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



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 from that of your sailor (please make sure your URL address does not include your last name either).  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.

Link to Navy Speak - Navy Terms & Acronyms: Navy Speak

All Hands Magazine's full length documentary "Making a Sailor": This video follows four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor (Full Length Documentary - 2018)

Boot Camp: Behind the Scenes at RTC

...and visit - America's Navy and also Navy Live - The Official Blog of the Navy to learn more.

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."

Follow this link for OPSEC Guidelines:



**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


Please note! Changes to this guide happened in October 2017. Tickets are now issued for all guests, and all guests must have a ticket to enter base. A separate parking pass is no longer needed to drive on to base for parking.

Please see changes to attending PIR in the PAGES column. The PAGES are located under the member icons on the right side.

Format Downloads:

Navy Speak

Click here to learn common Navy terms and acronyms!  (Hint:  When you can speak an entire sentence using only acronyms and one verb, you're truly a Navy mom.)

N4M Merchandise

Shirts, caps, mugs and more can be found at CafePress.

Please note: Profits generated in the production of this merchandise are not being awarded to the Navy or any of its suppliers. Any profit made is retained by CafePress. Para Familias

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



Advice From A Mom Just Just Returned From 10/2010 PIR

Here's what I've learned during my bootcamp experience, from the perspective of a parent.  Hope this is helpful to someone.


1.  Send letters!  Our son was one who got at least one letter each day of bootcamp; most days he got several letters from family.  He's told us repeated how important that was to him. 


2.  Be very careful about using this site and other internet sites.  There's a lot of good info here, but some of it's not correct.  I got some bad info early on and I learned to take what I read on the internet with a grain of salt.  Unless you hear something from your sailor's  mouth, don't assume it's true.


3.  Don't post anythere here about your specific sailor's bootcamp experience while bootcamp is going on.  our son told us that the commanders at the training center do absolutely read these forums.  You can absolutely get your sailor in trouble by what you post here; even if you don't think it will, so be careful. 


4.  Highly recommend the Residence Inn in Gurnee.  We got a two room suite for $89/night and considering that included a free hot/cold breakfast, you can't beat it.  We were less than 10 min. from RTC.


5.  Take taxie to PIR instead of driving.  It saved us a lot of headaches.  We got there very quickly and went back to the hotel afterwards using the same driver who gave lots of great travel advice.


6.  If you plan to stay Friday-Sunday, be prepared to spend more money than you might normally spend in a weekend.  We wanted to make sure our sailor had a good time after being shut up for two months so we pulled out all the stops.  We did alot of eating, saw several movies, shopped at the NEX, went into the city, took taxis when we wanted to get somewhere quickly.  It all adds up.  We don't regret one penny, but I recommend that if your budget is tight, save for it while your sailer is in bootcamp.


7.  Tell your sailor beforehand to buy the photo package, no matter the cost.  Our sailor didn't buy the basic package because he didn't want to spend $165.  He doesn't realize how important those first professional photos will be in the future and I've given him instructions to see if he can go back and get them, no matter the cost.  For us, it's a worthwhile expense.


8.  Take lots of video and still photos.  Goes along with the previous post.  You can't ever go back so make as many great memories that weekend as you can and catch them on film.  You'll be glad later that you did.


9.  Be patient and listen to your sailor.  Our son, normally not much of a talker, talked non-stop for three days.  He really didn't want to have a discussion, he just wanted to talk, so we just listened.


Well, that's it's from me.  It was a memorable weekend and I think we did everything we could to let our sailor know how proud we are of him and how excited we are for him too. 



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Thank you, Karla. My son leaves for Boot Camp in January so any information like this is extremely helpful. Any advice on what to actually send him with? I know it is limited and for the most part everything gets sent home, but don't want to forget anything he should be sure to take. All the best to your son. It is SO exciting.
Pens and calling card. Everything else our son took was packed in box and sent home. He did take two small notebooks and they did let him keep them, but he didn't need them because they issue notebooks. We read before he left that everybody get sick at some point and sure enough they all did. So have your son be as healthy as possible before bootcamp. Best wishes, Karla
Karla, your advice is spot-on. My son went through boot camp 2½ years ago and things were the same then as now.

Beth, my son took his cell phone so he could call us on his way to Great Lakes (it came back in the box of course). He should have a little money ($20?) so he can buy snacks etc. on the way. A small card with phone numbers on (they're so used to hitting the speed dial they haven't memorized anyone's numbers). An activated phone card (for when they're allowed to make a call home.......they don't want to waste time trying to figure out how to get it activated and use it). Any addresses they may want to send a letter to. They don't need anything else, all will be provided, including writing paper. Anything they take with them that's not allowed will come back in the Fed Ex box.
Oops...I forgot, he'll need to take a deposit slip for his bank account so his paychecks can be deposited.
Yes, you are right about that deposit slip. and you are also right about the card with numbers on it; we did that too. I think our son took $20 with him; they did let him keep his wallet. how quickly we forget the details.

Thank you, Thank you! So extremely helpful! I greatly appreciate the information.
Stamps, address labels?
they can get that stuff there.
hi they can also join the nfcu
NFCU is great, we've been members 35 years. They have branches everywhere our SRs will be stationed and are full service, with checking, savings, car and home loans. They were really convenient when we were stationed overseas.
Thanks for the advice. My son Christopher is in the delayed entry program. He is scheduled to possibly leave for bootcamp on August 16, 2010. He must graduate from high school first. I am already so concerned that we are prepared for his deployment. I am also very excited to go to graduation. He says I don't need to, but I know I need to. Thanks for the advice again. Hope you and your family have a great holiday season.


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