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:

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.




The single most important site to bookmark on your browser is the Recruit Training Command  website – the official website from the Navy containing information for recruits & families. Here you'll find the phone number/email for the Public Affairs Office, FAQs, mission statement for the Recruit Training Command, the history of the program. Here is where you will find the graduation dates for various Training Groups and the link to print your pass for parking at graduation (call PIR Pass In Review).  Many, many of your questions will be answered if you study the information on this site. 

Recruit Training Command - Main Page (clickable link)

Note items on the MENU bar, such as ABOUT, RECRUITS, GRADUATION, etc.  The RECRUITS page of the site displays "Prepare Yourself" and "What To Expect."  Under GRADUATION, You'll see 8 sub sections.  The sub sections contain pertinent information regarding PIR. 

      Recruit Training Command - Facebook Page  (clickable link) to see photos
      of current recruits at RTC

      GRADUATION STREAMING LIVE  (Clickable link) Watch our recruits graduate
          at 0845 Central Daylight Time on scheduled Fridays

STEP 1 - JUST FOR YOUR RECRUIT - A SPECIAL WEBSITE. Your recruit should study this fantastic power point presentation (the four PDF files) made by Craig, a N4M member. He was in the Navy himself and has a son in the Navy.  He has a website JUST for the recruits. If your son/daughter is struggling with getting answer, this site may be for him/her. Craig put together the PDF files and found the diagram of the barracks. He is a wealth of information.

       NAVY (clickable link)

In the PDF files below, you'll see maps of the Recruit Training Center at Great Lakes, the ILL area, photos, diagrams, a list of the addresses of the "ships", - a great overview of the beginning processing days.  It will take you from the beginning when your recruits arrives at Great Lake to the end of processing days - you will feel like YOU have been processed too. This link opens up a PDF file. You can print a hard copy. If you are downloading this for the first time - it may take a minute or two (depending on the speed of your computer - possibly longer - be patient). You can also save this file to your own hard drive for future reference. But don't worry it'll always be here.

THE VIDEOS AND THE PDF FILES WILL A LONG TIME TO DOWNLOAD (THE FIRST TIME). It'll look like nothing is happening. Be patient. I would recommend printing these four files and putting them in a binder. It'll be a great way to show family and friends what your recruit will be going through.  

Boot_Camp_Processing_Days_P_days.pdf   (71 pages)
Aerial_View_of_Camp_John_Paul_Jones.pdf (23 pages)

Battle_Stations_Part1_of_2.pdf  (71 pages)

Battle_Stations_Part2_of_2.pdf  (69 pages)


NEW VIDEOS. These were found on the official Recruit Training Command website as of Aug 2014.

OVER VIEW & FACES OF THE NAVY (YouTube)    Approximately 25 minutes. 

PASS-IN-REVIEW (PIR), Boot Camp Graduation  Approximately 2 minutes.

Navy Boot Camp - What To Expect  Again another very brief over view.


The YouTube videos below are essentially the ones featured on the RETURN TO BOOTCAMP series (which the Navy is no longer promoting) - but I found the links. BunkerQB.

  1. Welcome to U. S. Navy Bootcamp - P (processing) Days - YouTube 13:35 minutes
  2. Reveille - YouTube - 1:43 minutes
  3. PT Physical Training - YouTube - 2:02 mintues
  4. CNN Video - IDEAS - YouTube BattleStations 21 3:53 minutes
  5. Battle Stations 21 YouTube - 7:55 minutes

STEP 3 - COUNT DOWN TO DEPARTURE DATE.  Click on the link below to a separate discussion listing all the of things to do the last month before your loved ones leaves for boot camp. 

    Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for the RTC

STEP 4 - GET INVOLVED. GET CONNECTED.  BE PART OF A GROUP (Navy For Moms Groups that is). Preparing for PIR and other stuff. Don't do this alone.
  1. Find some groups to join. Start with the Navy MEPS & DEP Families group (if your recruit is waiting for Boot Camp), the Boot Camp Moms group (if your recruit has started Boot Camp already), your geographical group (your home town).

    Navy MEPS & DEP Families (clickable link)
    Boot Camp Moms
    (clickable link)

  2. Along with the two above groups, you should join one of the following depending on when your sailor recruit is leaving for Boot Camp.

    Leaving For Boot Camp in January              Leaving For Boot Camp in February
    Leaving For Boot Camp in March                 Leaving For Boot Camp in April
    Leaving For Boot Camp in May                    Leaving For Boot Camp in June         

    Leaving For Boot Camp in July                    Leaving For Boot Camp in August         
    Leaving For Boot Camp in September          Leaving For Boot Camp in October         
    Leaving For Boot Camp in November           Leaving For Boot Camp in December  


    You will received this form letter (from RTC) soon after your sailor recruit starts boot camp. This form letter contains four important items.

    • Your recruit's SHIP # and DIVISION # (Ships which are their barracks are also named, like USS Triton, USS Reuben James. See diagram above. Don't confuse these with the real life actual Navy vessels in service).
      Just below that is his address. USE THIS address - not the one that you might have gotten from the recruiter previously.
    • Further down, you'll find his graduation date. This is his PIR (Pass In Review) date.
    • Next, you'll see the password you will need to download the parking pass for PIR (Does not apply to PIR dates beginning October 6, 2017.)
    • Finally, you'll see the four names your recruit has listed officially as his guests. (4 per recruit, limit could be 3 guests if the divisions are large - see the Family Guide above)
      NOTE: IMPORTANT. SINCE OCTOBER 2012, RTC'S POLICY CHANGED. NO EXTRA GUEST ALLOWED. Do not try to put your extra guest on another recruit's list. Your recruit can get in trouble.
    • If you are lucky, you'll find a very brief note from your recruit. There is not much room to write, so don't be disappointed if the letter is short - this will be the first written communication from your sailor recruit. 

    Click HERE to see sample of the form letter.

  4. If you have an address (either from your recruiter or from your form letter), start writing, use plain regular letter size envelopes - the two addresses may be different - don't panic - it'll get there - use the one your recruit gives you in the form letter as soon as you get it. Number your letters - your recruit may get them in bunches and out of sequence.

  5. When you get the form letter, find the Navy For Moms group associated with that PIR (Pass In Review or Graduation from Boot Camp) date and join it. You will meet all the other moms/dads/wives/gfs with loved ones graduating on the same date (always on a Friday) - click below to see list of PIR groups. The number of divisions and the division numbers are also provided. You will be bonding with this group for approximately eight weeks. We have a core group of fantastic "veteran" moms who have taken moms, dads, wives, fiancees, gfs with new recruits through this roller coaster ride called Boot Camp from the beginning right through PIR. These veteran moms create the PIR groups and are just fantastic.
    Groups Listed by PIR date. (clickable link)                                                                                      
  6. A word about printing the parking pass. You need the PASSWORD to print the parking pass.  KEEP THIS FORM LETTER in a safe place. I would recommend making several copies and/or scanning it and saving a pdf file on your hard drive. If you are using Internet Explorer (and you can not open up the link), download Mozilla Firefox (free - will work) and use it to print your parking pass for PIR. Parking passes are normally available about one to two weeks prior to the actual PIR date. The link below will direct you to the page where you can get your parking pass. Click on link, scroll down. Look for "Get Gate Pass." Parking passes will no longer be available beginning October 6, 2017.

    Parking Pass For PIR (clickable link) 

    There will be no parking passes for PIR date beginning October 6th, 2017
  7. Next join this group to prepare for PIR. Read through the many topics. Your questions should be answered (such as hotels to stay? shuttle from hotel or take car? what to wear?  which airport to use? Sarge's phone number, ordering photos & dvd, etc.). Don't forget you might be able to go to the airport with your SAILOR after PIR and keep him/her company until his/her flight departure. Take any opportunity to spend more time with your sailor.

    PIR Reference Information Group (clickable link)
  8. If you know where your sailor is going for A school or his rating, check for groups listed by Job Rating. Later, If you know what ship he has been assigned to, check for groups listed by name of his ship - the active ships out on the Fleet (the real thing) not the bootcamp barracks named after ships. Looking for a local group or special interest group to join?  We have tabulated lists for those too.

    GROUPS: Listed By PIR Date (clickable link)
    GROUPS: Listed By Name of US Navy Ships/actual US Naval Vessels (clickable link)
    GROUPS: Listed By Navy Job/Ratings (clickable link) and companion 
         Ratings, A School Locations & Links to Groups by lemonelephant

    GROUPS: Geographical By State (clickable link)
    GROUPS: Listed By Special Interest  (clickable link)

STEP 5 - Get to know the Navy For Moms site.  Just underneath the big blue Navy For Moms masthead, you will find a menu bar with a bunch of tabs. The tabs you will quickly become acquainted with will be "MY PAGE", "EVENTS", "FORUMS", "GROUPS", "BLOGS" and "CHAT"

  1. My Page - this will take you to YOUR PERSONAL page. Here you will find a summary of all comments you have posted, comments others have posted on YOUR page, summary of your activities in Forum Discussions, Blogs. On your personal page, you'll find a list of discussions you created or participated in as well as blogs that you have created. You can personalized the appearance of your page or add a PLAYLIST.COM box to play music. Check this on a daily basis - you may find a friendly welcome from one of us.
  2. Events - you can used this function to set up a meet and greet for any purpose. Just click on this tab and click +ADD.  Typically, there is a PRE-PIR (meet and greet on Thursdays at the Ramada Inn. The Ramada Inn hosts the meet and greet - they don't set it up - it's up family members within associated with each graduating class to set up this event. SARGE also host a meet and greet. Your PIR group will be able to give you info on both. Many groups use this to set up their meet and greets. You can make this a public or private event. People can RSVP. The creator of the event can send out a message to attendees without having to "friend" all the member first - this is very convenient for the organizers. 
  3. Forums - under Forums, you will find a number of Discussion categories (16). This is the place to go for discussions posted about a wide myriad of topics. Under "How To Do Stuff On N4M" you'll find master index lists of groups formed on this site. For example, there is a list of groups associated with PIR date, ships, job rating and special interest. When you click on Forums, you'll see "My Discussions" just underneath the menu bar - this is a summary of all the comments you have posted.
  4. Groups - here you will find all the groups that have been formed since the beginning. You can view the display by "Most members" (default), "Most active", "Latest" and "Latest activity".  In small print, just above the Featured Groups, you'll see "My Groups" - click on this to access a summary of groups that YOU belong to. If you start a group, you can choose to make it private or public. You can change it from one to the other after it has been created to hide or display the comments posted.
  5. BLOGS - blogs are like diaries - you can post anything (within the N4M general guidelines). This is not a great place to post request for information. Blogs are not organized. They come and go in sequential order by date.
  6. CHAT - "To chat or not to chat?" If you are familiar with chat, it's a great place to meet and catch up. Everything is in real time. The program only keeps so many lines of the dialog. If you need a quick response, someone may be there to respond with a quick answer or link. Everything is at a fast pace and in simplified computer-chat language. Occasionally, a new mom will find chat difficult to adjust to because a number of conversations going and any responses to her questions are direct and in short hand form. CHAT is definitely a fast paced environment. A new mom looking for gentle support should try one of the groups first or post in the Forum Discussions. But if you are looking for a quickie answer, there is usually someone around who will respond with link. It's not fair to ask the people in CHAT who are in one or more conversations to stop, slow down to accommodate your pace. Once you get up to speed, jump right in.


  • If you are getting too many email notifications, just click "STOP FOLLOWING" located just underneath the input comment box or go to Settings, then Email to set your default parameters for email notification. If you are inundated with email notifications to your regular email addresses, you can control when you get an email notification. Just remember to check you personal page, you inbox if you turn off your notifications.
  • Look at your status box on the upper right - with INBOX, ALERTS, FRIENDS, SETTINGS. Just underneath that will be a line with invitations from others to attend events or join another group.  Go to "HOW TO DO STUFF ON N4M" category under FORUMS and look for the discussion relating to this various topics, such as composing a message to a friend, sending out a friend request, changing your username, password.
  • With any group, there are discussions added by members. The list displayed may not be the entire list (group admins can set the number to display). Be sure to click "View All" under the Discussions (on the right just under the displayed list of discussions).
  • If you are connected on CHAT, you'll hear a beep, beep-beep every time a member in CHAT posts a comment. Disconnect from CHAT, the beeping will stop. 
  • DO NOT USE YOUR REAL FIRST & LAST NAMES as your USERNAME. For your sailor recruit's privacy and your privacy, input something that can not be used to identify your sailor recruit. Additionally, do not use your email address.  If you have done so and wish to change it, simply click SETTINGS and follow the instructions. Be sure to click SAVE.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I am indebted to the many "veteran" moms, dads, wives, fiancees, girlfriends who have been on this site and have contributed so much to the site's success and to the information that I have gathered here. In particular, I would like give a special thanks to the ladies who run the the Boot Camp Moms group, PIR groups & the Navy MEPS & DEP group. There are people in many areas who have contributed hours and hours - maybe even hundreds of hours in the Forum Discussions, to Blogs and in Chat. For an all volunteer site, it has been amazingly effective.

This guide is an on going project, please feel free to make suggestions. We will revise this periodically.  Please note - if someone out there would like to revise/rewrite this or take over, please feel free to give it a shot. Just call me. BunkerQB

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I get sore knees too (old age). I try to ice it at the end of the day when it particularly bad. Wonder if he can get a baggie and put some ice in it for an ice pack?  If he does get rolled back on graduation for whatever reason, don't take it hard and tell him not to take it hard either. Not a big deal.

ok, I am simply overwhelmed.  Today we (son, dad, and me) signed the papers for my 17 year old to be in the delayed entry program.  As soon as the papers were signed the recruiter immediately started making appointments for him to take my son to take his asfab and go to MEPS two days later.  I feel like I am no longer in control or needed.


Dear Navy Moms,

I created this discussion back in January of 2012. Please feel free to review this discussion and send me recommended changes. I am not current on the new stuff since my sailor is now a civilian. Thank you. 


Nice to see you bunker  Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas

Hey BunkerQB :-)

This is a great source you created :-)

Just an FYI. You might want to go through and check all of your links to other sources as some have changed. The Dod one for the live stream that they give takes you to their homepage (don't know why they do it that way.) Here is the direct link to the livestream page :


Thanks. I will go thru the links later this week. I am hoping someone more active than myself can review and let me know if I need to revise further.
My son became a civilian in 2012 - see,s like yesterday.
Good morning to all! Been perusing website trying to take it all in! Reading and reading hoping digest it all. To a degree I have been involved in Navy life as my mother has been employed at Naval base in R.I. for over 25 years in addition my sister owns a small cafe nearby and many of our customers are Navy so prior to boot camp I was exposed to many people that had been there and was able to have many questions answered BUT not enough to prepare me for what lies ahead. You think you are asking the right questions but whoa there are so many that are forgotten.
Does anyone know if the R.I group is still active? I have seen a few comments on their site but nothing recent. Thanks in advance for any help, suggestions and good luck to all ahead of my son. Also, a big thank you to Lemonelephant who has sent many ideas, some I was aware of and some not. Maybe one day I will have the privilege of supporting another mom. Posting messages all over the place on N4M!

mangofruit, Comment in the group and perhaps others will as well.

Thought I did..thank you

You are very welcome.

Hey Lemonelephant, Just wanted to say Hi, You were a Godsend to me when my boys each were in BC. Can't thank you enough. The first one is now out and back here. Planning to move to Alaska next summer. His twin is Stationed in Pearl Harbor and is doing great. Still has two years to serve then plans are to come home and get a Masters degree.

CO-TwinSailorsMom, thanks for the kind words. My brother loves Alaska. It is wonderful that your boys are doing well.


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