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 as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**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).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer 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:

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.



Ship/Division--How it Works

TG stands for Training Group (the group of Recruits that graduate on the same day). TG 01 is supposed to be the training group that begins training the first week of October when the Navy fiscal year begins, meaning that most of the recruits in TG 01 should arrive the last week of September. There could potentially be 52 TG's in a year since there are 52 weeks in a calendar year, but RTC skips about 4 weeks each year. In 2019 RTC continued through TG 55 so that TG 01 of the 2020 Navy fiscal year would be the TG that begins training the first week of October.  When a week is skipped and there is no PIR, then the next TG number is advanced to catch up with the week of the Navy fiscal year either immediately or at some point soon after that so that there are times when consecutive TG's do not have consecutive numbers. The smallest TG I've seen had 4 divisions (11/23/2011) and the largest TG I've seen had 16 divisions (02/09/2018 and 02/08/2019). The Drill Hall was built to accommodate up to 16 divisions. 

A division is approximately 88 recruits who live and train together. There can be as few as 55 to as many as 100 recruits in a division. The division number is important and will help mail get to your recruit when included in the address and will help you find your new Sailor at PIR. There are three types of divisions at RTC: Rifle Divisions. 800 Divisions and 900 Divisions. (See The division numbers continue with consecutive numbers until the next fiscal year. When an issue arises that results in fewer recruits being shipped to RTC than was expected, then there may be skipped pairs of numbers within one or more TG's. The Rifle Divisions begin with 001 each year for TG 01 and go through the 300's by the end of the Navy fiscal year. Most of the recruits at RTC will be in a Rifle Division. 800 divisions are the divisions for the special warfare candidates. Division 801 is the first 800 division, but it may or may not be in TG 01.  900 divisions are the performance divisions. Division 901 is the first 900 Division and is in TG 01. There are 3 types of 900 divisions. There are the Band/Bluejacket Choir/Drill team, otherwise known as Triple Threat (the musicians, singers, and drill team), the Sticks (those who carry the state flags), and the Ship Staff/Honor Guard (the body snatchers, those who guard various things...). (See 800 and 900 Divisions.) Each division, except the 800 and 900 divisions (unless there are 2 of them in a TG), trains with a Brother Division. Brother Divisions are two consecutive divisions beginning with an odd number (001-002 for example). 

When a group of new Recruits arrives at RTC, they go through a simple sort - those with a Musician (MU) rating and those with music or flag/drill experience are assigned to a 900 division if those are needed. Those with contracts as candidates to Naval Special Warfare operator ratings are moved aside to be placed in the 800 division/s or for females to be placed together in a rifle division. There are usually only 25 or fewer 800 divisions a year, so not every TG will have one, but some TG's will have one to up to four 800 divisions. (See 800 and 900 Divisions.) The remaining recruits are assigned pretty randomly, mostly as they arrive, to one to four additional divisions. When a large number of recruits arrive on the same day as happens during the summer months, that could change to a larger number of divisions that are started on the day of arrival, but seldom are more than four divisions filled on a particular day. In that case, recruits with similar ratings will end up in the same TG, but not necessarily in the same division. Once one division is full, they start filling another, so divisions often end up with groups of recruits from only a few areas. The Recruits' ratings do not influence which division they will be placed in except for those placed in an 800 or a 900 division. 

Males are placed in either an integrated or all male division depending on the sort as they arrive. Females are placed in integrated divisions, containing both males and females. Division 317 in 2012 was an all female division, but that was a rare event up to that point and was to honor the W.A.V.E.S. Beginning in the summer of 2013, each TG was to have one all female division, which would be the sister division to an all male brother division, but the practice was discontinued so that it is now rare for there to be an all female division. 800 divisions are all male divisions since it would be rare for there to be enough female special ops candidates to fill a compartment. (See 800 and 900 Divisions.) During COVID-19 males are placed in all male divisions and females are placed in all female divisions.

Sometimes a division fills and there are only a few recruits remaining from the arrival group; they are held as the first recruits for the next division; or there is a division that is not quite filled and they must wait until the next group of Recruits arrives to fill the division. When recruits have to wait for more recruits to arrive in the next week to fill the division, they may be in what is called a Push Division. Some of the Recruits in those divisions will be at RTC for 7 1/2 weeks (8 Fridays) rather than the 8 1/2 weeks (9 Fridays) that most of the others in the TG and some in their division will be there. That is more likely to happen for those arriving on a Monday or Tuesday.

Sometimes there are Recruits who are unlucky enough to be held over and are placed in the TG for the next week rather than in the TG for the week they arrived in and are at RTC 9 1/2 weeks (10 Fridays). That is more likely to happen for those arriving on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. That happens more in November and December when a large number of recruits ship early due to the Navy Recruiting Holiday Stand-down. It also happens when there is a week without a PIR or if storms cause recruits to arrive on a different day than the day they were sworn in. It also happens when a large number of recruits are shipped in the summer and early fall because of the need to ship recruits who signed up at the beginning of their Senior year of High School.

Those first 4-11 days after the new recruits arrive are called Processing Days (P-days) or Phase 1. P-days can last up to 14 days for some recruits if they have to wait for additional recruits to arrive to fill a division. Although recruits are assigned to a ship and division upon arrival, they do not move to that ship until P-days are over and sometimes things will happen that will change a recruit's assignment or that will cause the division to be housed in a different ship; this is why it is possible that a recruiter might give you an address a day or two after your recruit arrived at RTC indicating a particular ship and division and then when you get the form letter it is different. For this reason, we encourage you to wait on the form letter before sending letters.

700 Divisions: The 700 divisions are for recruits who are not currently on track to have PIR for some reason. Recruits who are Sick in Quarters in the RCU are in DIV 741. Recruits who are in the RCU awaiting the PFA are in Divisions 748 or 749. Recruits who are in FIT are in a 700 division. Recruits who are in SEPS are in a 700 division. There are other 700 divisions for other programs at RTC as well. 

The Ship number identifies the building their barracks are in. Each building also has a name of a famous US ship, but few refer to them by the name. It is the division number that is the most important and will help you to find your Sailor on the day of PIR, but the ship number is important when you send them letters because it helps to get the letters to them.

There are 14 different "ships" (barracks), and 12 or 16 divisions in each ship, and every one of them has a different address. Each of the 12 or 16 compartments within the ship can house up to 88 recruits and each ship can house up to 1,300 recruits. Each ship has its own galley, serving 3 nutritious meals a day for up to 1,300 recruits and staff members, as well as multiple classrooms. There are four sleeping compartments on each floor (deck) of the ship. The compartments are designated with a letter A through H (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, and Hotel) plus either 01 or 02 after that--A-01, B-02, and F-01 for example. When there are integrated divisions (those with both males and females), the males of the 2 brother divisions share a compartment and the females of the 2 brother divisions bunk together across the hall from them.  The divisions are separated within each compartment. We seldom see more than 14 divisions within a ship at one time. The older ships appear to only contain 12 compartments. Sometimes a recruiter will give the ship name and/or a building number instead of or as well as a Ship number; you do not need to include the building number in the address, but you do need to include the Ship number. Only information in bold below--along with the division number--must be included when writing to your recruit.

Ship 01 (Bldg. 7122): USS Pearl Harbor (LSD-52) xxxx Kansas Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3122 (This is the barracks where your recruit will sleep during P-days. Your recruit will not receive mail in this ship.)

Ship 02 (Bldg. 7105): USS Reuben B. James (FFG-57) 3600 Ohio Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-7105 or 60088-3156

Ship 03 (Bldg. 7104): USS Hopper (DDG-70) 3600 Ohio Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3156 or 60088-7103

Ship 04 (Bldg. 7103): USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) 3600 Ohio Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-7103

Ship 05 (Bldg. 7102): USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) 3610 Illinois Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3118

Ship 06 (Bldg. 7101): USS Constitution 3510 Illinois Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3119

Ship 07 (Bldg. 7117): USS Chicago (SSN-721) 3405 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3401

Ship 09 (Bldg. 7116): USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) 3415 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3415 or 60088-3515

Ship 10 (Bldg. 7115): USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 3425 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3425 or 60088-3525

Ship 11 (Bldg. 7114): USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) 3505 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3505

Ship 12 (Bldg. 7113): USS Triton (SS-201 & SSN-586) 3515 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3515

Ship 13 (Bldg. 7112): USS Marvin G Shields (FF-1066) 3420 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3520

Ship 14 (Bldg. 7111): USS Arizona (BB-39) 3410 Sailor Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3510 or 60088-3410

Ship 17 (Bldg. 7121): USS Mason (DDG-87) 2705 Kansas Street, Great Lakes, IL 60088-3140 (This Ship is seldom used for recruits.)

Ship 1 has separate compartments for males and females and is where your recruit will sleep and spend some time during P-days.

Ship 2 houses the 900 Divisions, which can be integrated (Triple Threat and Sticks/Flags) or all male (Ship Staff/Honor Guard) divisions. It contains all of the music practice rooms and instruments. Ship 2 has 16 compartments. Usually one 900 division per PIR group lives here, but occasionally a TG will have two 900 divisions and at least once there was no 900 division in a TG. Join 900's division sailors. (See 800 and 900 Divisions for more information.)

Ship 3 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 3 has 16 compartments.

Ship 4 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 4 is also the RCU-Recruit Convalescent Unit-where sick or injured recruits go to heal and be cycled back into another TG. (See Recruit Convalescent Unit (RCU) and join RCU SHIP 04 DIV 741 for more information.) The STEP division is also located here. Recruits who fail both attempts at the initial PFA by only a few seconds are placed in STEP, which is located in Ship 04 DIV 746 in hopes that they will pass in a few days or be separated. (See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT).) The FIT Division is also located here. Recruits who have failed the Official Physical Fitness Assessment (most often the swim or run) are sent here for intensive training in order to pass the test prior to having Battle Stations-21 (BST). (See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) and join fit program for more information.) When writing to a recruit in a FIT Division, use the above address for this Ship, but put "FIT Division- Male" or "FIT Division-Female" in place of the Division Number until you know which 700 division number to use. The FAST and PASS programs are also here. (See 

Ship 5 is for those recruits in the process of being discharged from Boot Camp. It takes 2-3 weeks to be processed out once a recruit is moved to Ship 5 (SEPS). (Join Ship 5 Moms(Formerly Ship 17) and see FAQ about SEPS and for more information.) When addressing letters, use the above address for this Ship, but put "SEPS Male" or "SEPS Female" in place of the Division Number. The address may also include a compartment number, B-02 for a male for example. Ship 5 is also for THU-Temporary Holding Unit-where recently graduated Sailors go if they are on hold for "A" school--those Sailors with a contract for Culinary Specialist (CS) often find themselves in the THU for one to four weeks after PIR. Those in the THU are in separate quarters from those being discharged. Few graduating Sailors are in THU since the change to Friday and Saturday Departures, but some will be sent here while awaiting clearance or to conduct a special physical or while waiting to class up if there is no housing available at the "A" School or for some other reason. Sailors who have passed Battle Stations-21 (BST) after being in FIT or in the RCU go to the THU before heading to "A" School or training with the next PIR group. (See Federal Health Care Center blood collections are also done on Ship 5 when recruits choose to donate blood while at RTC. (See, and

There is more information on FAST, FIT, PASS, RCU, SEPS, and the THU and much more in What does ??? mean? (A Guide to Navy Abbreviations and Terminology).  

Ship 6 houses both integrated and all male divisions and was previously the RCU. 

Ship 7 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 7 was not used for recruits between the 08/17/2012 TG and March 2018. Recruits are now being housed here again.

Ship 9 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship_9_USS_John_F_Kennedy_The_Story_and_History.pdf Ship 9 is not currently being used for recruits. (No recruits have been housed in Ship 9 since the 10/03/2014 TG.)

Ship 10 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 10 was not used for recruits between the 08/19/2011 TG and August 2019. Recruits are now being housed here again.

Ship 11 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 11 has 16 compartments. Ship_11_USS_Kearsarge_The_Story_and_History.pdf

Ship 12 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 12 has 16 compartments. Ship_12_USS_Triton_The_Story_and_History.pdf

Ship 13 houses only all male divisions. Ship 13 has 16 compartments. Ship 13 was not used for recruits between the 10/02/2015 TG and April 2019. Recruits are now being housed here again. Ship_13_USS_Shields_The_Story_and_History_Part_1_of_2.pdf and Ship_13_USS_Shields_The_Story_and_History_Part_2_of_2.pdf

Ship 14 houses both integrated and all male divisions. Ship 14 has 16 compartments. Ship_14_USS_Arizona_The_Story_and_History.pdf

Ship 17 is used as the In-processing barracks for those in the NAVET/OSVET Program. Ship 17 was also used for THU and SEPS years ago.

Any ship that houses integrated divisions could be used to house an all female division when there is one.

Four other ships that are important for your recruit are the USS Marlinespike, the USS Chief, the USS Wisconsin, and the USS Trayer. The USS Marlinespike is where recruits learn basic seamanship, line-handling, shipboard watch and teamwork. The USS Chief is used to introduce a recruit to the concepts of shipboard damage control, firefighting, and chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) defense. The USS Wisconsin is where recruits learn the basics of firearm handling with a 9mm pistol on the base's simulated firing range. The USS Trayer is used for Battle Stations-21 (BST). It is an award-winning destroyer mock up that uses special effects technology from the theme park industry to simulate shipboard emergencies as a capstone test of recruits' skills and teamwork.

Your recruit will spend some time during P-days on the USS Red Rover for medical and dental exams and procedures and receive his/her glasses if those are needed. (See

If your recruit becomes sick or injured, s/he may visit the USS Tranquillity. (See The USS Tranquillity is a branch of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) and recruits may be taken there if needed.

If your recruit requires additional dental work, s/he will get that on board the USS Osborne. (See

This PowerPoint by Craig that will show you where everything is and will give you more information on RTC.  (Craig is retired Navy and runs and is also on this site.)  The information at is within the public domain and is allowed to be posted.

Some may encourage you to change your Username to include your recruit's Ship and Division number while your Recruit is in BC, but be cautious with that if you choose to do so and do not do it if your recruit is in an 800 division. Check out OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes To Your Profile) for more on making this change and other changes you may want to make. Although including the Ship and Division number in your Username helps to find others in the same division, if the Chiefs and/or RDC's are checking out the site, this draws attention to the division number, so you may want to consider removing that from your Username once you have made contact with others with loved ones in the same division.


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

The PDF documents with The Story and History of the ships are thanks to Craig.

Last updated 08/072020


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

Comment by lemonelephant on September 27, 2014 at 5:49pm

Dalleen, the recruit chooses who to send everything to.

Comment by Dalleen on September 27, 2014 at 8:57am
Does the Navy require the form letter to be sent to parents or is it the recruits choice? My son is older than most (26) and mailed his box to his girlfriend's home. She has communicated with him since his arrival so I'm assuming he will probably choose to send her the form letter. She is very good about communicated with me, but lately I've been feeling left out.
Comment by lemonelephant on February 15, 2014 at 8:09pm

GRU took darsatm, it's the Navy. Perhaps there were Ships 8, 15, and 16 at one time.

Comment by ⚓ darsatm ⚓ on February 15, 2014 at 3:53pm

why is there no Ship 8 or ship 15 and 16?

Comment by lemonelephant on July 15, 2013 at 2:47pm

TNmomof8, Use the address in the return address. It agrees with the above.

Comment by TNmomof8 on July 15, 2013 at 2:31pm

Got my letter.  Inside address says ship 13 div 333 ...3515 Sailor Drive, GL, IL 60088-3515 However, the envelope he sent it in the return address is  3420 Sailor Drive, GL, IL 60088-3520.  Which is correct??? 

Comment by lemonelephant on July 14, 2013 at 8:32pm

Jakes Mom, mail with the wrong address MAY get to your recruit (sometimes several weeks later), it MAY be returned to the sender, or it MAY go to who knows where (a few letters never got to the recruit or sender). If the Ship and Division numbers are correct (even with the wrong street address), then the letters are more likely to make it to the SR than one or both is wrong. It is very important not to include anything other than just a letter or greeting card in mail sent before receiving the form letter if you do send mail. The addresses above are correct for the Ships. (See more within Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.)

Comment by Jakes Mom (Ship 11 Div 344) on July 14, 2013 at 7:33pm

I received an address from my SR's recruiter.  I understand that there is a chance of the address being incorrect.  Will my SR still receive the mail if it's incorrect?

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