Hagel to Visit Recruits at Naval Training Center Great Lakes
May 6, 2014
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2014 -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on a two-day trip to Illinois to participate in a change-of-command ceremony at U.S. Transportation Command today and to speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and visit recruits at the Naval Station Great Lakes tomorrow.
At Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Hagel will welcome incoming Transcom Commander Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva and celebrate the accomplishments of the departing commander, Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, who will retire from the Air Force after 40 years of service, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters at the Pentagon today.
After the ceremony this afternoon, the secretary will fly to Chicago, where tomorrow morning he will make remarks at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Warren said. In the afternoon, Hagel will travel to North Chicago to Naval Station Great Lakes, founded in 1911 and home of the Navy's only boot camp.
According to the facility's website, since World War I it has trained and sent to the fleet more than 2 million sailors through its Recruit Training Command, which calls itself the "Quarterdeck of the Navy," and nearly as many from its technical schools.
Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training center in the Navy, the website says. Warren said that while there, Hagel will observe recruit training and observe the installation's sexual assault prevention and response training program, which Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said is on the leading edge of experimenting with new ideas and implementing comprehensive, evidence-based methods of sexual assault training and prevention.
"They're really a model not just for the Navy, but for the whole military," Kirby told reporters May 2. "They've been working with the local community on things like bystander intervention and alcohol policies, and they've been seeing some promising results, to the point that other installations are starting to follow their lead."
Warren said Hagel will meet with recruit instructors and talk to recruits before returning to Washington tomorrow evening.
(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinAFPS)