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 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).  

Specific information on this policy change will be provided in the coming days and weeks.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your support.


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 6/23/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED -  Vaccinations still 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.

Format Downloads:

Latest Activity

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.



Division T-Shirts, Graduation Photos, The Keel, and DVD of PIR

Division T-Shirts and Hoodies

Be sure to ask your recruit before ordering T-shirts because some order them as gifts for family members. Some have ordered a Small and then made pillows.

Your Recruits will have the first opportunity to order apparel imprinted with their unique Divisional Flag design allowing them to capture this valuable memory that will follow them throughout their Navy career. Family and friends can stop by after graduation at building 1326 to purchase additional apparel. The MWR does not accept personal checks as payment; all payments must be made with cash or credit card. Division apparel will be available for purchase on the web store at approximately three business days after a division’s Pass In Review (PIR) date, and will remain available for purchase online for approximately six months from that date. Contact MWR Great Lakes directly at 847-688-5966, if the PIR is from an earlier date.

Navy Graduation Photos, The Keel, and PIR DVD

Graduation photos are taken on week 4/day 4 of BC and are taken in the Dress Blue uniform. The following week the Division photo is taken. The Photo Lab keeps photos for one year in case the Sailor or the family wants to order or reorder photos. Division photos are kept for ten years.

The process now is for the recruits to pay for the photo package, Division photos, Keel, and DVD, either with a debit/credit card or a money order made payable to the NEX when they pick them up a few days before PIR OR loved ones and Sailors can go to the Photo Lab at the NEX and pay for them and pick them up on the day of PIR. If your recruit pays for them when ordering them, s/he may have them mailed to you and you may receive the photos and frames prior to PIR. The NEX does not accept personal checks as payment; all payments must be made with cash or credit card.

The Keel – the “yearbook” for your Sailor’s recruit division, sometimes called the Cruise book – includes photos of your Sailor's recruit division and brother division if there was one within a black and white section at the back. There are colored photos to remind your Sailor of things that happened while at RTC. The Keel is only available for purchase during boot camp, on the day of PIR, and during that weekend. They only print up the exact quantity that is ordered and prepaid so you will not be able to order it after PIR weekend. The Keel is included free with Photo Package A or it can be purchased separately for $29. The Keel is mailed about 12 or 13 weeks after PIR – the recruit indicates the address it is mailed to. You cannot order The Keel over the phone. You must do that in person at the NEX the weekend of PIR if your Sailor did not order one. The Keel is included free with package A if ordered on the day of PIR.

If your recruit did not order the DVD of PIR, then go over to the Photo Lab at the NEX on the day of PIR, and you can still get it. The DVD is mailed about 6 to 8 weeks after PIR – the recruit indicates the address it is mailed to. Some, but not all, have been successful in ordering a DVD up to 2 months after PIR by calling the Photo Lab at the NEX. It is best to call within a week of PIR if you want to order one.

Your recruit cannot just buy a few photos, s/he must order a package to receive any photos at all. However, The Keel and/or DVD of PIR can be ordered without ordering photos. If you find out that your recruit did not order a photo package, you can still order them on the day of PIR by going to the Photo Lab at the NEX. You can order photos up to a year after PIR, but The Keel must be ordered before the end of PIR weekend and the DVD must be ordered within a week of PIR to be guaranteed to get one.

My Sailor took care of ordering his photo package, The Keel, and DVD, and some nice frames as well, while he was at BC and would not let me reimburse him for it. He said that the pictures and frames were his gift to those who have done so much for him. Other Recruits/Sailors have felt the same way; perhaps the RDC suggested this, but I like to think I have a thoughtful son. If you are planning to pay for the photos, just let your recruit know that you are willing to reimburse him/her for this since that is the easiest way to handle it. You will need to know that the DVD and photo package that includes The Keel is $169 and special Navy frames add to the cost. If you find out that there are not enough photos in the package, you can order more by going over to the Photo Lab at the NEX on the day of PIR or by using the order form within the package when you receive it. Reorders can only be ordered if your recruit ordered a package.

If you are picking up photos at the Photo Lab on the day of PIR, expect long lines. Go straight to the back wall after entering the doors. Double check that the photos within the package are those of your Sailor before you leave the area. After getting the photos, you will get in another line that will lead to another room where you can order additional photos, frames, and coins if you wish and pay.

You can contact the Photo Lab at Great Lakes at 847-578-6205, but do not call them until after PIR. While your recruit is at RTC, contact him/her to see if s/he ordered pictures and let him/her know what you would like him/her to order.

Here are the prices as of the 08/10/2018 PIR:


Package A: $140.00

1-11x14, 2-8x10, 2-5x7, 24 wallets, 1-11x14 division photo (includes The Keel at no charge if the recruit orders the package prior to PIR, but must be purchased separately for $29 if the order is made following PIR)

Package B: $120.00

1-8x10, 2-5x7, 16-wallets, 1-11x14 division photo

Division Photo: 11x14: $20.00

Division Custom Flag Photo: 11x14: $15.00

Drill Hall Graduation Division Photo: 8x10: $8.00

Division Photo with Calendar: $10.00

Division "Goof Off" AKA "Ship Wreck" Photo: 5x7: $6.00

Single photo reprints (only available with purchase of Package A or B or if a package was previously ordered)

11x14: $17.00

8x10: $11.00

5x7 (set of 2): $11.00

wallets (set of 8): $11.00

After 12 months the image will no longer be available for reorders.

Shipping: $10.00


5x7 Oak Frame: $29.00

Anchors Aweigh Frame: (holds a wallet sized photo): $26.00 

14x18 Sailor's Creed: (reported to hold a photo of the Sailor and a Division Photo): $47.00 

Recruit Shadow Box: $99.00


Graduation Video DVD available in limited quantities $29.00, shipping included.

3D Crystal Statue: medium rectangular block & mini light base: 6x6x10 cm block: $86.25 includes S&H

Mugs: $14.99


Division Coin: $20.00 (Limited Quantities)

Ship Coin: $20.00

Division Flag Coin: $23.00 (Limited Quantities)



Cash, Money Order payable to NEX, or Credit Cards Only for payments made at the NEX on PIR weekend

Money Order payable to NEX or Credit Cards Only for payments made on reorders after PIR weekend

Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

****Navy Exchange reserves the right to change pricing without Notice****

Click here to see the current Photpgraph and Frame Reorder Form.

The Photo Lab keeps individual photos for about a year after PIR and Division photos for about 10 years.

Livestream and Online viewing of PIR.

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 If there was a problem with the livestream on the day of PIR, then there will not be a video at that site.


Posted by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.

Last updated 09/20/2019


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

Comment by VintageGal on October 29, 2020 at 7:52pm

Ok thanks! :) 

Comment by lemonelephant on October 29, 2020 at 7:51pm

VintageGal, sorry, I have not seen a place online to see what they are.

Comment by VintageGal on October 29, 2020 at 3:39pm

Hi! Is there any way of seeing what some of these things look like - like the shadowboxes ornament, mug...? I’m passing the time until the PIR video is released tomorrow :) 

Comment by lemonelephant on September 26, 2020 at 4:15pm

StarryNights, I suggest contacting the photo lab at the NEX and they should be able to help.

Comment by Gina-Lee on September 26, 2020 at 1:22am

Hello, so happy to be here! I feel like the saddest mom ever, even though I realize this was a good choice for my son who hated college. I’m just uneasy and already miss him dearly. He just left 9/23/2020. Thank you for this group! 

Comment by lemonelephant on September 20, 2020 at 10:14pm

VintageGal, (((((Hugs)))))

Comment by VintageGal on September 20, 2020 at 6:13pm

Lemonelephant - thank you!! Will do!! I have those Navy allergies today so that sounds like a great task for me to do right now. 

Comment by lemonelephant on December 1, 2019 at 8:35pm

Rachel, you can get it from the MWR.

Can't Make it to Graduation?

A Recruit Care Package is a great way to say “Congratulations” to your recruit upon completion of the Navy’s only boot camp and Pass-In-Review. The care package is filled with commemorative items that will follow your recruit to their next command and is only $19.99 with no other fees and charges. (Visa, MasterCard, American Express & Discover are accepted)  For a full list of care package contents, please visit us on-line at (direct link for Recruit Care Pack) or call 847-688-3593. The order deadline is the Friday before your recruit’s graduation date. 


Also check out Gift Ideas for PIR. 

Comment by Rachel on December 1, 2019 at 3:30pm

Hello ....where do I purchase a recruits care package? Thank you for your help....I'm very new to all this. (Daughter is in week 2 at bc)

Comment by lemonelephant on September 29, 2019 at 4:13pm

Amyks, you can try calling the Photo Lab at Great Lakes at 847-578-6205.

Comment by Amyks on September 29, 2019 at 4:11pm

is there a phone number to call the weekend of the PIR to order a copy of the Keel?

Comment by lemonelephant on January 20, 2019 at 2:16pm

Amanda0602, you are very welcome.

Comment by Amanda on January 20, 2019 at 2:09pm
Lemon-Thank you! I'll have to ask her when she calls next week.
Comment by lemonelephant on January 20, 2019 at 2:01pm

Amanda0602, some recruits pay when they order them if they are having them sent home or they pay for them when they pick them up a few days before PIR. Some pay after PIR (or have a loved one pay then). They are getting paid and most have enough money on their NEX card to pay for them.

Comment by Amanda on January 20, 2019 at 10:10am
When they order photos at BC when do they pay for them?
Comment by lemonelephant on September 20, 2018 at 2:32am

bravefan, your recruit needs to order photos before PIR. Let your recruit know what you want.

Comment by bravesfan143 on September 19, 2018 at 6:18pm

Are you able to order the photos before PIR if you call the NEX?

Comment by lemonelephant on September 17, 2018 at 11:35am

The prices have been updated and are current.

Comment by AprilRose_Sons DIV 410 PIR 10/19 on September 16, 2018 at 11:15am

I would love to know if these prices have been updated too, thank you 

Comment by lemonelephant on August 31, 2017 at 10:17pm

You are very welcome.

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