Grannyofnine asked the following question on our comment wall.
There are several articles regarding what to expect at GC on the main page of this group that are very helpful. I would suggest you take a look at those.
In general your sailor arrives at GC with everything he needs. He'll be berthed in an open room that he shares with one other sailor, which means he may be sharing a room with someone who is already in or finished A school. They're all in the nuke program but may not be in the same class or on the same schedule.
This housing is similar to college dorms without all the frills. I understand they are allowed one item to hang on the wall and pretty much only use their rooms to sleep. Studying must be done in the classroom.
Once they get to prototype they must move. If in GC there is on-base housing available. They are provided with a housing/meal allowance which should cover all or most of their expenses.
I think most sailors survive well with their phones and/or computers for what entertainment they can eek out of their schedules.
Grannyofnine - your grandson hopefully has his bank account already set up so that his pay from bc is being directly deposited there. Also, hopefully, he has Mom or Dad on the account as a joint, so that if he forgets his online password, pin number, etc. they can help him out with checking his account, etc.
Our recruiter told me not to take anything extra to my son at GL, because they would already be loaded. They carried a large seabag on their back plus in their hands they had their black backpack and garment bag. If your grandson already has a laptop and you know you will meet him at the airport to give him his cell phone, he can be given his laptop there, assuming it will fit in his backpack or has its own case, also a hair trimmer if he already has one he is use to.
NO electronics can be taken back to RTC the night of PIR for the sailors flying out. All of those have to be given to them at the airport.
The only thing I gave my son to pack in his bag was his pair of comfortable running shoes and I think a pair of his comfortable shorts and a T-shirt, which I don't know that he is even allowed to wear during A school - but I do think he is allowed to wear his own shoes for the 5K runs.
Other than that, looking through the notes on the side, they need $100 - $180.00 for buying their own laundry soap, hygiene items, hair cuts, uniform cleaning or strips changed if needed. Those can be purchased at the mini NEX near their BEQ (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters). But if your grandson's bank account is set up and he has his debit / check card then he can use that to purchase any items he needs. - Some cash is still good for them to have - just in case. Keep in mind, they are earning a living now and they are able to purchase their own items needed for life.
As far as school supplies for A School my son said they need a Texas Instruments® TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator, which currently seems to be in short supply at the NEX. My son is still waiting to actually start classes in the Rickover, so hopefully someone else can chime in on anything else the sailors need to purchase.
Regarding living quarters your grandson will be living in the BEQ bunking with another roommate and a head (bathroom) in between an adjoining room of two more sailors. So, a quad similar to most older college dorms might have. The single females (and my son reminded me they are referred to as males and females, not boys /men or girls/ ladies) have their own separate living quarters. Interestingly, my son's roommate was in his fifth month of school which surprised me, but it gave him someone to help get tips on what to do about purchasing laundry soap, and other things that Saturday afternoon when he arrived.
The next weekend was Labor Day so my sailor had a little more liberty time and they had been given a free bus pass, so with mine and hubby's research online and in our local store, my son boarded the bus for his first time ever and went to the Best Buy where the bus line stopped, and purchased his own laptop. (We did give him some money towards it as his HS / BC graduation gift.) But he had more than enough money from bc to afford a reasonable laptop. They have some available computers in what I think is a lounge in the BEQ, but a personal one is nice. There seems to be free Wi-Fi in the lounge area, but for their rooms they would have to purchase their own internet service and that isn't something we have focused on at the moment.
Hope this is helpful.
Grannyofnine, I am sure he will appreciate that very much! Even though our son was excited about earning more money than his lifeguard job, he is still very frugal and doesn't like to spend a lot of money on himself. We had to "convince" him to purchase a computer with a little more power and storage and our offer to help / gift him with money towards it, made the decision a lot easier for him.
My son has been at GC for almost two weeks now. As far as the immediate need upon arrival, I would echo what Chipmunk has already said and make sure that he has at least $200 available to him when he gets there, either with a debit or prepaid card or cash. My son had opened a Navy Federal Account before leaving for BC but had declined having a debit card sent because it would not have gotten to him before he left for RTC. He tried to have one printed at the branch at RTC before shipping to A school and their machine was broken. Thankfully he left his account with his bank here at home open and we were able to keep money in his account there for him until he got his new card from Navy Federal. He spent close to $200 that first week buying cleaning and hygiene supplies, paying for his dress uniforms to be dry cleaned, food when they went off base, etc.
As far as other "needs" he begged (well let's be honest, he doesn't really have to BEG me for anything lol) me to send him a pillow. He said that the pillow and sheets that they issued to him were"gross". I found a set of two pillows and an XL Twin set of sheets on Amazon for less than $35 total and because I have Prime was able to ship them to him free. He said he was in heaven and slept like a baby after he got them. Ha!
My guy is kind of simple so others may have more or different requests, but the Amazon has been the best thing for me. I have sent a couple of other things like trail mix, beef jerky, and a pair of running shorts for him to wear in the room. With the Prime they have arrived in two days and he has been getting them the day after they arrive at the mail room.
Thanks for your comment Nukelukesmom. I don't have Amazon Prime, but do you think it would work just fine to still ship from Amazon to their address even if it is different than the one on our card? Just curious, because I was going to ship a calculator from Office Depot but they seemed iffy on a different address. My Amazon packages are usually delivered by UPS so I wasn't sure how well those would get delivered to NNPTC. Does Amazon Prime get mailed through the Postal service? Glad to hear your son is getting his packages!! I feel more confident going that route now. That is great you were able to get him a comfy pillow!! I am a pillow person to, I never leave home without mine!!
Chipmunk, We haven't had any problem at all shipping to a different address. I do this for my elderly grandmother quite frequently as well with no issues. My son actually called Amazon to see if he would be able to get a discount on Prime for himself since he is active duty and they told him that they did not offer a free Prime subscription for military, only students. This put me off a little and I have been thinking of writing Amazon and asking them to reconsider this policy. Certainly our Soldiers and Sailors would love to be able to utilize this service for themselves. What we did was just give our account info to our son and told him he could log in and order something if he needed it just to let us know first so we would not think we had been hacked. We have seen an impressive new level of independence in him and I was afraid he might need or want something and be hesitant to ask us for it.
I believe that everything I have sent to him has shipped UPS, but some things from Amazon do ship through USPS instead. In one case he got the package the same day it arrived at NNPTC, but on average it has taken a couple of days once they arrive for the mail room to let him know they are available. He has really enjoyed the trail mix and jerky a lot so I have made up a box of things to send next week and I am shipping them Priority Mail. I will be interested to see if the different means of shipping make a difference in the time it takes him to actually get them in his hands.
Nukelukesmom - Interesting your comment on Amazon and the Prime Rate. I bet if you had told them he was a student, or just had him order something that looked like a textbook, they would start sending him offers. I ordered textbooks for my daughter on my account and they always give me an option of signing up for Amazon Prime as a student. I just ignore them. But as far as Best Buy is concerned (at least when talking to someone in our local store, about a computer) they consider our sailors in A school as being students. Sometimes it is a matter of how you word it, but it does seem strange that they would not offer something to the military. - Thanks again for your responses and yes, it is an interesting journey with our various children as we watch them become more independent.
Nukelukesmom - how do you enter the address into Amazon? I am trying to order something for my son and having to change the deliver address so that it will mail to him and not to our home address. Amazon is not accepting the Class # in Line 1 of Address, and then the NNPTC # in Line 2 of the address. I can't seem to get past that in order to place my order.
I have been addressing the packages with the NNPTC # in the first line and since my guy has not received a class # yet I have been putting In Processing INDOC on the second line. Hope this helps.
Thanks!! I know that is the line order that I found elsewhere on the site, but according to the Postal service, you mail with the general address on the bottom and the more specific towards the top, so I had his class number in line 1 and they were rejecting it as not a valid address.
I will swap them around and see if that works. If not, I will just call Amazon. At least I know how you were doing it to see if that makes a difference.
Nukelukesmom - First lesson, it is never wise to do something new when getting tired and poor lighting because you are watching TV with the lights dimmed!! - I didn't look closely at what Amazon considered should be info for Address Line 1 and had put it in their line 2. I swapped the two entries and it accepted it. But the print out looks like it is all one line, so hopefully, it gets there. Thanks again for your assistance!!