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.)
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Are there any official RTC sites?
Yes, check out https://www.facebook.com/NavyRecruitTrainingCommand and http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/. They will have lots of information for you. https://www.facebook.com/NavalServiceTraining also has items at times.
https://www.facebook.com/ASBPGreatLakes 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 https://www.navy.mil/viewGallery.asp.
RTC will stream PIR live at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/ 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 https://navylive.dodlive.mil/. 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 https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/08/23/navy-recruit-graduation-august-23-2019/ to https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/03/03/navy-recruit-graduation-march-3-2017/.)
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?
How long is the "I'm here!" call and when will s/he be able to call again?
I got my recruit's address from the recruiter. Can I trust it?
Double-check the address the recruiter gave you against those at http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html#contacting_recruits, 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 http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html#contacting_recruits 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.
SARGE'S MEET & GREET
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 http://www.mynavytaxi.com/events.html 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.
ALL GUESTS 3 YEARS OLD AND OLDER MUST HAVE A TICKET TO ATTEND PIR, INCLUDING MILITARY GUESTS (ACTIVE DUTY, RESERVE, RETIRED, VET). No extra guests allowed, no exceptions.
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 www.bootcamp.navy.mil. (See http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html#grad_ceremony.)
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.
See http://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/faq.html for the Frequently Asked Questions.
What will happen PIR weekend?
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).
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.)