Monday, August 13, 2012

Educating Sailors Throughout History

On Thursday, September 20, at 6pm, HRNM is hosting a program about the Navy's use of graphic novels as training tools. But to understand how the Navy began to use such a non-traditional format for teaching sailors, one must look back through history to see how the Navy has trained sailors in the past. Participants in the graphic novels program will view a small, temporary exhibit about the Navy's various ways of training over the years. Here is a preview of one exhibit panel about how the Navy trained sailors in the 20th century. If you're a former (or current) sailor and experienced any of these forms of training, comment and let us know your thoughts!
 The 1921 graduating class in front of Electrician.

During the 20th century, sailors trained through hands-on experience, training manuals, and via experienced sailors. Most notably, the Bluejacket’s Manual was first issued in 1902. Additionally, the Navy recognized the need for establishing training schools around the country, including the training school at Naval Operating Base Norfolk (now Naval Station Norfolk). Norfolk’s training school included a full-scale ship, the Electrician, on which sailors trained for electrical work and other tasks. Electrician did everything except float.

Training films became popular in the 1940s. 
A couple decades later, the US Navy took advantage of motion pictures by creating training films. The Navy’s films trained sailors on a variety of subjects, including aircraft carrier flight deck safety, hygiene, escaping from disabled submarines, recovering sailors who have fallen overboard, landing aboard an aircraft carrier, firing gun turrets, and many other topics. Many of these films have survived to the present-day, including the ones you'll be able to watch at HRNM on Thursday evening, September 20. RSVP to today for this FREE program! 

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