Navy suspending all RTC and OTC graduation ceremonies

Posted at 7:52 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 08:52:44-04

The U.S. Navy is suspending all formal, large-scale graduation ceremonies for Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, IL, and Officer Training Command (OTC) in Newport RI, until further notice as part of its proactive approach to protect our mission and limit the potential spread of COVID 19.

Recruits, officer candidates and students will continue to graduate, but the transition from Recruit or Officer Candidate to Sailor will be marked by small, internal events which cannot be live-streamed.

The Navy says this decision was made after considering recommendations from CDC and medical professionals to support the well-being of students and staff, and to maintain their mission essential function of providing basically trained Sailors to the fleet.

"While graduation is an important symbolic event for Sailors and their families, it is not essential for training, and in light of concerns in gathering large groups of individuals together, it would be inappropriate to continue the ceremony at this time. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and will resume graduations and guest attendance as soon as it is safe to do so," the statement said.