i did not write this but i seen this on another gropus discussions and thoughit would help us.
No, there are no actual physical tickets. Your sailor will provide a list
of names to the Navy, which will be put on a master graduation guest
list. When you arrive at Great Lakes they will
ask your name and your
recruit's name and check the list. If you are on the list you will be
Your recruit will only get four slots, any extras have to wait outside until
they know if there will be "overflow" space.
There is usually a decent chance to get a couple of extra people in at
small and medium size graduations (10 or fewer) but don't try to get in
and extra 10. At larger graduations the hall is usually full and
"extras" are turned away.
If your recruit knows other recruits who don't have anyone coming, or who don't
have all four of their slots
filled, they may add your recruit's extra guests to the list.
A Special Note:
After graduation you can go down to the floor and find your sailor but be aware they have to go back to their ship and be officially "released" - the process could take up to a couple of hours. Please arrange a meeting spot with your sailor beforehand! Also, tell your sailor not to move when people swarm the floor, so that you will find them: as each group has a banner w/ their ship/division on it.
There are a lot of hotels in the Great Lakes
area to choose from. The closest
is Navy Lodge, which is within walking distance of RTC Great Lakes
gates. Many of their rooms include full kitchens. Ramada Inn, four
miles away, hosts a PIR Meet & Greet for families the night before
PIR. You do not have to be a guest at the Ramada to attend. The Ramada
also includes a indoor pool.
There are two ways to get into PIR: drive on base with the parking pass,
which you can download and print out 11 days before PIR, or you can
take a shuttle (taxi) from your hotel which will let you off at the
If you drive you will need to be ready for a lot of waiting: at the gate to get
on base, at the parking area to check-in,
and again at MCPON Hall. Be prepared to be in line at the gate at 6
a.m. to get to your seats on time. Make sure you
keep the form letter
that you received near the beginning
of boot camp. It has the password you will need to get the parking
pass. Be sure to type it in all capital letters.
If you take a shuttle (taxi) from your hotel to RTC Great Lakes you will
be let off at the gate. It is a shorter walk from the gate to MCPON
Hall than from the parking area and there are fewer (and often shorter)
lines for waiting.
Be prepared for the weather (cold, wet, hot, etc), you may be waiting outside
for a while.
If possible, you will be seated in the stands across from the place where
your recruit's division will stand. They will have a sign with the Honor
Sailors waiting. They will also have seats if you have anyone that needs
special attention. If your recruit is in
a 900 division this may not be possible, because they are spread out across
the entire hall.
Family that need assistance
On base there are a lot of Sailors that are there to help anyone who may need special parking or in need of a wheel chair. The wait can be long and the walk is also long. Let any Sailor at gate or parking lot know
and they will get you the help you need. When you get in find your Div. number
and the Honor Sailors will be standing by the sign with chairs to help anyone
who may need more comfortable seating. They take very good care of the family.
Grad & Go
There are two types of "grad & go" sailors. Those who have a
school at Great Lakes and those whose schools
Those whose A school is at Great Lakes will
return to barracks and move their
gear to A school. It will take a few hours, but after that they will
get weekend liberty.
To do on Base
Grad & Go sailors whose A school is not at GL may only have a few minutes
with their family before leaving for
the airport, or may fly out on Saturday and will have Friday liberty. You can
meet your Sailor at the airport and bring them their cell and laptop.
In both cases, families may meet their sailor at the airport (at the USO) to
spend some time with them before their flight.
Sailors will NOT be allowed to stay with you in your hotel overnight.
They must return
to their barracks or school each night BEFORE curfew. If they are not
in their barracks by that time, they may lose liberty for the remainder
of the weekend, so make sure they return early, just in case there is
heavy traffic or some other unexpected delay. RDCs do not accept
Curfew varies, depending on the division. 8 p.m. is standard, but divisions may
be able to earn (and lose!) extra hours, up
to midnight. Your recruit may not know his or her curfew until just
before they are released for liberty.
make sure your Sailor is back on base in time. You can eat in the NEX with your
Sailor to make sure he/she is back on time.
Sailors who PIR before a Monday holiday often have that Monday for liberty.
Check with your sailor, not all holidays are Navy holidays!
Sailors can not travel more than 50 miles from Great Lakes.
No exceptions, even if your home is only 55 miles away.
"Liberty" vs "Leave"
"Liberty" is a short period of time a sailor has off, usually a
weekend, lasts 72
hours or less, and are restricted to an area within 50 miles from base.
This is a fleet-wide policy, not just boot camp, to make sure sailors
can report back to their command within an hour during a crisis.
"Leave" is the same as civilian "vacation" and during leave
sailors may travel
to most places. Sailors must request leave weeks to months in advance,
inform their command of their itinerary (where will they be) and may
not change plans without informing their command. Sailors will NOT get
leave between boot camp and A school, except for some sailors who
graduate just before the winter holiday standdown.
Most sailors get their first leave between A school and reporting to their
first duty station.
Sailors may not keep a cell phone (or anything else) in their pocket. They may
not talk or text on the phone while they are walking, and they may not
bring their cell phone (or iPod) back to RTC with them. Grad and Go
sailors who have already reported to their A schools might be allowed
to keep their cell phone or other electronics.
Sailors may not drive a car while on PIR Liberty.
Freshly graduated sailors take turn standing watch on PIR Liberty Weekend.They
may stand watch at night and be very tired in the morning, or they may
be required to return to barracks for a few hours to stand watch. This
is not something special to boot camp, this is a standard Navy-wide
practice, though at most commands there is no liberty on the day they
Your sailors will be wearing their dress blues (after Labor Day and before
Memorial Day Weekend) or dress whites (from Memorial Day Weekend to
Labor Day Weekend) on Friday at PIR and after.
Be sure to bring a lint brush or sticky roll for your recruit to "clean
up" his or her blues. The blues are wool and pick up just about
anything. If you are bringing a pet, bring one of those sticky-tape
rollers to de-fur your sailor.
Be careful with whites, they show everything.
On Saturday and Sunday they will be wearing their service uniforms, aka
"peanut butters," which is a khaki shirt and black slacks or skirt.
the winter they may be cold in the short sleeves, so make a stop at the
Navy Exchange so they can get a uniform sweater and a name tag (but
have them check with their RDCs first to make sure it's okay).