CLOSE

USA TODAY’s Ed Baig rescues a SEAL team using the Navy’s new recruiting tool, VR
USA TODAY

OSHKOSH – You’re on a boat on a snaking river in the middle of nowhere.

It’s you and several other U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen, or SWCCs. Your mission: avoid enemy fire as you rescue your fellow service members. 

You’re hearing, feeling and seeing everything.

It’s not real but it feels like it is. It’s a short simulation, a virtual reality experience made possible by an Oculus Rift headset and a wearable SubPac vest, and it’s accessible this week on the EAA AirVenture grounds in Oshkosh.  

I didn’t fair well: I scored only 100 points out of a possible 400. 

Luckily for me (and perhaps others), there are more than 102 different careers in the U.S. Navy, says Petty Officer Maxwell Molidor. 

That’s something that most people don’t realize, he said. 

RELATED: The Navy wants to recruit you — with Virtual Reality

RELATED: U.S. Navy to anchor in northeast Wisconsin for weeklong outreach

Molidor was one of two recruiters, alongside seven or eight brand ambassadors, at the Navy’s booth at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Thursday morning.

It’s where people can test their strength at a pull-up bar, try their hands at the VR experience and simply learn more about the military branch. The Navy also has a presence at the EAA Museum this week. 

“Everyone always talks about how in shape they were back in the day. … (This) gives them a chance to come out here and try out and see if they are in the same shape as someone in the military,” Molidor said about the pull-up bar.

I passed on the pull-ups. 

The booth, which is open until Sunday, is just one…