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.

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:

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: 12268
Latest Activity: 56 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 may be able to see the video at, but not all of them are included there.)


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.


When will "The Box" come?

It will usually arrive by FedEx within a few days, but it can take up to 2 weeks at times.


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 July 2017 rev.pdf. 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. Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing this very special event and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 5 pm to 10 pm at the Lakehurst Event Center (go to to RSVP). You must pick up your tickets for PIR at the Recruit Family Welcome Center either Thursday or Friday before 8 am. (For PIR dates that are on a day other than Friday, the Recruit Family Welcome Center will be open the day prior to PIR and the morning of PIR.) Picking them up the day before PIR would be ideal. Guests must pick up their own ticket using the ID that was indicated in the Security Access Form that was included with The Form Letter and returned to the recruit.

If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday and 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.


Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information and has a meet and greet at the Lakehurst Event Center in Waukegan the night before PIR (go to to RSVP). His cell number is 847-212-0246. His M&G 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 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


Donna is no longer active on the site and lemonelephant will be helping out along with many others who have begun this journey before you. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)

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).  

USPS 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.)

Discussion Forum

2019 - April 18th Ship out Date

Started by Michelle. Last reply by Chipmunk 15 hours ago. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by belovedbyHim 56 minutes ago

AbbyGail-- Thank you for your kind words.  My Sailor has been in for nearly 6 years now. I was such a mess and it was the moms on here that helped me pull it together so I have stuck around in the background trying to pay it forward.

My Hubby didn't get it either and we were prior Navy (DH was an Officer when we married and we did 2 deployments in 2 years!)  They all thought I should just get over it and be proud.  I was Proud but I was also worried.  He'd never been away from home more than 2 nights in his life! It doesn't get easier but we get stronger which makes it easier to manage. 
Molly's Proud Mom- is so right! Even 6 years later there are some things that will have me in tears before I even know it!  (The Christmas "Homecoming" ones are the worst!! but 4th of July is a close second!)

Comment by AbbyGail 2 hours ago

Hi belovedbyHim, many people in the family may not understand why you're so upset unless they're a mom going through this. Even my husband (my son's father) can't understand why I'm having such a hard time. He sees this as a fantastic opportunity for our son (which I also believe) but he doesn't fully understand my concern and worry.

Comment by Molly's Proud Mom 2 hours ago

Maine navy mom: It will hit you in the strangest ways! At a store the other day in my Navy hat, I chatted proudly about my daughter in BC. A day later, a little girl on a bike stopped to admire herself in a store window and it made me cry. Go figure! :)

Comment by Anti M 3 hours ago

Hey, Chipmunk.  I was in Loreto, Mexico.  Lovely place, but small and I only had wifi some of the time.  My tablet died and I really hate using N4M on my phone.  

Comment by belovedbyHim 12 hours ago

Momof4-- I remember well that feeling.  I even had family telling me off for being so upset. They tried to say it was no different than college!  My oldest was in college and this was NOTHING like college!  It's ok to have your feelings but know that you don't have to lost in them.  You are strong!!  You raised a young man who wants to be a US Navy Sailor!! You are Navy Mom Strong!!
We are happy to help remind you if you forget! {{{{{NMH}}}}

NMH= Navy Mom Hugs

Comment by Momof4 13 hours ago

belovedbyHim - Thank you for your encouragement!  Finding this group has been a blessing.  It's such a comfort knowing there are moms out there going through, or have been through the same thing.  I have a lot of friends who have kids my son's age going off to college and it really is very different than this!  I feel severed from him.  I can't help him, talk to him, or fix anything for him.  

I am finding comfort in the fact that he has made it this far, this is what he wants and has made this choice for himself.  I'm so very proud of him for that.  

I will come here for comfort and try to keep thinking positive thoughts!  Thank you again for your kind words.  :)

Comment by belovedbyHim 14 hours ago

Michelle, Yes that was the I'm here call.  You should get the KIB (kid-in-a-box) in about a week to a week and a half via FedEx( it has to be signed for) and the form letter in another week after that. Most of the time they will call home during week 3 or 4 for the first call home, however you can get a call anytime except Sunday morning.  Calls during the first few weeks are usually for business and will be short and direct.  I suggest keeping a notepad handy and writing down questions and encouragement because you will most likely forget something and Keep your phone on LOUD and nearby at all times!  Answer all calls because you never know! 
If you do get a business call know they can't answer questions but be sure to tell them you love them and are proud of them!  They likely can't respond but they'll hear you.

Comment by belovedbyHim 14 hours ago

Momof4-- We got ya!! I was a mess too!! It's been 5 years now and While it is still hard I am stronger! You will get there too.  We try and focus on the positive here and RTC doesn't really give specific numbers but the Vast majority of young people who go to BC end up becoming Sailors.  If ANYTHING changes you will get a phone call.  If they are being separated (Navy speak for being sent home) it will be a short call.  If they are getting a Medical Separation you will get a call, If they are set back (Delay but not going home) You will get a call (No PIR though so do not go to GL)

Depending on Your sailors job that will determine how much time you get together after PIR.  Sailors leaving for A School elsewhere will have the rest of the day (usually till 7 or 8 pm, but your sailor will know, and DON"T be late!) then you can go meet them at the airport and stay with them until they leave. 

Do not make your travel arrangements just yet, wait till the Form letter arrives, then make sure your plane tickets are "refundable" or "Adjustable"  Many of us like Southwest just for that reason.  You can fly into Milwaukee, Midway or O'Hare.  Most of the Sailors leave on Saturday but a few will not leave till Sunday so try and make your return travel arrangements for Mid-day or Late Sunday, or Monday.

Sending your kids to BC is NOTHING like college.  You have the forced communications blackout, you cannot offer support during the hardest part and the not knowing they are ok is heart wrenching!  However, You raised a Strong kid!  As I said Most make it through so Focus your energy there and come here with your fears and worries.  For those who's kids have yet to leave, remind your child that the RDC's job is to take them from Individual to a Sailor and a Sailor is a vital part of a Ship, The Navy is made up of Ships not individuals!  Keep their heads down and do what they are told as quickly as they can and the Yelling isn't personal, it's just part of the job.

You raised a US Navy Seaman Recruit, You are stronger than you know, Our job is to help you find that strength.  You are in good hands!

Comment by Chipmunk 15 hours ago

Anti M - Welcome back! I have been off BC Moms for a bit as well and I was wondering how you were, as I didn't see any posts from you. 

Comment by Anti M 15 hours ago

Howdy folks, I am back online after being off the grid for a bit.  


© 2019   Created by Navy for Moms Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service