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.



Hello everyone!

We are going to the PIR Graduation on 4/3/20 and love all of the information on this site. Even after sifting through the different discussions and posts, I still had some questions.  Our recruit is staying in Station Great Lakes for A-School, so we plan on spending the weekend with them following PIR.

We are flying into O’Hare Thursday morning and leaving Sunday night. We were planning on renting a car for the weekend. Do people recommend renting at O’Hare? Are there any problems or delays where it would be worth renting at another local location and just getting shuttled there? We have always used Enterprise and Budget due to prices and customer service? Does anybody have good coupon codes or suggestions?

We have our own ez-pass and gps. I saw where people were recommending taking route 40 to bypass the tolls, but when I looked up the directions it was saying that it would be 30 mins slower. How much are the tolls? When I researched it appeared that I wasn’t going to pay over $5 in tolls which I feel is worth the faster route.

We are staying at the Holiday Inn off of Lakehurst Rd in Waukegan. Is it worth taking a shuttle over driving and taking the short cut to the morning PIR? It seems to be 50/50 on people that do each.

What are some good restaurants to go to and fun activities around there? I am having trouble finding updated posts on here about these. We like to explore a lot and love good family/hole-in-the-wall spots to eat.

I am aware of Sarge’s Taxi and his Meet and Greet. Do people recommend the other Meet and Greets or is this the best one?

Any suggestions on where to get the best gear and gifts? Our whole family has military ID’s and was wondering what the best Exchange (NEX) was? I see where people have been saying that the NEX at the RTC is the best in terms of catering to Navy family clothing? Is this true?  We love a good freebie, so did anybody stumble upon some freebies or neat hidden experiences?

In terms of our sailor spending two months after in Station Great Lakes, we plan on visiting them again during that time. I am assuming they have their cellphones by then so there shouldn’t be any problems with communication. Can people who have gone through this have any recommendations on stuff to do, how their liberty goes now that they are in A-School, and any other advice? Can you send them care packages then now that they are out of boot camp?

Any advice or links to advice would be awesome! I have been looking on NavyDads, NavyMoms, and NavyDep, but it honestly is overwhelming to try and find the good suggestions posts and comments. Anybody that is also going on this date is welcome to chat and become friends on here. Thanks.

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Also, does anybody have advice on bring in your own camera/camera bag to graduation? How does the RTC / NEX PhotoLab work? I see people taking about how recruits can order division photos ahead of graduation.

You will be fine bringing in your own camera.  This is info from the RTC website:

Q. What items can we bring or not bring to graduation?
A. All persons, articles and vehicles are subject to security searches. Metal detectors and other security devices are in use onboard Recruit Training Command. Expect a delay at the security checkpoints due to this added security requirement.

ITEMS PERMITTED INTO GRADUATION CEREMONY: Small bag/personal item (purse, satchel, etc…), small diaper bag, small camera bag, and personal wheelchair or walker. Strollers and car seats are allowed but discouraged due to space limitations (you may leave them in your car).

ITEMS NOT PERMITTED INTO GRADUATION CEREMONY : Large bags, backpacks, luggage, posters, signs/banners, gift bags of any size, and flowers. Alcohol, illegal drugs, knives or weapons will be confiscated by security. Any person found with these items will NOT be permitted to enter the ceremony. To prevent delays, please leave all extra items in your vehicle.

Additional information on ticketing is also available at (See

I called the Waukegan visitor center and they sent a guide of interesting things to see and do with restaurants close to you hotel. If you are a AAA member they can send a bunch of stuff too.

I have a question.  My Soon to be Sailor will be graduating 4/15... He will be leaving for A school not staying in GL.  So we have planned to have time with him that afternoon.  I was going to take a shuttle from hotel to PIR... will he leave and come back with me then?  Will there be shuttle return pick ups?  I am unsure about renting a car.  There are services that will deliver them to the hotel.  I am not certain I want to drive around in Chicago and wonder if there is plenty of places to eat and visit in Waukegan or should we go ahead and make the preparations to go into the city?  Any recent advice would be appreciated as some of the posts on these topics is older and I want to make sure I am getting more recent news. THANKS

Hi Lila - this is an old post.  Be sure to come on over to the boot camp group and post your question there.  More people will see it and hopefully you'll get some quicker responses.

Also, Sarge is very helpful as far as getting you around.  We used his services back in 2012 and he got us everywhere we needed to be.  I'll post his info for you.

Here's the link to reach out to him: 


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