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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Thank you so much for all information....


Thanks Janaina. Just wanted to let you know that hikermom (she is from Santa Rosa) will be posting meet and greet in your area soon.  We do have quite a few members in north of San Fran areas. We had spring meet and greeta at Chicago Pizza in 2011 and at McCleary's in 2012 (both in Petaluma).  BTW, if you want to change your photo and username, just click Settings on upper right.  Be sure to hit save. Additionally, I normally click "stop following" on all groups just so I don't get too many email notifications.  Please stop by the San Fran group and we can talk some more and look forward to meeting you in person

Thanks a bunch for all the information! My son leaves for boot camp on June 11th and this site has really helped ease my mind by answering questions he couldn't/wouldn't.  It seems like the recruiter reeled him in, signed him up then cut him off.  Luckily he found another recruiter who has more experience and has been a lot more helpful.  (Thank God!)

I love this website !!  I can't wait to dig in and become an oldie instead of a newbie! ;O) 

Looking forward to reading more and getting to know some of you as time permits.

We're Navy mom's now!!


You are welcome. I am really glad you want to become an oldie. I am way passed the "oldie" label. I am so old, "relic" is more accurate. The boot camp moms group, your pir group, are going to be your anchors. If there is a geographical group in your area, please join that too.  We have many meet and greets in our local San Fran Bay area group (usually attended by 15 to 25 people). I can tell you that the friends I made over the last 4 years will be friends for a life time. lemonelephant will have a bunch links for you. You can also browse around the site. In the discussion tab, input keywords of topics you are interested in and start reading what others have written.  We have pretty much encountered everything there is to encounter. And don't forget to check your personal page (click MY PAGE) and your status box (upper right INBOX, FRIENDS, etc) to check if you have friend requests or comments on your wall. Good luck to you and your depper/soon to be recruit.

BunkerQB I just spent about 1/2 hour reading this-didn't open any of the links-and I wish I would have read it in January when my Sailor got on the plane for RTC! 

Like my first time in chat-what a mess!  There should be a quiz before you are even allowed to enter there! 

 I deleted the email I received when I joined but did it have this Survival Guide as a link in the email and I just didn't pay any attention? Or  OPSEC rules?   I know I tried to take the time to read and search for info-not everyone does.  Found some great advice that is still relevant just hidden away in 2010. 

Thank you for your time and patience-we all appreciate it but may not get the chance to say it!

Hey, thanks a whole bunch. (((HUG))) My former sailor finished his commitment last year, so I am phasing out to a passive role. The site needs parents like you to come back and help newer members. Even a couple of hours a week would really help. The part of being on this site is the friendships I have formed. In fact, about 25 of us are getting together for a meet & greet.

Remind them to look in their personal pages (click MY PAGE) and check their status box (upper right - INBOX, FRIENDS, SETTINGS).  And use the SEARCH function. Read the Survival Guide, follow the links posted by some of the vet moms (FireTeamLeaderWife, lemonelephant, diannep, craig and God, I can't remember - memory is gone - early senility)
If you happen to be in the neighborhood ...join us.

I hope you have a place to go to unwind after a day of gentle guidance!  I found a former Sailor in my town who will talk with me about how he handled different obstacles.  That definitely helps me picture what my son is going through.

The hubs keeps telling me to find something to do...guess this is a fit!   It is overwhelming and meeting families just like me has been such a help. 

Can't wait to travel and meet some more moms-trying to get some of my fellow NY State mommas to meet up this summer!  More fun planning vacations around seeing people!

Have so much fun at your meet & greet!  And hope your son is close by - go give him a hug!!!

Both my sons were home for Mother's Day - first time since 2002. Quite a treat. Former sailor now lives just 45 minutes away. But don't see him much since he is so busy with new job and wife, house and dog. Younger son about to head back out to the Mid-west.  I am still working full time (I never stopped). Take care. Good luck to you and your sailor and please thank him for me.

We are on Long Island.  Would be nice to connect with NY State Moms.  Sylvia

We are really just starting.  Paperwork is partially in, son Robert has to lose like five pounds.  He went to take his ASVAB yesterday and the proctor never showed.  We were given the explanation that Fort Hamilton Brooklyn base is under re-org.  What does that mean?

Hello , we'll I just wanted to see if I'm doing this correctly . My son will soon be going into boot camp in 7 more days and Im started to get all kinds of thought in my head. I'm trying to be strong and not cry but sometimes the tears start and I can't control them . I'm not sure how to handle this because I am so proud of him . I don't want him to worry about me , I want him to do his best and know the family is just a phone call away. How do you as moms let our first born leave the home . I'm just babbling on because I have so many questions , and I'm nerves .
God has truly Blessed me with Johnny and I know he will do well.

Scroll up to Step #3 - do thru the list of things to do. When you are on your computer, join the two groups in Step #4 (Boot Camp Moms more importantly because your son will be leaving in just 7 days).  Don't over-think his leaving. If your son has not seen the videos (see above in Step 2) - he should - you should too. Remember, except for the first initial call, he won't hear from him for a period of time. He will be busy during processing, getting adjusted. Remind him and yourself that the Navy has done this for years (w thousands and thousands of recruits). They will take good care of your son. His job is to listen and follow instructions. He will be OK. He can't call you every time he encounters a difficult situation - part of growing up and becoming a productive member of the US Navy is learning to do things the Navy way (without mom and dad hovering nearby).  You of course is free to join any support group that will help you adjust.  I noticed you are from CA. So am I.  Please feel free to hang with us in the San Francisco Bay Area Navy Families Group (just click on this link and click JOIN) - it's a closed group - so your comments are not visible to anyone who is not a member.  Very supportive members - we get together a least 4-5 times a year to eat, catch up, vent etc. etc. See you later.


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