Author Archive for RTC Orlando Reunion

Find your Navy RTC Yearbook and Company Photo

You’re looking back on your time at Navy boot camp and wishing you could remember more . . . What was that CCs name that I thought I’d never forget? Who was that RCPO who made us do extra push-ups on the grinder? When was my graduation? If you don’t have your yearbook or company photo from boot camp, here are a few things to try.


As a recruit, you could pre-order your company yearbook, also known as graduation book or cruise book, before graduation, but some recruits didn’t buy one. Others lost their book (so many moves!) or even threw it away. But now, the older, wiser us wants to reminisce, and we don’t have it.

RTC Orlando: The Rudder
RTC San Diego: The Anchor
RTC Great Lakes: The Keel

The Rudder cover    The Anchor cover    The Keel cover

The publishers are no longer in business and the Navy doesn’t have the yearbooks (and frankly, they have more important things to do). So, what do you do?

1. Find a shipmate from your company who has a yearbook or photo, and ask them to share.

[This is exactly what I did, and it worked great. I was, in fact, still in touch with my shippy Denise, and she generously mailed me her copy of the Rudder, which I scanned. (Then I sent her flowers as a thank-you.)]

First, if you haven’t checked our RTC Orlando Veterans Roll Call yet, please start there. There are over 4,200 entries so far (as of April 2018) and you can search by year and by company number. Begin by submitting your own data, and go on to search for others.

Facebook Groups

There are a ton of groups on Facebook for Navy veterans. Our own group, RTC Orlando Reunion, has over 5,800 members and we hope you can join us.

There are other groups for Orlando, as well:

As well as groups for other RTC commands:

There are several general Navy veteran groups like US Navy Vets group and US Navy Veteran group, each with thousands of members. Plus groups for every rating, specialty, platform, and many commands. Search Facebook group for “US Navy” and you’ll find hundreds of them.


If your shipmates aren’t on Facebook, try searching one of the following sites for veterans:

2. Search eBay.

Just make sure to keep your search generic enough to catch the correct terms. Some sellers won’t know to add “RTC” or “boot camp,” let alone the actual company number. So search for something like, “navy rudder + year.”

An eBay general search for “Naval Training Center.”

Chances are your yearbook will NOT be available right now, but set up a Saved Search and eBay will notify you when a listing appears that meets your criteria. You must have an eBay account to do this.

a. After signing in, search for your yearbook:

eBay search 2

b. In the results, click on “Save this search.”

eBay search 3

Set up more than one Saved Search if that will help find your yearbook. Afterward, you can find and modify your searches under My eBay -> Saved searches.

eBay search 1

Other sites that sell used books:

3. Check with the Navy Department’s Library.

If you find one there, you can photograph or scan it at the Washington Navy Yard in person, or request your local library to borrow the book (with some caveats) via inter-library loan.

4. Search the GG Archives.

Not a huge selection, but you might get lucky.

NOTE: If you have or find your yearbook, it’s a great idea to scan it yourself or have it done at FedEx/Kinko’s or a similar copy shop (reasonable prices, too). Please send those scans to our RTC Orlando Historian, Ann Byrnes, and also send them to #3 and #4 above, to add to their collections and to help shipmates in the future.


Other than looking through our own Company Photos albums, you could also try James Matthew’s “RTC Orlando Company Photo’s” group on Facebook.

Otherwise, start with #1 above (find a shipmate), and add your former Company Commander, in case they have a copy of the photo.

You’ll have to use the same techniques as #1 to find your CC, unfortunately, since, as far as we know, there aren’t any organizations just for them. However, you might find more options if searching for a Navy Chief, for instance, by searching sources only for them.

We hope this gives you a few options. Good luck with your search!

If you find another source, please let us know.


Help Spread the Word about the RTC Orlando Reunion!

We are developing tools to help publicize and promote the RTC Orlando Reunion 2018. You can help by printing business cards and flyers, using social media to announce the reunion, and making sure other Navy veterans get the word.

Business Cards

Our business card includes all the basic data about the reunion and where to go for more information. It’s grayscale only (no color) and blank on the back so you can add your own contact info if you wish.

Download the PDF (300KB) and print ten cards at a time on business card stock. We suggest Avery business card stock #88220 or equivalent, which is available in most business supply stores like Staples and Office Depot. NOTE: Be sure to use the “Actual Size” setting when printing (instead of “Fit to Page”).

RTCOR Business card 2018

RTC Orlando Reunion Flyer

Download this full-page flyer in PDF format to print, email, or FAX to your local VA medical centers, veteran’s organizations, posts, lodges, etc. It can be printed in color or grayscale.

RTCOR Flyer 2018


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CFNL Wounded Warfighter Lone Sailor 5K/10K

RTC Orlando’s Goal: 50 Participants

The Central Florida Navy League (CFNL) will host the 9th Annual Wounded Warfighter Lone Sailor 5K/10K on April 14, 2018 at Blue Jacket Park in Orlando, Florida. The CFNL will dedicate the new Blue Jacket Recruit Statue that day, too.

“Honor Orlando’s rich military heritage and support our wounded service men and women at the 9th annual Wounded Warfighter Lone Sailor 5K/10K.”

More information and Registration

RTC Orlando Reunion has a goal of 50 participants in honor of and to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of RTC Orlando. Please sign up for our team, “RTC Veterans.”


  • No, you don’t have to be a runner to sign up for the RTC Veterans team for the April event!
  • Yes, you can sign up just for the swag (medal & t-shirt).
  • If you plan to run/walk/roll the race in person, choose “Military 5K” or “Military 10K.”
  • If you can’t be at the race but will be at the reunion in October, choose “Military 5K” and we will collect your race packet/swag and give it to you at the reunion.
  • If you want the swag mailed to you, choose “Virtual 5K” or “Virtual 10K” at registration and use our exclusive virtual race discount code RTCRunners2018 to get $5 off! (A virtual racer is someone who opts to do the race on their own time on their own turf in the manner of their choosing (or not at all).)
  • Why sign up? You are supporting a great cause, you can get some great fitness in if you choose, and you get some amazing swag.

Wounded Warfighter 5K/10K


What’s Your Favorite Navy Movie?

Just for fun, we’re asking you to vote (once only, please) on your favorite film about or including the US Navy. If the selection doesn’t include your favorite, add it under “Other.” Check out the results afterward. Thanks!

Battleship movie poster


Then and Now—Overlay Maps of RTC Orlando

These clever maps, created by volunteer Lee Browndorf, show the past and the present. This is the location of the Recruit Training Command base from 1968 until 1994 overlaid on the current Baldwin Park neighborhood of Orlando, Florida.

You may download a full-size map by clicking on a picture, waiting for it to load, and right-clicking to save to your computer. The files are 3.4 MB and 3.1 MB, respectively. To print on an 11×17-inch sheet, choose “Size to fit” and landscape orientation.

RTC overlay map 1   RTC Overlay map 2


Dress Code for the Navy Ball

We want to respect our hosts, the Central Florida Navy League, and the traditions of the Navy Ball, so the dress code is important. Please use these guidelines to plan for the occasion.


If you are retired from the Navy and wish to wear your formal dress or dinner dress uniform, please follow US Navy Uniform Regulations (NAVPERS 15665I), Section 10, Article 61002. Grooming and weight standards must also meet those of active duty personnel.


Veterans and Guests

You may wear formalwear (civilian dinner dress or black tie, which means a tuxedo with a dark bow tie) or a dark suit with a dark necktie.

EXAMPLES: Tux with black tie, dark suit

tuxedo dark suit

What NOT to wear:

EXAMPLES: Prom-style or sports jacket

White tux sports jacket


Veterans and Guests

Formalwear, also known as evening wear, consists of a full-length or tea-length (below the knee) dress in good taste and not overly revealing (no plunging necks or backs). Cocktail dresses are normally too short or revealing to fit in this category. Sleeveless is acceptable but strapless is discouraged. Alternatively, a blouse and skirt set in full-length or tea-length is appropriate, as is a pantsuit—as long as it is formal in nature.

EXAMPLES: Full-length, jacketed, tea-length, formal blouse and skirt set, or pantsuit

Gown GownJacketed gownJacketed gownTea-length gownGownSkirt setSkirt setPantsuit

What NOT to wear:

EXAMPLES: Little black dress, cocktail dress, anything too revealing, or prom-style

little black dresscocktail dressToo revealingShort dressFlouncy dress



Refer to Section 10, Article 61002 of NAVPERS 15665I  or Section 3, Article 5303 of the Navy Uniform Regulations.


Poll: What Was Your Navy Rating?

So, let’s see how many ratings we can cover with our first poll. (Please only take the poll once.)

For enlisted sailors: Choose your rating. If you had more than one, list the second in “Other.”

NOTE: As you know, ratings have changed quite a bit over the years. Some of these are no longer applicable, but please choose the one you were when you separated or retired. If I missed one, it was unintentional; please let add it to “Other” and I’ll fix the list!


“Rating Badge CT” by United States Navy. Original uploader was Supersquid at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by SGT141 at en.wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia (Original text : Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –


Justice for RTC Orlando Shipmate Pamela Cahanes

We would like to post on behalf of our RTC Orlando shipmate, Pamela Cahanes, whose life was brutally taken from her the day after she graduated RTC Orlando in August, 1984. Her case is still a cold case. Anyone who knew Pamela and can provide any information whatsoever is urged to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477 or Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Robert Jaynes at 407-665-6650.


Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Cold Case Pamela Cahanes page 

Seminole County Sheriff’s Report

Orlando Sentinel Cold Case story