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.



I am starting this discussion so that you may share your PIR experiences here for us to be able to refer back to. Since PIR - Pass in Review opened back up for guests, I have been intending to put something together for future members to refer to and I am just now getting around to it. 

Also, if you wish, go ahead and please share what motel you stayed at, if they had a breakfast, and your thoughts on the motel. If you haven't already mentioned it in your post on the comment wall, you might also include if a shuttle ride was offered, if you used it, and whether or not your Sailor was staying in GL or flying out. Also, share if you attended Sarge's Meet n Greet, and how you traveled to and fro, did you do any site seeing or shopping and where. This information can always be added here in the discussion after you copy your post in the main group if you want to fill in some more details. Thanks!!

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you! This will be useful for me when making arrangements for PIR 11/10

Melissa, hopefully some of the recent PIR members will post. Also, be sure to ask in the Comment Wall on the BC group about motel recommendations. If someone posts there, then I can see about them either copying it, or I can over to this discussion. 

PIR 9/23/22 Experience

Stayed at Navy Lodge - HIGHLY recommend! Very close to base. Rooms were nice- we got one with two queen beds and it included a small kitchen (only thing it didn't have was on oven but did have a stop top). Price was more than reasonable. They offered a continental breakfast each morning. They offer a shuttle on PIR day - $3 round trip per person - your sailor can ride back with you for free. Nice thing about this shuttle is it is the only hotel shuttle that is allowed on base.  We got dropped off right up front (by passing a very long line of cars). We left the hotel at 7:30 and still had plenty of time to find a good seat, buy coffee, ...etc. Only negative thing I can say is that the check in process was very slow - but we had no issue checking in early. I would stay there again if I could. 

Sarge's Meet n Greet - EXCELLENT!  Be sure to show up at 4:15 - I messed up the times and showed up an hour late, missing the Division photos and opportunity to meet some of the parents from my sailor's division.  Donate in advance via paypal (you will get info on how after you sign up). The benefit of that is you get assigned a table (otherwise it's first come first serve for seating - and some of the seating is at small high top tables). Sarge really pays attention - he saw my name tag, went out of his way to say thank you for the donation and then asked to take a selfie with me :)  If you donate in advance you also are first in the food line - not really an issue as there's a TON of food. We actually got to take some back with us to the hotel (which was great when we didn't want to spend more money at a restaurant!). 

Getting on base... definitely follow Sarge's short cut! I found it particularly helpful when we returned our sailor to base for curfew Friday - the line to get on was LONG - but our shortcut bypassed all that traffic.  I'd also say get there early just in case.  If you're on base early you can still hang out in the parking lot with your sailor until he/she has to return. 

My son was there for the weekend (in THU until he was able to transition to school at GL across the street essentially).  We also had Saturday with him (but no overnights) and Sunday morning before we had to head to the airport. Traffic at base on Saturday was rather easy in comparison as so many sailors had flown out to A School already.  

Friday - because our time was shorter - we stayed within 30 minutes travel time - went out to lunch at Portillo's (son's request - he actually bought us all lunch! so sweet). Then we went to the movies - saw Top Gun Maverick - he hadn't seen it and it seemed so fitting for the weekend to watch a navy movie). After that we hung out at the mall (same place the movie played - Hawthorn Mall?) and my sailor and his sister had fun in this little arcade place.  No one was hungry so we skipped grabbing dinner and just went back to the hotel for a little bit before returning him to base.  Saturday we got breakfast at Full Moon restuarant - excellent breakfast! Then headed to downtown Chicago to do touristy things - Navy Pier, rode the ferris wheel, saw The Bean (cooler than I thought it would be). Got lunch at Shake Shack (sailor's request again). Was going to do the sky deck - if you want to do that - make reservations on line. We got there around 3? told the next time would be at 6:30 - so we had to skip it. Just as well because then I saw the price and was glad we couldn't fit it in).  Again skipped dinner - we all filled up on lunch and sailor was anxious to be sure he made it back to base on time - which he did).   Sunday we did breakfast at the same place and then we toured his A school a bit before saying our see ya laters. 

We rented a car also - through Budget. For the weekend we spent under $300 for the car - it was decent. Though I've since heard from others that Fox is less expensive. Good to know. 

Hope this is helpful! 

Also - at Navy Lodge - they provide you with a hanger if you bring an anchor to hang on your door! 

PIR experience 11/4/22

I stayed at the Sleep Inn Lake Bluff.  It was listed as being like 1.5 miles from RTC.  It really was very close.  Very easy to find the Welcome Center to pick up the ticket and to get to the base for drop off/pick up. The bed and pillows were comfortable, it was reasonably priced, had a basic breakfast, which I did not eat. The room was clean and the shower was huge with plenty of hot water.  I would recommend this hotel.  It was right behind a BP gas station with a Dunkin Donuts and next to a McDonalds. 

Went to Sarge's Meet and Greet.  I found it easy enough, but I thought that I was in the wrong location.  There is no name on the business, but that is where the magic is happening.  You walk in, find your division and sign in.  I recommend that you donate early for a reserved spot or table. There is a table to drop off your baskets (if you make one), a table for a bracelet (very nice) that is made while you wait and place for personalized apparel that is made while dinner is served.  Sarge is a wonderful person and a wonderful master of ceremony.  He has this down to a science and very well run event.  The food was delicious.  It was catered and brought in from area restaurants.  We had Olive Garden, Popeye's, a local Italian restaurant and an Asian restaurant, along with fruit and cookies.  Again, it was run like a well oiled machine.  I did not win any baskets, though not for trying :)

PIR day!!!   I woke up at like 4:30am (couldn't sleep in).  I left my hotel at around 6:30am and took Sarge's shortcut.  BELIEVE ME, IT WORKS.  Getting in was a breeze.  Parked in the Garage and walked through a very nice exhibit.  Walked into the drill hall and it was already pretty full. You can get snacks and order a printed divisional calendar, maybe a coin or 2.  I really do recommend you bring something to sit on.  If you get there early it can be up to 4 hours of sitting and getting up and down for people.  The ceremony itself is exciting.  Watching them march in and take their place.  Listening to the music, the speeches, watching the guns.  It is exciting. The best part is when they call for Liberty.  Pandemonium ensues while you find your Sailor and just enjoy the moment.  Hopefully you will have someone with you to record your first hug, I did not.  My son said, "Mom, the sooner you take our picture and let me go, the sooner we can get out of here".  It ended up being about an hour later that he was free to leave the base.  He had to sign out, plus I think he helped someone with their stuff,  We got a couple of pictures, watched some divisions doing cadences, walked over the the recruit NEX and then left.  Watching him in his new world was fascinating.  We went to Cheesecake Factory for food.  The food was just ok, but the cheesecake was AMAZING!  Then we went and had boba tea and headed back to the hotel room.  He really did just chill and relax.  He messaged everyone that he had gotten numbers for over his 4 months and he did not receive any messages that were sent to him while his phone was off. 

My son was only to have Friday liberty.  We left the hotel at 7:30-7:45 pm and it was 8:20pm ish when we got into the base.  That traffic is no joke.  The gate for return was easy to find.  He was supposed to fly out on a military plane at 1 am.  He called me shortly after he got back into his dorm and said he wasn't flying out until Sunday and would have liberty on Saturday from 0700-2100 hrs  (7am to 9pm).  So I stayed another night (it was easy to add) and picked him up. We went to the Full Moon diner (I think that was its name) right across the street from our hotel.  We thought the food was good (what we got) even if it was a tiny bit overpriced.  We stayed in the hotel all morning and went out for Chipotle for lunch.  We came back and spent the rest of the day in the hotel.  We ordered Donati's (spelling) for pizza, cheese bread and wings.  The wings were delicious.  Drop off on base was so much easier as most of the Sailors had already left.  No traffic so were able to spend a few more minutes together.

All in all this was a wonderful weekend.  I wish I was able to record the whole day.  The best part was when my son thanked me for allowing him to just relax.  He said "I know you would rather do other things, but I really just wanna be lazy".  So all in all, it is about what they want to do.  

On a side note, you should check out the NEX at the Welcome Center.  It was huge and impressive (I am non military and had never been to one before).  I wish I had walked into the grocery store part, but I didn't.  They have lots of memorabilia, but a piece of advice.  Any clothes you purchase, make sure they fit BEFORE you check out.  It was not simple to make a return as they run smaller on size. My son had to create some sort of Loyalty account in order for me to return, but you can shop without your Sailor on PIR weekend. 

ENJOY YOUR TIME!! It goes by quickly

 JNMnavymomOH - Thank you so much for sharing!! 

Sarge's Meet n Greet - Yes, if it is still in the same location, there is no indication on the outside that is where you are to be.  And it is a good point about reserving ahead of time and even making a donation ahead, or plan to at the event, or when you get home, "pay it forward". 

NEX - Good point on the clothes. Also, you may shop at the NEX without your sailor, but if they shop, they do not have to pay sales tax, but you will. 

"Just Chilling" - How true!! 

Chipmunk - I actually did not pay any sales tax when I shopped there without him.  I just checked my receipts, but I suppose it could have been a fluke or a mistake if its policy that we pay the sales tax.  

It may have changed, that was how I recalled though, so I just wanted to give a heads up. 

JNMnavymomOH - Such great information, thanks for sharing! Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your son. I'm happy he was able to get some R&R in before heading out to A school. You'll never forget PIR weekend!

Thanks so much for sharing! Great information I can use.  I am glad you had a great PIR with your sailor. I have many more weeks to go like 8, and I am so anxious, and really ready for a least a letter 

I used Sarge's Taxi service and Clifton, our driver, was fantastic! We used him for transportation to and from the airport. We had 5 of us so I filled out the form and texted Sarge to make sure we could fit. There were 4 bags so it wasn't an issue.

We stayed at the Springfield Suites which was convenient since the meet and greet was across the street so we could walk

I used Uber to get back and forth to the gate to pick up and drop off my Sailor from the barracks. He had to stay on base and had to be back by 9pm, but it's really 8:30 since it's a 30 min walk (they can't double time) from Gate 8 to the barracks.

Sarge's Meet and Greet starts at 5, but it says food is at 7. That wasn't the case. We arrived about 5:45 and there was a huge line for food. They had plenty though. There were vendors there selling personalized apparel as well as bracelets.

Springfield Suites had a free shuttle to and from PIR. I signed up when we checked in. The 6:45am shuttle gave us plenty of time and no waiting in line to get into the gate.

My son bought A LOT of photos and frames and there was a long line at NEX to pick them up. There was another line after that to pay. I waited and got all the photos while my sailor went and got his stuff out of the barracks. We just made the 11:45am shuttle back to the hotel.

I brought some comfortable clothes for him to wear in the hotel room so he could relax. They really don't have room to take a lot to school with them since all the uniforms fill the bag so I took most things home and will ship to him later.

They get phones back after PIR which was a big deal since they had all been separated from their social accounts for so long!

At PIR, there is a sailor standing with the division number so you can sit across from that sign and try to find your sailor so when they call liberty and there is a mad dash to the kids, you kind of know how to get to your sailor. It was still pretty crazy!

I hope this helps and please ask any questions you like!

Melissa - great update - thank you!


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