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.

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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.



Hi Ladies,

Any suggestion on when it's safe to buy your plane tickets for graduation?


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Replies to This Discussion

"They" say about five weeks from a travel date is when you can get the best fares. I'm not sure how accurate that is. I would suggest either getting a refundable ticket, or check the airlines policy in case you have to change your date. Most SR's graduate on the PIR date listed in the form letter. However, things do happen that can delay them. I know that SWA will let you change your ticket w/o a fee. You might check to see if they fly out of your area. Some airlines charge exorbitant fees if you need to change your ticket.

Thank you.  You're the second one who has suggested SWA.  I know they only fly into Midway and not O'Hare from here, but it's not that much further.

I am wondering the same thing. My husband has been looking into flights as well as Hotels close by. Never been to Chicago so this should be interesting Navigating around. 

Woo Hoo, Chicago here we come!  God bless em! LOL

Came home tonight hoping to get that Letter in the mail. I am just going to print out the info on the Navy sight just to be safe. 

I know.  I've only received one.  Well two letters in one envelope.  But I here they only get to send out mail once a week.  I've been watching BOOT CAMP making a sailor episodes 1-6 on YouTube.  It's really been informative and kind of helped me to feel I was there with here knowing whats going on.  Also, there was one these two young ladies did called NAVY BOOT CAMP it was by Maia.  It was pretty cool.  I guess it's safe to say I'm a little obsessed! LOL

I have watched those episodes more then once. She and I watched the first 2 together. She was a bit stressed about the Gas Mask. Great series! Helped me to understand some of what She is going through. I watch all the You Tube videos! Lol 

So there is no "Safe" time to buy plane tickets.  Even after BC plans can and do change right up to the last minute. That said I'd buy from SWA if you can.  You can fly into Midway or Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport.  If you fly into (MKE) plan to rent a car and not to fly out till really late Sunday or Monday since your sailor will likely fly out of Chicago.  With traffic MKE is going to take about the same amount of time to drive to GL.  You can book your hotel as soon as you get the PIR date, Sooner is better than later.  You can book at the Navy Lodge which is off base in Navy housing or in a private hotel around town. Gurnee is super close. Plan to arrive on Wednesday or early Thurs IF you live on the East coast. You will not have a whole lot of sleep that weekend.  Travel delays can kill you and you don't want to be anxious!  I found sleeping on Thursday was nearly impossible then of course you are up insanely early Friday and you might get a nap before you have to leave to see your sailor off at the airport at midnight-1 am. but you won't sleep again till they are on the plane to A school!  If you are lucky enough to get to have your sailor for the whole weekend then you may get a little more sleep but not much so plan accordingly! I'd say start planning now and book flight tickets after the first phone call. (usually 5-6 weeks out).  IF YOU DO NOT book with SWA then try and get transferable tickets as far out as you can.  Travel insurance does NOT cover changes to PIR dates!!

To add to the idea of travelling early, the PIR I attended was at the end of November. I was fearful of weather delays,so I made Southwest airlines reservations far enough in advance of PIR day that I could rent a car,or take a bus or train if there was a freak blizzard. With SWA if you don't use the tickets purchased, you can apply the cost to another trip within a year, so would have become a trip to where sailor was based sometime in that year if I had to utilize an alternative mode of transportation to PIR.

Hi Stephanie, first I would like to Congratulate you, second here is some info on flights, I have heard some Mothers using the Sandboxx and were very impressed.


You do not have to book refundable tickets. Some airlines, such as Southwest, will allow you to change flights without an additional charge. If you book using, then there is no change fee if there is a change in your recruit's PIR date. 

I absolutely Love Sandboxx! I send her a letter everyday! We will definitely be using it for our Travel. 

Good Morning Jana, quite a few Moms have used the Sandboxx for travel and Loved it, in fact one of the Moms booked flight tickets and ended up having to switch dates and she had no hassle and was not charged, its a try! hope it works just as well with your plans.


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