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:

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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.



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.)

Please, if you no longer want to be a part of N4M's consider NOT deleting your profile as everything you have ever posted will disappear when you delete it .  You can leave a group but don't permanently delete your profile!

Members: 13218
Latest Activity: 11 hours ago

Answers to Common Questions

New in 2022: Navy to lengthen Basic Military Training

Navy to lengthen Boot Camp - Navy Times

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. Effective August 2022 Recruits can bring their own (approved) running shoes.  (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


**NOTE: There is a virtual graduation for your Sailor that you can watch on the RTC FaceBook page.  It is posted the FRIDAY after PIR.

RTC Facebook Page - Graduation


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.  ** EDITED - LIVE PIR's RESUME 8/13/2021**

UPDATED TRAINING SCHEDULE (6/2022 - Thanks to belovedbyHim)

The Expected timeline will look like this:

Day 0 -- Travel, Arrival and "I'm Here" scripted phone call

Week 1 Day 1-7 -- Arrive Onboard RTC and begin P-days (P-days- Initial Processing Days) including 2 days of P-hold (Weekend)

Day 8 -- Begin training and mail form letter out. Look for it to arrive around 1-2 weeks later
Week 2 -- First week of Training including PT and Swim Qualifications
Week 3 -- Marlin Spike - (Line handling- How to tie up a Ship to the Pier) , First inspections and tests (Dental May be this week or next... Not Confirmed)(Form letter/ Personal letters usually arrive this week) 

Week 4 -- Confidence Chamber & Fire Fighting training
Week 5 -- Fire Arms Training    

Week 6 -7 -- More training, Drilling (Flags and Marching).

Week 8 – Battle Stations (done prior to final PFA). Your SR will call home to say they are a Sailor but they still have to pass final PFA in order to graduate.

Week 9 & 10– Warrior Training (Life skills) and Final PFA

Approx 10 Fridays from Departure they will have PIR!! If you can go you will be amazed at the change that happened in just 10 short weeks. For the time being they are also still Live Streaming the PIR ceremony.

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

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®

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.


Here is a link from Great Lakes regarding their Updated Liberty Rules during PIR weekend, effective August, 2022. (Thank you Amy for sharing this with me.)  I'll post it in a few different places.

Updated Liberty Rules for GL - August 2022


Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing PIR and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 4pm to 8pm 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.


Who can attend PIR?

RESUMING LIVE PIR - 8/13/2021 

As of 11/10/2022 PIR Proof of vaccination no longer required.

Proof of vaccination is required.

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

S.O. Contract:

Moms whose sons have an S.O. Contract headed to BUD/S there is a group for you.

It is called, BUD/S and SQT (Stages of a S.E.A.L.)


Send a friend request to NavyMom(J) for more information.

(Click on the highlighted links.)

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

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PASS Class Guidance?

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PIR Weekend Experiences - Post Covid

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Logistics when leaving for boot camp

Started by Happynurse. Last reply by TravelAddictedNavyMom Sep 21, 2023. 8 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Winski on March 19, 2013 at 4:46pm
TJCsmom thanks for sharing that!
Comment by diannep on March 19, 2013 at 4:37pm

Liz'smom:  This page has some info on the ships.  There are usually an average of 88 SRs per division to start with (some are asmoed-setback, others are discharged, but they gain others from earlier PIR groups but usually graduate with a lot less than 88).

Comment by SailorZak'sMom on March 19, 2013 at 4:19pm

My son left a week ago today, 3/12. I got "the box" yesterday. I was surprised how well I actually handled that. Just waiting for the form letter so we can start making plans for PIR.

Comment by TJCsMom on March 19, 2013 at 2:42pm

A very dear friend of mine sent this to me and I want to share it with all of you. Brings tears to my eyes....but it's beautiful!!

Comment by BeachBunny on March 19, 2013 at 1:15pm

Just got in last night from a wonderful long weekend in Great Lakes. What a great experience from the Meet n Greet, PIR, two days with my sailor, exploring Chicago and meeting some of the sailors and families.

My personal comments of the weekend…

PIR: Sarge gave plenty of parking options at his MnG,  but it was pretty easy to park in the main parking garage and a short walk(100 yards) right into the visitor center. The car line was a little confusing to get into the gate because some were lined up at the main gate on Illinois. The PIR gate is the next gate at Ohio St; the drivers were sitting on the road before the gates opened. We passed both lines went to the next signal made a U-turn to head the opposite direction of the line. When our light turned to make a left turn into the Ohio St gate, we by passed a lot of the line. Once the gates opened everyone flowed into the hall pretty good. We put our blanket on our seats and got coffee and took turns saving our spot. We walked thru the Navy Museum and respectfully looked around the hall. We sat against the wall in the lower section right in front of our division sign, which was great because I’m short and stood most of the time and wasn’t in anyone’s way but the wall… The RTC showed some videos on the screens and had a couple of groups doing expedition drills to watch which helped the time to go by pretty fast. Then the big rolling doors opened up…..:))) passed the tissue box around....

When bringing our sailor back to the base or picking up the next morning for liberty, you’ll use the Illinois St main gate. Which puts you right at the NEX and a big parking lot. Have your gate pass and ID’s ready. Even my 13 year had a State Id card, so she got into the PIR, back to the base and airports with no problem.

I finally did master driving around Chicago. Tolls were pretty easy to master and cheap, just read the signs. Toll from Midway or O hare to Great Lakes was $1.90 each way. The toll going north has a toll booth for the cash side with a person to give change. Toll into O Hare heading south from Great Lakes does not; you’ll have to have the exact amount of change to throw into a bin. If you get off the highway to get a treat or gas you’ll have to pay the toll at the exit booth in the exact change. Use the Forest Oasis exit that has no toll exit because everything is on the exit ramp and you just get right back onto the highway. Plus the food shops sit right on top of the freeway, awesome view while eating a meal, snack or resting. Roads were in great shape for the most part. It snowed the last day we were there and had no problem getting around in our rental car. The transport dept seems to be on top of keeping everything plenty clear (plus it wasn’t a super storm). I had more problems driving in Reno in the snow then I did in Chicago..:)

USO at the Navy Pier was very helpful and welcoming to families. My sailor was getting blisters from the dress shoes and we stopped in for some band-aids. Plus it was cold and he worked on some things on the computer there and we watched part of a movie and had snacks….The USO at O Hare wasn’t as positive for families on Sunday morning, plus I woke the USO personal up when I stopped in before the sailors got there. The USO person on Sunday didn’t know about the 26 sailors coming in to fly out that morning. He banded families from the USO. We found a spot to hang with our sailor for a nice visit in another part of the airport…so it worked out.

I’m so glad we went and really look forward to more experiences for our sailor as he continues his Navy journey… to A school.:))

Comment by Steph Proud AG Mom on March 19, 2013 at 12:50pm

how many divisions can ship have at one time?

Comment by Navymomx2 on March 19, 2013 at 12:05pm

That what I thought...that falls on the 5th of July.  Are there holidays in bootcamp?  hahahahahaha. 

Comment by Debi on March 19, 2013 at 11:59am

Hey Navymomx2 I know exactly how you're feeling..I too was clueless for the first SR and now with my second set to leave 6/19 I feel like a pro. LOL They usually say count 9 Fridays from the date your SR left for bootcamp so May 10 would be friday #1 and so forth..that "should" be your PIR date when you get to #9. But if he's in a push division it could be a week earlier. Only the form letter will tell you the exact date :)

Comment by Navymomx2 on March 19, 2013 at 11:51am

Good morning all:  quick question for you.  I know i will get specific info about my son's PIR in the mail, but based upon experience, if my son is leaving for RTC on Tuesday, May 7, when can expect PIR to be, especially considering 8 weeks falls around the 4th of July.  And should I expect he will ship off to A school in San Antonio the next day?  With that holiday and likely long holiday weekend around school, I am just trying to get a feel for it all.  This is my first rodeo.  My daughter leaves for RTC 8/20, so I won't be as clueless come her time.

Comment by ssbeach on March 19, 2013 at 10:36am

Hi lulu and diannep.  In a perfect world shore and sea duty rotate every three years, but it doesn't always happen.  My son-in-law has been on the same sub now for almost four years, first in Hawaii and now in Guam, and is well overdue for his rotation, but the command wants to keep the team together, so he's still there. The needs of the Navy always come first.  Also, they can opt to extend sea duty, if they'd like, and if it works for the command, so you just never know where they'll be when.


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