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."


**UPDATE - 2020**

Due to COVID there is no public PIR. The graduations are on Thursday, and the video of the graduation is posted on RTC's FaceBook on Friday at approx 3pm. Please keep in mind that a division may need to complete additional quarantine during training which will delay their graduation.

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: 12938
Latest Activity: 1 hour 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

Christmas without

Started by Amanda. Last reply by belovedbyHim Jan 3. 7 Replies


Started by VintageGal. Last reply by VintageGal Dec 30, 2020. 6 Replies


Started by Tadpole. Last reply by Chipmunk Dec 23, 2020. 9 Replies

How to Contact a Recruit

Started by jenatn. Last reply by Tammy_Girl Dec 15, 2020. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by partyofseven 1 hour ago

Good Morning ladies and dads and welcome to our group. We are so glad that you are here. 

DoriBry- Good Morning, Another day closer to PIR. Not exactly sure on your count. I don't want to say the wrong count. :) 

Carolyn- Good Morning, You are very welcome.  Tbis is a great place to come and cry and or vent. We are here for you. 

God Bless and have a great Sonday everyone!!!!

Comment by DoriBry 2 hours ago

Good Morning everyone

Welcome Carolyn!  Yes, this group has been a blessing for me as well.  

Warriorprotector-How many more days?  I need the daily countdown

Comment by Carolyn 2 hours ago

I'm very thankful I found this group.  Everyone helps me feel a little less crazy for all the roller-coaster emotions I've had going on. ❤❤

Comment by NewMilmom 10 hours ago

AntiM - my oldest and sailor would like your Loki collection... right up their alley...

Comment by NewMilmom 10 hours ago

Oh and to clarify for all the new  moms... my sailor is now in A school... if he was at boot camp I'd have not told him about our friends cancer.  

Always keep it positive. 

We had also discussed if something were to happen to immediate family (dh, his sisters or I) that we would not notify him at that time.  That is option through red cross but,  we had decided before he left his we would handle it.  For him we felt that best. But that is something that should be decided before they head to BC by each of us individually. 

Comment by belovedbyHim 10 hours ago

Mom2blondies-- I'm Jealous of his curls!!!!

Anti M-- Was that a low key way to get us to notice Loki??  He's funny but not my favorite character! He does remind me most of most people... Capable of great evil but really wanting to be on the side of good while messing up every time!!!

Comment by NewMilmom 11 hours ago

Evening Everyone!  I haven't been on...pets & horse time mostly today.  dh & I split a cheese pizza I picked up on way home from a bit of time in the dang 90+ degree heat with my horse. Having him so far from home again is a major pain but, he is in a great place with friends so Momma gonna just deal with the long drive each way again...

Then got a call from dear friend her husband has throat cancer. Had surgery December and getting stronger so that is good. She has her hands full as lives in middle of nowwhere Utah and also caring for her 2 elderly parents.  Her mom & dad suffering from alzheimers & dementia... They set up a little cabin on property for her folks as their house too dangerous with multi-levels & stairs.  She has a bit of help with her younger sister now living with them mostly to help but, she is also a bit of a melodrama too... I haven't spoken to her or seen her in a few years (life happened) so we talked for a while.  I did text my sailor to let him know about the cancer as he spent a lot of time with them & their horses growing up...actually she is who taught him to care for horses & ride.  He spent lots of weekends with them & even cared for their place & animals sometimes when they'd be gone on weekends. 

Baked one of my special Bailey's chocolate cakes which I'll put a Bailey's chocolate gnache on for a bonfire birthday potluck for 2 friends & trail riding partners.  We will do a trail ride in morning then do a socially distance potluck supper & cake with a small bonfire.  I have disposable silverware & napkins in individual packages for each.  Was going to do mini-bundt cakes but, easier to transport a sheet cake so did a 9x13 pan cake... Not sure what else I want to take since we are riding in morning.  May just pick up chicken & salad to take for the supper part...not close to home so we shall see what I can rustle up in their little community.   Just wish we hadn't skipped Spring weather... We went from winter to summer in 1 day...NOT nice.  Someone said we may get rain middle of week...wait & see.

Shanny - oh my stars on the car & insurance...our sailor bought his car Jan. 2019 & it is on our insurance.  He looked at USAA & it will cost a lot more with less coverage than him on ours.  And his Dad is on the car note as co-signer at this point so we can have it on our insurance.  We may leave it for now since he is just starting out in this process. 

Carolyn - Welcome! I was a total basket case when my sailor left but, not in front of him or dh & dd... None of them would have handled it & wouldn't understand the "Momma" falling apart.  Dropping him off at the recruiter office was one of the hardest moments in my life! watching him walk away with just a black backpack on him was rough. I won't lie I wanted to run and scream NOOOOO ... get back in car we aren't doing this.

I was very silent on the drive home & at least for once my dh didn't try to talk at me... I drove home & dropped dh off telling him I needed to get somethings for supper at grocery & just drove for a while and cried and cried and cried until I couldn't see well enough to drive & I pulled over just to cry more...

The first week he was gone my poor co-worker basically just had to watch me break down & cry continually.  I'd take long showers crying ... 

I found this wonderful place with caring, supportive Moms who understood & accepted me in with BNMH. The information & support is what held me up & when we finally got the form letter I just hugged it soo hard.  And promptly started mailing the letters/notes/ encouraging quotes/picture collages to him.  Always mindful of keeping it all positive.

Comment by AgnesB 13 hours ago

Shanny, I don't understand all the military ramifications with insurance, maybe has something to do with your address being his home state. 

Comment by mom2blondies 13 hours ago

Carolyn, I know how impossible it feels right now, I remember it well. I remember when he finally made the decision to enlist I couldn't look at him without tears just flowing. No matter how hard I tried for several weeks my eyes would just leak at the sight of him. Then I pulled myself together because I didn't want to 'ruin' the time we had before he left. I'd have my meltdowns while he was at work so no chance of him seeing me upset. We had an amazing day the day we dropped him off and I remained 'mostly' composed during the hug before we left....then for several days after it was rough and then it gradually got easier. Of course I still think of him all day, every day but I keep a running journal style letter to him so it is like I'm talking to him each day. I remember asking myself "How, how will I do this?" but we do, we do it because we love them and we do it because they deserve to do this for themselves. I started leaning on the motto "No news is good news" and "He isn't doing this to me, he's doing this for himself." Those got me through the worst of well as the ladies here. There is something very comforting in knowing you aren't crazy for feeling so much.......everyone processes in their own way but we all feel it. 

Comment by Shanny 13 hours ago

AgnesB:  he said if it makes more sense to put the car on mine he will transfer the money directly into my bank account each month. I just don’t understand the idea of the fact this car will not be in Michigan. We aren’t even driving it down. The dealership is shipping it down to him. So it will be in VA and may never be driven to Michigan because I don’t think he will want to make that drive alone. And will end up flying but I could be wrong. We are one of the highest cost state for insurance. and the car will not even be here but he has to insure here


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