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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.


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.

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nukenavymamabear replied to Lancertrackmom's discussion 'A school graduation' in the group NUKE moms
22 hours ago

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I don't know where to turn. I'm having a hard enough time dealing with the fact that my son will be leaving for bootcamp in September, but now I'm starting to realize that maybe he really doesn't know what he's getting himself into. For instance, last nite we were talking about selling his car before he leaves and he said he'd like to buy a car from a guy that we know maybe next year. I asked him if he realizes that once he leaves, he's gone for 4 years, with the exception of the times he does get to come home for visits (which I'm sure are not often.) His answer was "I don't know." Of course, I started to cry. My question is - are most kids (I call him a kid even though he's 22) naive about what they're getting into? I'm so panicked that he's going to think he made a mistake and will be miserable when reality sets in. If anyone has any advice - PLEASE SHARE! I'm so sad that my first born is leaving and to think of him being "there" and regretting his decision just makes me sick to my stomach. Sorry if I sound like an overbearing mother - I'm just so worried for him. Thanks for listening!

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We are having his party this weekend. I just want him to have fun. I've already been down memory lane looking for pictures to use at graduation so atleast I don't have to go through all of that again!

I wish you and your son the best of luck also.

I think we will all be okay! We just have to trust in God, our sons, the Navy and all the seasoned moms on N4M!

I think we should be required to come back on here and post our new outlooks after "we" survive bc!

Invisible and jvptxmom,

Have your Recruits going away parties a week before they leave for boot. They really need their sleep before shipping out to boot camp. By the time your Recruits arrive in Great Lakes, they will have been away for 24 hours. They are not allowed to sleep until the second day of their arrival. So that means that they will have been awake for at least 36 hours.

Don't worry ladies, it will be a roller-coaster ride but you will make it through. Just write plenty of letters of encouragement to your recruits. And pray a lot.

Totally agree, my son did not want s party so we went out for dinner. He was up for 45 hours. He survived.

Whew!  My 21-year-old son leaves for boot camp on Tuesday, June 7th, and I think I'm the one who has been in denial because it is just now really hitting me hard.  Reading through these posts at least reassures me that I am not alone in my confusion of despair, hopefulness, anxiety and, nonetheless overwhelming pride.

Invisible12, it sounds like our sons could be clones!  For me, it's my son's apparent naivety and not looking past tomorrow that I believe concern me the most.  Well, then there is the image of the grueling demands and the yelling to which he will be subjected at bc. ;-{  If only he felt even a bit nervous or worried about what he might experience, I would take some comfort in knowing that it might not be as difficult as he expects.  But, he doesn't seem to foresee any challenges in what is to come.  Therein lies my panic too, as you expressed, with him being slapped in the face with the reality of his commitment and no way out, even if by some chance he ends up being miserable and regrets the choice he has made.

My son is so excited and has such a positive attitude about this endeavor and his future that I will not squelch his enthusiasm just because it's so difficult for me to face!  Convincing?  I hope so, because I am sure working on it !!  I am ready to stand behind him with unending encouragement, praise and the love he has always been able to depend on. That part is easy, but being separated by 2,500 miles and what seems like a lifetime before we'll see each other again is hard to imagine.

The thoughts and experiences all of you have shared on this forum help ease my mind a bit at least, knowing that others have felt and overcome the feelings of uncertainty and worry I am feeling right now.  The strength shown by you and your sons and daughters is very helpful and supportive. Thank you.


Clarkedu, Your son's positive attitude will serve him well in boot camp. It sounds like has learned a great deal from his recruiters in DEP. If you know what to expect there is nothing to fear. I think your Recruit has a pretty good idea of what it is going to be like in boot camp.

I know my son was lucky to have such good recruiters who told him exactly what to expect at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command. The Chief would have DEP sessions where he would act like a RDC. LoL. (Recruit Division Commander.)  This helped my son and the other Deppers.

Boot camp was very hard on me Clarkedu. My son had to face some challenges. I am sure every Recruit has things in boot camp that are hard for them. Like running, situps, pushups, or academics.   I just tried to keep myself very busy. I also wrote many letters and prayed a lot. I spent a lot of time on NavyForMoms. I met so many family members from my son's division.

I wish your son the best of luck

Hang in there,


clarkedu - I'm glad to have helped you (even if it's just a little bit).  My only real outlet is here, on N4M.  Nobody around me really understands.  They all just keep saying "just imagine he's going away to college or getting married and moving away."  I can't stand hearing that anymore.  I know they mean well, but it's just not the same.  I'm happy we get to help each other.

No, it is NOT the same!! I encounter this a lot from people! I want to say... "What college requires standing watch, drills, you can't quit ..." and on and on. Don't get me wrong~ I am THRILLED that my son has chosen this path. I think it is what he was meant to do, but it is NOTHING like going away to college! My son's commitment is 6 years (and he intends to make this his career). I seriously doubt he'll ever live under my roof again. So, my happiness and pride is accompanied by a sense of loss. I think it is okay to have that emotion. I also appreciate this place where others understand the myriad of emotions that we are going through.

I have a blog about my journey thus far.

My son leaves in 67 days! 


I love your blog.  And thank you for sharing!
Invisible12, You are right. It is not the same as going away to college. People who's sons or daughters have never joined the military can not relate to our experience. It is totally different. You can't fool yourself into thinking that your child is in college. Our sons/daughters have made a commitment to our country. College students don't do that. Our sons/daughters have a lot of responsibility. Like the safety and freedom of everyone in our nation. College students don't.
Big day for you & yours!  Get some blue candles, keep your cell phone handy & start writing letters!  Basic will fly by!

Enjoy every single minute of every day that you have with him until the day he leaves.  My daughter was a little on the naive side to.  She is in A school in FL for IT.  They do learn real quick that they have a lot of responsibilities coming at them real fast.  Bootcamp in no was an eye opener for her.  She had cold feet before she left for bootcamp...but she left.  It was so hard for me.  I let my baby go though, and so far so good.  I still believe she has got to be more careful with her spending...she is doing okay but could be better at saving (they will take a crash course on finances and banking while in bootcamp).  I think that will come with time.  I don't think the time away on a sub or boat really hits home until they are in route and there is no turning back.  

We are so very proud of our gal in her making the decision to join.  She still has a long road ahead of her but all in all she is doing well.  Just know the best support system for you, other than friends and family, is here on this site.  I met many folks in the same division as our daughter and @ PIR (graduation from bootcamp) several of us met up.  It was so neat.  So when you get that PIR date look for others that have the same date and you will be surprised at how many there are and some share the same feelings as you do...or will.  If you can make PIR go and don't is such a huge proud moment to share with your new sailor and their fellow shipmates. 

Don't be expecting a lot of calls during bootcamp.  You may get 3 or you may get lucky to get a few more.  Send him off with a phone card with several minutes on it (think we bought at least 700).  It will come in super handy for him to call home on.  It takes a while for them to get mail going but as soon as he leaves out start writing...they need all the writing from home that they can get...a lot of support and positive words.  I sent 2-3 cards a week with just a note or two on them and it mean't the world to her.  If you don't get his address within a day to three days contact his recruiter until he can give it to you.  If you have a cell phone keep it by you at all times.  There is no schedule as to when they will get to call.

I know our daughter got to call after battlestations to say she made it...and got like 30-45 min. to talk with us.  We drove up to Great Lakes from Alabama.  He may stay in GL or fly out soon after.  Our daughter flew out the next night...spent around 12'ish hours at the airport.   We gave her, her laptop, cell phone, and other misc. there at the airport.  It all had to be in a solid black bookbag...which they sell there on the base.  Also, our daughter left home to head to IL with her cell phone.  She checked in with me every chance she got (which was nice and put me at ease)  They sent it and her civilian clothes home in a little square box around a few days to a week after she had gotten there.  Just some pointers.  I hope you don't mind.  

Just enjoy every single minute with him before he leaves.  It's hard to say goodbye for sure but I'm pretty sure he will be fine.  My husband is ex Navy and I didn't hesitate at all for our daughter to sign up.  So very proud of her.  So, he may go through some cold feet right before he leaves but try to stay positive for him and I don't think you are an overbearing're just a mom that cares for and loves her son so much.  That is a great thing!!!!  Take care and best wishes on your son heading into one of our nations greatest military branch.  =^.^= 

I don't mind your pointers at all.....I soooo appreciate them.  It keeps my mind at ease.  My son is also IT.  It was his choice so he's thrilled.  Do you know much about what IT entails once they're in A School? Whatever you can share would be great.  Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me all these things.  I feel like a little baby whose hand has to be held...LOL


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