Navy A School: What Happens After Navy Boot Camp

Navy boot camp graduation Great Lakes Illinois
U.S. Navy sailors graduate from boot camp Aug. 17, 2018, at Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, Illinois. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo Fernan/U.S. Navy)

After recruits have completed eight weeks of Navy boot camp successfully, they will graduate as sailors and join the world's finest Navy. But the journey has just begun, and sailors still will have additional training to go through after Navy boot camp. Upon graduation, sailors will head to A School, where they will continue training before they are sent to the fleet. Here's an overview of everything that happens after Navy boot camp.

Do Sailors Get Leave After Navy Boot Camp?

After Navy boot-camp graduation, sailors will not be given leave and are required to travel to their next training location, A School.

There are many locations for Navy A School, and not all sailors will go to the same school. Sailors who will attend A School at Great Lakes, Illinois, will need to check-in to their new unit immediately after graduation. Sailors attending A School elsewhere will be given a day to travel to their next unit.

Recruits will know where they are being sent, so it is best to discuss post-graduation plans with them. If you need this information, you can send them a letter through the Sandboxx app and ask them about liberty after graduation and when you will be leaving Great Lakes.

What is A School in the Navy?

Accession training, commonly known as A School, is where sailors go to receive technical training in their selected military occupational specialty (MOS) field.

In 2017, the Navy restructured A School training, shortening the length of the school so that sailors can get to the fleet faster. A School will focus more on what sailors need to know to be successful during their first tour. Additional training will take place over the course of the rest of their career in the Navy.

With the changes being implemented at A School, it is expected that the time spent at A School to be cut down by 30%. A majority of the changes to the A School training structure were expected to be rolled out by 2020.

Where Do Navy Recruits Go After Boot Camp?

A sailor's MOS will determine where they will go for A School. The table below lists various A School locations.

Navy A School Locations

Base/School State
Great Lakes Illinois
Keesler Air Force Base Mississippi
Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center Virginia
Fort George Maryland
Fort Jackson South Carolina
Fort Lee Virginia
Fort Leonard Wood Missouri
Naval Weapons Station Charleston South Carolina
New London Naval Submarine Base Connecticut
Naval Construction Battalion Center Mississippi
Naval Amphibious Base Virginia
Naval Air Station Meridian Mississippi
Defense Language Institute Virginia
Naval Justice School Rhode Island
Center for Information Dominance Florida
Naval Air Station Pensacola Florida
Naval Construction Training Center California
Fort Sam Houston Texas
Joint Base San Antonio Texas
Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center California
Sheppard Air Force Base Texas

How Long is A School After Navy Boot Camp?

The length of A School will vary depending on the rating of the sailor. The length of A School can be up to two years, but with plans to roll out a new training schedule, sailors can expect to spend less time at A School, getting them to the fleet faster than previous years.

Can You Take Leave During A School?

A School is a continuation of a sailor's training beyond boot camp, and although sailors will have a lot more freedoms than they did during boot camp, they will have limited privileges. Sailors will not be allowed to take leave during A School, but they will be granted liberty.

Leave vs. Liberty

Oftentimes, leave and liberty are regarded as the same thing, though they both have slight variations.

Leave -- A sailor's authorized absence from a place of duty. Just as civilians earn vacation hours through work, sailors will earn time off each month, that they then can use to request time off from work.

Liberty -- A sailor's authorized absence granted for short periods to provide respite from the working environment. Liberty often is granted during the weekend and during holidays.

During the first three weeks of A School, sailors will start off with on-base liberty and a strict curfew. Toward the end of the three weeks and into the fourth week, sailors will begin to earn off-base liberty but still be given a curfew. A sailor's commanding officer will be responsible for determining liberty and can change it at any time.

Navy A School Graduation

Unlike Navy boot-camp graduation, Navy A School graduation is much shorter, and not near as formal. When sailors have completed their A School training, they will graduate and receive a certification of completion.

It is not common for families to attend their sailor's A School graduation, especially if they do not live in or near the area of the School.

A School graduation ceremonies will vary based on school. Some schools may choose to have a ceremony with guests invited, and others may choose to have no ceremony. Your sailor will have the most accurate information on their A School graduation as the time comes near.

What Happens After Navy A School?

After Navy A School, sailors traditionally are given 10 days of leave. After their 10 days of leave, they will check into their new unit at their first duty station. Sailors with overseas duty stations may receive more than 10 days of leave before having to report to their next unit.

Depending on the sailor's rate, their leave time may vary. Again, your sailor will know more information about their time after A School as they get closer to graduation.

Sailors traditionally went from A School to C School, but with the Navy's new training changes, this no longer will be the case come 2025. Sailors will continue to receive training throughout the remainder of their career and will be sent to many different schools.

Read the original article on Sandboxx.

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