Navy recruits can smoke weed
Navy recruits can smoke weed

Smoke Weed and Drive the Nuclear Sub - Navy Will Accept Recruits Who Have a Cannabis History

The US Navy is becoming more accepting of past cannabis use by recruits!

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Sunday Feb 18, 2024

Navy allows marijuana use

The Navy has revised its approach regarding recruits arriving at boot camp with traces of marijuana in their system at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.


Rear Adm. James Waters, the director of the Navy's military personnel plans and policy division, disclosed to reporters on Thursday that the service now has the discretion to grant waivers for recruits initially testing positive for THC, the primary psychoactive element in marijuana.


Waters emphasized that recruits who admit to marijuana use undergo evaluations to ensure no underlying issues exist. He expressed confidence that the boot camp process provides an opportunity to integrate them into the Navy's culture.  The US Air Force cannabis policy for new recruits recently got revamped as well.


This change reflects societal shifts in marijuana legislation across many states, according to Waters. Nevertheless, he underscored that leniency does not extend to other drugs, affirming the military's zero-tolerance policy towards substance abuse.


This alteration aligns with various recent initiatives by the Navy aimed at minimizing boot camp dropouts, resulting in a current dropout rate of approximately 10%, one of the lowest in recent history.


Responding to Recruitment Challenges


The Navy's initiative to reduce dropout rates during boot camp is a response to the ongoing recruiting challenges faced by all branches of the military in recent years.


Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman has highlighted that only around 10% of scheduled recruiter appointments result in recruits entering the delayed-entry program or boot camp after approximately five months. While this percentage improves with mentorship from individuals with Navy experience, the Navy aims to further minimize losses as civilians transition into recruits and eventually sailors.


Rear Adm. James Waters emphasized the importance of mitigating losses, particularly with the Navy's recruiting goal for 2024 set at 40,000 sailors. Losing 4,000 recruits during boot camp would significantly hinder this goal, underscoring the need for continued efforts to address the issue.


Waters also pointed out the effectiveness of the pre-boot camp physical training program, adapted from the Army, in contributing to retention. He noted that approximately 400 additional sailors are serving in the Navy today as a result of the physical Future Sailor Prep Course.


Navy officials highlighted the additional benefits of the prep course, noting its positive impact on boot camp by introducing recruits with some prior Navy exposure into the divisions.


Force Master Chief Delbert Terrell emphasized the calming effect of having fellow recruits who have experienced the Navy alongside them, reducing anxiety among trainees.


Recruit division commanders actively seek out these recruits from the Future Sailor Prep Course as they are better prepared to assume leadership roles in boot camp, according to Waters.


Starting in February 2023, the Navy introduced alternative cardiovascular exercises for recruits to fulfill the physical fitness test requirement. This change allows recruits to choose from activities like swimming, biking, or rowing, expanding beyond the previous requirement of running.


Waters noted a significant decrease in dropouts due to the inability to complete the run, attributing the improvement to the introduction of alternative exercises. The adoption of bikes alone reduced annual dropouts from 400 to 500 to just one.


Despite these improvements, Waters expressed dissatisfaction with the current 10% dropout rate, aiming for further reductions. He emphasized the shared commitment with Adm. Craig Mattingly, the commander at Great Lakes, to surpass this benchmark.


Impact on Recruitment and Training Protocols


The Navy's recent adjustment in its policy regarding recruits with marijuana traces in their systems is reshaping recruitment strategies and training protocols. By introducing waivers for recruits testing positive for THC, the Navy signals a willingness to adapt to societal shifts in marijuana attitudes while maintaining its standards for military service. This alteration not only impacts recruitment screening but also influences the dynamics within boot camp divisions, as individuals previously disqualified for marijuana use now have the opportunity to enlist.


Furthermore, the introduction of alternative cardiovascular exercises for the physical fitness test reflects a broader shift in training approaches. This change not only accommodates recruits who may struggle with running but also diversifies the physical activities emphasized in Navy training programs. It represents a proactive effort to ensure inclusivity and efficacy in preparing recruits for military service, aligning with the Navy's commitment to excellence and adaptability.


The Navy's adaptability in changing policies demonstrates its commitment to maintaining its basic principles while supporting a strong and diverse workforce. The evolution of recruitment and training tactics has left the Navy well-positioned to tackle the demands of the contemporary military environment. These adjustments show the Navy's proactive attitude to maintaining preparedness and efficacy in its personnel management procedures in addition to reflecting contemporary societal developments.


Future Strategies for Recruitment and Retention


Looking ahead, the Navy is poised to implement forward-thinking strategies aimed at enhancing recruitment and retention efforts. With a steadfast commitment to achieving its 2024 recruiting goals, the Navy acknowledges the need for continuous improvement in its recruitment processes. As Rear Adm. James Waters expressed dissatisfaction with the current dropout rate of 10%, the Navy is determined to surpass this benchmark through targeted initiatives.


One key aspect of future strategies involves leveraging innovative approaches to attract and retain top talent. By adapting policies to reflect societal changes, such as the acceptance of marijuana use in certain contexts, the Navy demonstrates its willingness to evolve while maintaining its core values. Moreover, the emphasis on mentorship and preparatory programs like the Future Sailor Prep Course underscores the Navy's investment in developing well-rounded and resilient recruits.


Additionally, the Navy remains committed to refining its training protocols to ensure the success of recruits in boot camp and beyond. Initiatives like the incorporation of alternative cardiovascular exercises not only address physical challenges but also foster a more inclusive and adaptable training environment. By continuously evaluating and adjusting its recruitment and training strategies, the Navy aims to cultivate a highly skilled and diverse workforce capable of meeting the demands of modern military operations.


Bottom Line


The Navy's recent revisions in policies regarding recruits with marijuana traces, coupled with innovative recruitment and training strategies, underscore its adaptability and commitment to maintaining readiness in the face of evolving societal norms and recruitment challenges. By embracing change while upholding its core values, the Navy demonstrates a proactive approach to fostering a resilient and diverse workforce capable of meeting the demands of modern military operations. Through continued efforts to refine recruitment processes, enhance training protocols, and prioritize retention, the Navy remains poised to achieve its recruitment goals and sustain its operational effectiveness in the years ahead.





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