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 mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow 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. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

...and visit - America's Navy and 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:

Latest Activity

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: 12735
Latest Activity: 1 hour 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


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)You can find a copy of the current form letter in the Page, The Form Letter. 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.

***New news just out today (9/25/19) from the US Navy Recruit Training Command FaceBook page:  NO MORE BOX BEING SENT HOME
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 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, 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 new 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 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 on our website 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 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.

Please ensure that those who check-in to receive their graduation tickets are the same as those listed on the access list. Tickets will ONLY be issued to those individuals (each individual MUST pick up their own ticket). During the check-in process we will do our best to provide information about recruit training, the graduation ceremony, where to buy Navy pride memorabilia, and any other questions you might have.  

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

Disturbing news

Started by Jeanie. Last reply by Chipmunk 14 hours ago. 2 Replies

Phone call before PIR?

Started by Leesa. Last reply by Leesa on Wednesday. 13 Replies

Ship 088

Started by Aquasonic. Last reply by Aquasonic Jan 11. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Chipmunk 10 hours ago

B'sNukeMom - My husband always reminds us that you never mess with the gate sentry, you always comply!!  What an unfortunate situation that I am sure unnerved many people and delayed PIR. Just a reminder when we are visiting our sailors or any military base, "Do as instructed!" "Show ID!"

Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN 10 hours ago

The gate situation turned out to be an "unauthorized entry by an employee who failed to follow directions of the gate sentry".  Everything is good now!

Comment by Phoenixmom 11 hours ago

Here are the links to the current PIR groups: Please click on the link and join the group for your recruits graduation date.

Your request to join the group is not automatic and must be approved. Approval to join the group is generally the same day.

PIR: January 31, 2020 TG 10 15 Divisions (057 - 070, and 910)

PIR January 31, 2020 will be allowed only 3 guests

PIR: February 07, 2020 TG 11 14 Divisions 071 - 080, 804-806, and 911)

PIR February 07. 2020 will be allowed only 3 guests

PIR: February 14, 2020 TG 12 16 Divisions (081 - 094, 912, and 913)

PIR  February 14, 2020 will be allowed only 3 guests

No PIR February 21, 2020

No PIR February 28, 2020

PIR: March 06, 2020 TG 15 15 Divisions (095 - 106, 807, 914, and 915)

PIR March 06, 2020 will be allowed only 3 guests


Comment by Phoenixmom 11 hours ago

Hi Ladies and Welcome, I can vouch for these statements you are saying, My Son Enlisted as a Junior in High School was in ROTC for the whole 4 years, he came to me and Dad junior Year stating he had looked into all 4 military first his number one option was Marines then came to us stating the Navy. Well we had to sit and hear all the reasoning he had for joining, Me and Dad had to sign the papers to let him since he was 17. I thought I knew everything there was to know but it was only what he told me. Senior Year came around wasn't to worried because he was pretty fit being a wrestler and all, He Graduated was suppose to leave in November of 2017, then one Day I received a call from his Recruiter as I must say a very good Recruiter to my Son. so He called and told me that they changed the date to July 5th that was a month away, I literally stopped Breathing on the phone, my Son came around the corner took the phone and told his Recruiter I have to call you back and told me Breathe Mom, Its ok. So from then On I was a the Swearing in I was fine although I didn't sleep much the night before, and spoke to my Son and he assured me he would be fine and so on....Once the swearing in was over (we were allowed to go to airport to wait with him) I had turned and saw so many tears coming from my left from my right and I lost it, when he did leave I waited up all night to get the call, got the call and for 3 weeks after I was a wreck/Mess couldn't eat sleep think. It was all about the (Bud). It even took me awhile to Join because I didn't want anyone on here to think I was Crazy. But all in all I found that the way I was feeling was actually quite normal because all the Moms were feeling what I was in some sort of way. This site has taught me so much, it was a godsend. I don't know about you but at that time I actually felt that I was Mourning my Son and he was here but somewhere else.

Comment by Toddi 12 hours ago
Yes you are allowed too. My son arrived last night to boot camp and I received the scripted call. I have been a wreck and did not think it was going to hit me as hard as it has. I am so so proud of him and I know he will be fine. However, I am not ready for him to be gone. I look forward to graduation day when I can wrap my arms around him.
Comment by vanessa19 12 hours ago

I have shed several tears and mine doesn't leave for boot camp until Tuesday. I know my husband and son and daughter think I am nuts. They don't get it. I just keep saying i am allowed. Its under the job description for Mom. 

Comment by Phoenixmom 12 hours ago

At 7:09 this morning, Naval Security Force reacted to a minor situation involving an unauthorized entry onto Naval Station Great Lakes. Naval security Force is ...responding to the situation.

Naval Station Great Lakes is currently on lockdown.

No one was harmed and no property was damaged.

Further announcements will be made as additional information becomes available.

Comment by ShipOfDoodles 12 hours ago

All-Haven't posted in quite a while, although I read the posts every day. At work, but pulled up today's grad--had heard about the lock down--and so relieved to see the flag division marching in. My son graduated 11/08/19 (also flags)--in Goose Creek now--but was amazed how quickly the tears sprang to my eyes. A heartfelt and oddly wonderful memory of that time of uncertainty.

Cheers to all the new sailors and their families!

Comment by Jodi B 13 hours ago

Typo shed a few tears with his parents I meant-

Comment by Jodi B 13 hours ago

Ladies, reading through all the experiences and words of encouragement being sent out.  I was that mom that was crazy and just felt awful.  Those around me, hubby and my other two sons, could not understand the roller coaster of emotions I was experiencing and also displaying.  It is such a time of transition and it was further complicated for me as my son was having difficulty adjusting and extremely homesick.  It was my first lesson in having to let go because I couldn’t “rescue” him from what he was going through.  He did it though, made it and is so very happy that he was able to overcome the struggle.  He graduated boot camp 1/10/20 and he stood so tall in pride and even she’d a few years with his parents.  He is on to his A school and that was a bit of a journey in itself as well but he is adjusting and isn’t even the same person as he was the day of graduation.  The changes they go through are amazing and learning to be men/women of the military is awesome to be able to experience.   Hang in there.  You will make it through your son/daughters journey through boot camp.   I am still a newbie at this and learning and preparing for more change as he pushes forward.  This group is truly a blessing.    


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