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Recruit Training Command volunteers turn out for ASBP Blood Drive

21 November 2023

From Alan Nunn, Recruit Training Command

Recruit Training Command (RTC) volunteers provided a lifeline to the front lines during the RTC Blood Drive Nov. 15.
The donation site at the USS Theodore Roosevelt – a Navy recruit barracks – welcomed RTC leadership, Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs), instructors, and civilian staff, who donated 23 units of blood to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP).

The ASBP, also known as the military blood program, is the official provider of blood and blood products to the U.S. Armed Forces.

ASBP’s mission is to collect, process, store, and transport blood and blood products to ill or injured service members, their families, retirees, and veterans worldwide. ASBP provides 50 percent of blood products to the military at home and abroad.

Locally, the Blood Donor Center, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Great Lakes, is supported by the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC). Collected blood is processed in a lab located at FHCC. As one of only two blood freezing sites for the Department of Defense, NMRTC Great Lakes Blood Donor Center became the only donor center in ASBP to receive licensure to manufacture pre-storage pooled cryoprecipitate earlier this year.

“RTC continues to be a mission multiplier supporting the Navy Blood Program and the Armed Services Blood Program,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Collins, the Blood Donor Department Head at NMRTC Great Lakes. “The NMRTC Great Lakes Blood Donor Center would not meet the mission without the relationship we have with RTC. From the fleet to the fleet.”

The Navy community at Great Lakes has donated 4,752 units of blood this year. The majority of the more than 5,300 local volunteers who have been screened this year include RTC recruits who have donated 3,672 units of blood in 2023.

“RTC is proud to partner with NMRTC, and the Defense Health Agency, to contribute to this critical life-saving resource,” said Capt. Kenneth J. Froberg, Commanding Officer, RTC.

Those totals increased with contributions from RTC military and civilian staff, including Machinist Mate Submarine Auxiliary 1st Class Michael Brown.

“I saw firsthand what it does,” said Brown, who estimates he had donated blood more than 25 times. “I did two deployments to Afghanistan, and I volunteered at the hospital at Bagram, so I gave blood donations. A couple of times, I got called out of my rack to give blood because casualties were coming in. I also know people back home need it. If I’m able to help save a life, I want to, so every time I get the opportunity, I always donate.”

When a person donates blood, they donate about a pint (one unit), approximately 10 percent of their total blood volume. According to ASBP statistics, a single trauma victim may require 40 units of blood. Eight units of platelets may be required daily by leukemia patients undergoing treatment, and a single pint of blood can sustain a premature infant’s life for two weeks.

To schedule an appointment, go to for zip code 60088. For more information about the Armed Services Blood Program, visit or follow @militaryblood on Facebook and Twitter and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram.

Boot camp is approximately 10 weeks, and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes five warfighting competencies of firefighting, damage control, seamanship, watch standing, small arms handling and marksmanship, along with physical fitness, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, Warrior Toughness, Life Skills, teamwork, and discipline. More than 40,000 recruits train annually at the Navy’s only boot camp.

For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit

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