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.

If you’d like to read some of these displays, click the photos and they will enlarge.

To those of you leaving comments concerning memories–thank you for your service!

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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Military recruits jog through Balboa Park.

military recruits jog through Balboa Park

During my morning walks, I often see military personnel jogging through Balboa Park. Sometimes they can number in the hundreds. They wear distinctive yellow t-shirts marked “NAVY” and lustily chant military cadences as they proceed. I’m not sure whether they are sailors from one of the several nearby naval bases or marines from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Usually one or two men will be holding a flag, and a few men in front will lead the way, suddenly changing direction at a moment’s notice.

My camera’s flash in this photo reflected brightly off safety tape on the joggers, making the energetic scene appear kinetic and dazzling.