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. There are now tickets issued, and there are no longer parking passes for PIR.

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

TMC liked Regina126's discussion Hurry Up & Wait
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Navymom98 replied to Kayasmom's discussion 'When do we get a letter'
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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.)

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: 12687
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:
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

Hurry Up & Wait

Started by Regina126. Last reply by Carol 5 hours ago. 12 Replies


Started by Jackie. Last reply by law1999 yesterday. 11 Replies

New Boot Camp Moms

Started by NewJaxMom. Last reply by terjul17 yesterday. 11 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by sarayu on March 29, 2010 at 7:57am

I will be praying for your daughter. They don't have to go into details, just know that God is in control and Brenda will be fine. Keep believing that and I will too!!

Have to hurry to work - but I will check back in after I'm home.

Have a peaceful day!
Comment by Fl..GATOR on March 29, 2010 at 6:25am
Thanks Gayle, WE didn't think that 0700 sounded right. LOL Well I got to go to work. Have agreat day!
Comment by Fl..GATOR on March 28, 2010 at 10:45pm
Hi, Bianca, My son is shipping 4/27, What is the most important thing he shouldstudy before he ships out. Also, John said the recruiter told him that at BC they don't wake up real early anymore but around 7am. I can't believe thats true?
Comment by cmom-Ship04-Div812 on March 28, 2010 at 6:55pm
How sweet that Jauque made arrangements with his buddies. What a great young man you have raised and shared with the Navy. I think the tears will continue to flow until their PIR. Just can't wait to get my hands on Chad and give him the biggest hug ever. I wish my daughter was close by but with them in the military they are stationed in Hawaii and will be their for quite sometime. I could use their distraction if they lived here. Hoping to see them in the summer. I understand what you mean by the smell of his clothes. I have several that I have not washed either. I know not to count on smelling the kid in the box.....after being closed up it will need to go in the washer immediately!! LOL Take care and stay in touch. We are going to make it and grow stronger as we see the men our sons have become. Chat with you soon. ;-)
Comment by Jodie(Jauque'sMom) on March 28, 2010 at 6:17pm
Glad to see you are feelig better. I had gone 2 days without crying until 5 of Jauques buddies showed up today to cut my grass and clean the yard of all the dead shrubs and plants. When I saw them the tears just started again. One of the guys said "Ms Jodie we promised Jauque we would come by and check on you and help you out while he is away" I always knew he was a great kid but never knew how great. To know that he made arrangements for someone to come to help me with the chores he was responsible for and to check on me made me realize how special he is, and it made me miss him even more. I did get his room picked up but couldnt wash his T-shirt and shorts they still smell like him. I have basically gone to work and back home I havent even been to my Moms because she aggravates the tar out of me, even though I know she means well I just don't want to hear how I am being silly this is the best thing for him and the Lord will protect him and she knows how I feel. How could she know how I feel all of her kids live within a stones throw of her and the longest we have ever left home is a couple of weeks and during that time she calls us 5 times a day. I know it is way to early but I carry my cell phone around like it was loaded with cash. I guess all we can do is wait and pray.
Comment by cmom-Ship04-Div812 on March 28, 2010 at 5:53pm
Hello Ladies!!!! Well Chad has only been gone since the 23rd but every day we are closer to PIR!!!! My melt down was Wednesday afternoon but have been much stronger since. At least until our contemporary church service today of which Chad had played in the band until today!!!! No choice the tears just flowed. Back to feeling a little better just feel a little shakey. Boy cell phones have ruined us all, so convenient to just call your loved one whenever unless they are at boot camp. Trying to stay busy, joined the gym and went on Friday and Saturday. Just not feeling it today. There is always tomorrow!! ;-) Have a great afternoon. If any of your sons are going into Search and Rescue and they left on March 23rd let me know because they will probably stay together as a group through A school. See ya. Steph
Comment by sarayu on March 28, 2010 at 8:52am
Granny, I'm right there with you. I have asked Jim to do the same thing. I think it is so important that we support the whole group of recruits. I can't imagine how hard it must be to go through what they are going through - and not have that support. Keep up that spirit of Love!!! Mary
Comment by diannep on March 27, 2010 at 5:29pm
Denise: I would think that would be enough, but you may want to call the Public Affiars Office up there to doublecheck. Or e-mail them:
Comment by momof5 (Ship 04 Div 192) on March 27, 2010 at 2:19pm
Sweet: I haven't erased my sons last texts either. Guess it's a mom thing.
Comment by grannytr on March 27, 2010 at 2:16pm
Hi, I have asked my grandson, Ted, to give me names of recruits in his division that are not getting mail since we can't post full names here. I also thought that we could each put together an envelope of cards, crosswords, other puzzles, etc and send them to our recruits to hand out to others. Just a thought.

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