What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology) should help; if not, please ask because if you have a question, someone else most likely does as well.
Here are the current groups that contain an 800 Division:
There is almost always a 900 Division in every TG. The 1 April 2011 TG did not have a 900 Division of its own. Sometimes there can be two or even three in one TG if RTC skips a week of PIR. One of the divisions will usually reflect the TG number, but not always. If there is more than one 900 Division, then they will be Brother Divisions. The 900 Divisions begin with Division 901, the division that begins training in the first week of October when the Navy fiscal year begins, and end with Division 952.
Once the recruits arrive, those with the Musician (MU) rating and volunteers who have prior music experience (band, choir, or other musical training) or drill team experience may join a 900 division. There are others who will be chosen for the 900 division by the RDC's during P-days or the first few weeks of BC. These recruits did not have a Musician rating or prior band/music or drill experience, but showed some aptitude for performance, such as military bearing. This is especially true for those chosen to be part of Ship Staff. Recruits with relatively high ASVAB scores have a better chance of being in a 900 division than those with lower scores since they will be better able to keep up with everything that is required of them than those with lower scores. Recruits have been chosen for 900 divisions because they were tall (or short) or had participated in sports in high school or had been in JROTC or stood straighter than others. The Recruits in a 900 division can have contracts for any rating except for those that are in an 800 division.
Once assigned to the division, these recruits go through the same training as other divisions in addition to performance duties. They practice on Saturdays beginning with the Saturday after the division forms and sometimes (rarely) on Sunday afternoons if the need arises for an extra practice. From week 1 DOT (after p-week) until week 4, they practice every Saturday from 3:00 or 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Then beginning the Saturday going into week 5, they also practice on Monday and Wednesday and do a run through on Thursday, then they perform in the real PIR on Friday if there is one that week. They usually perform in two graduations before doing their own. The 900 divisions go through Battle Stations-21 (BST) alone, with another 900 division if there are 2 or more 900 divisions in the TG, with the 800 division/s, or with a pair of brother divisions from the regular divisions.
There are 3 types of 900 divisions. There are the Band/Bluejacket Choir/Drill team, otherwise known as Triple Threat (the musicians, singers, and drill team), the Sticks (those who carry the state flags), and the Ship Staff/Honor Guard (the body snatchers, those who guard various things...). Three 900 divisions perform their duties at each PIR, the 900 division(s) from that TG and if needed one to three 900 divisions from the next one or two TG's. Each 900 Division performs in their own PIR and usually in the PIR for one or two TG's ahead of their own if there is not a 900 division of the same type to perform in the TG/TG's. They may also have performances in the community--that happens mainly for the Triple Threat and Color Guard though. Those in a 900 division wear yellow/gold braided cords (ropes) called aiguillettes on their left shoulders with their dress blues and blue aiguillettes with their dress whites. This helps others to know that they have responsibilities to fulfill during PIR.
You may want to join the Group, 900's division sailors. There will be information on there that relates to your situation. Here is a site I found that explains about 900 Divisions, The Requirements for the Navy RTC 900 Division.
Watch the RTC’s fB page beginning 2 weeks before your recruit’s PIR and you may catch a glimpse of your recruit, but know that not all of the PIR ceremonies are photographed, so don't be disappointed if you do not see your recruit. You will also want to watch the RTC's live stream of PIR beginning 2 weeks before your recruit's PIR. The RTC streams PIR live beginning at 8:45 am CST on the day of PIR at http://www.livestream.com/usnavyrtc or http://navylive.dodlive.mil/. Check for any streams of the practices for PIR as well. They will also have the videos saved on there for a short time if people were unable to watch live or if you want to stop it to check out a particular recruit or Sailor more closely.
The PIR ceremony is conducted, with help, from the graduating 900 Division/s and one/two Jr. Divisions in their 7th and 6th week of training. Each incoming 900 division is assigned one of the responsibilities listed below, on a constantly rotating basis.
Ship Staff is in charge on PIR day. They greet and welcome the Officers and their distinguished guests as Sideboys. They play the role of "Body Snatcher" walking up and down the rows of Sailors, watching for and sometimes catching any Sailor about to or going down. (They lock their knees sometimes and pass out.) They help the Navy Corpsmen in the back room. They guard doors and perform a myriad of tasks behind the scenes and in front, such as directing people and helping those who require a wheelchair. It is their job to help make sure all goes smoothly. The Honor Guard Drill Team also does a rifle performance at the beginning of the ceremony. Since those in Ship Staff/Honor Guard have duties to perform before and during PIR, they do not march in through the doors when the other divisions march in on the day of PIR.
Sticks (Flags) does an incredible march perfectly timed and executed to the drum corps cadence. It is their job to present the flags for every state in the union. They are lined up by height, so the flow looks better, so your recruit will probably not get to carry his/her home state flag. They also honor those who have gone before by presenting the POW and MIA flags, as well as the US flag and the US Navy flag in the Color Guard.
Triple Threat is comprised of those who are on the Rifle Drill team and all those who were chosen for their musical abilities. The Blue Jacket Choir performs the National Anthem, Anchors Aweigh and anything else they've been tasked with. The band plays at various times throughout the ceremony. The Drum Corps also marches and helps everyone else stay in step and keep time. Those in a Triple Threat division will not march in with the other divisions since they will already be on the Drill Hall floor.
The address to write to your recruit is:
SR LAST NAME, FIRST NAME MI
SHIP 02 DIV 9XX
3600 OHIO STREET
GREAT LAKES IL 60088-7105 (60088-3156 will also work)
Is there an advantage to being in a 900 Division? It all depends on your point of view. Loved ones may catch a glimpse of the recruit in photos posted on the RTC’s fB page. The recruits in a 900 division get to interact with civilians more than those in a regular division if they are at extra PIR’s or events in the community. The recruits often begin working together as a team faster than those in a regular division, but not always. There is extra work involved since these recruits go through the same training that those in a regular division do as well as having the practices for PIR. There is nothing special after BC tied to being in a 900 division.
What do the "extras" in a 900 Division do? There are extras in each 900 division. They train just like everyone else in the division. They must be ready if called upon to take the place of a recruit who is sick or injured or who is otherwise unable to perform. Some of the extras help to clean the stands, Drill Hall, rooms used for preparation.... Some will be in charge of setting things up and putting things away before and after PIR. Some of the extras will be escorts and assist with seating those in need of wheelchairs or other assistance. Some will be "seaters" and direct guests to the appropriate section. (If you have a recruit who is one of the extras, please let me know what else the "extras" do. Thanks.)
Those with a Sailor in the graduating 900 division will be instructed to wait in your bleacher area while your Sailors take care of duties or return instruments or equipment. Your Sailor will take care of that and join you there.
Here are the current 900 Divisions:
934: Triple Threat: PIR 07/02/2015 TG 34 – 9 Divisions (223-230 and 934) (PIR is on Thursday.)
(Division 934 will also perform during the 06/19/2015 PIR and the 06/26/2015 PIR.)
935: Ship Staff/Honor Guard: PIR 07/10/2015 TG 35 - 9 Divisions (231-238 and 935)
(Division 935 will also perform their duties during the 06/26/2015 PIR and the 07/02/2015 PIR.)
936: Sticks (Flags): PIR 07/17/2015 TG 36 - 7 Divisions (239-242, 814, 815, and 936)
(Division 936 will also perform during the 07/02/2015 PIR and the 07/10/2015 PIR.)
937: Triple Threat: PIR 07/24/2015 TG 37 - 9 Divisions (243-250 and 937)
(Division 937 will also perform during the 07/10/2015 PIR and the 07/17/2015 PIR.)
938: Ship Staff/Honor Guard: PIR 07/31/2015 TG 38 - 9 Divisions (251-258 and 938)
(Division 938 will also perform their duties during the 07/17/2015 PIR and the 07/24/2015 PIR.)
939: Sticks (Flags): PIR 08/07/2015 TG 39 - 10 Divisions (259-266, 816, and 939)
(Division 939 will also perform during the 07/24/2015 PIR and the 07/31/2015 PIR.)
940: Triple Threat: PIR 08/14/2015 TG 40 - 9 Divisions (267-274 and 940)
(Division 940 will also perform during the 07/31/2015 PIR and the 08/07/2015 PIR.)
941: Ship Staff/Honor Guard: PIR 08/21/2015 TG 41
(Division 941 will also perform their duties during the 08/07/2015 PIR and the 08/14/2015 PIR.)
942: Sticks (Flags):
943: Triple Threat:
The above information is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.