This site is for mothers of kids in the U.S. Navy and for Moms who have questions about Navy life for their kids.


Follow these steps to get started!

Choose your Username.  For the privacy and safety of you and/or your sailor, no last names are allowed, even if your last name differs.  Also, please do not include your email address in your user name. Go to "Settings" above to set your Username.  While there, complete your Profile so you can post and share photos and videos of your Sailor and share stories with other moms!

Make sure to read our Community Guidelines and this Navy Operations Security (OPSEC) checklist - loose lips sink ships!

Join groups!  Browse for groups for your PIR date, your sailor's occupational specialty, "A" school, assigned ship, homeport city, your own city or state, and a myriad of other interests. Jump in and introduce yourself!  Start making friends that can last a lifetime.

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OPSEC - Navy Operations Security

Always keep Navy Operations Security in mind.  In the Navy, it's essential to remember that "loose lips sink ships."  OPSEC is everyone's responsibility. 

DON'T post critical information including future destinations or ports of call; future operations, exercises or missions; deployment or homecoming dates.  

DO be smart, use your head, always think OPSEC when using texts, email, phone, and social media, and watch this video: "Importance of Navy OPSEC."

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America's Navy STEM

Today's Sailor can contribute to exciting innovations by pursuing an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Learn more here: Para Padres

Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.



Great Lakes A School Q&A


Great Lakes A School Q&A

The purpose of this group is to allow family of new sailors assigned to school at Training Support Center Great Lakes a chance to voice questions to a Student Division Commander

Location: Great Lakes, IL
Members: 2092
Latest Activity: 4 hours ago

Discussion Forum

SWCC prep

Started by Godisgoodallthetime. Last reply by Phoenixmom 8 hours ago. 2 Replies

Leave after A school

Started by Carey. Last reply by Phoenixmom on Monday. 15 Replies

(EM) Electricians Mate

Started by MomSeanEM2. Last reply by Redeaglespirit Sep 26. 46 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Great Lakes A School Q&A to add comments!

Comment by ellen0502 on July 17, 2017 at 8:29pm

tutorlady, A laptop is much easier for the recruits than a desktop, and yes, s/he will need more than a ipad or smartphone. Any and all personal things must be stowed before leaving their room. It also is much easier to move around from place to place. The Sailors must be able to carry all of their belongings without help.

As far as toiletries, your Sailor should have what is needed, but you can always take him/her shopping, and care packages every few weeks are always welcomed. :)

For civilian clothes just a few might be needed or wanted to begin with. Favorite pair of jeans, a few t-shirts, comfy lounge pants, and definitely underwear if your Sailor isn't fond of tighty-whities for the men or granny panties for the females. LOL

There are regulations on civilian clothes too so do be aware. Some of the basics are jeans must not be torn, patched, frayed, and the legs may not touch the ground. Of course they must be worn pants on the ground. LOL T-shirts that are white or black must have something printed on them, most also include navy or dark blue in that list. There can be no mistake that the t-shirt is not underwear. Under wear can be colored, but must be a solid color. No Sponge Bob, paisley prints, or hello kitty underwear. :)

Comment by tutorlady on July 17, 2017 at 6:24pm

Also, how much, if anythng, will they need in the way of civilian clothes while at "A" school?  Should I bring toiletries, etc. or are they not needed....(I am SO sorry for all of the questions.  I THOUGHT I had everything "all together :-(  )

Comment by tutorlady on July 17, 2017 at 6:22pm

Do the sailors who go to "A" school need to have a laptop?  Since we had multiple desktops at home, my sailor was always able to do all that was needed from an ipad or smart phone.  If they do need a laptop, should we purchase it there?  Give money on a visa pre-paid card?  I have no idea what type, size, color, etc. etc. to buy - and time is short as PIR is Friday.

Comment by barefootie on July 17, 2017 at 10:51am
Hi! I sent my son his contacts week 6.5 and he was allowed to wear them for graduation and he wears them daily at school
Comment by Anti M on July 17, 2017 at 9:57am

Blackbirdmom, I just got back from camping.  I sent a friend request, so now you can message me.

Comment by Allison on July 17, 2017 at 12:20am
tudorlady also, yes, they can wear contacts beginning in A School, but depending on location, they may prefer to wear glasses or nothing at all to PT. For example, my husband is just finishing up at a C School where they have to run on a sand track, not fun lol. You may also wear your own glasses again if you prefer, as long as they are not "distaistful," which is up to interpretation really, always best to check with a superior before trying to wear them.

As for the live stream, they seem to always have problems with it lol. I watched a good portion of my husband's PIR without sound. The Friday before your sailor's PIR, try accessing the live stream. Obviously, that doesn't prove it'll work the next week, but it will mean they are trying. Once the ceremony begins, all guests in the chapel must stay there until it ends, and you can read or use your phone, so while your extra guest may have to pass a couple hours in the chapel, at least they'll get those 5-10 minutes after the ceremony if that's important to all of you.
Comment by Allison on July 17, 2017 at 12:04am
tutorlady, unfortunately I have not heard of anyone actually getting to fill extra seats in the drill hall. When I asked at my husband's PIR, it was explained to me that it is a security risk because the sailor has only "vouched" for the four people he or she listed. The extra seats they mention usually mean chapel seats, you only need ID to WALK onto base before PIR, even if you were not formally invited, and unregistered guests will go through a different line, they'll name the recruit they are there to see and their division number and show ID again before moving to a small waiting room. When there are enough people, they will escort a group to the chapel. I recommend that your extra guest gets there early to secure a seat in the chapel, they can pack that chapel full, but of course there is still fire codes and such. Many people wonder, well why would I just watch the stream in the chapel and not stream from home or the hotel? The benefit of watching the live stream from the chapel is that once the ceremony has ended, you can pop over to the drill hall to see your sailor, they don't have a lot of time after, bit it is a short walk back. While I wish I could've been there in the drill hall, especially because my husband performed, I'm glad I went to the chapel anyway rather than waiting. He was happy to know I was there and couldn't wait to see me anyway.
Comment by ellen0502 on July 16, 2017 at 1:29pm

tutorlady, Yes, they are allowed to wear their contacts while in A School, and will be able to continue wearing them after.

It is much easier to take the train into Chicago, and don't forget to buy the unlimited weekend pass. Even if you are not planning on going into Chicago on Sunday, you might end up doing so. The unlimited weekend pass is far less money.  Make sure you have plenty of time coming back to Great Lakes, you do not want your Sailor to be late.

Metra Website

As for the extra guests at PIR. There may or may not be a place or room for extras to watch the ceremony on base, it is a hit or miss. It somewhat depends on number of divisions, has everything to do with security, and number of people. You do need to plan on a way for your extras to leave base and go back to the hotel if they are not allowed to stay. 

It is not a live stream issue, that is still going as it has been.

Comment by blackbirdmom on July 16, 2017 at 12:14pm

I don't know about the contacts, I would think so.

I vote for taking the train into Chicago. Parking can be hard to find and expensive. You can find the train schedule on the Metra website. They also have an app for your phone, and the Ventra app allows you to buy your tickets online. Both apps are very helpful with using the train system. We've used it several times. Outside of the train station there are often taxis that can take you to Navy Pier. It can be quite a walk, but doable. If you can, do the Riverwalk also. 

So far, I've not heard of them allowing more than the 4 visitors per recruit into PIR, but maybe someone else can address this. 

Comment by tutorlady on July 15, 2017 at 9:24pm
Now that PIR is so close, I have joined this group and feel like a newbie all over again. Question 1. Can they wear contacts at A school? Question 2. I know that we are going into Chicago on Saturday. The general consensus is that it is easier to take the train? We will be going to Navy Pier. Where can I find a schedule on-line? Question 3. I have "heard" that they are experiencing problems with the live-stream and extra guests (we have 1) "might" be able to fill in unused seats in Performance Hall on smaller graduations. (There are 8 divisions in our PIR). Can anyone verify that? So thankful for this site. It has helped to keep me sane since late May.

Members (2092)


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