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.

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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.)

Members: 12896
Latest Activity: 24 minutes 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.

***New news just out today (9/25/19) from the US Navy Recruit Training Command FaceBook page - regarding "THE BOX":
Attention families and friends of RTC: Previously, upon arrival to boot camp, recruits would box up their civilian belongings and ship it to their choice of destination. Our new procedure now has those boxes being stored locally and will be returned to the recruits the day before graduation. The new procedure went into effect this week beginning with Div. 409 in Training Group 52.

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

Still in tears...

Started by Navymom1975. Last reply by hugabugs on Thursday. 17 Replies

Basic training electronic device

Started by JaneNavyMom. Last reply by Chipmunk Oct 13. 5 Replies

PIR 10.16.20?

Started by goodchoicesmom. Last reply by Chipmunk Oct 4. 9 Replies

Boot Camp - SHIP: 12 DIV: 394

Started by MaterNauta. Last reply by MaterNauta Oct 3. 20 Replies


Started by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN. Last reply by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN Oct 1. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by MaterNauta 24 minutes ago

LadyBluefire: it is so good to hear that you see your baby!!!! Praise the Lord for group chats!! And congratulations for a 4.95 on their BS-21! Wow, we civilians will certainly be well taken care of by our United States Navy Sailors!!!

Catskill Mountain Gere: CONGRATULATIONS on your SAILOR!!!!

B’sNukeMoM: Re: invisible. I get it… It’s like my extra pounds, but in reverse… they are not there, but they are “visible.”

Phoenixmom: such soul-nourishing prayers… As always!

NewMilmom2020: Thank you for tweaking and sharing that prayer!!

Shoosh: Woohoo!! Letter coming!!!

C’sMom: Rain? What is that. Asking for a Californian friend…

Shanny: “garbage does not go in the garbage can” My goodness!! That sounds like me when I used to tell my children “if you break you legs, don’t come running to me!” LOL!!!

Northwoodsmom: “Now that wasn't the son that left for the Navy.” What a moving post… I want to believe that he had those virtues all along. He just needed the right circumstances to show them!!

Wishing you all a peace-filled week. My prayers, blue candle, and blue lights are still on for this upcoming week!!


Comment by VintageGal 2 hours ago
Chipmunk- thank you so much! Here we go!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend :)

Phoenixmom - I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! I have a feeling you’re having a great time with friends and family and watching your football games :)

I’m reading Before We Were Yours, with a cup of orange spice tea next to an open window with a cool breeze. My idea of a Sunday afternoon :) awwwwe lol
Comment by Chipmunk 2 hours ago

Good Afternoon everyone! 

Regarding the falling asleep, my sailor has told me of several times during BC where he was able to sleep while marching!! Not sure if he was actually as effective at that as he thinks he was or not. During his schooling, he would also stand at the back of class to stay awake and take notes. My son who use to think he could survive on 6 hours of sleep, now makes it a priority to do his best at 8 hours of sleep, to stand his 12 hour watches. And he has learned how to switch his sleep cycles as well, much better than I can, to change his duty time.

Northwoodsmom - You will get there. AntiM commented that they are not "civilians" anymore and the hardest thing is remembering that while our kids are still our own kids, their lives right now are owned by the military!

Hugs and prayers for all of you waiting on your sailor calls this week!!! 

Comment by VintageGal 3 hours ago
Kristel2400- I take those sentiments and send them right back to you! So close!
OH NO! I Bet you felt bad for your SR but then I bet you let out a little chuckle... oh man! That’s the military! I know these kids get so tired because these days are so long. I bet he now sits awake like he’s had a pot of coffee after all that. I know these kids have come so far. My son said that his group had to go to IT a couple times but it was a bit muffled so I wasn’t sure exactly why. I’m thinking that they’ll be in BST on Tuesday or Wednesday because they’re fifth to last in their graduating DIV. :) :) :)
Comment by Kristel2400 3 hours ago

@Vintage!! I KNOW!! I feel like this week is gonna be super stressful for us. I’m terrified especially bc of what just happ with Csmom! One week to go and sent back?!! Jesus that’s horrible. My heart aches for her & her SR. I know mine won’t be able to take another bout of ROM. I did get a letter this week but it was dated 10/11... so everything he wrote was what he told me on the phone call. Omgggg ...he fell asleep sitting up and the RDC was in his face yelling his name and he didn’t budge. When he did come to, he had an RDC on his left and on his right. He said I knew I was screwed. Lol His punishment was to sit in the middle of the room and shine his shoes.  ....a lot less than what I (and he) would’ve imagined!! They told him if there was a fire, he would’ve been dead. SMH!! So here’s a funny story.... when he was in class (hs) and was told the US Navy recruiters were coming in to present, his teacher WARNED the recruiters that they should “watch this one” bc he’ll fall asleep. This was THE ONLY presentation he stayed awake and interested in.....and here we are....4 days from USN graduation!! OOOOH LORD....I pray we’re good til then. Congrats on your SR being chosen as a leader! That’s GREAT! Keep me updated gurl! I think mine said he will be somewhere in the middle while marching soooo I’ll be watching the recording over & over like a football game film. I wonder when we actually get their pictures. Ok one day at a time. I’ll message you when this is over and remind you when it’s ok to EXHALE. ❤️

Comment by VintageGal 4 hours ago

Good morning everyone :), 

Partyofseven- it sounds like you had a fun night with your grandson :) did you get some snuggles? Lol I love curling up with my nieces and watching a movie. 

Northwoodsmom- It’s so wonderful to hear of the positive effects and the maturity! Thanks for sharing! 

ladybluefire- I know what you mean! I analyzed this boy in the recruit training pictures, who wasn’t my son, for about two days! I have a feeling we’re not the only ones you’ve done that LOL I think about all four children that you’ll be tracking and sending letters to... wow! :) 

kristel2400 - hey lady! Here we go! I was telling party that I just want to hold my breath until it’s all over! Have you gotten any new news from your SR. Since they’re in the same division! :) In my son’s last letter he said that he got asked to be the RPOC but I have no idea if he is. I can’t imagine that he’d turn it down. That’s not his style. And he was a lead where he worked so cross my fingers that he’ll be where I can see him in graduation.I only say that because I think when you hold certain jobs you’re upfront or on the side I don’t know.

Shanny- I guess this is where the “hurry up and wait” comes into play LOL

Csmom- Thinking about you this morning. I went back and was able to read your entire post from a couple of days ago. 
Oh lady I wish I can hug you right now. Your mother sounds like she has been a strong woman throughout her long life. I pray that your mother is comfortable and without pain at this time. I pray for peace for your heart and the memories, that you find comfort in them. 

Comment by Kristel2400 5 hours ago SR showed symptoms of a cold and was sent back to ROM. He tested negative for COVID but was held in ROM for another 2 weeks (for a total of 4 weeks in ROM). He was put into a different division. Not sure if it was different for anyone else.  

Comment by Kristel2400 5 hours ago

Hey ladies! I have some catching up to do but wanted to drop in & say hello!! This coming week is PIR for myself and Vintage! I know we are both extremely excited. I hope we’re able to see them in either the grad video or pics. My SR sent back a letter using the Sandboxx letterhead & envelope they provided .... it took forEVER to get here. Weird. Wow !!! on the garbage can tip...I’m going to say thank you from our SRs too, I’m sure they’ll appreciate the heads up on that one. Anyways, have a GREAT WEEK! Love to all❤️

Comment by LadyBluefire 6 hours ago

Shanny = my #3's orders are report to PDS on 10/23. He won't graduate A school til early November, lol.

That garbage can sounds like entrapment to me, lol!

Sending you a PM

Comment by Shanny 6 hours ago

LBF:  oh the orders...  I have had a countdown on my phone for his A School graduation based on his orders...  his orders say he is to report to his duty station November 5th. He has been at A School since September 28th. (PIR 9/24). He hasn’t even STARTED classes yet!  I am learning to set no expectations on dates and plans or even official orders 

they have a small waste basket (kind of like you may have in the bathroom) And they have to keep a garbage bag in it. But they aren’t supposed to use it. So strange!  I laughed when he went off about it. This is a kid whose room was always a maze of pop bottles and food wrappers. 


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