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."

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.

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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.)

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Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.



Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

To everyone with a loved one at RTC or soon to be there, we say, "Welcome!"  To those who are sticking around after PIR to help those who are just beginning this awesome journey, we say, "Thank you!"

This is a place to talk, ask questions, and share stories. It is our desire that this Group will provide the information, encouragement, and support you need while your loved one is at RTC in Great Lakes. Enjoy your time here and feel free to Comment and join in the Discussions. Be sure to check out the "Pages" to the right, located under the pictures of the Members, especially OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile), (Click "View All" to see all of them.)

Members: 12891
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

Answers to Common Questions

Are there any official RTC sites?

Yes, check out and They will have lots of information for you. also has items at times. has pics of some of the recruits who give blood while at RTC. Those donations occur about 2 weeks (10 to 16 days depending on the division) before PIR.

You may also find pics in

RTC will stream PIR live at beginning at 8:45 am CST on the day of PIR for those who are unable to attend in person. (Once PIR has passed, you will be able to see the video at If the one you want is not there, then click on a PIR video and then change the date in the URL to the date you want. You will have to change both the numerical date and the written out date in the URL. For example, if you want the video for the March 3, 2017 PIR date, then change to


Can recruits take anything to BC with them?

Recruits should go with what they have on their backs, their cell phones, and not much else. (See Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for RTC.)


What will the first day be like at BC?

See Arrival and What Happens at RTC and Ship/Division--How it Works.

***New news just out today (9/25/19) from the US Navy Recruit Training Command FaceBook page - regarding "THE BOX":
Attention families and friends of RTC: Previously, upon arrival to boot camp, recruits would box up their civilian belongings and ship it to their choice of destination. Our new procedure now has those boxes being stored locally and will be returned to the recruits the day before graduation. The new procedure went into effect this week beginning with Div. 409 in Training Group 52.

How long is the "I'm here!" call and when will s/he be able to call again?

See Phone Cards and Phone Calls.


I got my recruit's address from the recruiter. Can I trust it?

Double-check the address the recruiter gave you against those at, but we strongly encourage you to wait on the form letter before sending mail to your recruit since the address provided by the recruiter prior to that can be wrong up to 11 business days or more after the recruit's arrival if the recruit failed the first attempt at the run and then passed (or failed) the second attempt and was ASMO'd to a different division (or to SEPS) or if RTC needed to move recruits for some reason. Sometimes a form letter is not mailed by accident and if it has been at least 3 calendar weeks since your recruit arrived at RTC and you do not have a form letter, then you can call the recruiter and get the address and mail letters to your recruit since the address in the system should be the correct one at that point, but be sure to double-check the address against those at or Ship/Division--How it Works


Posted March 19, 2020

Effective immediately, the U.S. Navy is suspending all Recruit Training Command (RTC), in Great Lakes, IL, and Officer Training Command (OTC), in Newport RI, formal, large-scale graduation ceremonies until further notice as part of its proactive approach to protect our mission and limit the potential spread of COVID 19.


When will the Form Letter come and what is in it?

The form letter will arrive in your regular mail around nine to fourteen business days after the recruit's arrival at RTC since it is not mailed until a division’s 1-1 Day of Training, which takes place after your recruit has taken and passed the run portion of the Baseline PFA, which is on or about the fifth business day after arrival (later if the division that your recruit was tentatively placed in upon arrival did not fill until a later date). See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT)The brochure that is included from MWRGL about hotels and other things is at RTC Friends and Family Brochure October 2017. The form letter includes your recruit's address, so now you can mail out all the letters you have been writing. There is more on this in Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.

The form letter will also tell you the date of PIR, so you can start making plans for your trip. There are many hotels in the area and there is information in the grad pack and on this site about them. If you fly in, renting a car will make your life easier. Also, if you are flying, some airlines, such as Southwest, will allow you to change your flight without a charge if something happens, so you do not have to book refundable tickets.

How long should I plan to stay in the Great Lakes area?

Arrive at least the day before PIR so you can pick up your ticket/s for PIR and also attend Sarge's Meet and Greet if you wish to do so.

If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, then plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday. If your Sailor will be flying out, then plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday to have the most time with your Sailor. (This may need to be adjusted if PIR is not on Friday.) See Saving Money PIR Weekend and PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend.


Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing PIR and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 5 pm to 10 pm the evening before PIR at the Lakehurst Event Center (go to to RSVP). Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information. His cell number is 847-212-0246. His Meet and Greet and services have been getting great reviews. Find Sarge on N4M as OldSarge.


Once you know your recruit's PIR date, be sure to join the group for that. PIR groups are posted on the Comment Wall below once they are created. 

Who can attend PIR?

Your recruit will indicate the names of up to four guests who will be permitted to receive tickets and attend PIR. RTC may change that to three guests if there is a large TG. Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket to attend PIR, but a copy of the child's birth certificate may be presented in order for the child to attend PIR. The names of the guests will be listed on the Security Access Form. Your recruit will send the Security Access Form with the form letter and it will need to be completed fully and returned to your recruit. if you do not receive the form letter, then you can download the Security Access Form and complete it and send it to your recruit, but your recruit has the final say on who will attend PIR.


GUESTS SECURITY ACCESS FORM: If you are going to be attending the graduation ceremony, you will need to fill out the security access form, which is included with your form letter. Return the form to your recruit according to the instructions. 

ONLY YOUR RECRUIT CAN CHANGE THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ACCESS LIST: Your recruit will be able to make changes to the access list throughout training. The last opportunity to make changes will be the week before graduation. If there is a change to be made to the access list (such as a name spelled incorrectly, name-swap, etc…) please communicate any changes to your recruit by mail. Recruit Training Command staff cannot change these names or release the names of those on the list. Please do not call for additional seats!

The form can also be downloaded by anyone from the website, but only the recruit has final say-so as to who will be invited. Those names are submitted and those names will be printed on tickets. All of those guests attending must be present with ID to pick up the ticket in person. No exceptions, no swapping of tickets, no changing of names during final week of graduation.

If you are attending a graduation ceremony, you MUST personally obtain your ticket, you cannot pick up tickets for others. Tickets will be distributed at the Recruit Family Welcome Center, located inside the Navy Exchange Burkey Mall, Bldg. 3452, 2650 Green Bay Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 

Additional information on ticketing is also available at (See

Once you receive your ticket, please DO NOT lose it, as this will be the only ticket you will receive. These tickets are not transferable and are serialized to each graduation attendee. If you do not have a ticket, then you will not be permitted access to the base.

The Recruit Family Welcome Center will be open on the following days and times: Thursday [10:00 AM to 7:30 PM], and Friday [5:30 AM to 8:00 AM]. ***Certain federal holidays may require adjusting days and times. Please refer to the command website for those specific updates***

Please plan accordingly so each person listed can check in to receive a ticket for the graduation ceremony. Again, if you don’t have a ticket you will NOT be allowed entry to the base. Tickets will only be issued to those guests who the graduating recruit has verified will be attending. 

Driving on to base.

Driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance or rental car agreement and graduation ticket must be ready to present to security at access points. Everyone in the car ages three and over must show their ticket to graduation. If someone in the car over the age of two does not have a ticket, they are not allowed through the gate, no exceptions.

  • NO cell phone usage while driving on base! 
  • Seat belts are required for all drivers/passengers at all times
  • Motorcycle drivers/riders MUST have proper protective clothing/equipment such helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and over the ankle hard-soled boots.
  • Recent graduates are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including motorcycles, and are NOT allowed to be a passenger on a motorcycle.

See for the Frequently Asked Questions.

What will happen PIR weekend?

See PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend and

USPS Informed Delivery - Sign up and receive an email from the US Postal Service showing what mail you will be getting each day (if available in your area).  

Informed Delivery®

Be sure to check out the Pages to the right (under the pictures of the Members) for additional information. (You will need to click "View All" to see all of them.)

Donna is no longer active on the site. Several others who have begun this journey before you are here to help. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)

Discussion Forum

Basic training electronic device

Started by JaneNavyMom. Last reply by Chipmunk Oct 13. 5 Replies

PIR 10.16.20?

Started by goodchoicesmom. Last reply by Chipmunk Oct 4. 9 Replies

Boot Camp - SHIP: 12 DIV: 394

Started by MaterNauta. Last reply by MaterNauta Oct 3. 20 Replies

Still in tears...

Started by Navymom1975. Last reply by NewMilmom2020 Oct 1. 16 Replies


Started by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN. Last reply by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN Oct 1. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) to add comments!

Comment by VintageGal 2 hours ago

Good afternoon!

I had to take a tiny hiatus this weekend because I have a really long book to read for book club. I’ve been allowing myself to get distracted and I thought - I’m never going to finish it!

Wow a lot has happened this weekend!

Pheonixmom- I hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend!! Also, my husband found an app by Terry Bradshaw called FOX Bet super 6 and it's free! You might find it fun! 

Dsmom- I’m so sorry you didn’t get to see your son’s DIV walk! All the pictures and the shrines woohoo :) The next time he comes home he’ll look around and you can say “this is all you buddy - literally all you!” LOL

Shanny - I hope you finally have relief!
Your leaf pile looked beautiful to me! In the desert there are trees planted so of course we’ll see if bit of that here and there but not like that!
Woohoo on inheriting a new computer! Oh and if you have a problem with reading books then I'll join a support group with you... that supports us by supplying more books!

Northwoodsmom - Another gorgeous cake! I hope your dad has some good friends that he can some spend time with during this time. My heart goes out to you and your family with the loss of your mother.

To the families that have their SR's back in ROM I understand your frustrations. My son was sent back because of someone else testing positive and it was devastating. The tearful phone call from him about sent me over the edge. Then on top of that his graduation date was pushed an EXTRA week later. So instead of three more weeks left it was four more weeks. He said that the letters were very important to push him along. Also, the fact that he had his close bunk mates with him also made a difference. Things that he wanted were Lyrics to favorite songs printed up, pictures collages printed on paper, and letters from friends as well. Apparently they have a library where they can check out books so he read a ton to pass the time. Unfortunately they cannot run but only work out with limited space. That was the one thing he was worried about in not getting time to run. He's finally past it and heading towards the finish line. I pray that your SR's find the strength to stay encouraged. All we can do is write. Use their address that you have and putting - In ROM - on the envelope should speed up the process. 

I hope we all hear of ONLY good news this week!! BNMH to all!!!! 

Comment by belovedbyHim 2 hours ago

Shoosh -- Yes keep writing to the address you have but add "IN ROM" To the envelope somewhere.  That way when they are sorting the mail they will know that she is in ROM and where in ROM she is.  They do NOT have access to the phones in ROM (Just in case they are COVID Positive but don't know it yet, because the science is not clear on just how long COVID can live on surfaces, so they try and reduce the risk anywhere they can.) so sorry to break that news.  It has to be just completely heartbreaking for her too so yes Write and encourage her.  remind her that this is just one of many hiccups that she will likely experience in her Navy career and that it is really just how life is!! (As my granny used to say, "Life is what happens when you were on your way to doing something else") Embrace the Challenge and do not let it defeat her.  She is still getting paid, She will still be a Sailor, You WILL see her again and She is Stronger than This setback!! Encourage her to rest when she can, Exercise when she can and look for all the positives in this that she can.  It will not be like this forever!! (It could be worse, but you don't need to point that out to her!)  Keep breathing MOM.... Your time has been extended by roughly 3 weeks (maybe longer but maybe not...) We are here to anchor you to the truth, She is Strong, She is Safe and She Can DO This!!(And so can you!!) I Love Whammy's summary... "the irregular rhythm of knowing, not knowing, intense activity, and waiting"  Embrace this and you have the Navy live mastered!!

Comment by Chipmunk 7 hours ago

If you haven't joined your PIR group for Oct or November, be sure to do so. Some little navigation practice here. Scroll to the top blue bar and where it says Main, click on that, then go to groups, and you should see the two latest PIR groups visible.

If you are viewing this site on a mobile device, be sure to put it into desktop mode  is my understanding to view it easier. 

For those of you are are new, it is great to just read information, but the best way for us to get to know you and be mindful of who has SRs at BC or getting ready to leave, is to come post a hello and let us know where you are in your journey. It sometimes it takes posting more than just once or even twice. As this group rotates in and out with each new graduation and each new batch of SRs.

Comment by Chipmunk 7 hours ago

Anti M - Thoughts and hugs to you!! 

Thank you for sharing the information about the sailors reaching out and getting help. It is very important. 

Shoosh - I would say go ahead and mail some letters to her old address with the ROM notation - you might even say (held back for ROM) so it is a little more obvious. And either duplicate your letters or just write more so that if / when you get a new address you have those ready and can send immediately. 

A phone call during ROM is probably "wishful thinking" but you can always hope. They are not allowed their cell phones and if my understanding is correct, they are housing these sailors in location separate from the other ships, which is across the way from where the phone bank is. If they are quarantining these SRs, I doubt they will let them use the phone banks. :-(  

I am very sorry!!

Comment by Anti M 8 hours ago

Whammy, that's the entire Navy experience, summed up, even before all this. > "the irregular rhythm of knowing, not knowing, intense activity, and waiting."

Leaving groups... you can leave a group on N4M and your posts remain.  However, if you leave the entire site, then everything you ever posted vanishes.   I never used the email notifications anyway.  I'm in some groups which haven't seen a post in a year or more. A bunch of us migrated to Facebook years ago, and we have a little private group there.  Almost all of our sailors have been out for ages too, so there's no OPSEC going on.

Suicide has always been a huge problem in the service.  However, there's a huge movement to have sailors look out for each other.  Young sailors are often afraid to tell anyone they're having trouble coping, they're afraid they'll be seen as weak, or they'll lose their clearance/rating.  This is not true.  Encourage your kids to ask for help, whether it be medical or the chaplains, or Military One.  The chaps can be non-religious, and are very good listeners.  One you hit the fleet, the Navy can be like a small town, and easy to figure out who is where if you have a few details... and just last week the sailors on a social platform used their collective knowledge to reach out and prevent an imminent sailor death.  Your new sailors must learn that while it is okay to suck it up for small things. They absolutely should reach out if they are struggling.

Party, it was my husband's birthday last week, so I haven't been online much.  Just doing other things.  

Comment by Shoosh 10 hours ago

Thank you ladies for your words of encouragement. I'm hoping in ROM she will be able to call and we can have longer than a 5 minute conversation! Should I still address the letters to her division, adding ROM, even though they PIR this week? I feel she needs encouragement more now, and I want her to know we are praying for her. I had a complete breakdown yesterday thinking about how hard this must be for her. But at least she is not alone. There is a reason for everything, yes?

Comment by partyofseven 10 hours ago

Jeremiah 17:7

Comment by partyofseven 10 hours ago

Good Morning Ladies and welcome to all of our new moms,

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. 

Please keep your phones on you at all times and your ringers on loud as you just never know when a call will come in. For our brand new moms, start writing letters now and number them so your SR will know what order they are in. Keeping busy is the key. The first weeks of silence are the hardest but we are here for you.

Read all the information that we have for you and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. No question is ever dumb and someone will answer.

GIgi- Good Morning, I was lost with your post to but that's ok. I do that sometimes.  :)

belovedbyHim- I hope you are feeling better and stronger. Please be safe out there with the lastest wildfires going on.

ladyblueFire- I know it's so sad. We had one out here and it just breaks your heart when you hear of it. It is just so so sad. Prayers for all of our Sailors to be strong and to finish strong and know that it is going to be ok.

I'm feel you LBF- I hope all of ours are able to come home at some point they need it as we need it as well.

Anti M- Hope your weekend was good. Still in the high 90's here. lol The mornings are beautiful but the days are still hot. :)

Phoenixmom- Good Morning.

Another day closer to PIR ladies!! Hopefully calls and letters will come in today.

God Bless and have a great day!!!

Comment by belovedbyHim 17 hours ago

LadyBluefire-- I agree that they need to make a plan for the new sailors to be able to go home before heading in to the fleet and they need to communicate that plan with the Sailors and the families in an effort to 1. improve morale and 2. stave off despair that they will never get to go home again. I suspect that is behind some of the newer sailor losses but we seem to lose to many of these kids and it breaks my heart! 

Whammy-- See you around the Fleet!! Feel free to stop by and say Hi. Please do not delete your account or we will lose all your posts and the information in them but you can turn of notifications for this group. 

Shoosh--- I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and so close to the end too!!! Keep writing and add in ROM to the envelope so that they know to forward it. They are not allowed to run but they will work with her when she resumes training. She may have 2-3 weeks additional but only she will know that and likely will not know until she resumes training so that would be a good question to ask her in a letter.

Comment by Chipmunk 18 hours ago

Whammy - Glad you stopped by to say you are moving on. As Partyofseven said, you are always welcome to stop back by and say hello or answer a question.

Shoosh - I saw your message this morning! Your SR as well as Hugabugs' are in my thoughts and prayers. 

As far as leaving this BC Mom group, most people just turn off their email from following on this group. Otherwise, there is nothing you need to do. I don't know if you do something to actually leave the group, if it deletes your posts or not. I believe it does if you leave the site and that will leave gaps and holes i the comments. 

All the best for those with recent graduates. The phone calls will come, but it may be a bit. From here on out though, all communication from your sailor will be on their terms. They won't have anyone taking them to a phone bank or offering them the opportunity to call home. Some sailors communicate more than others with their families and it just depends. Part of it is personality, part of it is schedule and some of it is, because they are just not able to, if out to sea. Talk to your sailor and figure out what options work well for keeping in touch and remind them that you don't know anything "official" unless they tell you! 


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