Finding United States Navy Boot Camp Graduation Books

Finding United States Navy Boot Camp Graduation Books

Over the years, many of you have enquired about the United States Navy USNTC Boot Camp Graduation Books.

According the Recruit Training Command, the longer the time after the publication of a yearbook, the less likely you are to be able to obtain a copy. Recruit Training Command contracts with a publisher for a certain number of copies based on the size of the recruit division and pre-sale of the yearbook. The only way to obtain a copy of a yearbook is to find someone who was in your recruit division and buy it from him/her.

Below is a comprehensive list of websites which will offer all pertinent information:

Naval History and Heritage Command - Naval Training and Education Yearbooks in the Navy Department Library

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/cruise-books.html

Browse by Location:

  • Bainbridge, MD Compass (Naval Training Center) 41 Books
  • Great Lakes, IL The Keel (United States Naval Training Center) 228 Books
  • Orlando, FL Rudder (Recruit Training Command, Naval Training Center) 31 Books
  • San Diego, CA The Anchor (US Naval Training Center) 58 Books

Naval Training and Education Yearbooks in the Navy Department Library

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/cruise-books/naval-training-and-education-yearbooks.html

This will list all the years and companies they have books for roughly 358 companies and divisions covering 1948-1995 or about 1% of all companies for Bainbridge, Great Lakes, Orlando, and San Diego.  Only Great Lakes is currently operational as a Naval Training Center.

Recruit Training Command: The Navy’s Only Bootcamp.  https://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html

Q. I was in boot camp in the early 60’s. Is it possible to receive a copy of The Keel from my time onboard Recruit Training Command?
A. The longer the time after the publication of a yearbook, the less likely you are to be able to obtain a copy. Recruit Training Command contracts with a publisher for a certain number of copies based on the size of the recruit division and pre-sale of the yearbook. The only way to obtain a copy of a yearbook is to find someone who was in your recruit division and buy it from him/her. Please do not e-mail asking for copies of The Keel or the name of the publisher. If it has been longer than a year since your graduation, you will not be able to buy a copy of The Keel from the publisher.

The Military Yearbook Project:

https://militaryyearbookproject.com/

Note: We attempted to navigate their website but their Cascading Style Sheets that control the look and feel of the site were not operational. They have a total of 57 scanned yearbooks of which the majority appear to have been scrapped from our site (GG Archives). The "Full Book" scans they offer (6 books out of the 47 from Great Lakes) may be useful to some of you. Last Accessed 2019-04-15.

AbeBooks
https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/united-states-naval-training-center/

Fold 3

Navy Boot Camp Books at Fold3

Similar to Navy cruise books, Navy support books are "yearbooks" for Navy units that cover an operational deployment, training group, base, or similar group or institution. 

eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/
A number of graduation books are sold via eBay.  To facilitate your search on eBay, we have listed below the different search options which will give you the best results:

  • naval training center -matchbook -postcard -patch -coin
  • the Rudder yearbook
  • the Rudder navy
  • Orlando Rudder
  • the Anchor yearbook
  • the Anchor San Diego
  • the Keel great lakes
  • the keel yearbook
  • the Compass yearbook
  • the Compass Bainbridge
  • the Compass naval
  • the Compass Bainbridge

As sellers are not uniform on what they call the book, it is best to work with a more generic search terms. Setting up a search, include descriptions for Keel Great Lakes or Anchor San Diego or Keel navy book or Anchor navy book.

NavyVets.com

Navy Veterans: A Social Network for Navy Veterans of the United States of America. Blog posting: The Anchor Yearbook - Read the comments by:

  • Reunion Rudders RTC Orlando (2017-05-24)
  • Jon Yim, JO1 (retired) provides a great explanation of the yearbook process and history.

While the post focus was Orlando, the responses from the two postings listed above could be applied to Great Lakes, San Diego, Bainbridge, and Newport.

View the post at: https://navyvets.com/profiles/blogs/the-anchor-yearbook

Setting Up a Google Alert

Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results -- such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs -- that match your search term.
You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. We recommend that you set up a broad-based query keyword such as 1951 Navy Keel Book or US Navy Graduation Book Company 343.

If you start receiving too many results that are not relevant, add more words to your queries such as 1951 Navy Keel Book Great Lakes Company 343. One final note is that these books do not have a common name that everyone uses to refer to them. With that in mind, it is best not to insert queries within quotes.

Other options Include:

  • Local Genealogical Society Libraries
  • Biblio.com and other Used Book Stores, Online and Brick & Mortar Store
  • Public Libraries
  • Remember you can use inter-library loan services for intra and interstate book loans
  • Colleges and Universities (Unlikely but not beyond the realm of possibility)
  • Military memorabilia dealers
  • Local auctions

Contact you fellow sailors that you went to boot camp with.  They are often your best source for a scanned copy.

We hope that this comprehensive list assists you in your search to replace your boot camp book. Unfortunately, we lack the resources to assist you directly with your search.

Q. I was wondering why you don't have all the U.S. Navy "The Anchor" annuals? I went through boot camp beginning on Jan 12, 1978 but can't find any record of it on your site.

A: Not quite sure what you're referring to when you say "annuals" such as 1980 Anchor Yearbook presumably has all of the recruits who graduated during 1980. Not to be confused about all the different company yearbooks that graduated in 1980, such as company 008 from 1980.

Although we have an extensive collection of the company yearbooks, they are nowhere near complete. Just from 1946 through 2020 (75 Years), assuming there were about 600 companies per year would be 45,000 Books — for Great Lakes. It was operational 1923-1997 (74 years) for San Diego, so covering San Diego during the years it operated would add another 45,000 books.

Add another 30,000 books covering Orlando. Just with these three Naval Training Centers, we would be looking somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000 volumes of books.

Let us say we could purchase all of them for an average cost of $50 each. That would come up to about $6 million. On top of this, there is storage, insurance, cost of scanning, and transcribing each book. I think you can envision how massive this would be in terms of resources to have a complete collection.

That being said, we rely almost entirely on the generosity of sailors and their families to donate books or high-resolutions of the books. That's why it is completely hit or miss on whether we have your graduation book or not.

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