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.

Format Downloads:

Latest Activity

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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: 12820
Latest Activity: 3 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.

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

On Base ROM and letters

Started by Karen. Last reply by partyofseven on Thursday. 10 Replies

Feeling a bit overwhelmed!

Started by Spencers mom. Last reply by Chipmunk on Tuesday. 18 Replies

.Confusion Upon Receiving Form Letter

Started by ZanesGma. Last reply by partyofseven Jun 18. 13 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by ellen0502 3 hours ago

The divisions shown in the virtual graduation today are: 205, 206, 213, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, and 225.

I am guessing the first two divisions had to be quarantined for a couple weeks since they were scheduled to graduate June 26th. Division 213 could have been quarantine, or training delay as they were to have graduated July 2nd.

The two divisions missing from todays actual graduation are division 219 and 226. Again, perhaps a quarantine delay, or training delay.

If anyone has any additional, or actual info on Division 205, 203, 213, 219, and 226, please let us know. 

Comment by partyofseven 3 hours ago

Anti M- Love it. :) The story was great and funny. That's awesome you guys lived there for 9 years.

Kellyrene- won't be long now 4 more days will go by fast.

4kidsforfun- that's awesome that you were able to see it. yay our first virtual graduation. Yes hurry up and wait.  :)

Comment by 4kidsforfun 9 hours ago

The virtual graduation was finally posted on facebook but still not on youtube for some reason. Here is the link if anyone is interested. For new (or seasoned!) moms it does give a great view of what they've been doing before they march by with their masks. Only the marching is our guys/gals but it's better than nothing! My son was proud they earned all their flags! (He was Div 221) Now waiting word when/if they have left for Goose Creek! Someone mentioned their son was heading there and was not leaving GL until the 18th? Hurry up and wait right?

Comment by Chipmunk 11 hours ago

BelovedbyHim, That is funny as well! Despite our children visiting different states, they boys have only lived here, so they never grasped that it wasn't necessarily unique to our area.  

Comment by belovedbyHim 12 hours ago

Chipmunk -- "OK only has two seasons, summer or winter, the rest of the time, they are fighting each other to see who wins!" 
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! In CO we just say Mother Nature is off her Meds again!!  It can be 80 one day and 30's or lower the next then back to the 70's for a week followed by 2 ft of snow! 

Comment by Chipmunk 12 hours ago

Anti M - LOL!! Thanks for sharing!! I enjoy your stories.

Kellyrene - That is funny! a hot blow dryer - and when the wind blows, especially in the early morning or later evening, I appreciate it, because it makes the hot feel cooler! So today, we had a "mini" hurricane. I know, all of you that actually experience them would disagree and it did not compare to the one they actually classified several years ago, but my son came out of the shower this morning, it had turned almost black and the wind was so strong with the rain, he said, "Well, I should have just gone outside and gotten my shower that way instead of wasting our water!!" We needed the rain. At a young age my sailor said, "OK only has two seasons, summer or winter, the rest of the time, they are fighting each other to see who wins!" - My husband grew up in SE KS and I  on the edge of the Ozarks in MO. - I don't like the humidity, especially after we spent 3 years on the desert side of WA. 

Comment by Kellyrene 12 hours ago

Ladyfireblue - we are in a suburb of baton rouge.  Also big beach lovers. We usually go every summer to rosemary beach.  We tried to go to Florida for senior trip this year but got kicked out with coronavirus.  Had to go to Alabama instead. And yes we were shocked when told us he chose to be a submariner. He is a nature boy, likes to be outside on the  water swimming or fishing., as you can see from my profile pic.  We joked that he chose subs so he "swim" with fishes.  My son is also a chatterbox and a jokester, so we'll see how his roommates fare with that. Only 4 more days to go hopefully.  

Chipmunk- my mother in law has family in Kansas.  We drive straight through OK to get there. The weather there is extreme to me. Like having a hot blow dryer following you around during  the summer and I haven't been there in the dead of winter.  It truly made me appreciate the humidity we have here in the south. I really detest snow and cold weather.  So Connecticut is going to be a stretch for me. My SR decided to go subs after touring Texas a and m maritime academy and visiting an old submarine they had there. All I can say is ?????

The humidity is down a bit tonight, so you don't suffocate when you go outside. But I'm definitely done for today. Have a great evening and blessings to everyone!

Comment by Anti M 14 hours ago

Party, a story about ducking:  My husband was 6'1", I am 5'3".  The second time I was sent to Japan, we were just married, but each had own own orders. I rented a cute little offbase Japanese house, close enough I could walk or bike.  (The rules about base housing and OHA were a LOT different then).  I adored the tiny place, even had cushy futons to sleep on the tatami room floor.  Because he was in Sasebo on a ship, he had to take leave t come up to see me as it was outside his liberty limits, so visits were rare those first two years.  Anyway, he walks in the front door, steps up from the genkan (entry space), and Bam!  Every doorway inside the house was right across his forehead.  I had no idea, I'm short!  Poor guy.  He did learn to duck, we lived there nine years. So much ducking. He got his revenge when we moved to San Diego. I couldn't reach the top two cupboard shelves, and I fell out of our first "real" bed!

Comment by deniseg 17 hours ago
Yay! :)
Comment by belovedbyHim 17 hours ago

deniseg--- Yea!!!!!!!  I was hoping that some of our mommas would find their babies!


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