This site is for mothers of kids in the U.S. Navy and for Moms who have questions about Navy life for their kids.



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Make sure to read our Community Guidelines and this Navy Operations Security (OPSEC) checklist - loose lips sink ships!

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


What does s/he need to bring?

What is paid for by the Navy? What is not?

Does it make a difference if he has been accepted into the Seals Program?

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Your recruit's recruiter should be able to answer this. Our son was told that EVERYTHING he took would be returned to his parents in "the box" once they arrive in Great Lakes. He was able to keep his prescription glasses and his wallet. I'm told that they are allowed to keep a small personal bible, stamps, phone card. Female recruits can keep some personal hygiene products.

One of the very first things to happen upon arrival is the issuing of Navy attire they are expected to wear daily. They will each get a ditty bag and will fill it up with Navy issued personal hygiene products, soap, shaving gear, anything else the Navy wants them to have. The Navy will "charge" these items to the recruit and it will be automatically deducted from their pay on the first or second payday. Each recruit will pay for his/her own uniforms this same way. Meals are provided by the Navy at no cost to the recruit but once they go to A school, they will be charged for using the Mess Hall.

Bootcamp is the same for all recruits, whether they will go onto Seal training or not.

So, the short answer is bring as little as possible. Our son took his cell phone and he was able to call us while waiting for the airplane as well as when the airplane arrived in Chicago. Once they arrive at O'Hare, they are hurried to the USO office for pickup and transportation to Great Lakes. Once they get to the USO, they are no longer allowed to use their phones except for the 10 second "I'm here" phone call they get when they arrive in Great Lakes. (It seriously is no more than 10 seconds so don't try to engage in a conversation, they will be screamed at the entire time on the phone) The phone came back in the box with everything else.

Hope this helps!

thank you I see moms sending money to sons who should be having enough income to cover incidentals and more- just trying to understand.

thanks for the reply.
Boy, your remark is rather tuff!!!!
Hoppi is a Navy chief and tells it flat out like it is.

Their whole paycheck, minus taxes, is a LOT of money for a single sailor. I went through mine like water, but I never complained about being broke. I knew it was my own fault!
I second Hoppi and Anti M's sentiments. An E-1 gets about $1,000 per month after taxes. Except for incidentals like shampoo and laundry soap, that's entirely free spending money. Most young sailors use that money for luxury items. My son says virtually everyone in his A school barracks immediately went out and spent their first few paychecks on computer game consoles, games, iPhones, big screen TVs and stereo systems. If a sailor tells his/her parents that s/he is broke and needs money it's probably due to their own financial mismanagement.

My son actually sends $200 home each month to help support the whole family. We didn't ask him to, he just wants to contribute.
I liked weekends in Chicago with fancy hotel rooms, fine dining and sleek bars. When the liberty policy was far less strict!
For me it was (believe it or not) a horse. I bought a Thoroughbred/Appaloosa filly, had her trained by a top professional and shipped her to a stable near my base. That's where I spent my weekends, and most of my paychecks.
No, I don't still have the horse, I sold her to pay for my wedding.I did get other horses later on, though. Since Jenny (that was her name) I have owned or leased about 15 others. I had two before her.
Sorry to disappoint, no, I don't have horses anymore. My life changed (we moved from a farm to in-town) and I tried to keep horses for a while, but with three kids and boarding them, I simply didn't have the time they really deserved. I sold them off one-by-one until I only had one left. He was my favorite, and was a real people-horse, he was terribly lonely for attention. So I sold him, and he became a police horse. Another of my horses went into dressage, and another (his dam) is a working ranch horse.

Keeping horses doesn't always mean cleaning up after them. Horses are always happiest in large pastures, where they can run. Horses kept in stalls develop nervous habits, from cribbing (forcing air into their gut) to chewing wood, and are less healthy, mentally and physically.

Keeping horses means lots of expenses. From food (If you can rent a pasture - usually 4 acres per horse - you don't need to feed, except in the non-green season) to vet costs, to monthly worming, horse dental, farrier work (trimming or shoeing) every 6 weeks, boarding (many people will let you use a field for free to use your horse as a decorative bio-lawnmower), training, tack, transportation... Keeping Jenny often meant my whole paycheck was spent before I got it.
Don't look for Hoppi to sugar coat anything but you can expect what she shares to be factual. So it depends on what you want to hear fly. Our son has been in the Navy for 2.5 years now, we have yet to send him a dime. He is single and went in with no bills and he has recently bought a new car, paid cash and still has a very healthy saving account and has bought some cds (certificates of deposits) along the way and he is living in one of the most expensive homeports that exist.

So it really comes down to each sailor and what they want out of their life and their future. The Navy provides them with housing $ and food - if they elect not to use it that's a choice they can make but they should not look for their families to supplement their incomes or they will be dependents forever!
thank you! the cell phone is a bit of a surprise - he is rather attached to his.

since all the clothing is expensed out of his pay, i was hoping to send more undershirts/shorts but I guess that is just not in the Navy Plan

thanks for your reply
interesting... looks like the prepaid phone cards will be his new cell phone. Is there any point where they get the cell phones back?


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