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:

Latest Activity

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.


There seems to be so many of you lately!!! It is wonderful that you will have each other's support while going thru the process together.

Thought I would start this thread so you can at least connect and share stories together. Seems like there is a fair amount of you in Great Lakes and just as many more trying to decide if you can more to Great Lakes.

Views: 5283

Replies to This Discussion

Hi my name is Valencia and I am new to the whole Navy lifestyle! My husband is in his 3rd week of bootcamp and I have a billion in one questions like does the Navy pay for your move to Great Lakes if you want to join ur spouse after PIR and during A school? Also is there a waiting list for base housing and if so how do I get on it? How long on average do you have to wait on a waiting list for base housing? etc... Ne help would be greatly appreciated I am stressed to say the least and this "single" mom thing is rough but I'm starting to get the hang of it! :) My son is 6 turning 7 in jan and my daughter is 3...turning 21 lol! We are surviving but all having a hard time bc my husband missed thanksgiving, will miss x-mas, new years, my son's 7th b-day and our 2yr wedding anniversary! It's a good breakin moment for us tho bc I'm sure there will be plenty of holidays missed on deployments in the future!

my husband is in bc right now too. pir is 2/10/12. i have a billion questions too...its definitely a change getting used to all of this but i know it will be worth it. thoughts and prayers your way as i know how difficult it will be not having them around for the holidays.

butterflylove, for FC's and ET's the Navy will pay to move you to GL because their A school is long enough. Not sure on the wait list but nothing can be done until your husband moves to the other side of the base after BC and starts to fill out a live ashore packet. He will get all the info on moving then. Some people like the base housing and some elect to live off base and keep any spare BAH. If you live in base housing they keep all your housing allowance no matter what size place you get ( the size depends on the #in your family. If you live off base and have any extra money after rent and utilities that is yours to keep. So some elect to find cheaper housing off base and save the extra money. Hope I explained that ok. You will have many periods of being a sigle mom but military wives become very strong women and hopefully you will develop a strong friendship with other wives who will be a huge support for you when needed! Best of luck to you in the months and years ahead!

Well said Karla!

Hey Ladies I have a quick question: I know most Wives of AECF get to live with their husband after basic... and everyone talks about how to get moving money and him getting paperwork done... my question is what if you will already be living in the GL area BEFORE he even graduates basic? will he have to get different paper work?or will it go faster since i will already be established there? I dont care that we wont be getting financial assistance (my work is moving me up there). Has anyone been through this? Thanks!

It would be the same paperwork and he cannot do that until he graduates from bootcamp.  If work is moving you then you are in good shape as far as the expense but he won't be able to live with you until the paperwork is approved.

Good luck and bundle up!

For either ET or FC their A-school is long enough for the navy to move you to Great Lakes, no issue there. He'll just have to get his live ashore packet done and approved before he can actually stay with you which can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, everyone's experience is different (get used to that, it's a navy thing :) ). Just so you know, although you can move up there whenever you want, the navy won't pay for the move until after his live ashore is approved. After a-school, he'll go on to do a c-school which will not be in Great Lakes, most of them are in either San Diego, CA or Norfolk, VA but there are some other places as well (mostly for ET). FC c-schools tend to be longer, long enough for the navy to again move you to wherever it is with him. ET c-schools tend to be shorter but the plus with the shorter ones is that you'll get follow on orders for your permanent duty station at the same time so you can move ahead to where you guys will be stationed when he's done. For the longer c-schools you don't get orders until sometime during the c-school. My husband is an FC and we just left Great Lakes at the end of last year and are in San Diego right now for his c-school :)
Yep, after his bootcamp graduation they'll move him over to the barracks on the TSC side of the base. Whether he's ET or FC he'll have Indoc for about a week or two, during which time he can get started on the live ashore packet. After he's done with Indoc they'll move him to a different ship (that's what they call the barracks) and if there's no holds he'll start ATT, which is the precursor to the actual A-school classes. I would suggest for him to wait till he gets to his school ship to turn in the live ashore packet, they're usually better equipped to deal with them plus he probably won't be on the indoc ship long enough to phase up and turn it in (but he can get the papers and start getting everything together).
You guys can definitely get base housing if you want, it's not ON base (most aren't anymore because it's privatized) but it's really close. We lived in an apt in Lake Bluff and liked it but if I had it to do again I'd probably just go with housing. An apartment in a decent area there plus utilities is going to take all your BAH anyways and you're not going to be there for more than a year probably (depends on holds between classes and for orders after he's done). Just make sure to check out the house(s) they offer you well, the ones I've been in, in Forestal seemed perfectly fine but I've heard that the ones in Nimitz have some mold problems. You can also get move in specials sometimes with housing where they won't take all your BAH and you get to keep the extra. Oh and although many housing areas have wait lists Great Lakes rarely does, so you shouldn't have a problem getting into a house.
All FC/ETs have c-schools. The a-school is mostly just a basic overview of the rate and the different systems it's comprised of. C-school will be for whatever system in particular that he ends up on (he'll get to fill out a dream sheet at some point during school which is like a request for a specific system/duty station. They try and give them what they ask for but it's no guarantee. But the better he does in school the more likely he'll be to get something off his dream sheet).

No problem :) It's so confusing trying to get it all figured out. Yes, the live ashore packet is what he'll do so that he can live off base with you. But you can technically move up there whenever you want, the Navy just won't pay for the move until after he gets his live ashore. We just left our stuff in storage back home while we were in Great Lakes and I drove out with a car full of stuff a couple weeks before he even graduated boot camp and moved into our apartment. But it's probably better to wait till all his stuff gets approved, you'll spend a lot of time on your own if you move up there before then because he'll have to stay at the barracks.

From what I remember nothing in the packet is anything you would need to bring for him. I just asked my hubbs what he remembers being in it and he said there's the driving for life certificate (he'll take an online NKO class to get it), financial counseling, some chits for live ashore privileges, commuted rations, and on base driving privileges, copy of his orders, drivers license/proof of insurance, current LES, copy of page2, copy of your lease or a dummy lease from where you're planning on renting if you haven't actually signed a lease yet...basically all stuff he'll be taking care of.

Personally, if you're going to go with off-base housing I would recommend staying south of the base. So like Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, etc. I know a lot of Navy wives that lived up in Waukegan but they always complained about it. I pretty much just didn't go up there unless I absolutely had to (like maybe 4 times in the year we were there) but the little bit I saw of it, it definitely wasn't the kind of area I would have wanted to be in by myself with our son, since even once he gets live ashore he'll still have to stand duty so he'll be gone overnight about every 4th night. We were in the Forest Pointe apartments in Lake Bluff and they're definitely worth checking out. They're a little bit more expensive than some others (and their prices go up and down a lot depending on how many apts they have vacant, we moved in when they were having a special so we paid $1130 for a 2br) but I was really happy with them, it was super quiet and calm and I always felt completely safe there. And they're really close to base, took about 8 minutes to get to the main gate, no security deposit for military, their leases have the military clause (which is so that you can get out of your lease when you get orders, most apt leases do have it but that is something you want to double check, and that's why they require a copy of your lease for the live ashore packet so they can make sure the clause is in there), and there were a LOT of other Navy couples living there.

I'll also say this - I really enjoyed our time there and would be happy to get stationed there again. BUT I felt like I was the ONLY wife there that felt that way, everyone else was in such a rush to leave and "hated" it there, so to hopefully help you from feeling that way I'm going to give you these pieces of advice:

1) Don't forget, it is TEMPORARY. This will likely be your shortest duty station, even if he's on hold for awhile waiting for orders after he finishes A-school you're still probably not going to be there more than about a year. That's a really short amount of time. And seriously? Everyone is always freaking out about when they're going to get their orders so they can get out of there...but while you're waiting your husband is on hold, has almost no responsibilities, gets liberty super early, no chance of deployment. ENJOY that time where you have him home a lot consistently, it's awesome! :)

2) Go into it knowing that the base is ridiculous. There is still a lot of the "boot camp" mentality there, the guys (even the most responsible ones) get treated like naughty, incompetent toddlers half the time. It will annoy him to no end but it also, is temporary. It's a Great Lakes thing, it's way different and more relaxed on other bases. There are also a LOT of very young Sailors where this is their first time away from home, just out of high school, never had a job before, etc. And they do a lot of stupid crap. Underage drinking, DUIs, sleeping around, hotel parties, etc etc etc...And the unfortunate thing is, often, when one person on a ship screws up, everyone pays the price. Liberty will get called late, or even be revoked. So just know that there are going to be days when he's going to get home ridiculously late because some dummy showed up drunk to sweepers or something stupid like that, and there isn't a darn thing he can do about. So don't get too worked up about it, just roll your eyes and remember it's just a part of the Great Lakes experience lol.

In the end, it's what you make of it. I loved it there, it's a cool area with lots of fun stuff to do. Chicago is so much fun. And I just figured the longer we were there, that was just that much more time before his first deployment! :)

WHAT AWESOME INFO! Thank you! I am moving out there as soon as my husbands live ashore packet is approved. :-) I see you have a son around my daughters age. Did you take him to daycare? Any advice on stuff to do with a toddler? I will be transferring my job out there and working at the cheesecake factory so I have to have daycare set up. Hoping the waiting lists aren't too long! How do you love SanDiego now?

Did you have the navy move your stuff after your husbands packet was approved? How long did it take them to get it to you? THANK YOU for all of your info again!

are you transferring to the cheesecake factory south of vernon hills? me and DH really want to go there, haven't made it out yet though! and if you have any questions about moving/live ashore etc you can pm me :)

Does anyone live in Schaumburg? Im planning to move to IL in July! (:


© 2023   Created by Navy for Moms Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service