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 ConcernedMom on February 6, 2015 at 3:17pm

Thanks again lemonelephant,  please tell me you ladies will be here to get me through the next 6 years or more!!!!

Comment by lemonelephant on February 3, 2015 at 5:56am

ConcernedMom, yes, you can pay for anything that your recruit has not paid for. Make sure he knows what to order. The Keel is only free if ordered ahead of PIR weekend. You will have time to make it to the Photo Lab.

Comment by ConcernedMom on February 1, 2015 at 3:43pm

Does he have to pay for him out of his pay or can I pay for them at PIR, received his first paycheck and was surprised at amount.  I read everything above and it states paying at the NEX on PIR day.  Can we pay for everything then?  Also how late is NEX stay open he will have to leave Graduations to check in at A school  staying in GL. so not sure when he will get Liberty.

Again thanks for the help

Comment by lemonelephant on January 15, 2015 at 2:41am

Tiff S., yes, your recruit, later Sailor, will have the money to pay for the photos. Your recruit is being paid while in BC. You can let him know what you would like if you think he may not order photos. Pkg A is photos and The Keel. The DVD is a separate purchase.

Comment by Tiff S on January 14, 2015 at 7:56am
This was very good info thank you very much. It states about your sailor ordering the photo package , will they have that amount of money to pay for all that? I don't mind paying my son back and do not want to miss it. Do I write to him in one of my letters telling him to buy it? Pkg A is photos, DVD & book , right???
Comment by lemonelephant on October 11, 2014 at 5:45pm

312 Mommy, since your Sailor has had PIR, you can call the Photo Lab at 847-578-6205 and order if he didn't order photos.

Comment by 312 Mommy on October 10, 2014 at 9:34pm

How do we order graduation photos?

Comment by lemonelephant on April 15, 2014 at 1:12pm

MzUnderstood, I'm glad. You are very welcome.

Comment by MzUnderstood (SHIP 03 DIV189) on April 15, 2014 at 12:56pm

This info. Has been so helpful, thank you!

Comment by lemonelephant on January 7, 2014 at 12:22am

Bubweena, Info on the coins can be found in Gift Ideas for PIR and display cases or coin racks for challenge coins are available at several places on the web, such as Cafepress and other sites have T-shirts and other Proud Navy Mom (Dad, Sister, Brother....) items. You will also be able to purchase those kind of things at the NEX. Flanagan's gives away a T-shirt if you attend their Meet and Greet.

Comment by Bubweena on January 7, 2014 at 12:13am
I saw another mom mention she ordered a red Proud Navy Mom something? And also a coin for her son. I also read something about graduation gift boxes but when I go to the site, it is just the stuff about the pictures.
Comment by lemonelephant on August 11, 2013 at 8:22pm

NavyMom1727, you are welcome.

Comment by NavyMom1727 on August 11, 2013 at 7:05pm

thank you!

Comment by lemonelephant on August 9, 2013 at 10:50pm

NavyMom1727, the prices are within the website. T-shirts are $20 (add $3 for 2XL or 3XL), long sleeve T-shirts are $25 (add $2 for 2XL or 3XL), ladies T-shirts are $20 (add $2 for 2XL), and hoodies are $35 (add $3 for 2XL and 3XL).

Comment by NavyMom1727 on August 9, 2013 at 2:00pm

Am I missing the div t-shirt prices? I don't see them

Comment by lemonelephant on July 16, 2013 at 4:14pm

The prices above may not reflect the current prices. You need to include Your Sailor's Name, Division Number and Grad. Date along with the address to ship it to and a phone number. Send a Money Order for the amount of your order including shipping and handling payable to Navy Exchange (NEX) to:

Navy Exchange Photo Lab

Bldg. 7626

2601E Paul Jones St.

Great Lakes, IL 60088

Comment by katherine234 on July 16, 2013 at 3:53pm
I have a question for y'all! My husband never ordered his photos when he graduated last November, and I am having a hell of a time getting a hold of the photo lab. I know that while he was still in Great Lakes they emailed him an order form, but he can't find in his inbox now. Does anyone have a copy of that order form that they can email me? I'd really appreciate it!
Comment by lemonelephant on April 19, 2013 at 7:32pm


Comment by Debbie on April 19, 2013 at 7:29pm
He does have more money than me----lol!!!
Comment by Debbie on April 19, 2013 at 6:38pm
Thank you, I will do that!!

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