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**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.


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My son leaves in a week for GL. He will spend the night in a hotel and leave the next day. I've heard it can be a big family affair to be there to see him off (he still doesn't know if he will fly or go via bus). Is it tradition to have a big fan club there at MEPS? Is there a ceremony? I read here that some parents have gotten a gate pass for the airport so they could wait for the plane with their sailor. How are those obtained? Is it a good idea to invite others, such as grandparents that live locally, to MEPS, etc. for his ship date? Any help/advice about what is typically done is appreciated. I am excited for him but I'm feeling nostalgic and a little choked up at times. This week will fly by!

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Mom2SL, I just saw my daughter off this morning!  It was wonderful!  We took her to the recruiter's office to check in yesterday late afternoon.  Paperwork and drug testing done, he gave her a good pep talk and congratulated her, told her how to check in at the hotel and gave us permission to take her out to dinner.  We dropped her off afterwards at the hotel and she stayed there until they were taken to the base for MEPS this morning.  I got to the base around 9:30 am, but swear in was not till around 11am.  So we had time to chat while they finished processing a huge group of Marine Corps recruits.  There were only 3 Navy recruits shipping out this morning, 2 females and 1 male. They had briefings in between swearing in and eating lunch.  They fed them around 11:45am and at noon they lined the recruits up and the Director of MEPS, a Marine Corp officer, gave them another encouraging pep talk and congratulated them individually and shook their hands as they left to go to the bus.  I live near the airport, so I was able to follow the bus to my town's turn-off and wave good-bye.  She was near the front of the bus so she was able to watch me almost all the way to the airport!  Most of the kids did not have family there, but several kids had more than just one parent, sibling, girlfriend, etc.  So it was very nice for them to have such support right before shipping out.  I would say keep it small, as our room was very tiny, but definitely go with family support for your recruit.  I sat with her while they fed the recruits a boxed lunch from Planet Sub.  She gave me the copy of her orders as they told her she would just be boxing it and sending it back home anyway.  I REALLY appreciated the patriotic pep talk and encouragement the military gives them as they sign a volunteer contract, especially during war time.  It made me so proud to be an American and a parent of a future sailor.  You will not regret going to say good-bye and I hope you feel just as supported for your part in raising your son to be a self-less young man, willing to give this part of his life to the service of his country.  Best of luck to you and your family!

Thank you for replying so I (and others) know what to expect!

Our (then) recruit actually asked us not be there! We saw him off the night before at the hotel and that's all he wanted. The next day, they went to MEPS and another swearing in and off they went on the bus to the airport. He didn't want to drag it out, it was already very emotional for me at the hotel, so although the swearing in would have been nice, I was OK with it.

In the end, it is the future sailor's decision and we've got to respect it.

It is a time of life where our kids do need a sense of control (with so much being out of their control), so it is important to ask what they want.

My son leaves this Wednesday the 25th for BC and I did ask him if he wanted us to come to see him off.  I wanted to go, however thought it was important for him to be comfortable with it.  He looked at me with his sweet smile and said "of course I want you there mom".  Just me, my husband and his grandmother are going to see him off.  Each day closer to his leaving has gotten harder and yet I know the hard part has not even begun.  I wanted to go the see him off because I want him to know he has my support.  I will do everything in my power to hold it together (as best I can). Not for me- but for him.  The last thing I want is to see him leave with the burden that his mother heart is breaking to see him go. If he is excited about this next step in his life - then I can be excited too !!  I would encourage you to do what your heart tells you --- you know your child and you know your own heart !

thank you!!

When our son shipped out (from Charlotte MEPS), families were very much welcome and present for the swearing-in. If it is not too far away, I would encourage you to go. If your sailor-to-be doesn't want a fuss or entourage, you should mostly respect that. It is probably best to stick to immediate family and take pictures.

It is the military, so expect a certain amount of waiting around.

The swearing-in is a ceremony that makes a good boundary. I would recommend you not linger long afterward -- say your goodbyes and it is time for his journey to begin.

Yes, be there to see him off. It may be a few weeks before you truly talk to him so these last hours are precious! My son shipped on March 17th and they rode the bus directly to the airport. I didn't know about the gate pass or I would have gotten one! My son texted me while at the hotel the night prior to give me the location where he would swear in and possible times. I came with three of my grandbabies. He called that morning to confirm and stated he would swear in somewhere between 9 and 11am. I made it about 8:30 and parents were everywhere! They provided breakfast but lunch is only for the recruits. My son didn't swear in untl about noon and then they finalized flight plans,marched downstairs where we aid our goodbyes and they boarded a bus which went to the airport. You will get a call of when they depart and when he makes it. Hopes this helps.

Our son shipped out to GL on 03/10/15.  He was not to sure if he wanted us to attend so we were not put on a list for base.  However, at time grew near, he did ask us to take him to MEPS that is 2 1/2 hours away from our home.  We were more than happy to!  We did have to check in at the visitors center.  The waiting area was not large and the base we went to would not let anyone take pictures or video.  We were just excited to be there with him for half of the day and then he sent us home.  Go if you can.  It is worth it but expect waiting.

My son had to go to MEPS the day before he shipped out, spent a night in a hotel and then was at MEPS for approx 6 hours the day he shipped out.

He was finished at MEPS and at his hotel by 3pm the day prior, so he signed out (curfew was at 10pm) and I picked him up and took him out to dinner and we did a few last minute things together. The next morning he was at MEPS by 5 or 6am. We met him there at 8 and stayed with him until 10 minutes prior to them being shuttled to the airport.

We only had three family members with us due to logistics, but there were a couple families who had very large gatherings. Admittedly, it was pretty awesome to see the support for these recruits before they shipped out.

Ask your recruit what he wants and make it happen as best you can!

Enjoy your last week with your son!

drmom, I left info for you on your My Page.


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