THIS DISCUSSION WAS CREATED FOR THOSE WITH A FAMILY MEMBER AT OR PREPARING TO GO TO NAVY BOOT CAMP.
The single most important site to bookmark on your browser is the Reruit Training Command website – the official website from the Navy containing information for recruits & families. Here you'll find the phone number/email for the Public Affairs Office, FAQs, mission statement for the Recruit Training Command, the history of the program. Here is where you will find the graduation dates for various Training Groups and the link to print your pass for parking at graduation (call PIR Pass In Review). Many, many of your questions will be answered if you study the information on this site.
Recruit Training Command - Main Page (clickable link)
The Family Guide (clickable link - a pdf file) Important 3 page document.
Print this, keep it handy for reference. READ THIS FIRST. Answers to most questions.
Recruit Training Command - Facebook Page (clickable link) to see photos
of current recruits at RTC
GRADUATION STREAMING LIVE (Clickable link) Watch our recruits graduate
at 0845 Central Daylight Time on scheduled Fridays
STEP 1 - JUST FOR YOUR RECRUIT - A SPECIAL WEBSITE. Your recruit should study this fantastic power point presentation (the four PDF files) made by Craig, a N4M member. He was in the Navy himself and has a son in the Navy. He has a website JUST for the recruits. If your son/daughter is struggling with getting answer, this site may be for him/her. Craig put together the PDF files and found the diagram of the barracks. He is a wealth of information.
NAVY DEP.com (clickable link)
In the PDF files below, you'll see maps of the Recruit Training Center at Great Lakes, the ILL area, photos, diagrams, a list of the addresses of the "ships", - a great overview of the beginning processing days. It will take you from the beginning when your recruits arrives at Great Lake to the end of processing days - you will feel like YOU have been processed too. This link opens up a PDF file. You can print a hard copy. If you are downloading this for the first time - it may take a minute or two (depending on the speed of your computer - possibly longer - be patient). You can also save this file to your own hard drive for future reference. But don't worry it'll always be here.
THE VIDEOS AND THE PDF FILES WILL A LONG TIME TO DOWNLOAD (THE FIRST TIME). It'll look like nothing is happening. Be patient. I would recommend printing these four files and putting them in a binder. It'll be a great way to show family and friends what your recruit will be going through.
Boot_Camp_Processing_Days_P_days.pdf (71 pages)
Aerial_View_of_Camp_John_Paul_Jones.pdf (23 pages)
Battle_Stations_Part1_of_2.pdf (71 pages)
Battle_Stations_Part2_of_2.pdf (69 pages)
STEP 2 - BOOT CAMP VIDEOS from P DAY to PIR
NEW VIDEOS. These were found on the official Recruit Training Command website as of Aug 2014.
OVER VIEW & FACES OF THE NAVY (YouTube)
Approximately 25 mintues. This video will give you an over view of Boot Camp, from the beginning with comments from people involved.
PASS-IN-REVIEW, Boot Camp Graduation
Approximately 2 minutes. PIR at NAVY Recruit Training Command. Not near long enough but will give you an idea of what PIR is like.
Navy Boot Camp - What To Expect
Again another very brief over view.
BOOT CAMP - TIMELINE AT A GLANCE.
The YouTube videos below are essentially the ones featured on the RETURN TO BOOTCAMP series (which the Navy is no longer promoting) - but I found the links. BunkerQB.
- Welcome to U. S. Navy Bootcamp - P (processing) Days - YouTube 13:35 minutes
- Reveille - YouTube - 1:43 minutes
- PT Physical Training - YouTube - 2:02 mintues
- CNN Video - IDEAS - YouTube BattleStations 21 3:53 minutes
- Battle Stations 21 YouTube - 7:55 minutes
STEP 3 - COUNT DOWN TO DEPARTURE DATE. Click on the link below to a separate discussion listing all the of things to do the last month before your loved ones leaves for boot camp.
Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for the RTC
- GET INVOLVED. GET CONNECTED. BE PART OF A GROUP
(Navy For Moms Groups that is). Preparing for PIR and other stuff. Don't do this alone.
- Find some groups to join. Start with the Navy MEPS & DEP Families group (if your recruit is waiting for Boot Camp), the Boot Camp Moms group (if your recruit has started Boot Camp already), your geographical group (your home town).
Navy MEPS & DEP Families (clickable link)
Boot Camp Moms (clickable link)
- Along with the two above groups, you should join one of the following depending on when your sailor recruit is leaving for Boot Camp.
Leaving For Boot Camp in January Leaving For Boot Camp in February
Leaving For Boot Camp in March Leaving For Boot Camp in April
Leaving For Boot Camp in May Leaving For Boot Camp in June
Leaving For Boot Camp in July Leaving For Boot Camp in August
Leaving For Boot Camp in September Leaving For Boot Camp in October
Leaving For Boot Camp in November Leaving For Boot Camp in December
THE FORM LETTER:
You will received this form letter (from RTC) soon after your sailor recruit starts boot camp. This form letter contains four important items.
- Your recruit's SHIP # and DIVISION # (Ships which are their barracks are also named, like USS Triton, USS Reuben James. See diagram above. Don't confuse these with the real life actual Navy vessels in service).
Just below that is his address. USE THIS address - not the one that you might have gotten from the recruiter previously.
- Further down, you'll find his graduation date. This is his PIR (Pass In Review) date.
- Next, you'll see the password you will need to download the parking pass for PIR
- Finally, you'll see the four names your recruit has listed officially as his guests. (4 per recruit, limit could be 3 guests if the divisions are large - see the Family Guide above)
NOTE: IMPORTANT UPDATE (OCTOBER 2012) ON EXTRA GUESTS. RTC'S POLICY HAS CHANGED. READ THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION:
Extra guest No Longer Allowed Into The Graduation (PIR) Ceremony
If you are lucky, you'll find a very brief note from your recruit. There is not much room to write, so don't be disappointed if the letter is short - this will be the first written communication from your sailor recruit.
Click HERE to see sample of the form letter.
If you have an address (either from your recruiter or from your form letter), start writing, use plain regular letter size envelopes - the two addresses may be different - don't panic - it'll get there - use the one your recruit gives you in the form letter as soon as you get it. Number your letters - your recruit may get them in bunches and out of sequence.
- When you get the form letter, find the Navy For Moms group associated with that PIR (Pass In Review or Graduation from Boot Camp) date and join it. You will meet all the other moms/dads/wives/gfs with loved ones graduating on the same date (always on a Friday) - click below to see list of PIR groups. The number of divisions and the division numbers are also provided. You will be bonding with this group for approximately eight weeks. We have a core group of fantastic "veteran" moms who have taken moms, dads, wives, fiancees, gfs with new recruits through this roller coaster ride called Boot Camp from the beginning right through PIR. These veteran moms create the PIR groups and are just fantastic.
Groups Listed by PIR date. (clickable link)
A word about printing the parking pass. You need the PASSWORD to print the parking pass. KEEP THIS FORM LETTER in a safe place. I would recommend making several copies and/or scanning it and saving a pdf file on your hard drive. If you are using Internet Explorer (and you can not open up the link), download Mozilla Firefox (free - will work) and use it to print your parking pass for PIR. Parking passes are normally available about one to two weeks prior to the actual PIR date. Go here to get your pass.
http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/upcoming_grads.asp (clickable link)
- Next join this group to prepare for PIR. Read through the many topics. Your questions should be answered (such as hotels to stay? shuttle from hotel or take car? what to wear? which airport to use? Sarge's phone number, ordering photos & dvd, etc.). Don't forget you might be able to go to the airport with your SAILOR after PIR and keep him/her company until his/her flight departure. Take any opportunity to spend more time with your sailor.
PIR Reference Information Group (clickable link)
- If you know where your sailor is going for A school or his rating, check for groups listed by Job Rating. Later, If you know what ship he has been assigned to, check for groups listed by name of his ship - the active ships out on the Fleet (the real thing) not the bootcamp barracks named after ships. Looking for a local group or special interest group to join? We have tabulated lists for those too.
GROUPS: Listed By PIR Date (clickable link)
GROUPS: Listed By Name of US Navy Ships/actual US Naval Vessels (clickable link)
GROUPS: Listed By Navy Job/Ratings (clickable link) and companion
Ratings, A School Locations & Links to Groups by lemonelephant
GROUPS: Geographical By State (clickable link)
GROUPS: Listed By Special Interest (clickable link)
STEP 5 - Get to know the Navy For Moms site. Just underneath the big blue Navy For Moms masthead, you will find a menu bar with a bunch of tabs. The tabs you will quickly become acquainted with will be "MY PAGE", "EVENTS", "FORUMS", "GROUPS", "BLOGS" and "CHAT"
- My Page - this will take you to YOUR PERSONAL page. Here you will find a summary of all comments you have posted, comments others have posted on YOUR page, summary of your activities in Forum Discussions, Blogs. On your personal page, you'll find a list of discussions you created or participated in as well as blogs that you have created. You can personalized the appearance of your page or add a PLAYLIST.COM box to play music. Check this on a daily basis - you may find a friendly welcome from one of us.
- Events - you can used this function to set up a meet and greet for any purpose. Just click on this tab and click +ADD. Typically, there is a PRE-PIR (meet and greet on Thursdays at the Ramada Inn. The Ramada Inn hosts the meet and greet - they don't set it up - it's up family members within associated with each graduating class to set up this event. SARGE also host a meet and greet. Your PIR group will be able to give you info on both. Many groups use this to set up their meet and greets. You can make this a public or private event. People can RSVP. The creator of the event can send out a message to attendees without having to "friend" all the member first - this is very convenient for the organizers.
- Forums - under Forums, you will find a number of Discussion categories (16). This is the place to go for discussions posted about a wide myriad of topics. Under "How To Do Stuff On N4M" you'll find master index lists of groups formed on this site. For example, there is a list of groups associated with PIR date, ships, job rating and special interest. When you click on Forums, you'll see "My Discussions" just underneath the menu bar - this is a summary of all the comments you have posted.
- Groups - here you will find all the groups that have been formed since the beginning. You can view the display by "Most members" (default), "Most active", "Latest" and "Latest activity". In small print, just above the Featured Groups, you'll see "My Groups" - click on this to access a summary of groups that YOU belong to. If you start a group, you can choose to make it private or public. You can change it from one to the other after it has been created to hide or display the comments posted.
- BLOGS - blogs are like diaries - you can post anything (within the N4M general guidelines). This is not a great place to post request for information. Blogs are not organized. They come and go in sequential order by date.
- CHAT - "To chat or not to chat?" If you are familiar with chat, it's a great place to meet and catch up. Everything is in real time. The program only keeps so many lines of the dialog. If you need a quick response, someone may be there to respond with a quick answer or link. Everything is at a fast pace and in simplified computer-chat language. Occasionally, a new mom will find chat difficult to adjust to because a number of conversations going and any responses to her questions are direct and in short hand form. CHAT is definitely a fast paced environment. A new mom looking for gentle support should try one of the groups first or post in the Forum Discussions. But if you are looking for a quickie answer, there is usually someone around who will respond with link. It's not fair to ask the people in CHAT who are in one or more conversations to stop, slow down to accommodate your pace. Once you get up to speed, jump right in.
KEEP THESE TIPS IN MIND ON USING THIS SITE:
- If you are getting too many email notifications, just click "STOP FOLLOWING" located just underneath the input comment box or go to Settings, then Email to set your default parameters for email notification. If you are inundated with email notifications to your regular email addresses, you can control when you get an email notification. Just remember to check you personal page, you inbox if you turn off your notifications.
- Look at your status box on the upper right - with INBOX, ALERTS, FRIENDS, SETTINGS. Just underneath that will be a line with invitations from others to attend events or join another group. Go to "HOW TO DO STUFF ON N4M" category under FORUMS and look for the discussion relating to this various topics, such as composing a message to a friend, sending out a friend request, changing your username, password.
- With any group, there are discussions added by members. The list displayed may not be the entire list (group admins can set the number to display). Be sure to click "View All" under the Discussions (on the right just under the displayed list of discussions).
- If you are connected on CHAT, you'll hear a beep, beep-beep every time a member in CHAT posts a comment. Disconnect from CHAT, the beeping will stop.
- DO NOT USE YOUR REAL FIRST & LAST NAMES as your USERNAME. For your sailor recruit's privacy and your privacy, input something that can not be used to identify your sailor recruit. Additionally, do not use your email address. If you have done so and wish to change it, simply click SETTINGS and follow the instructions. Be sure to click SAVE.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I am indebted to the many "veteran" moms, dads, wives, fiancees, girlfriends who have been on this site and have contributed so much to the site's success and to the information that I have gathered here. In particular, I would like give a special thanks to the ladies who run the the Boot Camp Moms group, PIR groups & the Navy MEPS & DEP group. There are people in many areas who have contributed hours and hours - maybe even hundreds of hours in the Forum Discussions, to Blogs and in Chat. For an all volunteer site, it has been amazingly effective.
This guide is an on going project, please feel free to make suggestions. We will revise this periodically. Please note - if someone out there would like to revise/rewrite this or take over, please feel free to give it a shot. Just call me. BunkerQB