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

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**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.


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don't know what to expect while my 18 year son leaves for boot camp in a month

My son has joined in the reserves.  He is in the delayed entry program, was sworn in last Wednesday the 24th and we actually met the recruiter last night.  Charlie is leaving the 4th of October for boot camp,  I have to admit at the moment I am a little in shock from it, we had encouraged him to join the Air Force active duty, and he had changed his mind after doing most of the paperwork, didn't want to leave the area he said.  Then this - Mom, Dad - this is what I have done.  I think I need to know what to expect from the boot camp experience.  I am concerned that it is going to be very rough on him.  He is an only child to a couple of people that didn't seem to be much more than kids when we had him, we were just a couple of years older than he is now when we had him.  He is a lot lazy and hates being told what to do - big surprises are in store for him.  Any advice that anyone can give me to help prepare him in the short time left that we have him home, I would really appreciate it.  Thank you so much....

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If he is going into the reserves, he will go to bootcamp, than to training, than he goes home.  Reserves  drill one weekend a month and two weeks out of  the summer.


He will either adapt or be seperated, easy at that :~}

Thank you so much lemonelephant for the links.  I will definately check them out.



My son is also enlisted as a reservist.  He graduated BC in June and is sitting in Pensacola waiting to class up.  When he finishes training, he will return to our state and, as Angie stated, drill one weekend a month and go active 2 weeks/year for the rest of his reserve enlistment.  Because of my son's rate (job), he may be activated twice during the 6 years he's signed up for, but hopefully he will be able to finish his last two years of college before that happens.  Perhaps your son may have enlisted as a reservist just to get his feet wet with military life.  If you think he's lazy or too young, rest assured that the 'boy' that goes to BC will either graduate a man or be returned home.  Hopefully the pride he will earn through his training will be what he needs to motivate himself into a great career in the civilian world while continuing to serve his country as a reservist.  My son occasionally regrets signing as a reservist because he really wants to be in full-time; however, he wants to finish his degree and this was a way to do both! 

Try to relax and encourage him.  It won't take much reading to realize that we have it easier than a lot of parents.  :)  God bless!

Thank you MidwestMom,  What do you mean by waiting to class up?  Is he having to wait for the schooling for the job he is going to do?  What job is he getting training for?

  I know we will have it much easier than the moms with children going in active.  Mine had planned to go active and then I think he got cold feet, not wanting to go to far away from home and everything he knows.   


This is just mom-to-mom talk. I think the best thing to do is to get your son to delay entry as long as he can. Your son doesn't sound like he is prepared for the military. This is not just something to do - he is making a commitment. If he gets bored, does something stupid and gets discharged he may close a door to a career that may in fact be great for him in the future when he is more mature. Since he is 18, he doesn't require your signature to join; however, in my opinion, if you don't think he is ready he probably isn't. Please don't think I am judging him. He probably has many fine qualities. Many 18 year old young men are not ready for military, college or work. They get impatient. They jump the gun. All I am saying is that immature 18 year olds often shot themselves in the foot. One mistake (because he is an adult in the eyes of the law) will have lasting effects.

I didn't get wise by myself. My two sons (23 & 27) have educated me. You are welcome to show this message to your son. Here are some of the things I would discuss or what I would say to him:

  1. You are an adult (in the eyes of the law), please take some time and realize what this means. Your actions will have consequences and may have very serious consequences. Don't assume something is true because one of your friends say it true (I have heard this explanation often).
  2. You do not have to be any thing you don't want to be. It's OK to be an artist, a musician, a cook, a mechanic - the world (despite of the current economic condition) is wide open. Take time to explore. You don't have to have a college degree to be a good person or get a job.
  3. At the same time, you have an obligation as a human being to be a productive member of society. This means to be a self supportive individual and be a law abiding citizen of the community.
  4. If you want to take some time to relax and figure out what you want to do, that is fine but you can't sit and play computer games all day and go out drinking with your buddies at night. This isn't tough love. This is part of growing up.
  5. While you are doing this, you can live at home; however, there are house rules (room kept cleaned, no food or dishes in room, respectful treatment of others in the household, contribute to maintenance of the home not just in his room but in common areas and yard, keep vehicles cleaned). Furthermore, you are expected to have a part time job (doesn't matter what it is) for your own spending money. 
  6. No one can make you grow up unless you want to. Ultimately, the responsibility is on your shoulders. If you screw up, you and your alone will have to pay the consequences. 
  7. As your parents, we will stand by you but we can not sacrifice our lives (and economic viability) to pay for your mistakes. If you knowing drive 85 miles an hour in a 25 zone and get caught - your license may be suspended and you may lose the privilege of using the car beyond the period of the suspension.
  8. As your parents, we have your best interest in mind. That can not be said of friends and acquaintances. Our job is to help you learn to make good decisions on your own. We encourage you to discuss with us - what you have in mind - to sound things out, look at the pros and cons.
  9. When they make a decision that is against your recommendation but turns out to be a good decision - recognize it, verbalize it and praise him, give him credit.
Having young adults for children can be trying but it's some rewarding to see them flourish.
Hi my name is Yvonne and I am a Navy Mom and my son sounds like yours not like being told what to do and lazy. It was a very difficult and long nine weeks but it was all worth seeing my son become the man that was inside him. You will notice in the first phone call to the last one you will get. I never thought my son would go thru with it but he did. I had my son when I was 18 and he has been without his father since he was 7 which made him a mamas boy!! HAHA!! I know it is hard trust me I know he is the only true friend and man in my life and I had to learn to let go even though we as parents never let go we just make them think we did. Be strong and supportive and tell him never get down and dont give up. He has so many open doors after bootcamp and hes going to see the world while getting paid. God Bless You and your family. 

Don't worry too much honey, he will be fine. It doesn't matter how he goes into bootcamp, they all come out the same. Navy Tough! You will be amazingly surprised how proud he will be of himself. We are here for you, hang tight to this group of woman. They are the best. They kept me from going crazy during bootcamp. I wish him the best. and for you? patients, lots of patients.


I am so glad to see your answer.  I've been going a lil crazy around here. My Summer consisted of Marriage, Moving and Military.  I just miss him.  I wanted to send a letter, but realized there is no contact for the duration of Boot Camp.  It is needed to immerse him in the life of a Navy Man.  So, I dried my tears and stopped eating so much chocolate.   

My stepson went into boot camp a few weeks ago. We worried and stressed about if he was "grown-up" enough to go in but he is 18 and in the eyes of the military he's an adult. He's doing fine. We have just gotten our first letter from him and our first real phone call. He likes it. He did say it took some getting used to getting up at 0500 hrs, but he's so tired he falls right to sleep at lights out.(this coming from a kid who always needed his music to fall asleep)He also likes the food.

My advice to you would be make sure he has a few phone cards so he can call home when he earns the right to. Remind him that the only way to do things is the Navy way and to be respectful of the commanding officers. Make sure he has all the addresses and phone numbers written down on a small piece of paper in his wallet. So many kids don't know anyones phone numbers because they are saved in their phones and the art of letter writing is lost on them. They only know how to text. There is no texting at RTC.

I think that the separation is harder on the parents than the kids, so hang in there and good luck

My son leaves on October 6th. I wonder what he is thinking about. But I think he knows he needs this. He is the baby of the family.He has three older siblings and I think he has taken note of how they have done. He knows he needs to grow up and figure out what he wants to do with his life. He also knows an education is expensive. So maybe your son knows he needs the discipline.


My son is an only child, but he has several cousins that are very close, one of which went into the air force last October, so he kinda knows what he is getting into.  He says he is nervous about this change.  He knows he isn't prepared physically for the challenges, and I don't think he is prepared mentally for what is ahead.  He leaves Monday, the 3rd to go up to Denver where they will stay the night and then he flies out Tuesday the 4th to get up to Illinois.  At least he won't be by himself in Denver, a boy that he has known since kindergarten is going up that day also, to do all the testing and everything so he will have some company over night other than the recruiter.  Is your son going up to the Great Lakes base?  That would be nice if both of them are up there at the same time.  Let me know....maybe we can stay in touch and help each other through this.



hello, My son is an only child too and when he went to boot camp I cried so bad I couldn't drive for a few minutes. When my son first went in he couldn't write home or let me know how he was for a while and it was so good to hear from him guess what yup I cried again, I felt like every time I thought or even worried about him I cried. I actually cried so much I thought I was in a state of depression so I went and visited my doctor and asked if there was anything I could do to stop it lol. I don't think there will ever be a time I don't cry when he leaves and its OK I have found out its what moms do lol. The hardest part about all of the boot camp and training was when I got a package in the mail and it was all his clothes and I just couldn't get the image of my son standing there naked with no clothes(didn't occur to me they gave him clothes) and not knowing what was happening to my boy and after he called I was OK for a while again but when I received a letter from him saying he wanted to come home I wanted to get in my car and go get him but my husband said no hes just homesick and I was too only for him. Now it has been 3 years and I am a lot better with the crying I do it when he leaves and were at the airport.I send him care packages and we talk online when he can and it makes it a lot easier for me not sure about him lol. So to all you moms going through the same thing I went through its not easy hang in there it will get better and with the technology today its a lot easier to stay in contact with the ones you love. l have mixed feeling about weather or not he is going to rejoin or not but I have come to the conclusion its not my choice and he has turned out to be such a spectacular young man I knew when he went in he was a boy and now he is my grateful young man and I am so proud of him I could just cry lol.


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