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 as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**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).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer 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.

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Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.


Hi all, I am a new Navy mom.can someone explain sandbox to me ? It’s been so comforting to learn things and hear others experiences . My daughter left for BC Wednesday so still very new and I’m feeling very sad but proud too.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hello and welcome Jeanie!! 

Sandboxx is an app that people use to send letters to their recruits. It's not recommended because of PERSEC, but it's a fast way for your recruit too receive mail (The FaceBook group does not allow for people to even talk about it). It does have a fee to use as well. 

Although you don't have an address yet, you'll receive the form letter with 2-3 weeks which will give you her address and graduation date! (Yay!) You can estimate her graduation date to be 8 weeks from now, but it's just an estimation and is recommended to wait for the form letter to arrive! 

There is a lot of useful information here, I recommend reading through some of the forums. If you know your daughters rate (job), you can even join the group for that and learn more about her future schooling and career! My husband is an AECF-ET, it kept me busy knowing what he will be doing while he was in boot camp!

Remember, no news is good news!!! It's a painful motto, but it reigns true! We're all here if you have anymore questions, there's a variety of experiences here as well. 

I do want to add that I did use Sandboxx while my husband was in boot camp. You can attach a photo with a limited word count letter. It also sends the recruit a letter and envelope so they can write back and send you a response. Don't put any crucial information in it, as anyone can read it as someone has to print it out and send it. So keep it light, general, and hopeful. I often just wrote how proud I was and happy for his achievements! You never know who could read it! 

Thank you Kannada !


I never used Sandbox as I knew nothing about it when my son was in BC. Others have used Sandbox and hopefully they will reply to you. One thing to keep in mind with Sandbox is that it is not a private means of communication. Think of it like a postcard, where it can be clearly read by anyone that comes across it. 

There have been numerous comments on the BC Mom group regarding the pros and cons to Sandbox, so I am sure someone will reply to your query. 

Hi Jeanie! Welcome! My daughter has been at BC for almost 11 weeks and myself and a few other family members use Sandboxx often. It does get to your recruit quickly and can even be tracked. I do recommend waiting for the form letter so you have the correct division and address. It is approximately $4 per letter but is a little cheaper when you buy a package of multiple letters. You can even book travel to PIR thru them and they offer insurance in case your recruit’s date changes, which happened to me and I have to say changing our flights was easy and stress free with them. Good luck.

Thank you so much !

This is copied from the Army OPSEC page...
We received a message yesterday regarding the app Sandboxx. You can submit a letter to a military member and even attach a photo. That letter will be printed and mailed to your service member who is at boot camp or deployed. Your service member can then respond. Sandboxx offers two additional services: "Units" - a platform where you are able to connect with other members from your current or old unit, interact with them and post content and "Travel", the app's travel agency service allowing users to book their travel to their service member's graduation ceremony. This app sounds convenient, but let's look at it in a bit more detail. The app requires you to enter your information and your service member's information. You can easily connect with the app through your social media platforms. This all comes with a cost. We are not talking about the money the provider charges per letter, we are referring to your information. Treat Sandboxx just like a social media site. Do not share critical information. You control how much you share. Do not share photos you wouldn't post elsewhere. Various sites promote the app, sites you may trust, but at least two sites we came across this morning are civilian blogs that posted affiliated links (the blogger receives a kick-back for each person using that affiliate link to sign up). One site stated in small letters that the content promoting this app was an advertisement. This may get overlooked. When you use an app like this, be aware of not only its features and functionality, but also terms of use. We looked at the privacy statement. "We may share your information with advertisers and investors ... We may also share your information with such third parties for marketing purposes, as permitted by law." The section "Data from Social Networks" lets users know how much PII is collected once you connect the app with your social media platforms. DOB, location, public data for contacts. Don't forget about the mobile device data: device ID, manufacturer, model, location. The list goes on ( We mentioned the "Units" feature of the app before. Be very cautious what you post there. Anything you post there is considered a "contribution". This is a paragraph from the Terms of Sandboxx regarding these contributions: "By posting your Contributions to any part of the Site or making Contributions accessible to the Site by linking your account from the Site to any of your social networking accounts, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to us an unrestricted, unlimited, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, fully-paid, worldwide right, and license to host, use, copy, reproduce, disclose, sell, resell, publish, broadcast, retitle, archive, store, cache, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, transmit, excerpt (in whole or in part), and distribute such Contributions (including, without limitation, your image and voice) for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such Contributions, and grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. The use and distribution may occur in any media formats and through any media channels." - for complete terms of use, visit Bottom line: Treat this app like you treat any other online site. Limit the information you share.

I will say from personal Experience that Sandboxx is a nightmare once they get to the fleet!  There have been numerous instances where deployed ships/ units have been delayed as a direct result of this App!  My Sailor Bee was delayed a week and a half and returned in the middle of the night with less than an hours notice.  As a result of the delay we were unable to be there for his homecoming.  I know there was another unit that spent 4 days in an airport hanger eating from vending machines because of Sandboxx.
If you choose to use the app in Bootcamp just know that if there is any change in her address, Sandboxx letters are not forwarded. 

You are at the hard part of Boot Camp.  Start writing letters (Regular ones) and once you get her address you can start mailing them out.  They need to train a Recruit Mail Petty Officer before any mail is delivered so sending anything before you get the form letter is not advised for this reason.  The First 3- 4 weeks of No communication is the worst but once you get the form letter you start getting more regular communications!  After that you will have the "Proof of Life-- I'm still alive" call.  There may be tears (on both ends) but try and stay strong and positive!  They may earn bonus calls as well.  Then comes the "Grand Silence"  The last 2-3 weeks is silence part 2 and letters may slow down as they are working hard and getting ready for Battle Stations.  After that is the wonderful "I'm a Sailor" call! (Although they don't call it that, and most don't know to lead with that.) Hang tight!! We haven't lost a mom to Boot Camp yet, We won't start with you!

BelovedbyHim - Thanks for the input on Sandboxx - I was hoping you would have an opportunity to reply, as you are more versed in it than I am.

Thank you very much !

Hi Jeanie - if you look at the main page of the Navy For Moms site you will see a discussion I posted with info regarding the Sandboxx app. You can use it for boot camp but it is NOT recommended once they are in the fleet.

Sandboxx app

Okay thank you !


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