If your recruit is injured or ill and sent to the Recruit Convalescent Unit (RCU), then your recruit will call and let you know what has happened and that s/he will not be having PIR as scheduled. If your recruit is sent to the RCU, then s/he will most likely go on to have Battle Stations-21 (BST) at some point and go on to be a US Navy Sailor.
If your recruit is sent to the RCU, join RCU SHIP 04 DIV 741 for more information. Also see http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=54872. The recruit's contract may change while in the RCU depending on the needs of the Navy and what is available. Most are able to continue with their current contract, but contracts have changed for some. Your recruit will be your best source for information on his/her medical condition and what is happening as far as his/her contract.
The address for the RCU is:
Ship 04 DIV 741
3600 Ohio Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088-7103
Recruits in the RCU have the same restrictions as far as mail as other recruits in boot camp. They are able to receive cards and letters, but no care packages. Some have been given permission to receive insoles or other items, but only send items that your recruit specifically requests. Books and magazines have been permitted in the past, but those are no longer permitted and having them could result in loss of phone calls or other privileges for any recruit caught with them. Write often and encourage others to write as well. See Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.
Recruits in the RCU are able to write every day, not just during holiday routine. They receive mail during Mail Call every weekday, Monday through Friday.
There is no set time for how long a recruit will be in the RCU. Recruits who are sent to the RCU may spend a few days to several months there depending on how severe the condition is and how long it takes them to be declared Fit for Full Duty (FFD). Your recruit will be the best source for information on his/her situation.
Some recruits will rejoin their division or join another division, sometimes in their own TG or in a TG with a later PIR date. This happens most for those who spend 2 weeks or less in the RCU and most often for those who are sent to the RCU in the first few weeks after arriving at RTC, but it is possible for any recruit who is sent to the RCU to be placed in a division with a PIR date in order to continue training once the recruit is declared FFD.
Some recruits will continue with training in the RCU and then in FIT when declared Fit for Full Duty (FFD) and go on to BST and then to "A" School or training without PIR. Once your recruit is declared FFD s/he will given a deadline in which to pass the PFA or be sent to SEPS.
Before being declared FFD, the recruit who has had an injury and/or surgery that requires physical therapy (PT) must go through all four phases of physical therapy. I may not have these exactly right, but this is close:
Phase One: the first 1-2 weeks after an injury or surgery---the goal of physical therapy (PT) is to reduce swelling, control pain and to get him/her moving a little bit. During this period, s/he may be prescribed medication for pain and inflammation control. PT often focuses on minimal range of motion exercises.
Phase Two--next several weeks (seldom less than 2 weeks)--the goal of PT is to increase stability and motion. PT often focuses on strength training and range of motion exercises.
Phase Three--2 to 8 weeks or more--the goal of PT is to restore the recruit to preinjury activity and performance level. PT often focuses on balance, stretching and strength training. The recruit may be put on Light Limited Duty (LLD) during this phase.
Phase Four--the recruit returns to previous activity level while continuing to protect the injured part from injury. The PT may give the recruit exercises and advice to help to prevent reinjury. The recruit must be able to run 7 laps in 7 minutes before being released to finish BC. The recruit is declared Fit for Full Duty (FFD).
Some who are sent to the RCU may end up being separated for various reasons once they are stabilized. Some of those who are placed in FIT are unable to pass the PFA and end up being separated. See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT). If your recruit is sent to SEPS, then join Ship 5 Moms(Formerly Ship 17) and see FAQ about SEPS and http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html#separations for more information on SEPS.
Recruits who are moved to the RCU are generally able to make calls every other week (usually on Sunday afternoon), but those calls can be lost if someone in the division messes things up for the division or if the recruit made a call that week following a medical test or other appointment. Calls are made from the phone banks next to the NEX, so your recruit will need a phone card to make calls. The recruit must also be able to safely make the trip to the NEX phone banks. The phone policy can change if a new Chief takes over in the RCU. See Phone Cards and Phone Calls.
There is more information on the RCU and more for you in What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology).
The above information is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.