Just completed PIR last week and we would have found the following information helpful: perhaps it's somewhere that we missed, or our son isn't the best at communicating, but anyway, we wish we had known:
1. BE EARLY. When they say the gate opens at 6:30 am, know there will be a LONG LINE of cars! There are 3 lanes that need to "zipper" and nobody directing traffic at the lights leading up to the entry The public street is not governed by the Navy so the local police would have to do it. We were in the far right lane: big mistake. Those in the left lane just whizzed by and the folks in the middle were stuck going nowhere as well, and this was 3 lights back.
We sat with the car (part of the time in park through 6 green lights) as the time ticked by (from 6:45 to about 7:45 getting nowhere) . I finally got out and walked in to save a seat for my husband and daughter. She went back out to trade driving with my husband, then parked the car and made it in at 9:00 am, just in the nick of time. Had they not delayed graduation she would have missed it.
2. Save the poor guy standing out in the cold having to repeat this a million time and HAVE YOUR GATE PASS VISIBLE IN YOUR WINDOW. It's cold out there and these guys would like to keep everyone moving smoothly.
3. When you get into the building, bleachers are on your right. Look to the left for portable signs that have your recruit's division number on them. That's the section they'll be in. You won't necessarily be able to see much of the actual ceremony if you're seated at the ends, but they do have big screens up so you can see those.
4. Do not stand up in the bleachers or climb over them: it's absolutely forbidden and you'll be scolded (firmly but kindly.) Walk to the end of the row and use the stairs.
And a side note... it's a long morning with an early start and no quick exit to the bathroom once the ceremony starts. Consider carefully if you want to bring small children. If you do, bring plenty to keep them occupied etc. It's a cool ceremony, but not very interesting for little ones who had to get up at the crack of dawn!
Enjoy and congratulations to the new sailors!
Hi mattyd. My son will also be graduating on 2/5. I guess it would be wise to book hotels and plane tickets now. All of this sounds confusing. Did your son only get 3 tickets?
Where do we get gate passes from? I've only heard about making sure that I'm on the "list".
The RTC website states:
"Guests who intend to bring their vehicle onto RTC for graduation must have a vehicle gate pass. The gate pass is obtained by downloading it from http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/upcoming_grads.asp
The vehicle gate pass will be available beginning 11 days prior to your graduation date. A password is required to access the file, the password was provided in the form letter sent home during the first week of training by your recruit."
Try again. Its there. http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/upcoming_grads.html
FlaGirl65: I copied/pasted this from the Upcoming Graduations page on the RTC site so the "Get gate pass" prompt is there to download your gate pass--just click on it below:
TG 08 - 10 Divisions (045-052, and 907-908) Graduate Thursday, December 31, 2015. Each recruit will be permitted 4 guests Get gate pass
I am coming in a rental car, so I am wondering should we be headed to the gate by 6 a.m. to beat the long line -or earlier than that?
Probably earlier than that, SatlLakeMom. 5:45 at the latest. You will be surprised at how many are in line by 6 a.m. Stay to the left as kate mentioned since it seems that the 2 right lines merge into the left lane. If you take the shuttle from your hotel (Sarge's or the local cab service), you don't need to leave as early since they bypass the car line and drop off at the gate. But I would be on the 6:15 shuttle (or earlier) if you can do it.