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."


**UPDATE - 2020**

Due to COVID there is no public PIR. The graduations are on Thursday, and the video of the graduation is posted on RTC's FaceBook on Friday at approx 3pm. Please keep in mind that a division may need to complete additional quarantine during training which will delay their graduation.

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.



Gift Ideas for PIR

Here are things that have been given as gifts. They are listed in no particular order. Feel free to add other ideas.

Gifts that can be taken back to RTC:

Personalized study Bible or Sailor's Bible (This can be taken back to RTC, but your Sailor may ask you to send it later depending on space.)

Religious medallion or cross to go behind his/her ID tags (dog tags) or on a neck chain or key chain. (They seldom wear their dog tags after PIR and "A" School though due to safety concerns, but must be able to produce them during inspection if asked.) If worn with the dog tags, it must be silver in color and must be smaller than the dog tag. If worn on a neck chain or key chain, it can be any color. (If on the dog tags, this can be taken back to RTC.)


Gift cards to the NEX or national restaurants or Walmart or Mastercard or Visa gift cards that can be used anywhere. (You can go to to get a NEX gift card if you have a DOD number and register with the site.)

Phone card (Remember that your Sailor will have access to his/her cell phone after checking in at "A" School or the training location or after arriving at the air port, but your Sailor may need a phone card to call you from the air port and may need one later.)

Wallet (There are some with Navy emblems or the blue/gray digi print or the green camo print.)

Money Clip (Some have had it engraved with the Sailor's name and sometimes the date of PIR.)

Watch (black or silver in color) They can have a gold watch, but most choose not to get gold since the insignia for Sailors through E-6 is silver and the insignia for chiefs (E-7 and above) and officers is gold. Some ratings may require a particular kind of watch. (The Casio G-SHOCK watches are very popular with some new Sailors.) Sailors can wear a watch of any color as long as it presents a professional appearance, which is why most prefer black or silver, but navy blue colored watches are also popular and those with brown wristbands are acceptable. There are nice Casio watches that cost $10 to $25 that some Sailors get and they don't have to be concerned about them being broken or stolen. Get a pocket watch for those who cannot wear jewelry on the job. If you get an expensive watch, then do engrave it--my Sailor recommends including XXX-XX-(last four of SS #) so that there is no doubt as to the owner. Apple watches are not authorized for wear in the Navy. (See

Earrings (silver 4mm - 6mm ball, plain with shiny or brushed matte finish, screw on or with posts) (Females can wear these back to RTC.)

Ring (Navy rings can be ordered at the NEX or from Jostens.) (Some ratings cannot wear rings. Sailors can wear only one ring on each hand.)

( has the jewelry standards for the Navy.)

Challenge coin for RTC (available at a MWR booth in the Drill Hall, in RTC Recreation Center in Bldg 1326, at the NEX and online at and other places such as pirgifts) and/or the Ship the recruit is on (Craig designed the ones that are available on eBay through pirgifts and there are different ones that are available at the MWR booth). My Sailor told me not to get him a Challenge Coin because he wanted to keep that for those who give it to him within the service and not me--he only has one from RTC because Craig sent him the one for his ship since only award winners receive coins while at RTC. You have to decide what is right for you and your Sailor. One mom bought a few for her Sailor to give to his closest shipmates. (See more about Challenge Coins in What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology).)

Recruit Care Package This is good if you cannot attend PIR. They often include the RTC Challenge Coin.

Navy Uniform Tool or The Uniform Utility Tool

Gifts that will have to wait until your Sailor has checked in at "A" School or the training location or is at the airport:



iPod (preloaded with some favorite music)


Portable battery charger to charge cell phones and other electronic devices

Mobile Hotspot (Although most "A" Schools do have a location for free WiFi, it may not be the best and may not be in a convenient place for your Sailor.) 

Pocket knife or compact multi-tool (blade of 3 1/2" or less, no fixed blade or tactical knives) *Some commands may have regulations that are more strict than this.

Iron and small ironing board

MP3 players and iTunes gift card

Mini sound system

Head phones

Personal DVD player and subscription for DVD's

Soft sided case for DVD's (You can include a few favorite movies.)

Quilt or blanket made especially for the Sailor

Sheet set (Twin size) (Some like those at

Photo album or digital photo frame with family pictures

Security locks for laptops and other electronics



Travel alarm clock

Skincare items (sunscreen, hand lotion, and/or lip balm) with sunblock, especially for those in aviation

A nice razor and shaving cream kit

Conservative sunglasses, especially for those in aviation.  Nothing "faddish." Matte metal or black are the best choices.

Ear plugs

NavyRackPack (If your Sailor has orders to a particular ship/sub before the end of BC, which happens for those in the PACT program, this is a great gift. Go to Email Pat and she will let you know which one to order. Keep this one in mind if your Sailor is ever on a ship/sub.  My Sailor said his was "awesome" when he was on a carrier.)

Kindle or other electronic book reader and gift card for electronic books.

Small flashlight. If they are headed to a ship, a mini maglight with the red lens option.

Socks and underwear

Nice white undershirts (Look for Dryfit material)

Fun playing cards

Camelbak water bottle

Good pair of running shoes (Those issued at BC may be worn out even if they still look good and could cause injuries.)

A nice journal

A small notebook with moleskin cover

A nice pen set (a pen that will hold up)

Shirt Stays to help keep the uniform shirt tucked in

Eisenhower Jacket (a plain black jacket)

If you get an expensive item, then do engrave it--my Sailor recommends including XXX-XX-(last four of SS #) so that there is no doubt as to the owner.

Gifts to be enjoyed at the hotel or away from RTC:

Favorite homemade food and/or purchased junk food

Time alone to shower at the hotel (have favorite underwear available and comfy clothes available to change into; remember your Sailor cannot leave the hotel room in civilian clothes)

Time with that special someone

Time to relax (computer time and/or movie, junk food, favorite soda....)

A Massage

Manicure and/or pedicure

The most important gift you can give your new Sailor is your love and support.  Hugs are precious for everyone.


The above information is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.

Updated 12/31/2018


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

Comment by lemonelephant on November 7, 2018 at 9:00am

Jte1, you are very welcome.

Comment by Jte1 on November 7, 2018 at 8:54am

thank you 

Comment by lemonelephant on August 3, 2018 at 10:39pm

KaraJTX, you are very welcome. I am glad it helps.

Comment by KJTXMOM on August 3, 2018 at 11:54am

This is So helpful! Thank you!

Comment by lemonelephant on July 17, 2017 at 1:10pm

Tiffytat, you are very welcome.

Comment by Tffytat on July 17, 2017 at 4:22am

Thank you! @lemonelephant

Comment by lemonelephant on July 17, 2017 at 4:14am

Tiffytat, Recruit Care Package is a clickable link that takes you to you can find out more about the Recruit Care Package.

Comment by Tffytat on July 17, 2017 at 3:35am

@lemonelephant Where can I purchase the care package you mention in this post?

Comment by lemonelephant on May 27, 2017 at 3:50pm

Ally7, your recruit has a black backpack. Also, your then Sailor will not go back to the RTC. He will be on the other side of the street.

Comment by Ally7 on May 27, 2017 at 3:12pm
Can we buy them a black tactical backpack to take back to RTC?
Comment by lemonelephant on September 8, 2015 at 11:22pm

Loren's Mom, yes. Some will take PT gear to change into. They must remain in uniform.

Comment by lemonelephant on September 8, 2015 at 5:37pm

Loren's Mom, yes, your then Sailor (no longer a recruit) can get a pedicure PIR weekend.

Comment by lemonelephant on September 4, 2015 at 12:47am

WAnavyfiance, no, they don't at many commands.

Comment by WAnavyfiance on September 3, 2015 at 10:22am
Do sailors really not wear their dog tags often?? Is it not a requirement when in uniform?
Comment by lemonelephant on April 17, 2015 at 10:12pm

You are very welcome.

Comment by Maria on April 17, 2015 at 8:07pm

Great ideas! Thank you so much all the help /information~! 

Comment by lemonelephant on January 5, 2015 at 11:10pm

You are very welcome.

Comment by MommyL on January 5, 2015 at 11:05pm
Thank you
Comment by lemonelephant on December 8, 2014 at 8:33pm

Esmon,That's great.

Comment by Esmom on December 8, 2014 at 8:29pm
Great ideas. I sent her one of the kits just to let her know I'm thinking of her.

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