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."

Follow this link for OPSEC Guidelines:



**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


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:

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.



First deployment? Info here (both green & blue side) + Behavioral Health help pre- & post-deployment

See greenside (with Marines) and blueside (ship or shore duty) below.  Ask questions or share what you've learned.

Pre-Deployment Checklists:

Pre-Deployment Checklist for Family Members

Single Sailor Pre-Deployment Checklist

For "greenside" corpsman families: 

What is an FRO?  How does one make contact?  How do they keep families informed?

The FRO is the Marine unit's Family Readiness Officer.  OPSEC is carefully guarded; your sailor will have to provide his/her FRO with your contact information so you can receive newsletters and email updates.

Marine parent resources:

How do departures and homecomings work, how are families notified, how much notice does one get?


Flight to sandbox usually goes through Maine, then on to Germany or Ireland, then to Kyrgyzstan then on to Afghanistan.


Generally two weeks' notice, but can change right up to the day they leave.

From Lori (MEsailormom):  "The movie "The Way We  Get By" about the troop greeters at the airport (Bangor) is a must see!!!! Mainiacs love their troops. Makes me so proud." You can watch the movie on this website:

Dates are NOT to be discussed online, for OPSEC (operational security) reasons.  

Care packages:  "My son requested pocket snacks - packs of peanuts, beef jerkey, trail mix, whatever can fit in pockets" (Lorelai)  "Socks, wet wipes, and hot and cold weather gear are always appreciated" (Betty) offers sock that are loved by military.  But also send packages of white tube socks, as they go through socks like crazy (get wet, etc).  One corpsman told me, "Tube socks and snacks" as his top request for himself and his unit.

How to locate and track our corpsmen's marine units online, and find photos:

Facebook groups

For "blueside" corpsman families:

FRG and ombudsman

Your sailor will be asked to provide them with your contact information.  

Ombudsman:  The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as an information link between command leadership and Navy families.  To locate yours, go to and use the links there.

Family Readiness Group (FRG) - FRGs are a means of community support and assistance within a Navy unit or ship.  It's important to be on your FRG's list.  Ask your ombudsman for the FRG contact info, or search N4M for a group for your ship or unit, and ask the members.  You can also search Facebook to see if the FRG has a page; you can make a friend request with your sponsor's (sailor's) info (rate, rank, and your relationship) and be approved. 

Care packages are great to send with snacks and powdered drink additives like Powerade.  There is a ship store but your sailor may want particular personal hygiene items.  

A great gift to purchase is a "rack pack" - a personalized curtain for your sailor's rack that has extra pockets and is extra-darkening for better sleep.  Pat is the company owner and she's very helpful.  Website:  

Sailings & Homecomings - Both are must-do experiences, especially homecomings. The enlisted "man the rails" in dress uniform with officers standing just behind them.  OPSEC concerns must be observed, so don't discuss dates on public websites such as N4M or Facebook.  Your ombudsman and FRG are your best sources of info, including dates and how to get base access.  Signs, banners and pompoms encouraged at the pier!  You may also be able to go aboard (signed in at the quarterdeck by your sailor/sponsor) to help unload your sailor's gear; what a great opportunity to see what life at sea is all about.  You will always have a soft spot in your heart for anyone who has had to sleep in a rack for months :)

Your ship may also offer a "tiger cruise" - family members travel to the ship's last port before heading home and ride home with them.  There are age and relationship restrictions (no spouses or significant others, for obvious reasons) so ask your ombudsman or FRG.


Care package info -

Care Packages 101 - getting the right boxes, packing, shipping, filling out customs forms


Some things to help both sailors and their families in coping:

It's worth printing out and putting in a binder:  A TRICARE Guide: Understanding Behavioral Health  It covers pre- and post-deployment, and describes all the options available to our sailors via TRICARE for managing deployment-related behavioral health issues (the subtitle is Common Concerns, Helpful Resources, and How Your Benefits Work for You).

From the DoD - Anonymous self-assessment tools to help you and your family recognize symptoms and get guidance on getting help" has programs and this video: A Different Kind of Courage" 

The DoD has more resources at


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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you for this.. My son is deploying in March

Thank you so much! You are all amazing!


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