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Tewksbury Man Graduates Navy Boot Camp

Jun 19, 2015 11:26AM ● By Kieran Gilman
(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by Richard Menard.)

On June 5th, Tewksbury resident Alexander Menard (ShawTech Class of 2014) graduated his U.S. Navy "boot camp" formally known as Pass in Review.  There were there were 7 divisions in this class with 88 recruits in each division.  While at Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes Illinois recruits are challenged both mentally and physically over a grueling 8 weeks.  The program culminates in an exercise called Battle Stations 21, named after the USS Trayers, "the unluckiest ship in the fleet".  Trayers is a 200 foot replica that is part Navy and part Hollywood as CNN puts it.  Recruits must face challenges such as mechanical failure, fire, and crew extraction during a missile strike.  Many of the situations are based on lessons learned during the terrorist attack on the USS Cole where 17 sailor perished while docked in Yemen.

While there Alex said his experiences at the Massachusetts State Police Student Trooper Camp as well as being a member of the Shawsheen Tech football team helped him succeed in the team based evaluations.  His extensive swim career as part of the USA Swimming program North Shore Swim Club (NSSC-NE) and Shawsheen Tech Varsity swim team really let him shine during the required individual evalutions.

Immediately following PIR, Menard was shipped  to Lackland AFB in San Antonio to be trained as a Master at Arms.  His "A School" training will qualify him in many skills such as weapons, search and seizure, and anti-piracy.  Navy M.A.'s are stationed on ships and on Naval bases around the world.  They provide ship and port security, serve on Merchant vessels such as Maersk Alabama (Captain Philips' ship),  as well as supporting special forces during their clandestine operations.  Menard will find out his assignment in late August but hopes to join the Riverines, a specialized unit in the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

Alex's family; Joy, Rick, Sydney, and Jack are all so proud that their brother/son has joined the ranks of the less than 1% of Americans who chose to serve their Country. They ask the everyone continue to support our United States Sailors and Soldiers around the world who are willing to fight everyday to ensure the preservation of our American way of life.
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