Comment by JessicaB-Sailor Mom on May 27, 2011 at 5:59am
Be there as early as you can-before 7:30 am. Wear dressy casual, nice jeans are fine. If your PIR is in the winter months , you may want to wear flannel underwear. Wear comfortable shoes-you may have to climb bleachers and will be doing a lot of walking. Remember layers are the way to go. Gloves, hat, scarf. (For winter PIR)
One thing I did was a few weeks before PIR, start a “PIR bag”, not necessarily one you’ll carry but just something to throw things into you don’t use daily or routinely that you might forget. Binoculars, camera, a baggie full of tissues, lint brush, tide pen, etc.
Bring: photo ID, camera, binoculars, tissues, lint brush and tide pen (dress blues in the winter and dress whites in the summers), chapstick; hand lotion (cold weather dries you out) towel for your recuit to sit on while ya'll are out enjoying Chicago after PIR and for you to sit on while you watch PIR, Don't forget an umbrella just in case. Watch your make-up when you hug him/her--he/she has to be very careful with their uniform , a checkbook-for the photo packages(minimum pkg is ~ 140.00) and anything else you want to buy at PIR. At the hotel :bring old clothes for your recruit to wear while at hotel (in case there is enough time for that so they can be comfortable.) REMEMBER though, In public sailors must remain in military issue clothes...even to swim
I've read to take a shuttle if possible (even if you rented a car)-it'll bypass the long line of cars at the gate and drop you off at front gate…you’ll still have a good 15-20 minute walk but it is flat and you’ll see new rcts marching with their division flags. I don’t think my feet touched the ground during the entire time.. Sit at the top of the bleachers so you'll have something to lean against (besides some one’s knees) Try to sit across from where your sailor is and to the right that way you can see him/her better. There will be signs indicating where your Sailor’s division will be.
Be careful about too much kissing and hugging You also need to leave their R arm free while on liberty in case they have to salute to an officer. No hand holding is allowed. They have to behave very differently from a civilian.
Bring their laptop and phone to hotel so they can catch up with their family and friends at home.
If you rent a car (and I suggest that you do) Google addresses: RTC, the airport, hotel, Navy Pier, Gurnee Mall, restaurants. Etc & write down the address. If you have a GPS.take it with you, if not rent one with the car. Take plenty of change for the tolls’
Liberty is ‘time off’ from the daily routine. Graduating Sailors will be granted liberty to go off-base during the day with their families.
1. Graduating Sailors may not smoke, drive, or consume alcoholic beverages while on liberty.
2. Graduating Sailors must stay within a 50-mile radius of RTC.
3. Graduating Sailors must remain in their complete uniform while on liberty. If they are engaging in physical activity or swimming, they must be in authorized Navy issued workout gear.
4. Liberty expires at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 8 p.m. on Sunday. No overnight liberty is authorized. Due to security checks and transit time, please allow ample time for graduating Sailors to walk back to their assigned ship prior to the end of liberty.
5. Families may not enter the base after graduation and will need to meet graduating Sailors for liberty at the main RTC gate.
6. Graduating Sailors departing RTC for follow-up training the same day as graduation or in a duty status will be granted limited on-base liberty.
7. Graduating Sailors receive an in-depth liberty briefing prior to their graduation day.
While you wait for your Sailor following graduation, MCPON Hall and eateries at RTC are available, or you may use your graduation parking pass to visit the USO, building 27 onboard Naval Station Great Lakes (Mainside). Parking is available outside Gate 1 adjacent to Mainside’s Visitors Center located on Sheridan Road. Walk through Gate 1 and proceed to the USO located on the corner of Farragut Avenue and Rodgers Street; escorts will assist. Snacks and drinks will be available on the second floor of the USO
Ladies...the question of when they switch from white to blue dress uniforms and vice versa was brought up in another PIR group. I asked Hoppi (aka Angie) and she said:
Great Lakes switches in April and Oct. BTW...She also said: Hawaii never switches to Blue and Iceland never switches to White.
The music at PIR is VERY loud, drums, trumpets, etc. I would bring ear plugs for your little ones, it could hurt your baby (or worse, wake her up!). Bring quiet, soft toys for them to play with. They can run around until about 8:45, then they will need to stay put, but you can walk around still or stand near entrance to bathrooms. There are two very large motion picture screens so you'll still be able to see the graduation. (the hall is huge!). Oh..... and bring $5 bucks to buy you 4 yr old a dixie cup (Sailors hat, or Lid as the sailors call it). They are NOT ever allowed to try on or wear any part of a military uniform, so they sell these hats to help prevent that and kids love it (it's their size too). They sell them near the coffee stand inside the hall, but they go quickly, so find your seat, then go get a hat before they are gone!
Taken from the Naval Training Center website. PLEASE NOTE THE WALKING DISTANCES AND BE SURE TO DRESS WARM AND WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!!!!
PARKING"Family and friends will be directed to general parking at the Chapel lot, which is about 3 city blocks from the site of the graduation. Another parking lot, about 1 city block away is available for those with handicap stickers or hangers." SHUTTLES"Most hotels in the area also have shuttle service to the graduation. The shuttle terminates at the visitor center located at the front gate. It is approximately a 1/2 mile walk to the site of the graduation from the visitor's center.
We are anxiously awaiting March 2nd to attend our son's PIR. My wife is very sick and needs a wheelchair. We'll be driving and have a handicap parking pass and we'll bring our own wheelchair.
1. Will we be able to park close to the parade hall?
2. Is there a place for wheelchairs inside or do I need to get her to the bleachers and then take the chair back to the car?
3. I read (somewhere) to try and sit across from where our new sailor will be so we can see him better. If there is wheelchair seating, is this possible?
4. Does anyone have any suggestions that will help us get the most out of watching this incredible time?
Phone: Public Affairs Office 847-688-2405
Q.Are wheelchairs available for use and is there designated handicapped seating available?A.
Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis when guests check in at the Visitor Center. There is limited handicapped-designated seating on the drill deck. One family member may accompany a handicapped family member in this area.
Q.Is handicapped parking available?A.
Yes. As you enter the base, please show your handicapped parking placard and let security know you require handicapped parking. You will be directed to a parking lot located adjacent to the drill hall. There also are wheelchairs available in this area for those guests who require them.
Okay...the pic above is right in front of the big garage door that opens to let your Sailors in. If you're sitting in the stands the doors are to the left of you. See the curve? They'll come in in order of their Divisions and march all the way to the other end and make a U-ee and march back and then line up in formation by division.
When you first come into the Hall you will see Sailors on the floor standing next to Division markers. This is where your Division will be standing for PIR. You should sit in the stands in fornt of the marker. The markers are positioned so that when you sit in the stands your Division is a little bit to the right of you.
Thankyou, very helpful.. :)
just wanted to say thank you FTLW!!!
I want to say thank you too, FTLW! It is wonderful having some heads-up on things and knowiong what to do before we actually get there!:)
Jessica thank you, this was very informative. I do however have 1 question. my mother has had her hip replaced and can not walk long distances. Is there anyway they can drop her off closer to the graduation hall?
Sorry FTLW Thanks
I wanted to thank you for putting this up here!!! It is a big help!!
Wow! Thanks Jessica! This answers a lot of questions and it covers things that I had not thought of. Wonderful!
Thank you FTLW this is very helpful. Can not wait these last two weeks are the hardest.