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 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).  

Specific information on this policy change will be provided in the coming days and weeks.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your support.


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 6/23/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED -  Vaccinations still 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:

Latest Activity

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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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.



Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

**LIVE PIR's RESUMING 8/13/2021** 

***UPDATE - 6/23/2022*** MASKS MANDATE LIFTED. Masks are no longer required for PIR.

YOU MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED IN ORDER TO ATTEND PIR (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).

**UPDATE 4/26/2022 - Revised to 4 guests as of the May 6th, 2022 PIR.

 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.)

Please, if you no longer want to be a part of N4M's consider NOT deleting your profile as everything you have ever posted will disappear when you delete it .  You can leave a group but don't permanently delete your profile!

Members: 13134
Latest Activity: 15 minutes ago

Answers to Common Questions

New in 2022: Navy to lengthen Basic Military Training

Navy to lengthen Boot Camp - Navy Times

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


**NOTE: There is a virtual graduation for your Sailor that you can watch on the RTC FaceBook page.  It is posted the FRIDAY after PIR.

RTC Facebook Page - Graduation


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.  ** EDITED - LIVE PIR's RESUME 8/13/2021**

UPDATED TRAINING SCHEDULE (6/2022 - Thanks to belovedbyHim)

The Expected timeline will look like this:

Day 0 -- Travel, Arrival and "I'm Here" scripted phone call

Week 1 Day 1-7 -- Arrive Onboard RTC and begin P-days (P-days- Initial Processing Days) including 2 days of P-hold (Weekend)

Day 8 -- Begin training and mail form letter out. Look for it to arrive around 1-2 weeks later
Week 2 -- First week of Training including PT and Swim Qualifications
Week 3 -- Marlin Spike - (Line handling- How to tie up a Ship to the Pier) , First inspections and tests (Dental May be this week or next... Not Confirmed)(Form letter/ Personal letters usually arrive this week) 

Week 4 -- Confidence Chamber & Fire Fighting training
Week 5 -- Fire Arms Training    

Week 6 -7 -- More training, Drilling (Flags and Marching).

Week 8 – Battle Stations (done prior to final PFA). Your SR will call home to say they are a Sailor but they still have to pass final PFA in order to graduate.

Week 9 & 10– Warrior Training (Life skills) and Final PFA

Approx 10 Fridays from Departure they will have PIR!! If you can go you will be amazed at the change that happened in just 10 short weeks. For the time being they are also still Live Streaming the PIR ceremony.

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

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®

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 4pm to 8pm 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.


Who can attend PIR?

RESUMING LIVE PIR - 8/13/2021 

Proof of vaccination is required.

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

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

Blue Candles

Started by mom2blondies. Last reply by Tammy⚓️Girl on Friday. 35 Replies

New mom!

Started by CaliMom. Last reply by belovedbyHim Mar 26. 4 Replies

Security access form

Started by Lindsey. Last reply by Chipmunk Jan 29. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Chipmunk 15 minutes ago

Athenasbow - They have to train a mail room petty officer from their division, I believe, before the personal mail starts flowing to and fro. - It seemed like forever before I had my first personal letter. My mail always arrived on Thursday, except for the week when he went to medical for a cough on a Sunday and did not have time to write that day. When my son was in BC, they were only allowed to write letters on Sunday. 

I hope you made all of your reservations with changeable or refundable tickets and motel cancellation. 

Enjoy Sarge's Meet n' Greet! I have yet to meet in person any of the people I have met on this site, but I enjoyed meeting the ones that I did at Sarge's Meet n' Greet. We were seated according to our sailor's division. After 5 years there are still a lot of my N4M friends that I keep up with as best as I am able to in my groups and with PMs. 

Comment by Athenasbow 41 minutes ago

Hello! My future sailor has been at BC for almost four weeks. I got a phone call from him last weekend (which was heaven), but I haven't yet received a personal letter. I'm anxiously awaiting one. I've summitted the form to get my ticket to PIR and I've made my flight/hotel/car reservations for that weekend. I plan to attend Sarge's Meet n' Greet and I hope to see some of you there. 

This BC learning curve is a steep one (for all of us). I wish each of you peace, calm, patience, and faith to get us through this journey. Have a good night! 

Comment by Chipmunk 1 hour ago

Good Evening - I see several of our BC members online but no one posting here, so I hope you are connecting in your PIR groups!!

Northwoodsmom - That is great advice!! 

Comment by Northwoodsmom 11 hours ago

Good morning, I seen where one of the moms noted that when you share a picture of your lantern or anchor make sure it doesn't have your recruits name on it. 

You might be already aware of this but if your technology deficient like I am I have a tip that will help. Don't laugh at me but I just discovered this. When you pull up your picture you can edit them. In the edit there is a mark-up, just pick a color and erase the name.  Okay Ladies I am letting my age show, but just in case there are more of me I just want to help! 

Comment by partyofseven 12 hours ago

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to all of our new members. We are glad that you are here.

BBH- Thanks for the update and it's good to see you back. :)

No question is ever dumb and someone will answer you. We are here for you every step of the way. 

I began this journey almost 5 years ago and I still help out. I remember my first time like it was yesterday. 

It's definitely a roller coaster of emotions but you will get thru it as your loved one will to. Boot camp is for us as it is for our loved ones, while they are getting stronger we are to.

Keep your phone on you at all times, your ringer on loud and answer every call as you just never know when a call will come thru. 

Staying busy is key and it does help the days pass away. I wrote to mine twice a day and when my form letter came I had letters already ready to send out to him. They want letters they want to hear from you. Keep it upbeat and keep the encouragement going.

Sign up for the mail delivery app. It is the bomb and you can see what mail you have coming every day!!

God Bless and have a great Sonday everyone!!!

Comment by Chipmunk 14 hours ago

Ummi - Thanks for sharing!

Here is the link she was talking about   Letter writing and fun stuff/questionnaire   -  but do be sure and read through the information pages in the upper right. Lemonelephant put those together for this group when she was able to spend more time moderating it. She helped a lot of us through this BC process as well as others that are not as active as the baton is passed on.

If I recall correctly IT stands for Intensive Training and generally means doing extra exercises and such. Your sailors might also refer to it with another slang term that I can't recall at the moment. 

May you have a wonderful day today everyone!!!

If anyone makes a blue candle or other decorations, be sure to post a picture in the discussion above and down here in the comments. Just remember that if you put your SRs last name on something, do not post that here or in the discussion. 

Comment by belovedbyHim 19 hours ago

Oh My Ummi -- That reminds me of the story I read when mine was in BC.  A Mom sent a singing card to their SR.  The whole Div had to do IT while the SR who got the card sat in a chair opening it to play and closing it to reset till the battery died!!
Do NOT send your SR anything that makes noise or has glitter or newsprint that can smear ink onto their hands or uniforms!

Comment by Ummi 23 hours ago

Q's Momma - Welcome to BC! It's YOUR BC, too! Regarding Sandboxx, it's got pros & cons. Some moms find it convenient and easy because it gives you a format, "stationery" and a way to send pix (you keep the originals). I found it a great idea, but a bit expensive. So I wrote my own letters to my Sailor when she was in BC and numbered each one on the outside of the envelope, and took a picture of each page. That way if it got lost I could remember what I said and reproduce it for her. You'll figure out what works best for you, but keep those letters coming because SRs really do look forward to them. But don't expect replies to each one... the RDCs keep these kids BUSY!  If you run out of things to say, look further up on this page to the section When will the form letter come? and click on Letter Writing and Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your RecruitIf you wanna send anything else to your SR, resist the urge until you find out from him/her EXACTLY what, if anything, you can send. You don't want to get your SR in trouble by accident because it might cause the whole ship to be penalized.

Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN yesterday

Q's Momma - here's my discussion on the Sandboxx App with a response from RTC:

SANDBOXX App for letters to boot camp

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Comment by belovedbyHim yesterday

Q's Momma -- As I said, it's fine to use in BC.  Those letters get to them in 3-5 days vs a week to 10 days via USPS.  Sometimes they need a Quicker word of support at BC.  Just don't use after BC.  (So you don't buy too big a package of "messages") 

This is also a reminder for all the other BC moms as well!! It's part of the process of learning OPSEC and PERSEC!! 

Please don't feel that just because we comment to you that you are in any trouble or have committed a Major crime.  We may point stuff out here to help you learn.  (Major stuff usually is posted as a PM)  This is a Learning page and you are all in A boot camp of your own.  Navy life is an adjustment for the whole family!!


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