The return of Division 900

The 900 division is a time-honored tradition at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes and for those recruits privileged to be part of its ranks. With the return of the 900 division, so returns the traditional graduation ceremony. 

  • Recruit graduation is still closed to the public until further notice. We are expecting an announcement from RTC very soon.
  • We recommend those with graduations in mid-August and beyond to reserve their hotel and car rentals now. Our military travel agents can assist with your travel and book your hotel with no obligation.

The recruits in the 900 divisions wear a yellow or blue aiguillette over their left shoulder when wearing their dress uniforms—the yellow rope for the dress blue uniform and the blue rope for their white uniform.

Images adopted from RTC Public Affairs

Recruits volunteer to be members of the 900 divisions when they first arrive at RTC. Generally, the recruits have some musical or drill experience. Each recruit will auditions before RTC makes their final selection. 

Members of any 900 division go through the same training as all “Rifle Division” recruits. The difference is these divisions, and their recruits support most of the aspects of the final graduation ceremony. 

Video compiled by USN Veteran Duane Stanley (images courtesy of RTC PA)

The 900 divisions begin practicing for the graduation ceremony on the first Saturday after their initial forming. During week five, they practice on Monday and Wednesday, with a run-through on Thursday. The final performance, Pass-In-Review (Graduation), is on Friday. They will perform in two graduations before their own.

There are three distingue/unique divisions within the 900 series:

1. Ship Staff Division

2. Triple Threat Division

3. Sticks Division

The Ship Staff Division is in charge of pass-in-review consisting of the Recruit Review Commander, the Adjutant, and the Assistant Adjutant. In addition, the “Sideboys” greet and welcome the Officers and their distinguished guests. And the “Body Snatcher” watches for any Sailor that may ‘faint’ from locking their knees. They also serve during the reception for the Honor Grads. 

The Triple Threat Division is the Rifle Drill team and chosen for their musical abilities. The Blue Jacket Choir performs the National Anthem and Anchors Aweigh. The Recruit Band plays at various times throughout the ceremony. The Drum Corps also marches and helps everyone else stay in step and keep time.

Images adopted from RTC Public Affairs

The third and final 900 divisions are the Sticks—the Stick’s job is to march perfectly timed and executed to the drum corps cadence. They also present the flags from every state in the union and the U.S. territories. 

The 900 Division contributes to the ceremonial and pageantry of graduation. The new Sailors that participate will never forget the honor of performing in the Recruit Training Command Navy Recruit boot camp graduation. HOOYAH!

Categories: Navy, Recruit Training

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