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.

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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.)

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



Graduation presents - Have you thought of what to buy? Want some ideas? Give me yours?

Hey ladies...

Have you thought of a graduation present for you freshly minted sailor?  Having been doing this stuff so long, I wanted to give you a couple of idea.  They are the CAC card reader, and a rating coin.  Both are really good (and cheap) gifts. 


The CAC card reader:

Let me explain it, so you'll understand it.... 

The Navy limits what civilians can see when they use the internet on the Navy website. They don't want everyone to know everything. So when active duty sailors want to look at future duty stations that are available, or a wide range of other things (ie their medical reconds, dental records, their personnel file, their PFA test scores, dream sheets, evaluations...etc) they can. All they do is hook up the CAC card reader to their personnel computer, insert their CAC (Common Access Card) which civilains call the ID card,  Once the sailor inserts the CAC card, and their own password, then the server knows beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are talking to the active duty sailor.

Personnally, I believe a sailor without a CAC card reader is a fool. There is so much info they can find using it. A carpenter is useless without a hammer. A sailor is useless without a CAC card reader. It is an extremely powerful tool that most sailors fail to use.  My nephew is already looking at possible duty stations, and he isn't even in "A" school yet.  They cost ~$20.  Very cheap.  Make sure you don't but the ones at the NEX because they don't work because they don't have the software included.  I bought one at the Microcenter and it worked perfectly.  Personally, I like the one at the Micro Center since it can do 63 different things besides being a "Smart Card Reader", and because it's cheap. Unlike the NEX model, the Microcenter comes with the software and is totally "Plug-n-Play".  It's a no brainer.  I say this everytime, but I will say it again, your sailor will think it's a stupid gift.  However, once they play with it, and see's how powerful it actually is and how he can search for things from the comfort of his own room, he will think it's the best thing since slided bread.  Again, the power it has is awesome..



Some of your sailors will have really short "A" schools.  One item in "A"  school is your sailors fill out a dream sheet to put down places that they would like to go.    These dream sheets stay in your record forever and when a new one is submitted, the old one just moves one sheet back in the main computer database.  One thing is you don't want is to look like a fool and put in for some duty station that your rating will never go.  Say you put in for Liberia Africa, the only rating that can go there is the Intelligence Specialist (IS) rating.  So everytime your orders comes up, the detailer will get a laugh and wonder why a Machist Mate (MM) ever put in for something that couldn't have ever been possible.  It doesn't look good, even if the sailor is fresh out of boot camp.  It shows they didn't take the time to see what billets (places) that they could actually go.  Yes, they can use the CAC card readers at their career counselors office  but they have 50 others sailors waiting for the same computer.  So just pay the measly $20 for the reader and do it from the comfort of your own barracks room. 

Some will tell you, when they finally get to their final duty station their command might issue them one, but by then it's too late.  To me, paying $20 for the possiblity of getting an awesome duty station is worth it.  Heck my kid got 3 years of shore duty in Hawaii, but he knew how to play the game (and he has an awesome father ~ha)  


If your sailors have problems loading them up (which they shouldn't).   Here is an article that was in the Navy-Times. I guess this guy runs a help desk for those having trouble with their CAC card readers. My nephew said it was so easy to connect up, but what is easy for some, may be hard for others. It's funny, because the guys an Army guy, but I guess the Navy thought it was so good that they wrote about it....

Here's the article, and the website listed is

The second thing is a rating coin....

To me, this is an awesome thing too. 

The coin is just a cool thing. My son actually gave me mine.  And I totally love it.  Sadly, but happily, I will be passing this coin along now to my nephew who just graduated bootcamp Sept 2nd, and will be attending CTT "A" school. Just to start a family tradition, I will be passing the coin onto him. He will be the "Keeper of the Coin" for the family now. I'm hoping he will pass it to the next CT in the family.

Most of you won't understand the joy it is seeing this coin being passed along, but as a sailor, I do....

It's cheap, and I think this one will mean the most personally. It will show that you took the time to learn about their rating, and that you totally back them. Have it engraved if possible. 
Just a thought....


Views: 2827

Replies to This Discussion


Great advise, but you and I both know 90% of new Sailors just go and get what ever...they don't pay attention the cost.  LOL!



Angie - 1st off that just cracked me up with the "what was actually said, and what was heard"...  Man that was funny!


Yea, I've seen it 1000 times, they will just buy whatever computer thinking they are saving money because it "tax free".  I don't think I've ever bought a computer at the NEX, because usually they are old models, and are expensive. I'm just a cheap bastard, and I want whatever it is that will do the trick.  I know laptops don't last long.  Expecially in the military.

yep I don't by computers, TV's ect...from the nex as they are always the older models.  I have bought my washers and dryer and kitchen things from there if they are a good price, but I always shop around for good prices on just about everything.  Only if that store would be on or near my route I travel my 2cents going far out of your way to save a little bit of money really costs you more in gas and wear and tear on your car.

This is a good question and I would like to know too.


Craig, are you still AD?
I like the idea of both, but the CAC reader may be the best choice. What would recommend or thing to be something to engrave on the back? Their last name? Their PIR date? The date they enlisted?
Craig - how do you know for sure which coin to get - my son is an E-3 and said in his last letter that he was headed to Pensacola for A school.  Initially (during DEP) he talked about IT.  Help - what does all this mean and does it change.  I love the coins - he would think it was great to have it engraved.


I am retired.  But not really.  Three months before I got out I was offered a job doing exactly the same job I was doing in the Navy by a government contractor.  I work at my same desk, and work besides all the actived duty Navy sailors.  I talk Navy 24x7 &  I read every Navy message that comes out.  The only main difference is I get paid a heck of alot more money and I don't have to put up with any of the b.s.

My son is an active duty sailor in Hawaii, and my nephew is active duty in "A" school.  Because my son kept having his friends call me 24x7 asking me questions, I decided to open up a website (  that deals with deppers and newly minted sailors (sailors with less than 2 years in the Navy). This cut down the calls alot.  Now they just ask their questions on the website, and I answer them as I have time. 

The reason I'm with you guys is I had a member on my website that went to boot camp.  She is unlike most of the sailors I have dealt because she is a green card holder and was very limited on what she could do.  She has been at RTC for about 1 month longer than 99% of the recruits in this group because she had to attend the FAST program before she could start her actual boot camp training. So while most of the future sailors go there for 8 weeks, she will have 12 weeks.  So I want her to remain motovated and have someone to mentor her.  Remember, some cultures don't accept women working, let alone being in the Navy.  They are disowned by their families.  I have about 10 moms writing her to keep her going.

I know someone will ask "What is the FAST program".  You can read about it here on page 16.

Sorry about the long post...

That is awesome!  Don't you love being a Contracter?  I worked for a while after I retired but had to Retire/Retire last year due to health issues.  My husband is a retired Marine and is also a GS.  He was offered a contracting job doing what he is doing now, but required him to relocate to the Beltway.  We weighed the pros and cons and decided that we didn't want to live in Northern VA/DC so he stayed put and they upgraded his position 3 months later.  So it worked out for the best.

Since I resigned last year I haven't kept up with all of the NAVADMINS, etc, until my daughter decided to enlist.  Boy how things change in a short year.  Continuation board for E5-E8's?  Really?  What is HYT for?  Again, they have failed to notify me. lol

Have a great day.

sailorwife - Since most sailors do not actually earn their ratings until after "A" school,  what I would have engraved is "As you begin your career know that we stand with you - PIR 7/1/11" or something like that (not sure if it will fit).  Check around for the price for engraving.  Some places are cheap, some aren't. 


Sharon - Your son is a Information Systems Technician (IT).  The Navy use to call them Radiomen (RM), but that all changed about 2000.  Now they are IT's.  Since your son will go to Corry Station for school, you may want to check out my group here at N4M.  Even though we are Cryptologic (CT), we are on the same base.  I actually made a slide show of pictures of Corry (barracks, chow hall, building, history) located at the top of the group.

Here is the link,

btw:  Here is what his coin would look like:

@ angie yeah I could DEFINITELY see him doing that.

My 2 cents is you all just going to PIR is gift enough.  Not everyone can afford a material gift, please don't feel bad if you don't get one for your sailor.  Take your camera and take LOTS of pictures, than KEEP them!  Why do I say that, years from now your Sailor will really like those pictures.




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