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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."

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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I thought I would post some PIR information and how things went for us.  We arrived late on the Wednesday before PIR.  We wanted to get a good night’s sleep and get acclimated to the area so we could make the most of our time with our Sailor during Friday’s liberty.  We stayed at the Residence Inn Chicago Waukegan.  So far it has been worth the extra money we paid for a two-bedroom suite with a full kitchen.  My Sailor’s girlfriend is travelling with us, so it is nice for her to have her own room, bathroom, and privacy.  The online pictures do not do justice to this room that it clean and comfortable. The full kitchen has dishes, utensils, and pots and pans if your Sailor craves some home cooked food (we are baking cookies!), breakfast is free, and the staff has been polite and helpful. I can’t say enough about this hotel.  It was perfect!

There is a shuttle service that begins taking people to the PIR ceremony at 6:00 AM and charges $4.00 per person.  This is a taxi service and is not affiliated with the hotel. It is true that the taxis bypass the car line waiting to get on base, but the taxi drops you off outside the gate so you still need to wait in line (outside!) to go through security, and in the winter this might not be the best choice.  The car line moved pretty quickly once the gate opened and looking back I wish I would have taken my own vehicle.  If you arrive when the gates open, be prepared for a long wait to see your sailor!

T-shirts and coins that are sold in the ceremony building are nice, but they seem to put some pressure on you to buy coins and honestly, my sailor was not that interested in them.  The division shirts are nice to have and are unique to each division so I was happy with that purchase. Make sure to have some cash on hand for this. One thing to say about getting on to base: ALWAYS have your gate pass and IDs ready to hand to security, including your sailor’s military ID if they are with you. 

I’m not sure what to say about Sarge’s Meet and Greet.  I do not want to say negative things as it seems this is his bread and butter, but it seemed very unorganized.  It would have been a great place to meet other families, but the PA system was too loud to have a conversation and the same information was repeated several times.  We left before the buffet started as it seemed like this was never going to happen and we were all pretty hungry.  I am assuming that Sarge may have been having an off week and could have been overwhelmed by the number of people attending. If you have a GPS like a Garmin you should have no problem getting around.  We studied some maps before we left so we were familiar with names of roads and it helped a lot!  Waukegan, Buckley, and Martin Luther King were all pretty important names to remember.

After liberty, we took a quick nap at the hotel then headed to O’Hare at 1:00 am.  It can be confusing trying to find a place to park, but buses and shuttles run all night long so we parked in long-term parking and took a bus to the terminal. I can’t say this was the best choice, I’m sure there are better places to park but we just did not know. There is a USO in terminal 2 and that is where most of the sailors were. They can relax there until it is time to check in for their flights. We did not go to the gate to wait for our sailor to board his flight (so we didn’t have to get through security). He did not want any last minute drama at the gate.  Our mission was to give him his cell phone and some personal items, so that was the end of our time together. 

I hope this information helps someone prepare for PIR.  Be ready for some chaos and be ready to wait.  If your sailor gets delayed because of paperwork, be prepared to wait some more and understand that you may not know what is going on.  It can be very frustrating, but in the end worth it! I would be happy to answer any questions and feel free to share this info if it might be helpful.

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Thank you. I read that you have to go pick up your guest passes at another location, and that is is only open until 6pm the night before. We will probably fly in and miss that deadline. Is this the only way to get the passes? For some reason, I thought they were given out in advance. Any advise is great. Is the Navy Lodge or Residence Inn closer to the base?

The Residence Inn is 4 or 5 miles from base.  It takes about 10 minutes to get to the main gate from the hotel in moderate traffic.  We did not have to get any passes or tickets, but I see that this is changing soon.  I have been reading that the Recruit Training Command (RTC) is changing the way they do some things starting in October. My best advice is to check out the RTC website, and follow any directions that were in your recruits form letter. It looks like a ticket office opens at 5:30 am the morning of graduation.  Best of luck to you!

Travelmom the Navy lodge is closer, and Ma'am you need to pick up tickets each individual has to pick their own tickets up. please make sure you know that.


If you are attending a graduation ceremony, you MUST personally obtain your ticket, you cannot pick up tickets for others. Tickets will be distributed at the Recruit Family Welcome Center, located inside the Navy Exchange Burkey Mall, Bldg. 3452, 2650 Green Bay Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 

The changes to the guests attending and entry on to base remain the same through October 6, 2017. The October 6, 2017 is the first PIR that will receive tickets and no gate passes will be issued.

Please join the PIR group for your recruits graduation date. That will be the best and fastest place to receive accurate information for attending PIR.

To clarify. Your sailor never got to leave bootcamp. You saw him there and at the airport when he left for A school.

Does the Navy have a family day before graduation day? I know some branches do.

No there is not a family day.

Ducklingmomma you will have Liberty with your Sailor he will be briefed on the time he needs to be back at base, you may need to sign him/her out and back in. He will have instructions as to what time he will be heading to airport so please plan accordingly.

Thank you.

Trying to get ahead of the game as much as humanly possible. I have seen a lot of great tips on here.

Is there an area on this site, when I find out what his group name is, that I will be able to link up with other family that is in the same group as my son? I think there is a Facebook page, but I am not sure which to go to first?

no family day before PIR, just liberty after.

Also, please let me know if there is a better place, or if I should start my own discussion on here about random questions. I am still new and not good with the navigation yet.


If you know his PIR date you can join that, I help out on Boot camp Moms please join there I put alot of good information on there and all your questions will be answered.


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