My son called today while the whole family was together at my grandmothers. He sounded okay. He was excited that he scored real high in the firearms/weapons test and got a promotion. About the civilian clothes I havent heard anything. He did pack a few things for me to bring with his laptop and cell phone. If he cant have them, then I will just pack them back up and bring them home. It's less than 3 weeks before head to GL's. Im so proud of him! Just praying the weather will not be bad.
Do NOT bring civilian clothes, except maybe some comfortable clothes to wear in the hotel room. New sailors will not be allowed to wear them in public (ie outside the hotel room) for at least six weeks after PIR (or two weeks if your recruit is going to Corry Station, Pensacola).Different schools have different rules, but none of them allow civilian clothes in the first few weeks.
Also, unless your recruit/sailor is grad and go, s/he will not be allowed to bring anything back to barracks with them, not even a cell phone or iPod. You can mail them their stuff later.
If they are grad and go, you can give them their stuff after they move to NTC (across the street), or give them their stuff at the airport, before they get on the plane. You can get a pass to get through the gates to visit with a Grad and Go sailor until their flight is called.
The coins are a new thing for the Navy, based on an Army tradition that goes back to WWII.
According to "legend" (unconfirmed), unit coins began among few special units during WWII. There isn't much known about unit coins and how they got started, but there are a number of urban legends about them.
The coins caught on among special ops during the Vietnam War, where the coins were distributed among elite units such as Airborne and Green Berets, soldiers received their coins from their unit leaders when they completed training or some other designated achievement, such as completing their first patrol.They had to be earned and given, they could not be purchased.
During the 1980s they became more common in regular Army units, and they simply became "collectibles." In the late 90s the Navy adopted the coins, and now they are everywhere. Anyone can buy them, online or in gift shops.
There are some coins that are special, coins custom minted for special people or positions, and more in line with the origin of the coin tradition. If a sailor receives a coin from a flag officer, the MCPON or others in positions of high respect (getting a coin from any Medal of Honor recipient is huge), that coin is a real treasure. These are not coins you can buy, they are coins given as a mark of respect from very special people.