So our son left for Great Lakes last week. He was told that he would start this adventure with 14 days of quarantine due to Covid 19 and then he would start the 8 week schedule. His class is the first one to have this two weeks added so obviously the schedules on this and other websites may not be followed. Not sure when he will be able to call home, not sure when he gets assigned a ship, not sure when we get a form letter, not sure.......
I wanted to start this thread so folks in the same bucket can share knowledge and we all learn together. I have an request into his recruiter but have not heard back.
While the new recruits are in the 14 day quarantine off-site they will be allowed to keep their phones.
Once they are done with the off-site quarantine and move over to RTC their phones and personal items will be stowed for them. When they are done with Boot their items will be returned to them, so no box coming home.
Haley'sMoM - I am so glad that you were able to talk to your SR!!
Son scheduled to leave for Boot Camp in mid-July and am guessing that the 2 week hotel quarantine will still probably be in place then. He is hearing/reading that when in the hotel before moving over to Great Lakes facility, there that they can keep phones, are given written materials to study in their free time, sack meals, TV works in the rooms, can’t leave room but can do push-ups, etc. to maintain fitness.
Hoping to be able to visit Great Lakes when he graduates in September IF are allowing visitors at graduation by then. Sounds like we may only be able to visit with him for a day or less between when he graduates PIR and then leaves (the next day?) for Sub School and A-school in Groton, CT :-( Any tips on how much empty space sailors have in Seabags when they head off to schools and what we should bring for him to stick in the bag would be appreciated. I know we could always send a box directly to Groton, but wondering what would be good for a sailor to have immediately (laptop? Extra clothes? Jacket since CT in the Fall will be cold?)
Thanks for any input!
First of all, I would recommend that you join our BC Moms group on here. We have a lot of information there about PIR, BC and RTC. We try to keep up to date there as much as possible with what the changes are going on at BC. Boot Camp Moms
As for flying out from GL, you might appreciate my discussion What PIR weekend may be like for those flying out of GL
at the time that I wrote it - almost 3 years ago, it was an update to some of the things which were written about PIR weekend. A lot has changed, but maybe by the time your sailor graduates you will be back to some sort of "normal."
As for what things he is allowed to take with him after BC, it will only be a matter of what you are able to take to him and meet him at the airport to hand over. My sailor's sea bag was stuffed, as well as having a garment bag and then also his backpack. He did not have a laptop (bought it when he got to his A school) so I had a small black drawstring bag, which he managed to stuff in his backpack. - His Kindle, Cell phone, charger, favorite running shoes, extra pair of favorite underwear, T-shirt & shorts. (it was still summer).
They are no longer sending home their clothes and phones, so they are being boxed and stored at RTC (after they have been in quarantine). So, my suggestion, if it does not look like the graduation ceremony restrictions are going to be lifted, have him wear a light weight jacket and a longer shirt on the airplane to GL. These will be boxed. He should take both his cell phone and his charger with him and he might be able to take a small electronic device, I am not sure but the recruiters should be able to answer that as well, or some of the moms in the BC Mom group might know.
I send things to my sailor in the USPS flat rate priority boxes. Some people refer to them as "if it fits, it ships." It includes tracking and insurance. You would want to wait until you had his address at school. They will be wearing their uniforms until they "phase" up depending on their school, and only able to have civilian clothes on in their BEQ as I recall.
Great info, thanks. So your son left boot camp with 3 pieces of "luggage"? Is the garment bag navy issued and how they carry any uniform pieces they are issued at boot camp? So that and the sea bag are baggage checked items? And the back pack was his personal one he went to boot camp with?
Catherine - They are issued a sea bag and a black garment bag by the Navy. They were also issued a black backpack (all accessories, except their sea bag are black when in uniform) at BC. I just knew they had to have black because his watch had to be black. Over the years we collected multiples of those small drawstring type backpacks from various places. I put his stuff in that to take to the airport. He was able to actually fit it in his backpack.
There was no room in his sea bag and they have to buy locks for them at the NEX while at BC. You might mention to your son that when he goes to get his lock for his sea bag, he might buy an extra one for a locker at A school. My son was frustrated to find out he needed another one when he got to A school. He also has a small lock for his backpack because he carries his laptop around in it.
At the airport, my youngest help my sailor carry his backpack, because they were told (by the USO man helping us) that only their sea bag is considered uniform official (probably not the exactly correct wording) approved to be worn on their back. My son graduated the end of the summer so he was traveling in his dress whites. They carried their garment bag, with their extra dress uniforms over one arm and their backpack and orders in their other hand. Once we went for check-in, their sea bags and garment bags were checked in and most of them kept their backpacks as a carry on.
Since they are traveling on orders, I believe most airlines will allow them to have at least one more piece of luggage. I have heard of people bringing a small wheeled carry on to the airport with stuff for their sailor. (All of this has to be brought to the airport by a loved one, they can not have it at RTC, even the night before they leave.) But just because the airline will transport a bag, doesn't mean there will be room with the transport from their destination airport to their A school. For my son, they had to wait for a second round of transport just to come pick them up from the airport and get them to their A school. So, we discourage bringing a lot of extra stuff to your sailor at the airport.
Hopefully, you will be able to be with your sailor at the airport. You will need proper ID and get a gate pass - but that is all a privilege that the airports extend to military famiiers and they are free to revoke it at any time.
I hope this helps. If you are still unsure, don't hesitate to ask again.
I am glad you joined BC Moms.
Hi Poohbear423 - I also left a message in the comments on your My page - Be sure to join us over in BC Moms group
we are more active over there and you can glean from our comments and daily chats.
As for MEPS - the protocols are all changed with COVID than from when my son went it. And different locations may handle it differently. So, this was the protocol when my son left for BC 3 years ago. but not likely to be the same for you. I dropped him off the night before at the Recruiters office and they then transported him to the hotel where the rest of the recruits were staying. We were allowed to go have dinner with him but that did not work, because it was a church night. The next day, the recruiter told us to go to MEPS at like 8 AM!! We had to go through security there, and then we signed in and waited with our son for most of the morning. (The recruiter did not want us to miss the swearing in.) - We were hungry, but there was not food for us (unless we left that part of the building) the recruits were fed lunch, and then they did the swearing in. - We were able to go to the swearing in and take pictures. - Then they briefed the recruits on their Travel instructions. We hugged and said our good byes in the MEPS building. And then we went downstairs, out the building and watched the van take our sailors away to the airport. The recruiter had told me we could go with him, but the people at MEPS said no. (Actually, we would have had to have met him at the airport, but we also had other family things to deal with that day - including his father's b'day.)
I almost did not get my hug at MEPS because of something else I was checking on.
Now that is how it worked for us and we are in a big city so recruiter, MEPS and airport were all in town. The only thing I can say I could guarantee is that you get a hug from your son before you drop him off with the recruiters. After that, with the way things are, I do not know if they are allowing or not allowing attendance at the swear ins. The best thing would be to call the recruiter an ask him yourself if he knows.
I don't know if the airlines are allowing extra family members to go to the gate or not. That is a privilege that can be revoked at any time and currently I would say it is not accepted.
I do recommend that if you are in public with your SR (seaman recruit) and giving hugs or such that you also wearing a mask- just to make other feel comfortable. Only an opinion. I assume you will drop him off at the recruiters and they will take to a motel and then to MEPS like with my son.
Be sure to have a calling card for your son, but I have also heard they are telling the SR to buy one at the NEX. Make sure all his bank accounts are in order and if you are not on as a joint on his bank accounts that you get a Power of Attorney form filled out that his bank will accept. He will want a black watch, inexpensive is fine, and a black wallet. We give you ideas on the BC MOM site also - but make sure he has a slip of paper with phone numbers in his wallet and addresses. He might be able to write beforehand in quarantine.
In quarantine, they had allowed them to keep their phones, but that was just revoked as well. But they no longer mail those home, so have him take his charger with his phone, and they will store at RTC. Also maybe send an inexpensive paperback and I don't know about other small electronics during quarantine. - I have to scoot but hopefully this gets you started.
Hello UF_Gator_Mom2020 - Welcome Aboard!!
First of all, I strongly recommend that you join the BC Moms group - here is the link https://navyformoms.ning.com/group/bootcampmoms
That group has a lot of information on the page and we have a comments area that is usually replied to and where you can interact with more loved ones that are veteran moms, recent BC Moms, or as we have termed our "pandemic" moms whose sailors have been through quarantine, etc. It is a great place to get a lot more information than what is followed in this discussion.
As for quarantine - the only new information is that the SR (seaman recruits) are no longer being allowed to have their cell phones with them. Otherwise, the information is about the same as I last replied in this discussion. But we have moms in the BC Moms group whose sailors just went to GL. It is a great group, hope you join, and introduce yourself.
Francis & Haley'sMoM __ I hope you both are doing well!! You are not being ignored, As has been said most of us only have time to monitor the main BC site with all the other stuff we do. If you haven't yet done so you might want to join that page too! I'm commenting here so we can make sure that you don't remain lost!! We do want to help!!