DVIDS – News – From RN to SR, Chase Barnes flip-flops to enlist in the Navy


GREAT LAKES (NNS) – For the past 13 years, Chase Barnes has been an intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurse working as a traveling nurse and charge nurse.

He also plans to cycle, one of his favorite activities, from Louisiana to Maine.

Instead, he put everything aside and enlisted in the US Navy.

“One day I woke up at 37, sort of midlife crisis, just ready for a big change and a new challenge. Someone mentioned that their relative was in the Navy and how well they did, and they got in relatively late, ”Barnes said. “I have always been good at nursing and critical care. After 13 years I was a nurse in charge which is the highest level you can reach in the business and then tried to keep things interesting so I wouldn’t get bored and be complacent which is why I switched to different branches of the ICU. While I did everything, I felt myself becoming complacent.

The Navy raised its enlistment age limit from 34 to 39 in early 2018. Applicants must be able to ship to training camp before their 40th birthday.
Barnes met his recruiter on November 1, 2020 and quickly arrived at Recruit Training Command (RTC) two months later. Although he has an associate’s degree, he still lacks a few credits to earn his bachelor’s degree, which is necessary to become an officer.

“I have my associate degree, that’s all I could afford. I have almost all of my credits required for a bachelor’s degree, ”Barnes said. “I couldn’t afford college tuition, so I chose my associate’s and never went back to get my bachelor’s degree. I just wanted a different path and will say I’m glad I took this path because I don’t really know anyone in the military in my family who could have guided me.

Barnes voluntarily chose not to enlist as a corpsman, and with the help of his recruiting office to guide him, he selected the Journeyman Aviation Electrician rate where he will gain technical and electronic expertise and perform repairs. and aircraft updates. These skills will also translate easily in the civilian world.

Moving from the top of the nursing pecking order to Navy training camp as a recruit, Barnes explained he felt confident and prepared.

“I’ve always been a big help with new, young nurses coming in,” Barnes said. “Going straight from a nursing student to the intensive care unit is tough, and a lot of older nurses get complacent and jaded and they forget what it was, but I’m still sympathetic. On my first day of training camp, I went with the flow. There was no time to think of much other than following the instructions and everything will be fine.

He was quite humiliated when he first arrived at the RTC, where recruits make a quick stopover to receive their bags of uniforms and supplies before heading to Fort McCoy, Wis., For a required quarantine of two weeks. With only two months between the recruiting process and arriving at training camp, it left him little time to prepare. He was impressed with the knowledge of the young recruits.

“When we first got to Fort McCoy, these 18 and 19 year olds knew so much, the ins and outs of everything and I asked them, ‘How did you know all this? and they replied, “YouTube!” I would have liked to know because then I would have prepared myself better.

His fellow rookies quickly judged him on his age, but quickly realized that he was worthy of admiration and respect.

“Barnes was very influential to me because ever since I met him at Fort McCoy I thought he would be one of those guys who would complain about everything because of his age,” said Seaman Michael Carneo, 20 years old, from New York. . “I thought if he couldn’t physically do a workout, he would probably blame his age and be a bit of a snob towards younger rookies because he’s racked up his years. Instead, ‘Doc’ is truly humble. His nickname is “Doc”.
Besides teaching Carneo how to do his taxes, Barnes easily became a mentor to younger hires.

“He’s also a great listener. He’s calm, he just looks you in the eye, and you feel like he’s really paying attention and listening to your problems, “said Carneo,” It’s a really good feeling and he will give you really good advice. because he built his wisdom. “

During his first week of training, commanders of Barnes’ Recruit Division (DRC) selected him as the division’s Petty Officer Education (EPO), which proved to influence many recruits. .

“I named him the division’s EPO because he has worked with many other people throughout his life and is able to adapt to different learning techniques to ensure that each recruit receives and performs well. lessons taught, ”said Yeoman 1st Class Kerry Grove, a DRC for Barnes Division. “Throughout training camp Barnes was more than just a crewmate to many rookies, I would almost say he’s considered the ‘father’ of the division. He was appreciated by many for his drive and determination to succeed. Being an older recruit is much more difficult both physically and mentally.

This is the case with Seaman Recruit Jonah Kuiocho, 19, of Sacramento, Calif.

“I rely on him for a lot of advice in life due to his age and he’s very easy to talk to. If I have any problems I will go see him and he will talk to me and give me some advice on how to handle things, ”said Kuiocho. “It has also helped me manage my time and be more aware of what I’m doing. He really helped me with that.

Barnes realized he had to get in shape in order to pass the fitness assessment – which includes a 1.5-mile run, push-ups, and plank – which all recruits must pass to achieve their diploma.

“I made my mark on my race every time, and even gained a few minutes so I’m well below my minimum requirements,” said Barnes. “With the push-ups I need to do 33 to be successful and I was only able to do 12 or 15; it was really bad, and i didn’t know my pumps were that bad, but now i’m 50. In fact, I outperform some of these younger recruits.

As the other recruits waited to see how he would be able to do physically, he surprised them with what he has been able to accomplish so far.

“Time and time again, Barnes pulled off even the toughest drills, which in turn motivated other rookies at a much younger age to persevere and give it their all,” Grove said. “I can’t imagine living with over 60 other people who are up to 20 years younger than me, but he handles it with ease.”

Sharing accommodations with so many recruits reminds Barnes of what once was peace and quiet and the ability to close his door to go to bed whenever he wants. However, he drew on his life’s experiences and helps mentor young recruits by giving them advice on how best to behave in the Navy.

“Barnes is an impressive rookie. He is very calm and respectful of the opinions and space of others. Her hidden talent for understanding others speaks louder than the words of her mouth, ”said Rose-Laure Bazile, another from the DRC from Barnes, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate, 1st Class. “He is an example of a great leader. While his long-term goal is to pursue graduate studies in the medical field after the Navy, the recruits he inspires today are all grateful for the impact he has had in their lives.

While communication was limited between rookies and their families during training camp, that didn’t stop Barnes’ mother Robbie Weldon of Carthage, Texas from knowing the impact her son had on its division.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity for him to learn, grow and do something different with his life when he first announced to me that he was enlisting,” said Weldon. “I heard from a few of the parents of other rookies that he was a real inspiration to their sons.

Now that Barnes has finished training camp, he is anxiously awaiting “A” school and qualifying to finally earn his bachelor’s degree.

“I’m going to hit hard, and that will look good on my resume. I’m motivated because my schedule is a bit short compared to these 18-year-olds, ”said Barnes. “I am very motivated and motivated. In addition, I want to be one of those sailors who move faster.

After he completes his five-year service in the Navy, Barnes plans to reach his cycling goal to help him decide which route to take next with the trip of a lifetime.

“I want to do the Appalachian Trail – which is just under 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine,” he explained. “It will give me four or five months to figure out what I really want to do: go back to school full time as a student, re-enroll, or go back to nursing. ”

Training camp lasts approximately eight weeks and all enlisted in the US Navy begin their careers in command. The training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and damage control on board, as well as lessons on the Navy’s heritage and core values, teamwork and the discipline. More than 40,000 recruits train each year at the Navy’s sole training camp.

For more information on Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc

Date taken: 29.01.2021
Date posted: 12.27.2021 10:39
Story ID: 411927
Site: GREAT LAKES, Illinois, United States

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