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.

All Hands Magazine's mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow 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. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

...and visit - America's Navy and 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. There are now tickets issued, and there are no longer parking passes for PIR.

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

Lisa UT/MT Mom replied to P's discussion 'Divisions' in the group Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)
4 hours ago
Mamacita replied to P's discussion 'Divisions' in the group Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)
4 hours ago

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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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)

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: 12391
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 may be able to see the video at, but not all of them are included there.)


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.


When will "The Box" come?

It will usually arrive by FedEx within a few days, but it can take up to 2 weeks at times.


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


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)You can find a copy of the current form letter in the Page, The Form Letter. The brochure that is included from MWRGL about hotels and other things is at RTC Friends and Family Brochure July 2017 rev.pdf. 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. Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing this very special event and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 5 pm to 10 pm at the Lakehurst Event Center (go to to RSVP). You must pick up your tickets for PIR at the Recruit Family Welcome Center either Thursday or Friday before 8 am. (For PIR dates that are on a day other than Friday, the Recruit Family Welcome Center will be open the day prior to PIR and the morning of PIR.) Picking them up the day before PIR would be ideal. Guests must pick up their own ticket using the ID that was indicated in the Security Access Form that was included with The Form Letter and returned to the recruit.

If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday and 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.



Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information and has a meet and greet at the Lakehurst Event Center in Waukegan the night before PIR (go to to RSVP). His cell number is 847-212-0246. His M&G 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 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 new 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 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 on our website 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 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.

Please ensure that those who check-in to receive their graduation tickets are the same as those listed on the access list. Tickets will ONLY be issued to those individuals (each individual MUST pick up their own ticket). During the check-in process we will do our best to provide information about recruit training, the graduation ceremony, where to buy Navy pride memorabilia, and any other questions you might have.  

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


Donna is no longer active on the site and lemonelephant will be helping out along with many others who have begun this journey before you. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)

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).  

USPS 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.)

Discussion Forum


Started by P. Last reply by Lisa UT/MT Mom 4 hours ago. 5 Replies


Started by BelindaM. Last reply by belovedbyHim 14 hours ago. 1 Reply

2nd Boot Camp- kinda

Started by Momoftwo on Saturday. 0 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by belovedbyHim 1 hour ago

Mc*Eagle’s nest—Welcome!  You should have gotten the box (or will in the next 24ish hours… Unless there is someone else he may have sent it to, or donated his belongings.)  Assuming no P-hold he should be in Week 1 day 3 (Tuesday).  There is a lot of information on these pages.  Read all the Links on the Main Boot Camp page to get your bearings.  The Form letter should be here next week sometime and you will have your PIR date and can begin to make plans.

Michelle—That call is so scripted, but you already knew that so hopefully you were prepared.  Good job holding it together!! And YEA for the call from the airport… It should have helped soften the “Call”.  You got this!!!  We are here for you!! It’s ok to cry and miss your son but don’t mourn for too long.  He’s safe, fed, housed and looked after (Maybe more than he wishes!!) and he’s following his dream!  He’s just like his Momma--- One Strong Mother!!

LoriNicole—How are you holding up?? You have been on my heart all day!  I know how frustration of hoping and expecting one thing only to be told something else compounded with the concern for your son can just make everything that much harder!!  Were you able to see him at the airport or talk to him on the phone?  I know you got the “I’m here “ call, so now your first task is to read as much here as you can.  Your next milestone will be the KIB (Kid In a Box), followed about a week to a week and a half later by the Form letter. 

Start writing letters!! Number them so they know the order to read them.  Try and keep them positive!  If you need to "get it out" write the letter... Go to your kids room....Read(scream, cry....) it at their pillow.... Then shred or (Safely) burn it!!  As much as you are missing them, they are missing you.  Your words of love and encouragement are so very important to them!! It's ok to say you miss them... Just not a whole letter of it! ;)

Comment by partyofseven 1 hour ago

Momma Bear-

That is awesome!!! Congratulations to you and your sailor. It is so exciting!!!

Oh how I was so ready to see mine. 


Comment by partyofseven 2 hours ago

Welcome Mc*Eagle's nest!, MIchelle,

This is a great place to get information and the ladies on here are great.

You should get another call in 3 weeks, you will also recieve his box with his belongings in it and then after that you will get the form letter with his ship # and his division on it and his  so you can send him letters. 

I wrote to mine every day while waiting for his form letter and when I got it I sent him his letters.

It's an emotional roller coaster but you will get thru it. We are here for you just to talk and to answer any questions you may have.

Welcome again. 

Comment by LoriNicole 3 hours ago

Michelle- My son left today also and he just called me for his final call. I’ve been an emotional wreck also but I know he is super excited to live his dream. We will have to keep in touch to see if they are in the same company.

Comment by Michelle 4 hours ago

Hello my son left today I am waiting up for his call. He did call when he landed. I am so happy to have found this site. I have been an emotional wreck for a while now. Had to keep it all in because this is my sons dream. I am slap super proud of him. Just wanted to share.  

Comment by Mc*Eagle's nest! 4 hours ago
Hi everyone, I just joined the group. My son left on the 12th of this month, I haven't heard anything back yet.
Comment by okiemom 6 hours ago

Received my son’s form letter today, my husband was stalking the mailbox for me ❣️ Looks like he’s ship 11 div 285, anyone else?? 

Comment by sunnyFL 6 hours ago

Okay, thanks ladies!

Comment by Chipmunk 7 hours ago

sunnyFL - our recruit called us about the 6th week and he had told us at the 3wk call that he would call then, because I was expecting it and knew it would conflict with our youngest's swim meet. (He may have written home that he would get one at 6 weeks.) The week prior to his 6th call though, I did not receive my weekly letter on that Thur, so I was glad to have the call and know everything was okay.
But as belovedbyHim mentioned, there are always other reasons, that they may or may not receive addt'l calls.

Momma Bear - Congratulations!

LoriNicole - I hope things went well for you after all at MEPS, sorry I wasn't able to respond, it has been a long day.

Dave'sMom19 - My SR does not have wisdom teeth, so he did not have to have any pulled, but he took up the slack of those SIQ by standing extra watches every other night. So, they all feel the pain just a little bit. Two of his sisters on the other hand have their wisdom teeth and the youngest just had her bottom ones pulled today, so we are going through the recovery stages here at home. I know it is hard not knowing how your recruit is doing. All the best to him as he keeps moving forward.

Comment by belovedbyHim 7 hours ago

Momma Bear--- Congratulations!!! Safe travels to PIR!!!

sunnyFL-- They often can earn a 2nd call in between but we tell you they are only guaranteed the 3 calls 1."I'm here", 2. "I'm alive", 3. "I'm a Sailor"!!  Some (most) get a 2nd "I'm still alive-- I've adjusted" call, They can lose this call for many reasons!  (Some also lose the 2nd call or have duty and are not able to call)  They may earn additional calls for working their butts off too.  We had 5 calls in total during BC.  We missed the first call home though.


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