United States Navy Recruit Separations

Great Lakes, Illinois

42.297410, -87.850783

Ship 05, Google Maps

Recruit Training Command has a special building for their recruits that are getting Separated, the building is located at the other end of the base and it is Ship 05, also known as the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which also houses THU (Temporary Holding Unit) for graduated recruits awaiting further orders. Recruits can be separated for any reason that they cannot control, and cannot ask to be separated. It is strictly up to the administration to get rid of a recruit for any reason they can find, and a recruit can be separated at any time, whether it be the day of arrival or even at the end of training, and in rare cases after graduation. Commonly, the separation process can take up to 3-4 weeks depending on the reason why the recruit is getting separated, and how many work days are available in the time that the recruit is in SEPS. If they decide to fight their case, they could be there for up to several months.

Upon Separation, their training immediately ceases on the day of placement in SEPS. If the recruit were to fight their case and re-enter training, they would re-enter back to the day they were separated and continue training from where they stopped, more than likely in a new division. Separation recruits gets whats known as an ASMO Code, there are 7 possible ASMO Codes.

The recruit also gets what's known as an RE Code (Re-Entry Code), which is permanent. The recruit however will not know their RE code until they go to Legal. RE Codes determine if a recruit can re-enter the military or not and how they can re-enter. They are shown on their DD 214 once they leave the Navy. The recruit can fight to have the RE Code changed at Legal if they desire.

Before a recruit goes to legal, they must first have their Indoc which takes place on the ship. Usually a day after they enter separations. In Indoc they will be explained how SEPS works and what will happen in SEPS. They will sign a couple documents and then given a couple papers, one explaining the separation process and another giving general information on social workers and classes they can take. They will get an opprotunity to ask questions about SEPS, about their ASMO Code, RE Codes, and possibilities on what will happen depending on their situation. They will also be explained that once they leave, if they have been serving the Navy for longer than a day, they have legally served in the Armed Forces. Whether they qualify for VA benefits depends on what they were separated for and how long they have been in the Navy, so they may qualify for nothing. After they complete Indoc they're allowed a phone call on the Quarter Deck.

Recruits in SEPS get a new mailing address. Any mail sent to their old division gets forwarded to their new address and will still get to them. Their new mailing address becomes


SEPS recruits CANNOT be dropped, they are treated as if they are LLD (Light Limited Duty) and arguably to a degree similar to the graduated recruits. They can still get yelled at, but that's it. For punishment they can get "Secured", rather than dropped. As in they are supposed to sit in front of their racks rather than carry on with everyone else, and they can only stay there unless they need to use the Head (Restroom). If a SEPS recruit refuses to follow instructions, the UC (Unit Counselor, an RDC that commands a SEPS division) can call the police and the recruit can be taken to jail or placed in FHCC (Hospital outside the base).

Life in SEPS can be described as very relaxed. It is very different compared to a traditional Division. Male SEPS Recruits are placed in one of 3 divisions, Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie. Females get to go to their own separate division. Once you meet with your division, the UPOs (Uniform Petty Officers, a SEPS exclusive job) will strip you of various items that you carried all of Boot Camp that cannot be kept in SEPS, such as sharpies, anything from any further uniform issues beyond getting the Navy Working Uniform, their training guide, etc. They still have to make their racks in accordance to Recruit Training Command Standards, but not as strict a standard as held in training. If the recruit makes a perfect rack, folds their cloths and other belongings properly and puts them in their proper places, during mock inspections they can be awarded a 5 minute phone call by the UC.

SEPS recruits when permitted to carry on by the UC get to enjoy movies, board games, read books, write, etc. They still have to participate in basic mandatory boot camp daily routines such as Hygiene, Field Day, and obviously Chow, Reveille and Taps- as well as standing Roving and Night Secruity Watch. In SEPS there are also activities and routines added in place for these recruits only. Such as Med Call which takes place about 3 times a day- where recruits take meds they are prescribed to take in front of the UC to ensure they take the required amount of medication they need. There are still divisional jobs like RCPO, Yoemans, Head Crew, and Laundry Crew. Some jobs like EPO- which in normal divisions mean Education Petty Officer gets changed to Entertainment Petty Officer, a recruit in control of the movies and who gets computer priority. UPO is a unique job only found in SEPS divisions where they oversee the SEPS recruits having proper uniform attire as well as "securing" a recruit before they are ready to depart.

Recruits in SEPS do not dine at Ship 05, they go to the building next door, Ship 04 (where FIT, many 800 Divisions and a couple Rifle Divisions are at). When they get ready to go to chow they get in a height line in their compartment and go outside to line up in columns of 3. When marching to Ship 4 they always at ease march, as it is with marching anywhere else on base in SEPS, a UC must be present though before they can march over to Ship 04 and return to Ship 05. The line is often very long and they usually take every table in the chow hall. Recruits go into chow and the tables clear as they are getting their chow to ensure everyone eats.

SEPS Recruits can still attend the Chapel, go to Medical when needed, etc, as long as they check out with their divisional Yoeman and make sure to check back in when they get back to compartment. When recruits in SEPS make NEX Runs, they exit the compartment the same way they do for chow and at ease march with the UC being present all the way to the NEX. They have the opprotunity of going to Recruit Heaven (the arcade), make phone calls, go on the computers, and purchase food and other items at the NEX or built in restraunts (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Subway). Subway is usually never open. The UC can restrict any or all of these from the recruits if they do not behave.

In SEPS the recruits get the option to take classes on 3 different days. There are a total of 5 classes.

Time Monday Wednesday Friday
0900 Employment Higher Education & Financial Aid Health Insurance
1400 Resume Workshop Finances

Each class last only an hour and a social worker will come to the division to pick up and escort the recruits when the classes are available. The classes all take place on Ship 05.

SEPS Recruits that have the 2311 ASMO Code (Psychological Separation) are allowed to go to PEP. Available only for 2311 recruits, they can participate in activities like Quiet Time, and various relaxation exercises. It is totally optional, and only available during the week.

A common joke heard in SEPS is calling SEPS, "Seal Team SEPS". Which can be found etched into the head stalls (at least in the Bravo Head). Despite the disappointment of getting separated from the Navy, SEPS recruits can still find time to make light of their current situation. There is even a modified monopoly board customized to fit RTC Basic Training Life and SEPS Life as a joke.

On a rare day, if the SEPS Recruits are good, the UC will let them go outside to the field infront of Ship 05 and Ship 04 and play sports and walk around the field for 15-20 minutes, if the weather permits. Of course recruits in training as they are practicing drill nearby will be forced to turn the other direction- since recruits in training cannot participates in those activities during training.

After a recruit goes to Legal, they wait several days to get signed by the CO (Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command; Captain Garrick), they get notified that they are signed to go home. After getting notified it usally takes an extra week until they go home but the recruit by this time usually knows the day they are leaving. They first have to go to their DEP Brief (Departure Brief; located back at Ship 01, USS Pearl Harbor) to learn their method of transportation on how they are getting home and when they are getting home, if they are given a bus they are also given the option to purchase a plane ticket with their own money. In that time the recruit is recommended to liquidate their NEX Card and fill out what's called a Laundry Card to take to the NEX. They recieve all the money they had not spent from the NEX Card as well as extra money that wasn't used to purchase uniform items they would have recieved in Basic Training. Later on during the wait only a few days prior to leaving, the divisional UPO's go around and "Secure" the recruits that are scheduled to leave. Stripping them of various items they cannot keep such as their NWUs, Parka and Parka Liner, etc. As well as going over what the recruit wants to take home which is usually almost everything is available to take home. They wear their sweats for the rest of the time they are there until they leave. The recruits unless conditions required, cannot take home their Boots. Usually depending on the weather, take home their Rain Coat, shoes, and anything else from their rack that they desire.

When a recruit leaves the base, they are still legally considered to be on active duty for the next 3 days until their last paycheck. So they are still under the UCMJ, they are still required during those 3 days to say nothing bad about the US Navy and to not make the US Navy look bad. If they do any sort of misconduct during those 3 days that violate the UCMJ, they can be dragged back to RTC Great Lakes and Captains Masted.

Unless the recruit was in longer than 180 days, their DD 214 when released from RTC Great Lakes will characterize their discharge as Uncharacterized. This is neither a good or bad discharge, only neutral. Depending on state laws, they have legally served in the armed forces and are eligable for a armed forces stamp on their State ID or Drivers License. As well as eligability just for basic employment benefits such as USERRA and being at the top of the line of the hiring list.

For those looking to get their W-2s from the Navy, you have to ask for a reissue from the DFAS website, the Navy will not automatically send you your W-2 in the mail. Make sure to click on "Military W-2 Reissue Requests" and fill out the form. After that the Navy will send you a W-2 in the mail so you can file your taxes.

typed out and explained by a seps recruit

information as recent as January 23, 2017

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