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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)

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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.


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.

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My son leaves for bootcamp on Monday.  He was originally scheduled for December 20th.  Before Christmas, but close enough that we could have had an early Christmas and it would have felt like it.  We were only told a couple weeks ago that they would be moving up the date and then only yesterday that it would be Monday.  I keep crying like a little baby.  It seems so silly because it isn't like he'll be gone forever.  My husband and younger son think I'm silly for crying, but I can't seem to help myself.  Are there any other mothers out there struggling with this? 

They say it's empty nest, but I still have my younger son around.  I guess I just worry how my older son will handle bootcamp.   He made this choice all on his own and we support him completely and are extremely proud of him.  He keeps counting down the days and telling me to see my reaction I think.  I have tried not to cry around him even though he knows I will come Monday. 

I would appreciate hearing from any mothers who have been there or are there now.


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Well, we pulled the Chritmas decortions today and got most of it up.  I am feeling a little more in the spirit, but still very sad the our son is not here to help. 

I so feel ya here. I feel so guilty for missing the one and not enjoying the other. It's not that I am not enjoying being with her, I just am not Christmas crazy like usual with her. I miss my son so much, I am actually hurting. Again, I know it isn't a forced decision on him, but it is forced on me!!! I am going to focus on enjoying my daughter more and continue to write my son daily letters. That's the goal of the season!

Oh, BTW: Suites at most of the hotels near the base are filling up fast. I got a great rate from Hampton Inn suites at Libertyville $104.00 per night. We are all bunking together to save some money. We got the 2br (queen beds) kitchenette and sitting area as well as a pull out couch. Should be fun and have a place to hang with our son before he heads off to the airport. He is on a push and we only get about 8 hours with him.

My daughter is in Boot Camp and her scheduled graduation date is 11/29/11.  Its hard having any child leave the nest....but joining the military is a whole other level of heartache.  In my case...i have an older daughter in Florida (I still live in NY), and 3 still at home.....but....what makes it even harder is that my daughter is 22, was just married last Dec. and has a 4 1/2 yr old and a 2 yr old who she left behind in Florida with her hubby.  I was not only worried for my daughter but i have the extra worry about how it will affect her kids.  I also have the fact that im not sure she joined for the right reasons.  My daughter is extremely smart and talented and i know she will do well at whatever she puts her mind to, but she gets bored easily and the military is not a place you can get bored lol.  So far from what she has told me, she is in an Elite Division and she has moved her way up in rank and will be in the group leading the division for their graduation.....which makes me now have extremely mixed still sad and scared, but extremely proud!  Im sure your son will do fine....He will get what he puts into it.  You are surely not i have come to realize on this site.  It was actually this site, the videos, pictures and posts that have gotten me through the time so far...Im here also is you ever want to talk...

My son is also headed to boot camp next week. He will be leaving Wednesday. I know how you feel. I have been crying too. As proud as I am for him and excited for him, I'm gonna miss him alot. He is 19 and my youngest. I have never been a crying mother when he leaves for a trip and I can't figure out why I'm crying so much now.

my son left on the 22nd of november.  he also signed up by himself,he called me from school on day and said guess what mom,i just signed up for the navy! I was llike what?? he said the recruiters were at his school talking to people at lunch. I honestly didnt think he would actually go thru with it but 7months later,here he is,at bootcamp. I cried so hard the first week he was gone,it does get easier but not a whole lot yet. He called me the night he got there only long enough to tell me he made it there hes fine and he loves me,and that was it. Then last monday i recieved his box with his cell phone and his clothes he was wearing when he went there. Then this past friday i got his paperwork telling me his ship and div.number,his graduation date and some other paperwork about it. He did write me alittle note on the back of the last paper very short but sweet.I wrote him 3x already in just 3days. (i miss him dearly) now im just waiting for a letter from him. The paperwork they sent me says it could take 5-10days to recieve and get letters. Im hopeing he is doing good and hes not sorry he joined. Just prepare yourself for the day he leaves and keep telling yourself it gets better. I think everyone handles it different,i took it hard and still am where as i read on here other people dont seem to be handling it too bad. That does stink they wont be here for xmas,and you cant send them anything but a card and letters,some pictures too they said. My son kyle was there for thanksgiving too,i hope they at least gave them a good meal. I was hompeing they would let him call home but no such lluck. Hang in there,it will take some time but i still find myself crying at certain things that remind me of him or when i talk about him. Hope all goes well for him and you.   kim

My son left to go to Greatlakes on Dec 1st. I am feeling sad and feel the void too.  Approx a week prior to him leaving, the sadness started in. The closer the day got, the more my smile faded away. I did try to put on a happy face but we all knew I was sad.. I cried pretty much that whole first day(off and on). Now, I have managed to only cry about once a day. It has gotten a little better...just not a whole lot. I am taking it day by day, seems to be the only thing I can do. He is my only child and this will be our first holiday away from each other, this also makes it a hard time for me. I hope he is doing well, cant wait to hear from him.

Reading other mom's stories and knowing that what I am feeling is normal does help!

My son left 2 weeks ago and I still have days where I will cry. You are not alone. I miss my son like crazy but I am counting down the weeks until we see him. We missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with him but I told him our Christmas will be in January when we finally get to see him after 9 weeks. So stay strong

Oh the memories, my Son left in August of 2010 and i cried most every day until his Christmas leave.  I got so many hugs from my daughter i think her arms still hurt.  Get yourself a few reams of paper and write, not type, letters.  I wrote so many letters my post office just loved me for sure.  I did this so he would know we thought of him all the time and also to help me.  It was really good therapy.  Sometimes it was some little things to fill the pages but when i got his last letter before he graduated from boot and what he wrote in it I knew I did right by him with all those letters.  So get your box of tissues, some pens and paper and lots and lots of stamps.  We are here for you and know you are not alone.  Take care and let us know how things go.  Hugs fellow Navy Mom!

Dunesmom I have been keeping a journal since the day my son left last week along with letters to my son.  The writing really is a kind of therapy.  I was going to type but thought writing was just so much more personal.  It's funny, in the second letter I wrote to my son my hand started aching, I haven't hand written this much in ages!

Hi! My son left October 31st for Navy boot camp. Our whole family celebrated an early Thanksgiving dinner with him before he left. I received a letter with his graduation info about a week later. I got his ship address right away from his recruiter and we started writing him immediately. I got his first letter three weeks later and his first phone call tonight! I have three kids left at home but I cried a lot before and after he left. I was so worried that he wouldn't eat right or drink enough water. We text-ed back and forth right up to the time he boarded the bus for Great Lakes from the airport. Then I received his phone call at 1:48 in the morning letting me know he was at the training facility. It's been a roller coaster of feelings for me up until now. But tonight he told me it's going good and that it's getting easier for him finally. He's passed all his tests so far and I am super proud of him! I cried at first but I didn't want him to worry about me so I quickly composed myself and started asking him how it was going and then he asked about the family and it was such a great conversation. But we both cried at the end. There are days that are really bad for me when I miss everything about him and there are other days when I'm so happy for the opportunity he has been given. As the overprotective parent that I am I'll tell you it hit me hard at the beginning but when I miss him I write him and read the letters he wrote me and of course get on Navy for Moms. All that seems to help. Sorry, I didn't mean to write so much. Good luck to your son!! And don't worry mom (but I know you will), he will do great!!

My son will be leaving for bootcamp in March. He is the last one to leave our nest. He has an older brother and sister in which are much older in age. Just cant help worrying about him. Whats he going to eat, is he going to sleep, will the training be to hard, will he be emotional, many questions are going thru my head right now. I am already unable to sleep as I lay in bed awake just thinking about it night after night. I am going to miss him so much!! He thinks that I am being silly for crying about it already. I am beginning to wonder if it just me being over protective. Reading all the wonderful messages are very encouraging and I know that I am not the only mother out there feeling the exact same way. Just want to spend as much time with him before he leaves and I cant tell you how grateful I am to have 3 months with him before he leaves. Hes looking forward to going to bootcamp. We are so proud of his decision to join the navy, It will help me if I have someone whos going through the same thing to hear from and keep my spirits alive.

cried a lot and your entitled to do so, my husband cried like a baby for days after he left. Everyone deals with this differently.Just stay busy


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