Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun


Fiji Navy facilitates Boot Camp For Fiji Maritime Academy Cadets

Fiji Navy facilitates Boot Camp For Fiji Maritime Academy Cadets
May 10
11:15 2017

In the 1982 movie Officer and a Gentleman, Gunnery Sargent Foley ridicules a wannabe officer from the State of Texas.  Barking orders ferociously, the physical trainer is inducting a bunch of green recruits to the Navy Flying Officer program.

“The only two things from Oklahoma are steers and queers; I don’t see any horns on you boy.”

He continues to yell that most of them will not survive the training.  Keep up with the gruelling training or go home voluntarily. Discharge on Request (DOR) is his fundamental concept.

In fact, the veteran trainer goes out of his way to get rid of some of the new recruits he thought did not possess the qualities of an officer.

“Men of Honor” is also is a movie about Naval Training.  In this real life drama, a boy with limited education becomes the first African American to be a US Navy Master Diver.

During rigorous training, the new recruits DOR by ringing a bell.  Throughout the movie, many rookies ring the bell and leave the training.

Cadets from Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) have attended a two-week residential camp at the Tongeluvu Naval base beginning this week.

While it was not as rigorous and dramatic as the stories in the movies, certainly there is no DOR, the students will experience life in the military for a short time.

The name boot camp is used to describe basic training required by a recruit.

Despite the negativity of a few here in Fiji, Fiji Maritime Academy regards this training as an integral part of the curriculum.

From the time of an early rise, beginning with cleaning the barracks followed by physical training, cadets go through the day in activities such as parade training and sports.

Straight after the morning routine, cadets will march to breakfast in uniform and begin their normal curriculum with FMA lecturers

As with most of them who have not been to a camp of any caliber with their peers,  this opportunity gives them that experience in living in close quarters, participating in a range of activities as a team.

As they would have to do in their chooses career living on board requires teamwork and comradeship which they will learn in the boot camp.

The day is filled with a combination of Fiji Navy facilitated leadership, motivation and discipline workshops followed by more PT and team games.

The whole concept is based on leading a disciplined life, working as a team and being self-reliant, thus preparing for a rigorous life at sea.

Contrary to the belief of a few misinformed individuals, skills and experience of this caliber cannot be taught by lectures at the academy.

Parents will be overjoyed at the prospect of the kids doing housework but more importantly, having received training to help them eventually go on board a sea-going vessel to forge a career.

One of the main reasons for a residential camp, which is a first for FMA, was a request by one of the employing companies that cadets should possess Officer Like Qualities (OLQ).

OLQ is a number of desired attributes that a cadet, who once an officer, should possess. Leadership, trustworthiness, sense of responsibility, courage, organizing ability, initiative, cooperation, and self-confidence are some of the noteworthy attributes out of the 15.

It was not expected that in two weeks the cadets would learn all the attributes, but they have been given a great foundation to start thinking about improving some of their capabilities.

FMA is grateful to the Fiji Navy for its enduring support. The Navy involvement in the cadet program is an extension of the mandatory fire training conducted at the Tongalevu Naval Base.

Related Articles