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.



Your recruit's final MEPS experience - an overview of their last hours as civilians

The day before your recruit is due to ship out s/he will report to his/her recruiter's office, for yet another drug test, weigh-in, and another round of paperwork. Then the recruiter will drive him/her to a hotel near MEPS, where recruits get a meal ticket and a room. They cannot have ANYONE in their rooms, even spouse/children, and must be in that room by curfew. In many places they are told they may not leave the hotel, even to have a last dinner with the family, but there is a lounge/restaurant at most hotels used by MEPS to house incoming recruits.

In the morning all recruits at MEPS (all services) will be picked up at about 5:30 am, either by a bus/van if there are a lot of them, or by their recruiter, and taken to MEPS.

When s/he arrives at MEPS he/she will take a final physical exam, another weigh-in and drug test, then wait to be called by a processing clerk. When recruits finally get their turn at the desk, they provide IDs once again, sign a thick packet of papers, then sit in a waiting area to wait for all recruits to finish.

When everyone is finished with paperwork (at this point recruits are mixed - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard), they are all taken to a special room where they will be sworn in. This can take place anytime between about 9 a.m. and noon. If family members are waiting in the MEPS waiting room, they can be there for this part. They often do two ceremonies, one ending with "So help me God" and one finishing with "I do so affirm," as preferred by each recruit. It's a very crowded little room, with almost no space for an audience, so pictures are difficult. Many MEPS officers, who lead the oath, will recreate this ceremony with individual recruits for family members to take pictures.

Then the recruits go back to the office, each is given their file, recruits are separated into small groups according to their service/destination and given meal vouchers to eat at the airport. One recruit will be put "in charge" of the group. They will be loaded onto a van, charter bus or are given subway/train tickets to the airport. At this point they will be expected to stay with the group but are not supervised.

You CAN go to the airport (separately) to meet your recruit, you may be able to get a gate pass to sit with your recruit at the USO or the gate if there is time before the flight. A better option is to make sure your recruit has his/her cell phone to call and chat while waiting. They cannot use their phone at MEPS or on the plane, but they can call from both the originating airport and the Chicago airport.

When your recruit arrives at the Chicago airport, they can take an hour to get a meal if it's not already really late. They should make it a big meal - they have a long night ahead of them.  Then they report to the airport USO office, where they wait for a bus to pick up them up and take them to RTC.

Once they step on the bus they must turn their cell phone off. Those who have cell phones will get to make a 10 second call from their phones a few hours later, it could be 5 p.m. or 1 a.m., depending on how late their flight gets in. Within an hour of that call, the recruits put their phones in a box with all of their other belongings (even their underwear!) to ship home. Usually the battery is put in one shoe and the phone in the other.

For more information about what happens next, you should watch the video Navy Racks: Boot Camp. It's a little bit dated, the uniforms are different now - but it gives an excellent overview of what their experience will be.

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Caffeine is a diuretic - it makes you have to pee. That's how it dehydrates. It's not good before an athletic activity, but it's great if you want to make sure you can pee in a couple of hours.

I still think water is better than drinking something with caffeine, so we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.  The recruits will do what they will do regardless of what we say.

Tattoo: 5 minutes before Taps; the call to signal to go to quarters and prepare for bed. At the RTC at 9:55 p.m. the loud speaker inside the barracks building sounds, "Tattoo, Tattoo; lights out in five minutes. Stand by for evening prayer." This is the same call sounded on ships in the Fleet.

For other unfamiliar terms, see What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology) within Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

I see you have joined (¯`'•.¸ NAVY MEPS & DEP FAMILIES ¸.•'´¯); you may wish to join the group, DEP-Leavin for bootcamp in August. You will meet others with loved ones leaving that day/week who may be in the same TG and have PIR together. Be sure to check out the discussion, Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for.... I also suggest you join Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) and New Members Stop Here and check out the Pages (found under the pictures of the Members) and Discussions there.

Your future Sailor may want to join to learn the ins and outs from the DEP point of view. Craig runs that and will steer him to some good links on there.

(Group names and the link within this reply are clickable links.)

Thanks for the info. My son doesn't leave until July 10 but I'm trying to find out as much as I can...

Went through MEPS today!  This is exactly what happened.  I would only add that you need to be prepared to wait.  Pace your emotions through the morning.  The waiting rooms were very comfortable - even had a pool table.  We actually got to see more of our SR than I expected.  Have your cell phone video camera ready (all sounds off).  The actual swearing-in ceremony only takes about 45 seconds!  The staff there could not have been more professional and supportive of all our questions.  When you do get back home - take a nap! 

And then 8 weeks later on March 22 we went through PIR!  This is a life changing experience - all for the good.  The positive changes in everyone are amazing!  The support from this site was life saving :)  Go Navy Moms!

Thank you so much for the info.  Our son leaves on February 12th and he is very excited and ready to go.  I am trying very hard to stay composed. I just have so many mixed emotions of happiness for him and sadness that I will miss him very much.  We have a very close relationship.

My son leaves next week, the 19th. How did today go? I didn't expect to start the emotions so soon, yet, here I am....

I think we all need a support group as the day gets nearer we all start to tear up everytime we look at our sons or daughters. My son leaves on the 4th; hang in there friend we are all going thru this together. 

Thank you so much for this info, trying to get info out of my son is pointless. I am in no way a mushy person but I find myself tearing up on this site. My son leaves on March 4, 2013 5 days before his 19th birthday. Hope he does well in bootcamp and in Nuke School. I'm trying hard to win the HDTV Dream home in South Carolina; if I win it will be turned into a Nuke School retreat for my son and his fellow Nukes!

My son also leaves on March 4 and is heading to Nuke school. His 20th birthday is 19 days after he leaves. I saw the HGTV spot and I thought about entering, just haven't done it yet.What a great idea!! You're not alone on trying to get info. I'm pretty sure that's a boy thing.  I'm trying hard not to get all weepy as I've had the months he's been in DEP to get used to the idea, but sometimes I just can't help it.

My son is departing from Richmond Va. Where are you all from. Oh its nice to hear from someone leaving the same day as my son, and going to Nuke school. Hopefully they will be friends and look out for one another. I am getting more nervous every day. Had a dream I went screaming after him at airport not to go. This is my only son! I do have 3 daughters to keep me busy at home. But he will always be my special baby boy. I'm going to have many trips to S.C. glad not staying in great lakes I hate the cold weather. :]


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