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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.

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Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.



Photo/Keel/DVD ordering info

Photo/Keel/DVD ordering info Posted by JessicaB-Sailor Mom on May 27, 2011 at 6:01am

Per the NEX Photo Lab at RTC on 7/27/10:

IF a recruit orders Pkg A for $140 while IN boot camp, the Cruisebook (known as the Keel Yearbook) automatically comes with that package. IF a sailor or family member decides AFTER PIR weekend to order Pkg A, it does NOT come with it - and the price is not lowered due to this fact either. Reason: The Keel book is like a bonus feature for those who order early. Those who do not order Pkg A, but want a Cruisebook, can order one at the time photos are taken for $30. Very important: If a recruit orders Pkg A while in boot camp, but does not pay for it by PIR day, the Keel book will NOT be included in their photo order.

There are two exceptions: #1 - IF a parent/sailor walks into the NEX photo lab ON graduation day, they can order a Cruise book that day for $30 and #2 - IF a sailor is still at RTC for those few days after PIR, they have 5 days to walk in and order the book. The lab will NOT accept requests by mail or by phone for this book, even if you call or write within that 5 day period!

The reason for this is because they order the exact number of books that are paid for one week after PIR. Unlike photo re-orders that give you a year to re-order, you can never request a Keel Cruisebook after the fact.

Also, he wanted me to remind everyone that prices do change, so even if you see a post on N4M that states a photo costs "X" amount, that price could change by the time your recruit orders their photos. They can change things (like including the Keel book) at any time, but recruits will always know exactly what they are paying for when they make their order and those orders are safe from any changes that may go into effect later.

DVD's and VHS tapes of PIR are mailed out to the address given by the recruit approximately 5-7 weeks after PIR. The Cruisebook (Keel Yearbook) arrives 8-10 weeks after PIR.

First, the recruit pays for these, either with a debit/credit card, or a check when they pick them up a few days before PIR. What I could not get confirmed was whether they can deduct it from their wages, but several Moms have posted that "yes", this can be done. Now... the parents/family can go in and pay for them and pick them up on PIR day - but you must be present to do that or have sent your recruit a check.

Pkg A is expensive, but it's your best deal at $140.00: It does NOT come with the DVD of PIR, that is ordered separately for $29 (includes the shipping). However, the large pkg DOES include the Cruisebook, also known as the Keel Yearbook. It comes as a "gift" for ordering and PAYING for Pkg A by PIR date. If a recruit does not order Pkg A, they can order the Keel separately for $30 (includes shipping). Here's the confusion though - IF a recruit decides AFTER graduation that they want a Keel, it is too late, because the Photo Lab submits their order to the printing company that week - and they only order the exact number of books that have been PAID for. So, if you decide to order Pkg A AFTER graduation, you will not get the Keel book as a bonus. Hope that makes sense!

Most recruits pick up their portraits a few days before PIR, then right after the ceremony they run back to barracks to pick them up and hand them to you. The DVD is mailed to the address the recruit writes down and arrives 5-6 weeks after PIR (got mine on time). The Keel is also mailed, but takes about 10 weeks to arrive (should get ours by next week).

So, even though my son spent $174, it breaks down to this: Pkg A $140, DVD $29, and $5 for a 5x7 of the "casual" Division picture. The large 11x17 formal Division picture is included in Pkg A. And remember, Keel book (worth $30) is included if Pkg A is ordered and paid for by graduation day.

My suggestion is to write your recruit now and discuss what you want. My son paid for his, so it was his choice - however I did surprise him by reimbursing him on PIR day, which is something we chose to do. We did not buy him a graduation gift, our thought was "our present is our presence", it cost a small fortune to go to Chicago!

Here are the packages, prices and important things to know about Navy Portraits as of 8/26/10:

Your recruits picture will be taken in their Navy Blue uniform and these are very nice, professional portraits.

No order form is sent to the families, it's up to the recruit to decide to order them or not, and how many.

These are taken around week 4 or 5, they are ready and available for the recruit to pick up the last week of boot camp.

They must be paid for with a debit or credit card, or personal check (cash okay - but they should never have that much cash with them at boot camp!). They cannot have the cost taken out of their pay check. Families can go into the NEX on PIR day to pay, but it's a bit crazy on PIR day, so advise you to let recruit get them earlier that week. If your recruit did not bring a debit/credit card, mail them a check. Call the NEX Photo Lab for more info on that: 847-578-6205

There are only two packages they can order:

Package A - $140.00 (no tax charged)

1 - 11x14 photo, 2 - 8x10, 2 - 5x7, 24 wallets, 1 - 11x14 formal Division photo. IMPORTANT: If they order and PAY for Package A no later than PIR day, it includes a free bonus - the Cruisebook (aka Keel Yearbook).

Package B - $120.00 (no tax charged)

1 - 8x10, 2 - 5x7, 16 wallets, 1 - 11x14 formal Division photo. There is no free bonus book in this package.

Things you can order separately:

Note: Your recruit cannot just buy a few photos, they must order a package to receive any photos at all. However they can just order a DVD or a Cruisebook without ordering photos.

DVD or Video of PIR ceremony $29.00, includes shipping. It will be mailed to the address given by recruit 5-6 weeks after PIR

Cruisebook (aka Keel Yearbook) $30.00, includes shipping. It will be mailed to the address given by recruit 12-13 weeks after PIR. NOTE: This book is printed just one time, so if it is NOT ordered and paid for by PIR day, you can never get one later. The photo lab orders the exact number of books ordered and paid for the day after PIR, so there are never any left over. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Reorders: You can order more photos in various sizes for up to one year from PIR date. There will be a form in the portrait package to do this. Reorders can only be ordered if your recruit ordered a package.

Frames: The above packages come with thick construction paper frames - it does keep them safe when traveling. The NEX also sells very nice frames in a variety of sizes and styles. Prices are on the order form that comes with the portraits.

This information was confirmed with two different employees at the NEX Photo Lab!

If anyone wants to contact the "picture people," here is an email address where you can ask any questions: Reply by Ellen S. 8 hours ago

Hi Everyone, just talked to NEX. The new person to contact is He is a very nice man. Something for all to know is that even if your recruit is put into FIT they still can go to the NEX and pickup and/or pay for their photos. I asked him about ordering a Cruise/Keel Book. The cut off is one week after the PIR date. I think the important thing is for the recruit to ask to go pay for their order.

Comment by BunkerQUEENBee


Stay in touch with your recruit during BC about ordering the dvd and photos. He/she will have an opportunity to order these before PIR. If he/she forgets, you can go to the EXCHANGE and order them yourself when you are there for PIR. Additionally, you can call and get an order form faxed to you at anytime. Will need PIR date and Div number to order. NO email requests. BTW, there is a bound photo album that is beautiful – don’t know the cost.

Call these people up at:

Navy Exchange Photo Lab Bldg.7626

2601 East Paul Jones St.

Great Lakes, Il 60088

Phone number 847-578-6205 Mon- Fri

The Navy Exchange Photographic Services at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes offers each graduating recruit the opportunity to purchase division and individual photographs, a division Cruise Book, which highlights the Recruits’ Boot Camp experiences from Night of Arrival to Graduation Day and a videotape of the Recruit Pass-In-Review Ceremony.

Photographs and cruise books may be purchased only by the recruit prior to their graduation from boot camp; however, if your recruit did not order a videotape of PIR, the Navy Exchange Photographic Services Office will accept orders.

Please verify with your recruit that a videotape has not been ordered by them prior to placing your request.

To order a videotape of your Recruit's PIR, please provide the following information:

Recruit's Name

Division Number

Date of Pass-In-Review Ceremony

Return Address (Sorry, No P.O. Box or Overseas Addresses Please)

Daytime Phone Number

For prices and additional information, please contact the Navy Exchange Photographic Services Office at 847-578-6205 or via e-mail at

UPDATE 05/07/2012:

A member called the Photo lab as per our advice and was informed that you may not call them and check to see if a photo package has been ordered.. that they infact do not want moms calling and that they can not say if a specific package has been ordered as the order is not "set to process" until the package or item has been paid in full.. Just a FYI for all the rest of the moms out there...

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