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.

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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.



Recruit Petty Officer Positions

The standard Recruit Petty Officer Positions are:

Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO or RPOC): The RCPO is the primary recruit assistant to RDCs and is responsible for:

  1. Maintaining good order, discipline, and security within the division at all times.
  2. Ensuring compliance with standing orders and regulations.
  3. Assisting RDCs with implementation of schedules.
  4. Reporting any abnormal condition to RDCs, including violations of good order, discipline and security, when RDCs are not present.

Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO) (RPO1): The RLPO is responsible to the RCPO and RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the Recruit Chief Petty Officer.
  2. Ensuring compliance with standing orders and regulations.
  3. Assuming duties as Recruit Chief Petty Officer when required.

Recruit Master-at-Arms (RMAA or RMA) (RPO1): The RMAA is responsible to the RCPO and RDCs for:

  1. Configuration and cleanliness of division spaces.
  2. Procurement, proper stowage and use of all cleaning gear required by the division.
  3. Supervision of the division in the absence of RDCs, RCPO or RLPO.

Port and Starboard Watch Section Leaders (RPWSL/RSWSL) (RPO1): The PWSL and SWSL are the senior Recruit Petty Officers for respective watch sections.

  1. The Starboard Watch Section Leader (SWSL) shall serve as the division's watchbill coordinator. Watchbills will be prepared and subsequently submitted to the RDCs via the RCPO.
  2. The Port Watch Section Leader (PWSL) shall coordinate the rotation of the ship watchstanders with the RDCs.

Recruit Yeoman (RYN) (RPO1): The Recruit YN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Performing general clerical duties in the division and assisting RDCs with preparation and maintenance of divisional reports, records, class attendance rosters, mail pick-up and distribution.
  2. Coordinating with the Medical YN, Education Petty Officer, Athletic Petty Officer and Religious Petty Officer to ensure compliance with special schedule events.
  3. Attending the Mail Orderly, Medical/Dental, BMO/Testing and Physical Fitness Testing briefings.

Recruit Medical Yeoman (RMYN) (RPO2): The MYN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the RDCs in preparing and maintaining recruit medical documentation.
  2. Coordinating appointments with the Medical Liaison.
  3. Tracking the status of all special physicals.
  4. Attending the medical/dental brief.

Recruit Dental Yeoman (RDYN) (RPO2): The DYN is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting the RDCs in preparing and maintaining recruit dental documentation.
  2. Coordinating appointments with the Dental Liaison.
  3. Tracking the status of all special physicals.
  4. Attending the medical/dental brief.

Recruit Section Leaders (RSLPO) (RPO2): Each SL is responsible to the respective Watch Section Leader for:

  1. Supervise and assisting the recruits in respective sections.
  2. Monitoring personal cleanliness, military appearance, clothing care and watch standing for recruits assigned to respective sections.

(There are often 6 Section Leaders in the division, three on each side. There are Port and Starboard Section Leaders.)

Division Laundry Petty Officer (RLPO) (RPO2): The LPO is responsible to the RMAA and RDCs for:

  1. Executing proper laundry handling procedures.
  2. Maintaining the Cash box and division expense log.

Recruit Education Petty Officer (REPO) (RPO2): The EPO is responsible to the RDCs for:

  1. Assisting RDCs in administering and mustering night study and mandatory night study classes.
  2. Attending a BMO/Testing brief.

Recruit Athletic Petty Officer (RAPO) (RPO3): The APO is responsible to RDCs for:

  1. Assisting RDCs with Physical Readiness Training.
  2. Providing non-participation or substandard performance documentation to the Recruit Medical Yeoman.
  3. Attending a Physical Fitness Testing brief.

Recruit Religious Petty Officers (RRPO) (RPO3): There will be at least a Catholic and Protestant RPO appointed for each division. If a division has three or more recruits of the same religion, a religious petty officer shall be appointed to represent that faith. RPOs are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring all recruits who desire to pray are afforded such an opportunity at tattoo.
  2. Attend mandatory meetings at the Chaplain's Office Thursdays at 1900 commencing on the first Thursday following 1-2 DOT (Day of Training) and continuing until graduation, with the exception of FAST Cruise and Recruit Reception Night.
  3. Report to the chapel each Sunday 30 minutes prior to the scheduled service to serve as a chapel assistant or usher.
  4. Ensure all personnel desiring to attend divine worship services are aware of location and time of services. (See

Recruit Mail Petty Officer (RMPO) (RPO3): The MPO is responsible for:

  1. Pick-up and delivery of all mail. Designation as MPO includes special qualifications at mail orderly orientation and custody of a mail orderly card.

Recruit Damage Control Petty Officer (RDCPO) (RPO3): The DCPO is responsible to the RMAA for:

  1. Correcting any fire hazards.
  2. Maintaining division fire extinguishers, to include proper location and working order.
  3. Assisting RDCs with minor repair and general maintenance of the compartment.

    4.  Documenting any material discrepancies on the MDCOL that cannot be corrected.

The above is from

Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO or RPOC) is easy to spot at PIR since this Sailor will be the one carrying a sword at the front of the division.

Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO) was Assistant Recruit Chief Petty Officer (AROC) in the past and the term AROC is still used since it sounds way cooler than RLPO:  This Recruit is the second in command when the RDC's are not present as indicated above. The AROC is also in charge of calling the cadences to keep the division in step when marching.

Recruit Petty Officers on Ship Staff have duties related to the entire Ship to help maintain good order, discipline and security for the entire ship. Ship Staff runs the entire ship, stands watches on the official Quarterdeck, cleans common areas, etc. If a recruit is on Ship Staff, s/he won't get assigned to Division Staff, so s/he won't have extra cleaning duties like daily head cleaning or taking out the trash every day. Since they are Recruit Petty Officers, they also wear collar devices. Ship Staff is comprised of recruits from all divisions in that ship, so that means all different DOT's mixed together, assigned by 2-1 DOT. Recruits who've experienced academic set back don't get to be in Ship Staff (the most common way to assign Ship Staff is by ASVAB score). A recruit may be "promoted" from Division Staff to Ship Staff.

For integrated divisions, Division Staff has to be evenly divided between male and female. It is also the common practice that if the division has a female RPOC it will have a male AROC and vice versa.

Some of the above RPO's may have an assistant on Division Staff, such as Recruit Religious Petty Officer Assistant (RPOA), who will also have a collar device.  We also hear about these other positions:

Recruit Chaplain Program Assistant (RCPA) (RPO3):  assists in the chapel on Sunday (or other day as needed) and assists the division's RRPO and acts as a liaison between recruits and the Chaplain or Religious Program Specialist.

Recruit Forward Hold Petty Officer (RFHPO) (RPO3):  in charge of cleaning supplies.

Recruit Head Petty Officer (RHPO) (RPO3):  Although this one sounds very important, it means the recruit is in charge of keeping the bathroom (Head) clean, which would be an important position given that up to 86 recruits would be using that Head.

Recruit Ironing Petty Officer (RIPO) (RPO3):  assists the RLPO and is in charge of ironing some items for the division and overseeing the ironing that is done by the recruits to assure that it is up to Navy standards. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Repair Petty Officer (RRPO) (RPO3): assists the RMA and assists with any repairs needed within the compartment. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Sweater or it may be Sweats (Smurf) Petty Officer (RPO3):  assists the RLPO with the washing and folding of the sweat suits. (This is not an official position, but we have seen it several times.)

Recruit Weapons Petty Officer (RWPO) (RPO3):  assists the RMA and oversees the exchange of the weapon at change of watch.

RTC Great Lakes Recruit Command Structure

Recruit Petty Officers (RPOs) are given their authority from the Commanding Officer through the chain of command. They are appointed by the Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) and have the authority and responsibility in the division to preserve good order, discipline, and security. RPOs are seen as leaders and wear collar devices signifying their place in the recruit chain of command. A collar device is a pin on the recruit’s collar to indicate that s/he has a job and extra responsibility while at BC. Some recruits who hold their Recruit Petty Officer (RPO) position for the whole time will get meritoriously promoted one rate to E-2 or E-3, but that happens more often for the RPOC and/or AROC if s/he kept the position for the entire time at the RTC, but this could happen for any of the RPO positions. We have also seen where a recruit held 2 of the RPO positions at the same time, such as RMPO and RDYN; when this happens, the recruit wears the collar device for the higher of the 2 positions.  Here are the collar devices for RPO3, RPO2, RPO1, and RPOC.

Holding an RPO position at BC means nothing afterwards in the Navy, but it does help your recruit to gain confidence and to learn more about doing things for the good of the Navy and his/her shipmates. Some of those who hold RPO positions may be singled out as Honor Recruits or Award Winners. (See Honor Recruits, Award Winners and Flags.) The RDC can meritoriously promote up to 10% of the division one paygrade; this sometimes happens for the Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RPOC) and/or Recruit Leading Petty Officer (RLPO aka AROC) if s/he kept the position for the entire time at the RTC, but could happen for someone who holds one of the other RPO positions as well. (See E-1, E-2, or E-3? How did that happen?.)

Recruits holding a Ship Staff position may be told that they will be able to skip Phase I at "A" School and go straight to Phase II of the Liberty Phases, but this has not been the case for most, if not all, of the Sailors once they reached their "A" School. This apparently is told to them in order to motivate them to do well; unfortunately it is not true.

The RDC may change recruits for any or all of the RPO positions until s/he finds the person who seems to be the best suited for the position. If the recruit's scores drop due to having a particular position, then the RDC is going to move him/her out of that position. If the recruit seems to take the position way too seriously or not seriously enough, then the RDC will move him/her. If the recruit struggles with PT or any of the tests or has an injury, then the RDC may remove him/her from the position.



The above information is provided by lemonelephant, the mom of a retired Sailor.

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