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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My son was supposed to leave December 24, but received a call on Friday to leave September 5 so now we are under 2 weeks. I am really excited for him and the timing is great - all his friends have left for college and he has been at loose ends - but I am surprised how weepy I feel all the time. This page has been helpful to me so I can understand what he will be going through when he leaves next Thursday.

My daughter leaves Sept 10. She's been in the DEP program since January... and all of a sudden it's time for her to leave. She's my only daughter and I've only known one person whose child was in a service. Thanks to everyone on this site for all the info!

no phone call :(

chris landed at ohare around 5 pm yesterday and we waited all night for his phone call....nothing.... what does this mean? his g-friend also did not get the call

yeah, he had his own phone and it was charged.. i think i just built myself up for ecieving that little call from him so much that i literally layed in bed all night eyes wide open just waiting.... i know hes safe and probably absolutely loving it although tired... I thought today would be better but i can feel it just below the surface.. haha,i think ill be fine as long as i continue deep cleaning the house to busy my brain lol

If he accidentally left his phone turned on while on the plane, it may not have been charged when he got to the RTC because searching for a signal while in the air can drain the power from a phone. He MAY get to make a make up call since he did not call upon arrival, but not everyone does.

thanks. i think its the unknow thats so hard

My son left on Thursday Sept 12th and we received our call last night at 9:00 pm. He said they have been very busy, have not started PT yet and when his flight came in (around 8:10 pm on Thurs) that they were immediately brought to begin their process and had only one hour sleep the first night. Yikes! That is a "wake up call" ....he sounded good and the call was very brief, maybe 45 seconds. I hope you have received your call by now too.

Quick question:  Did the Military NOT GET THE MEMO on the Paperwork reduction Act??  Everytime my daughter goes to see her recruiter, she fills out several TREES worth of paperwork.  And after reading this, you're telling me there's more?  JEEZ Louise!


thanks for the info!  This helps so much.  I feel like my spaceship just landed and I am trying to understand the language.  I know I have that "deer in the headlights" look every time I go into that office, but the recruiters are so nice and they try to explain everything, but I am still walking out of there with the "whaaaat just happened" scrolling through my brain.  I'm just glad my daughter understands it!

I just dropped my daughter off at the recruiting center. My husband and I booked a room at the same hotel she is staying in tonight. I want to spend as much time with her as I can before she leaves. I plan to be at the MEPS with her and the airport as well. Is there anything I should know or need to bring?  

my son's re recruiter says she doesn't know anything about a gate pass to wait with him at airport before he leaves for boot camp. Is this something that is normally done or no? Just curious and trying to be prepared before he leaves.

Some go; most don't. It is totally up to you and your future Sailor. If your future Sailor and you decide this is something you want to do, he would need to go with you to the airline counter and indicate that he is Enlisted and flying to Navy boot camp in order for you to go with him past the security gate.

Ok thank you. I thought I had read his recruiter could get a gate pass


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