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:

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.)

N4M Merchandise

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.


Does the Navy pay for uniforms?

Yes, but not for everything they need at boot camp.

Recruits receive an initial uniform allowance $1,157.21 for men and $1,371.69 for women. This pays for the "sailor's seabag" which consists of four sets of Navy Working Uniforms (aka "digis"), one pair of boots, one set of PT gear (sweats and shorts/t-shirt), two sets of Navy Service Uniforms(aka "peanut butters"), one dress white uniform, one dress blue uniform, one pair of dress shoes, a pea coat, a rain coat, an NSU parka, four covers (hats) and a seabag. Women also receive skirts for each service and dress uniform, a set of uniform dress pumps, and a long wool walking coat instead of a pea coat, and their dress "combination" cover, which is why they get a higher allowance.

After that they get a smaller amount each year to replace worn or damaged uniforms.

This allowance does NOT cover the many small things they need that are not uniform items, from underwear to shampoo to athletic shoes. The first paycheck is usually reduced by about $600 (usually the entire paycheck) and may be non-existent.

During winter months at Great Lakes they may also purchase specific cold weather gear that isn't part of the basic "sailor's seabag."

What else comes out of my recruit's paycheck?

Later in boot camp sailors will have the option to purchase "yearbooks", PIR DVDs, pictures, division t-shirts, etc. Many of these are deducted from the sailors' paychecks. They do have the option to not purchase these items.

However, if they do purchase these items the pictures and t-shirts arrive before PIR. If parents or spouse order them at PIR or later, it may take 1-2 months to receive them.

When does may recruit get his/her first paycheck?

The first paycheck usually arrives in the recruit's bank account about one month to six weeks after his/her arrival at boot camp. Paydays are on the 1st and 15th of each month.

Does the Navy pay for food?

Yes. However, the system is confusing to some people, so it seems like sailors pay for their food. The Navy used to just feed all sailors, but for bookkeeping purposes it was difficult to figure out how much they paid for each sailor to eat.

Now the Navy issues a food allowance to every sailor. If that sailor is on shore duty and does not live on a ship or in barracks with access to a mess (cafeteria), the sailor keeps the cash to pay for their own food. However, if the sailor is assigned to a ship or barracks with access to a mess the Navy deducts the food allowance. At first glance on a pay stub this *looks* like the sailor is paying for his/her own food, but in reality the Navy is merely re-claiming the food allowance.

If a sailor does not like the food offered at the mess and chooses to eat their own food or at a fast food restaurant, it is up to them to pay for it out of their own money. The Navy will NOT return the money to them if they decline to eat at Navy facilities.

Are there co-pays for sailors' medical care?

No. All Navy medical care for active-duty sailors is free.

However, most "elective" medical procedures are not offered or covered unless a Navy-approved medical doctor/dentist determines that it is in the best interest of the sailor and the Navy.

Will the Navy pay for a private apartment for ship-based bachelor sailors to use while in port?

No, but they may get to live in a barracks. Even for extended port stays, some ships require sailors to continue to live on-board the ship. However, the Navy is trying to change this. In many places, sailors are assigned a dorm-like barracks (similar to A-school) room with one or two of their shipmates while their ship is in port. Sailors will also receive a barracks room if their ship goes into dry docks for extended repairs.

Occasionally, if there aren't enough barracks rooms to go around for ship-based sailors and they want sailors living off-ship, sailors may be assigned a room in a non-Navy apartment building rented by the Navy, or be given a special allowance to find an apartment with other sailors. This is not common.

Shore-based sailors are assigned dorm-barracks. Typically there is no charge for the barracks room.

An unmarried sailor (without dependents) must pay for an apartment from his/her paycheck and must still sleep on board their ship on duty days.

Will the Navy pay for airline tickets?

It depends on the purpose of the travel.

If the sailor is traveling on orders, the Navy will pay. Sometimes the Navy will issue tickets or assign a sailor to a military flight. At other times the sailor must pay for his/her own ticket and the Navy will reimburse the sailor for travel expenses after s/he submits all receipts with her order on arrival. Again, the reimbursement may take some time to be processed, so sailors should keep a savings account to cover such expenses.

The Navy does not cover travel for sailors to go home on leave. The only exception to this is for leave between A school and their first duty station. The sailor will be reimbursed for part of the ticket. The Navy determines the cost of travel between the two points, and the sailor pays the difference.

Travel home after being discharged from the Navy is based on bus travel. Sailors have the choice of taking a bus ticket home, or accept the cash value of a bus ticket and make their way home on their own. The amount is based on returning the sailor to the location they lived when they enlisted. If airline tickets happen to be cheaper than bus tickets, the Navy may pay for a discharged sailor's airfare.

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I have updated some of the information in the FAQ.


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