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In the past, the official form letter the recruits mail home containing their address and graduation information typically would arrive within about two weeks of them arriving as this letter was mailed out on their second day of boot camp.

The letter now takes a bit longer to receive and to better understand why others with recruits who arrived the same time as yours may receive their letters quicker than you do, you need to understand the new process.

The recruits are tested on their initial 1.5-mile run on their division's fifth BUSINESS day in boot camp. That means Monday through Friday as weekends do not count as training days. So, if your recruit arrives say, on a Wednesday or Thursday, they are not going to test until the following week.

If they pass their run then yay! Letter is mailed out the following day.

If they fail their run then boo! They are automatically set back in training to a newly arrived division, but still must pass a second attempt within a couple of days. If they pass, yay! Then their letter gets sent.

If they fail this second attempt, then a huge boo! as they will be getting separated/discharged and instead of a letter, you’ll be receiving the dreaded phone call from them stating they are coming home because they cannot meet the physical fitness standards.

Thus, those who pass the initial run on their first attempt will be the first to mail home the form letter. Those who pass the second attempt will have their letters sent up to a week after that.

The reason being is that if the letter was sent home as soon they arrived to boot camp stating they are in such-and-such division, and then fail and get set back a week, they now have a new division and you would be receiving the letter with the original old division. Plus, why send the letter when they don’t even know yet if they will be able to continue with training when they haven’t even completed their initial run test which determines whether they do.

Two recruits can arrived on the same day and have two different graduation dates. One might be placed into a division that began filling up the previous week and is about to do their baseline PFA, while the other recruit is placed into a division that is just starting to fill up and they most likely will not be taking the baseline PFA until the following day.

HERE'S ANOTHER IMPORTANT FACTOR TO KEEP IN MIND: The division as a whole sends out the form letter on the same day, which is the 1-1 Day of Training. Thus, which is why some of you seem to wait longer than others to receive yours.

Please note the recruits hand-address the form letter themselves so they choose as to whom will be receiving it and they only get to send one. If you are not the recipient of this letter, you will either need to request it from whomever does receive it or wait until your recruit writes you a regular letter. You cannot call RTC for this information as they are not at liberty to release this information regardless of your relation to your recruit, due to privacy laws.

Another important factor is to NOT get the division from your recruiter the split second your recruit arrives as your recruiter is only giving you the division number the recruits were assigned upon arrival. Is your recruiter going to monitor your specific recruit’s progress through that first week to see whether or not the division number has changed and then inform you? Thus, not only are you sending out letters to a wrong address, you’re also sending letters to a division that hasn’t even been transferred to their permanent ship as they spend the first week in a different ship for in-processing days.

Any mail sent to an incorrect address then sits in the RTC mailroom until the couple of staff members must sift through the misaddressed letters and look up the correct address in the computer. This will easily delay your letters and one of the main reasons why loved ones complain their recruits aren’t receiving any mail. No one is purposely withholding mail at RTC. Ever.

Even when the divisions get to their permanent ships, a recruit mail petty officer must first be trained on how to retrieve, sort and distribute the mail to their division. Recruits receive mail Monday through Friday.

If you think calling or e-mailing RTC to inquire whether or not your recruit is receiving mail and request they look for your letters, please don’t. No one at RTC is going to be humanly able to figure out where *your* specific letters are among the 10,000+ pieces of mail they receive almost daily and ensure it gets handed to your recruit. Please be realistic.

Hope this information helps to give a better understanding of why some must wait longer than others for the form letter. If you have questions, I can help answer.

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Do you have an idea of how long it usually takes to train a recruit mail petty officer? 

Know that letters mailed before you get the form letter do not get to your recruit much quicker, if at all, than letters mailed after receiving the form letter because the recruits cannot receive mail until they are in their permanent ship and a Recruit Mail Petty Officer has been trained in how to handle mail, which means it is usually sometime in the third week or later

Mail usually starts "flowing" a couple of weeks after your SR arrives at Bootcamp, give or take.  They normally are allowed to write their first letters on a Sunday and may receive some held mail then, although held mail takes a while to all get distributed.  Once they have the opportunity to write these first letters, they are able to mail out each Monday (collected on Sundays) but will start receiving mail M-F.  They can only mail out once a week.

The first Mail Call is usually on 1-3 or 1-4 DOT, so if you mail letters on the day that you receive The Form Letter, then your recruit should receive mail in that mail call or in one soon after. See Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.

My daughter 2 is in division 230 and the form letter arrived today

That is Great News! thank you for sharing.

My son says he mailed the letter and we never received it...

Now what??

Kathya, I put some info on your My Page that will help you.

Hi Navymom,

I'm in the same situation. Did you ever receive the letter? If not, what did you do next? 

Bre, I put info on your My Page that will help you.

I ended up downloading the form and mailing it to him...and a couple days later the "form letter" arrived.

In the end it all worked out well, but it was sure anxiety provoking during the wait!

I was hoping to do the same, but I haven't gotten a "real" letter either, so I don't have any kind of address. How long after he left for boot camp did you receive the letter? 


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