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.

Format Downloads:

Latest Activity

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.)

N4M Merchandise

Shirts, caps, mugs and more can be found at CafePress.

Please note: Profits generated in the production of this merchandise are not being awarded to the Navy or any of its suppliers. Any profit made is retained by CafePress. Para Familias

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?

Views: 1246

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

They do appreciate recruits who arrive with cell phones. There are limited number of phones available, and recruits who have their phones when they arrive are allowed to make their initial "I'm here" call home on their own phone. It helps move the recruits through the process faster. About a half-hour later they put the phone in the box with their other belongings, (shoes, shirt, pants, underwear, jacket, etc) and ship it home.

Once the phone is home, I recommend that parents call the service provider to suspend service for the duration of boot camp. Verizon does it without question, some other providers want to see orders before they will do it.
Just be sure and ACTIVATE the phone card before they go to boot camp. Otherwise, they may lost valuable minutes granted to them just activating it. Trust me, they don't have time for lots of phone calls. We also laminated an index card to fit in his wallet that had all the important phone #'s and addresses on it. Some letters came to us to forward to his friends, which was fine by us--we missed feeding them and their overnight video game sounds!
Even the writing material was sent home in "the box!"
Also, if they bring certain items, such as mini shampoo bottles and stuff, they may be asked at the USO to donate some of these items to be sent to those serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. They don't have to donate, but many do. So if some of these items don't come home, they went to a good cause.
They usually don't get their cell phones back until they get to A school. My son's fiancee took his to PIR but ended up having to bring it back because he wasn't allowed to have it until he got to Pensacola. Then we shipped it and his laptop to him there. His cell phone will be shipped back, phone in one shoe, battery in the other, along with everything else he had with him...underwear, dirty socks etc. etc. in the "kid-in-a-box" which will arrive via FedEx within a week after he leaves for BC.
When my boyfriend went in, he took nothing but his wallet, cell phone, and the clothes on his back. That seems to be the best option (at least for men).

When my brother went in, he made a big deal out of leaving. Bought a small address book and put everyone's address in it, stationary, and other such things that were on the "What To Bring" list. However, I remember EVERYTHING coming back in that box.

I don't have experience with the female recruit side, but when I was at the NEX for my boyfriend's graduation, I asked if the women really got to keep their makeup. He said they had to send it all back and whatever make up they wanted for gradution they had to buy it there.

Take as little as possible is the best advice I can give :)
my son was told all he could bring was himself, a small picture size of his palm, an addy book and his wallet with a phone card that is it, because everything else would be shipped back home as they would be providing for them everything they need right down to the stationary and skivies. :)
Does the Navy pay for uniforms?

Yes, but not for everything they need at boot camp.

Recruits receive an initial uniform allowance $1,157.21 for men and $1,371.69 for women. This pays for the "sailor's seabag" which consists of four sets of Navy Working Uniforms (aka "digis"), one pair of boots, one set of PT gear (sweats and shorts/t-shirt), two sets of Navy Service Uniforms(aka "peanut butters"), one dress white uniform, one dress blue uniform, one pair of dress shoes, a pea coat, a rain coat, an NSU parka and a seabag. Women also receive skirts for each service and dress uniform, a set of uniform dress pumps, which is why they get a higher allowance.

After that they get a smaller amount each year to replace worn or damaged uniforms.

This allowance does NOT cover the many small things they need that are not uniform items, from underwear to shampoo to athletic shoes. The first paycheck is usually reduced by about $600 (usually the entire paycheck) and may be non-existent.

During winter months they may also have to purchase specific cold weather gear that isn't part of the basic "sailor's seabag."

What else comes out of my recruit's paycheck?

Later in boot camp sailors will have the option to purchase "yearbooks", PIR DVDs, pictures, division t-shirts, etc. Many of these are deducted from the sailors' paychecks. They do have the option to not purchase these items.

However, if they do purchase these items the pictures and t-shirts arrive before PIR. If parents order them at PIR or later, it may take 1-2 months to receive them.

When does may recruit get his/her first paycheck?

The first paycheck usually arrives in the recruit's bank account about one month to six weeks after his/her arrival at boot camp. Paydays are on the 1st and 15th of each month.

Does the Navy pay for food?

Yes. However, the system is confusing to some people, so it seems like sailors pay for their food. The Navy used to just feed all sailors, but for bookkeeping purposes it was difficult to figure out how much they paid for each sailor to eat.

Now the Navy issues a food allowance to every sailor. If that sailor is on shore duty and does not live on a ship or in barracks with access to a mess (cafeteria), the sailor keeps the cash to pay for their own food. However, if the sailor is assigned to a ship or barracks with access to a mess the Navy deducts the food allowance. At first glance on a pay stub this *looks* like the sailor is paying for his/her own food, but in reality the Navy is merely re-claiming the food allowance.

If a sailor does not like the food offered at the mess and chooses to eat their own food or at a fast food restaurant, it is up to them to pay for it out of their own money. The Navy will NOT return the money to them if they decline to eat at Navy facilities.
As long as the phone cards are in their wallet, they can keep them. I stuffed a LOT into my son's wallet, including phone cards, $25 in cash (they can't have more than that), a mini phone list, and a SASE with a questionnaire so that first letter would answer the questions I really wanted to know.

None of it came home. Just his clothes, electronics and the book he brought along to read.
What I learned from other moms is that sometimes the new recruits are so rattled, they put things in the box to send home that they really could have kept. My son kept his wallet, his watch, and a small address book. It is important that they take their cell phone, even though it will come back in the box. They can use it for the call home rather than wait their turn at a pay phone. I heard of some not getting to make the call.
That's why we call it "the-kid-in-a-box" because apart from his/her actual physical body, you get them back in the box. Like most kids, my son lived with his cell phone permanently attached to his body so when I opened the box and there it was, I knew things were never gonna be the same!
The only thing my son took to boot camp was a watch.. his recruiter told him the Navy will supply everything.. he had his wallet with his ATM card, he was working up until the time he left so he had money in there just in case he needed it.. and I dont think he ever did... .


© 2023   Created by Navy for Moms Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service