History of recruits at Naval Training Center San Diego.

The Recruit story is one of personal transformation and maturity. A display explains how sailors were made at Naval Training Center San Diego.
The Recruit story is one of personal transformation and maturity. A display explains how sailors were made at Naval Training Center San Diego.

Over a span of 74 years, Naval Training Center San Diego in Point Loma graduated over 2 million recruits. Most went on to serve as sailors in the United States Navy. A fascinating historical exhibit in the NTC Command Center at Liberty Station provides visitors with a glimpse of what life was like as a naval recruit. Photographs recall how young men were transformed at Naval Training Center San Diego and prepared for service on a ship at sea, far from home.

The Dick Laub NTC Command Center at Liberty Station has a fascinating exhibit about the training of naval recruits at this location years ago.
The Dick Laub NTC Command Center at Liberty Station has a fascinating exhibit about the training of naval recruits at this location years ago.
The Admiral Stockdale Wing of the NTC Command Center has a corridor lined with historical photos, Navy artifacts and interesting information.
The Admiral Stockdale Wing of the NTC Command Center has a corridor lined with historical photos, Navy artifacts and interesting information.
Marching in the courtyards, known as grinders, was a constant part of Recruit Training Command or boot camp.
Marching in the courtyards, known as grinders, was a constant part of Recruit Training Command or boot camp.
Home comforts were far away for U.S. Navy sailors aboard ship. Another display shows sailors training in San Diego.
Home comforts were far away for U.S. Navy sailors aboard ship. A display shows sailors training in San Diego.
The USS Recruit--a model Training Destroyer Escort--is where most men experienced their first duty aboard ship.
The USS Recruit–a model Training Destroyer Escort–is where most men experienced their first duty aboard ship.
The USS Recruit is landlocked permanently at Liberty Station. Fondly called the USS Neversail, this ship set in concrete was used for training new Navy sailors.
The USS Recruit is landlocked permanently at Liberty Station. Fondly called the USS Neversail, this ship set in concrete was used for training new Navy sailors.
Graduation at Naval Training Center San Diego. One photo shows Admiral Nimitz watching a Pass-In-Review at Preble Field.
Graduation at Naval Training Center San Diego. One photo shows Admiral Nimitz watching a Pass-In-Review at Preble Field.
A large map of the old Naval Training Center San Diego, which today has been transformed into Liberty Station, which features shopping, parks, museums and more.
A large map of the old Naval Training Center San Diego, which today has been transformed into Liberty Station, featuring shopping, parks, museums and more.
Photo of vacant old Naval Training Center buildings waiting to be restored and put to use commercially at Liberty Station.
Photo of vacant old Naval Training Center buildings waiting to be restored and put to use commercially at Liberty Station.
During training, recruits were divided into companies of 100 men. Teamwork was promoted.
During training, recruits were divided into companies of 100 men. Teamwork was promoted.
Homecooked meals were prepared by NTC's Chef and Mess School, which was one of the best in the country.
Homecooked meals were prepared by NTC’s Chef and Mess School, which was one of the best in the country.
NTC grew in size over the years, expanding across the boat channel. A march over Nimitz Bridge was a rite of passage. (I blogged recently that a new public park will be opening east of the channel.)
NTC grew in size over the years, expanding across the boat channel. A march over Nimitz Bridge was a rite of passage. (I blogged recently that a new public park will be opening east of the channel.)
An old poster depicts authorized grooming standards for United States Navy Personnel.
An old poster depicts authorized grooming standards for United States Navy Personnel.
Photos of graduation from San Diego's NTC include the final 1993 ceremony before the base closed.
Photos of graduation from San Diego’s NTC include the final 1993 ceremony before the base closed.
The 2082nd and Final Recruit Pass-In-Review, Friday, November 19, 1993.
The official program for the 2082nd and Final Recruit Pass-In-Review, Friday, November 19, 1993.
NTC San Diego graduated over 2 million recruits over its 74 year history!
NTC San Diego graduated over 2 million recruits over its 74 year history!
Welcome aboard!
Welcome aboard!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

8 thoughts on “History of recruits at Naval Training Center San Diego.”

  1. Good morning, sir! Loved this post. I graduated just after New Year’s in 1996, the whole experience made more poignant by the fact that I could almost see my childhood home up on Point Loma, and I could look at many of the houses out across the fence and say “Dave lives there, Ross lives there, Debbie lives there, [and so on]. I wonder what they’re doing today.”

    Good times!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went through boot training in 1966 and have a sad feeling seeing this place dismantled, but I’m confident the people that are in control will keep the in place the history of this location. When I see a Hotel built right in the spot where my barricks were it seems so unreal. I read that over 2 million recruits were trained and started their Navy Careers on this sacred land. I hope those that live and work here know how important this piece of land is. I will be bringing Navy Reunion Group to San Diego in 2019 and plan on touring this place one more time with so many memories of what life was like here back in the late 60’s. Joe White (1966-1970) USN Submarine Service

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. The people of San Diego are generally very respectful of the military–the Navy and Marines in particular–and Liberty Station continues that tradition. Thank you for your service!

      Like

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