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."

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.)

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.



Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

To everyone with a loved one at RTC or soon to be there, we say, "Welcome!"  To those who are sticking around after PIR to help those who are just beginning this awesome journey, we say, "Thank you!"

This is a place to talk, ask questions, and share stories. It is our desire that this Group will provide the information, encouragement, and support you need while your loved one is at RTC in Great Lakes. Enjoy your time here and feel free to Comment and join in the Discussions. Be sure to check out the "Pages" to the right, located under the pictures of the Members, especially OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile), (Click "View All" to see all of them.)

Members: 12841
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Answers to Common Questions

Are there any official RTC sites?

Yes, check out and They will have lots of information for you. also has items at times. has pics of some of the recruits who give blood while at RTC. Those donations occur about 2 weeks (10 to 16 days depending on the division) before PIR.

You may also find pics in

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 will be able to see the video at If the one you want is not there, then click on a PIR video and then change the date in the URL to the date you want. You will have to change both the numerical date and the written out date in the URL. For example, if you want the video for the March 3, 2017 PIR date, then change to


Can recruits take anything to BC with them?

Recruits should go with what they have on their backs, their cell phones, and not much else. (See Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for RTC.)


What will the first day be like at BC?

See Arrival and What Happens at RTC and Ship/Division--How it Works.

How long is the "I'm here!" call and when will s/he be able to call again?

See Phone Cards and Phone Calls.


I got my recruit's address from the recruiter. Can I trust it?

Double-check the address the recruiter gave you against those at, but we strongly encourage you to wait on the form letter before sending mail to your recruit since the address provided by the recruiter prior to that can be wrong up to 11 business days or more after the recruit's arrival if the recruit failed the first attempt at the run and then passed (or failed) the second attempt and was ASMO'd to a different division (or to SEPS) or if RTC needed to move recruits for some reason. Sometimes a form letter is not mailed by accident and if it has been at least 3 calendar weeks since your recruit arrived at RTC and you do not have a form letter, then you can call the recruiter and get the address and mail letters to your recruit since the address in the system should be the correct one at that point, but be sure to double-check the address against those at or Ship/Division--How it Works


Posted March 19, 2020

Effective immediately, the U.S. Navy is suspending all Recruit Training Command (RTC), in Great Lakes, IL, and Officer Training Command (OTC), in Newport RI, formal, large-scale graduation ceremonies until further notice as part of its proactive approach to protect our mission and limit the potential spread of COVID 19.


When will the Form Letter come and what is in it?

The form letter will arrive in your regular mail around nine to fourteen business days after the recruit's arrival at RTC since it is not mailed until a division’s 1-1 Day of Training, which takes place after your recruit has taken and passed the run portion of the Baseline PFA, which is on or about the fifth business day after arrival (later if the division that your recruit was tentatively placed in upon arrival did not fill until a later date). See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT)The brochure that is included from MWRGL about hotels and other things is at RTC Friends and Family Brochure October 2017. The form letter includes your recruit's address, so now you can mail out all the letters you have been writing. There is more on this in Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.

The form letter will also tell you the date of PIR, so you can start making plans for your trip. There are many hotels in the area and there is information in the grad pack and on this site about them. If you fly in, renting a car will make your life easier. Also, if you are flying, some airlines, such as Southwest, will allow you to change your flight without a charge if something happens, so you do not have to book refundable tickets.

How long should I plan to stay in the Great Lakes area?

Arrive at least the day before PIR so you can pick up your ticket/s for PIR and also attend Sarge's Meet and Greet if you wish to do so.

If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, then plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday. If your Sailor will be flying out, then plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday to have the most time with your Sailor. (This may need to be adjusted if PIR is not on Friday.) See Saving Money PIR Weekend and PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend.


Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing PIR and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 5 pm to 10 pm the evening before PIR at the Lakehurst Event Center (go to to RSVP). Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information. His cell number is 847-212-0246. His Meet and Greet and services have been getting great reviews. Find Sarge on N4M as OldSarge.


Once you know your recruit's PIR date, be sure to join the group for that. PIR groups are posted on the Comment Wall below once they are created. 

Who can attend PIR?

Your recruit will indicate the names of up to four guests who will be permitted to receive tickets and attend PIR. RTC may change that to three guests if there is a large TG. Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket to attend PIR, but a copy of the child's birth certificate may be presented in order for the child to attend PIR. The names of the guests will be listed on the Security Access Form. Your recruit will send the Security Access Form with the form letter and it will need to be completed fully and returned to your recruit. if you do not receive the form letter, then you can download the Security Access Form and complete it and send it to your recruit, but your recruit has the final say on who will attend PIR.


GUESTS SECURITY ACCESS FORM: If you are going to be attending the graduation ceremony, you will need to fill out the security access form, which is included with your form letter. Return the form to your recruit according to the instructions. 

ONLY YOUR RECRUIT CAN CHANGE THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ACCESS LIST: Your recruit will be able to make changes to the access list throughout training. The last opportunity to make changes will be the week before graduation. If there is a change to be made to the access list (such as a name spelled incorrectly, name-swap, etc…) please communicate any changes to your recruit by mail. Recruit Training Command staff cannot change these names or release the names of those on the list. Please do not call for additional seats!

The form can also be downloaded by anyone from the website, but only the recruit has final say-so as to who will be invited. Those names are submitted and those names will be printed on tickets. All of those guests attending must be present with ID to pick up the ticket in person. No exceptions, no swapping of tickets, no changing of names during final week of graduation.

If you are attending a graduation ceremony, you MUST personally obtain your ticket, you cannot pick up tickets for others. Tickets will be distributed at the Recruit Family Welcome Center, located inside the Navy Exchange Burkey Mall, Bldg. 3452, 2650 Green Bay Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 

Additional information on ticketing is also available at (See

Once you receive your ticket, please DO NOT lose it, as this will be the only ticket you will receive. These tickets are not transferable and are serialized to each graduation attendee. If you do not have a ticket, then you will not be permitted access to the base.

The Recruit Family Welcome Center will be open on the following days and times: Thursday [10:00 AM to 7:30 PM], and Friday [5:30 AM to 8:00 AM]. ***Certain federal holidays may require adjusting days and times. Please refer to the command website for those specific updates***

Please plan accordingly so each person listed can check in to receive a ticket for the graduation ceremony. Again, if you don’t have a ticket you will NOT be allowed entry to the base. Tickets will only be issued to those guests who the graduating recruit has verified will be attending. 

Driving on to base.

Driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance or rental car agreement and graduation ticket must be ready to present to security at access points. Everyone in the car ages three and over must show their ticket to graduation. If someone in the car over the age of two does not have a ticket, they are not allowed through the gate, no exceptions.

  • NO cell phone usage while driving on base! 
  • Seat belts are required for all drivers/passengers at all times
  • Motorcycle drivers/riders MUST have proper protective clothing/equipment such helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and over the ankle hard-soled boots.
  • Recent graduates are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including motorcycles, and are NOT allowed to be a passenger on a motorcycle.

See for the Frequently Asked Questions.

What will happen PIR weekend?

See PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend and

USPS Informed Delivery - Sign up and receive an email from the US Postal Service showing what mail you will be getting each day (if available in your area).  

Informed Delivery®

Be sure to check out the Pages to the right (under the pictures of the Members) for additional information. (You will need to click "View All" to see all of them.)

Donna is no longer active on the site. Several others who have begun this journey before you are here to help. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)

Discussion Forum

San Diego spouses

Started by Proudmom314. Last reply by belovedbyHim 10 hours ago. 10 Replies

STEP program

Started by Zyphere. Last reply by lemonelephant Jul 30. 8 Replies

Any moms with sons arrival in Chicago 7/14?

Started by NavyMom1013. Last reply by belovedbyHim Jul 29. 16 Replies


Started by fatima1525. Last reply by fatima1525 Jul 27. 13 Replies

On Base ROM and letters

Started by Karen. Last reply by Chipmunk Jul 19. 11 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by partyofseven 8 hours ago

Good Evening Ladies,

Kellyrene- Hey, I read somewhere on here I thought that they might be changing the PIR's back to Friday"s. So if it say the 28th then it's going to go back. I will check the RTC page just to make sure. 

As for the thank you note we didn't have any issues with our recruiter either. My Sailor came home one week and worked with his for the week. He really enjoyed that. When he came home the next time his recruiter had been deployed so he was sad he didn't get to see him. A thank you note is a great idea.   :)

Shannon- Awe your sweet puppy. He even knows.  :) I always if you feel like crying to let it out. I know this is the hard part. Once you hear from him you will be so happy. It's this part that is the hardest. Keep writing and staying busy that will help. I did the same for mine to he wanted pictures of the dog and cats so I put paw and cat prints on one of his letters. Lol He loved it. 

It's been busy with meetings and getting ready to go back to online schooling.  :)

B'sNukeMom MMN- Awe. I know your busy. So it's always good when I get to see you on here. Thanks again for helping me the other week. I appreciate it.  :)

Gigi- Big hugs to you. Mine loved those questionnaires when I sent them to him. He said the same about not having his wisdom teeth either. Lol He also said he was glad he had his done at home. 

OBKY- Whoo hoo it won't be long now. That's what I like to do with my corn as well. It's so good that way.

They told us a week ahead of PIR to stop sending mail. So the last one I sent mine was the Sat before. So it was a whole week before. He was able to send me another one since mail day was on the Sunday. And I had already told him that he wouldn't get a lot of mail that week so I just doubled up on his last letter. And then the ones I wrote to him I just brought with me to the PIR. He seemed to be comforted that he was still getting letters if that makes sense. 

You can always write and then give them to him when you do get to see him. I wouldn't mail any the week of PIR thou he won't get them in time. 

Have a great evening ladies, stay safe and healthy out there.

God Bless.



Comment by Chipmunk 9 hours ago

Kellyrene - My only thought is - either we had our information incorrect that they were changing PIR day to Thursday, or they changed it back and we haven't found out. And by we, I really am not referring to anyone in particular. I have not looked at the RTC website to see if there is anything on the page with the TG information to know if something is stated there. 

I would say yes to the Thank You note. My sailor always appreciates knowing that he and his work is appreciated!!  You never know when your kind words will make someone's day.

OBKY - I agree with LadyBluefire send your letters sooner rather than later. 

Comment by belovedbyHim 10 hours ago

Kellyrene -- The Navy tries to spot the leaders too. It’s often positions other than RPOC that earn special recognition but while his original goal may have been to get through unnoticed, now that he has been noticed he needs to switch goals to doing the very best at whatever task he is asked, be it MA or RPOC or Laundry officer!!
The Sandboxx notification is as much for new moms as for you. I will likely mention it every time Sandboxx comes up so that others don’t have the same expierience I did. (Long story short-ish, A girlfriend sent a sandboxx letter and several sailors ended up living in an airport hanger eating from a vending machine for 4 days. My sailor was held at his deployment location for an extra couple of weeks and came home in the middle of the night to no fanfare. We had planned to be there to welcome him home but they delay cancled those plans. All because of a Sandboxx booty call!! It was not a thing when my sailor was a recruit.).


OBKY-- I’d send them sooner than later. There is no way to know for sure how quickly they’d get there. 7 days is risky we usually suggest stopping about now (2 weeks out) but that was when you would most likely see them at PIR.

Comment by OBKY 11 hours ago

Hey ya'll!  I'm shucking corn, cooking it, and freezing for the winter, and before school gets ramped up.  IT is making the days seem shorter.  14 more before I get to see my SR's PIR!  It's funny how it feels like forever, and then it's here.  

I'm wondering about mail in the last week.  I was thinking of sending him 5 or 6 cards to him (#ed) and telling him to open 1 a day for the last week. It takes his mail about 4 days to get to me, but not sure how long mine takes to get to him.  Ya'll think I'm safe if I send them all about 7 days from PIR?

Comment by Gigi 11 hours ago

Thank you all so much for the Love Ladies!

Ladybluefire - Aunt said she will definitely try the cabbage juice. Appreciate that info. 

Chipmunk - my son has no wisdom tooth as well. 
Beloved- laughed about the wisdom tooth when I sent back the questionnaire from my son. He said- I don’t know I don’t have one (LoL) 

Shannon - hug tight.  A crying momma here too. He is my one and only.  But I made it, especially when you talk to your son and learned that he’s doing good and happy and not regretting  with his decision of joining the Navy. You’ll feel nothing but proud. 

Comment by Kellyrene 11 hours ago

Belovedbyhim/ Ladyfireblue- I would be so proud of him if he gets promoted, and still think his master at arms position is pretty cool too. He didn't sound so excited about it in his letter though and that worried me. I have to say this about him, he is a natural leader. It's funny how some kids are like that, I can spot them as young as eight grade at school. Just something in their personality. As for sandboxx I do know it wont work after bootcamp and I need to get writing on it cause I still have 3 credits left and only 3 weeks left!!!!

Velvetenor- my SR was super excited about planks too. He always tried to get me to outlast him when we went to gym to work out together.  I never won. Ever. Lol!

Chipmunk- I am confused.  Our form letter says his PIR is kn Aug 28. Did they change them? 

Also thinking about how I need to send a  thank you note to our recruiter.  We didn't have any of the issues some of y'all seem to be having.  He stayed very connected to the recruits and made them work hard before shipping out. My SR grew to love him and served as a leader in the dep program  too. 

Have a great night everyone. Blessings to all!

Comment by Chipmunk 12 hours ago

Gigi - Hugs and love being sent your way and to your Aunt as well!

LadyBluefire - I would suggest your son work on his planks! It sounds like the are doing one or both!! I have my phone charging - thought it was a call - but just a spam!! 

Shannon - the scented item from your son sounds like a good idea for your dog! Staying busy helped me!!

As for wisdom teeth, my husband never had any, so some of my children are blessed as well, one of them being my sailor, so he did not have to have his removed, but as BelovedbyHim said, he had to stand extra watches because so many were SIQ in his division. I think he almost wished he had wisdom teeth to have pulled versus the middle of the night watch duties!!! 

Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN 15 hours ago

partyofseven - yes, I'm on here everyday!  I just spend more time in the nuke moms group and of course approving new members.  I see what's happening over here but for the most part you all seem to have this group under control!  It's in good hands ;-D

Comment by belovedbyHim 15 hours ago

Gigi -- I am sorry for your loss.

 ALM1972 -- It happens. You found us though and We are glad you are here. You may not feel it right now but I promise, you will be OK!! We haven’t lost a mom to Boot Camp, We won’t start with you!! How can we help? Are you worried about missing your SR? Are you worried about COVID in BC? Are you worried your SR won’t be able to make it? Can you put words to what is making you feel “not ok”? We will do our best to help you find your sealegs and navigate these unknown waters!

B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN-- thanks. I knew you would be able to better advise!!

Shannon-- You are in the weeds of the Great silence!! Yes this part is super hard!! We are here if you need us even if it’s just to say how much you miss him. If you have a towel, sheet, pillow, pillow case, or t-shirt that hasn’t been washed yet you may want to give it to his dog as a comfort item. It strangely does help to calm them down.
Only a Million times? That’s good!!! It wasn’t 2 million!!

On the Wisdom teeth in BC -- It does not impact training since they plan for it. Most SR’s have them out there if they were not removed sooner. They have 2 days SIQ and are given pain meds and allowed/ required to stay in Bed. Some see it as a chance to catch up on much needed sleep!! MY Sailor did not have his out in BC and had to pick up the slack for all the others who were SIQ (Sick In Quarters). He had his out right before his 2nd deployment (about 4 years into his Navy career!) He had them out on a Thursday, had Friday- Sunday off and stood watch on Monday with nothing more than tylenol. He had 1 dry socket and had it packed Monday afternoon then went back on duty.  It was not as bad as he feared.

Comment by belovedbyHim 16 hours ago

KitaJ -- I'm sorry her recruiter did not better explain that she should not have had her teeth out without prior clearance.  Due to COVID most SR's are not having them pulled in BC right now unless they are a problem or an easy out.  (and even then they may not.)  For other DEP Moms -- Please keep in mind that they need permission for ANY life change!! (Piercing, tattoo, wisdom teeth) And they need to report Immediately any injury or illness (Broken bone, appendix, even sunburn and bruising are reportable depending on how severe.)  My son got a bit of Sunburn at his Graduation since it was outside then we went to a group grad party, Also outside and he didn't reapply sun screen to the back of his neck and ears.  They blistered and peeled.  He got fussed at by his recruiter when he showed up for his DEP meeting a week later. Of course by then it was mostly healed but still....


© 2020   Created by Navy for Moms Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service