DVIDS – News – Recruit Training Command Staff in the Spotlight

Meet Mrs. Vyonnie “Vonnie” Tillery, the Recruit Training Command’s (RTC) command suite secretary at the Navy’s only boot camp.

Tillery, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, has been the face of the front desk for 20 years.

She takes pictures and enjoys singing during her off time. She’s a preacher’s wife and sings in their church choir. She’s known around the command as RTC’s first lady and the RTC Gate Keeper.

“In addition to all of those names, well deserving names, she is the conductor of the symphony,” said Command Master Chief Van-Troi SibiliaMartinez, RTC. “She ensures all instruments are tuned and keeping up with the right tempo. She has served in her capacity for over a decade. In fact, she was serving in that role since my time as a [Hospital Corpsman 1st Class] over 14 years ago.”

SibiliaMartinez also said she has a wealth of information and helps the triad complete a smooth transition while acclimating to RTC.

She said she likes the structure of the military more. When the position at RTC opened up, she said it was a win-win.

“It’s nice to work with the government,” she said. “Civilian [life] just wasn’t a good fit for me.”

She likes professionalism and common courtesy, things that she says you don’t find as much on the civilian side. She also enjoys meeting distinguished guests and high-level officials.

“I also like to be here and support the triad,” said Tillery. “This is one of the best jobs to have at RTC because I’m in the headquarters; in the head shed. I’m where it’s happening. I get to see it all and hear it all.”

After Tillery retired from the Marines, she wanted to stay in the government sector. Tillery tried the civilian sector before.

“My passion is photography,” she said. “I take pictures on the side. I love photography, and I love singing.”

Tillery helps at command events through these passions. She’s sung the National Anthem for the Recruit Division Commander’s “C” school graduations and changes of command. She also takes pictures of Sailors and staff.

“I do a lot of selfies of me,” she added with a laugh. “I like to capture people, not necessarily buildings or things, I like people, candid shots. I go out of my way and take a lot of pictures, and I don’t have to. Then I send the picture to the people and they appreciate it.”

Boot camp is approximately 10 weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, 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 www.navy.mil/local/rtc

Date Taken: 01.05.2023
Date Posted: 01.05.2023 13:08
Story ID: 436298
Location: GREAT LAKES, IL, US 

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