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Boot Camp: Behind the Scenes at RTC

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Events

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

**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).  

Specific information on this policy change will be provided in the coming days and weeks.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your support.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR UP TO DATE INFO:

RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 6/23/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED -  Vaccinations still required

RESUMING LIVE PIR - 8/13/2021

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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 I found this on another discussion, long but very helpful.

Here is a list of things I have seen asked about frequently. Feel free to cut
and paste to posts elsewhere to answer people's questions about
PIR weekend.

Graduation Tickets
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
admitted.

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.

Hotels
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.

Parking
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
gate.

http://www1.netc.navy.mil/nstc/rtcgl/upcoming_grads.asp

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.

Seating
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
are elsewhere.

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.

Overnights
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
excuses.

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.
  Important:
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.
Monday holidays
Sailors who PIR before a Monday holiday often have that Monday for liberty.
Check with your sailor, not all holidays are Navy holidays!

Liberty range
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.

Cell phones
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.

Driving:
Sailors may not drive a car while on PIR Liberty.

Standing Duty
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
stand watch.

Public Display of Affection
In the Navy physical forms of affection such as hugs, kisses, and
holding hands while in uniform are known as a "public display of
affection" (PDA) and are forbidden.

There is one exception: families saying goodbye to a sailor before a deployment
or greeting a sailor returning from deployment or long
separation. Boot camp counts under this exception, with limits. One
enthusiastic hug of greeting and a quick kiss are acceptable. French or
extended kisses are not. Nor are extended hugs, hanging off your
sailor, etc.

Hand-holding at any time is forbidden. There is a compromise, and I consider it
to be a fairly romantic one. A sailor may offer his arm to
his girlfriend/wife/mother, she lays her hand in the crook of his LEFT
elbow in a formal escort-type pose. Likewise, a female sailor can take
the RIGHT arm of her husband/boyfriend/father with her left hand. In a
truely romantic gesture, men may lay their right hand over their lady's
hand (to keep it warm, or for skin-to-skin contact). The sailor must always
have his right arm free to salute an officer or properly displayed flag.

Also, just because you aren't on base, don't assume they aren't
looking. RDCs and other boot camp personnel also go to the mall, out to
restaurants, to Chicago,
etc, and they will be looking for new sailors
breaking the rules. Some may actually be assigned this job in popular
venues. Even if they run into the recruit by chance and are just out
with their own family, they will report the new graduate. You won't
likely see them because they will not be in uniform, but they will see
your sailor.

And no, they won't punish YOU. They will punish your sailor when s/he
returns to barracks. The most common punishment is to have their
liberty revoked the next day, or if the behavior is observed on the
final day of liberty, new sailors can be retained for an extra week of
boot camp. These are not idle threats. They actually do it.

About uniforms

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.
In
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).

If there is any inaccurate information in this post, please send me a
message and I will check on it and make corrections as necessary.

Views: 50

Replies to This Discussion

Wow, Deanna! This is extremely helpful! I've read most of it in other places, but you had some information that was new to me, too. To have it all in the same place is terrific!

I have a question. Can you confirm the accuracy of this paragraph that I found posted in another discussion?
"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."

If it's accurate, you may want to add it in above so others know about the USO and MCPON Hall.
I also have heard this. Great idea to include this. When you are waiting for the grad to start they talk about what families can do on base. Thank you I will paste it to include. My son wasn't staying on base but he was so worried about getting back on time after PIR that we went back around 7 pm and ate at the NEX. They had a subway, KFC, pizza hut and taco bell. I was glad he wanted to do this because when we left there was a long line of cars and all the Sailors were jumping out of the cars running down the sidewalk to get back in time. I felt so bad for them.
Deanna: Great info. I didn't know anything about the NEX. Good tip to eat there and not risk a late arrival!
Also in the NEX you can order a Navy ring. They cost a bit but have great payment plans. We also got Grad pics there and of course shirts and a proud navy dad hat for my husband
Wow! Thanks for all the tips! My husband collects ball caps, so I'm sure he'll want to get one of those. The Navy ring is a great idea, too. How long do they take to come in, do you know? I'm wondering if we could order one now and present it to him after his PIR...
I checked with Josten's, and their rings take 4-6 weeks to come in. Awww.
I ordered marc's on March 20th and still have not got them. If you do it there he gets to have it sized, pick his stone color and he will know more of what his field will be cuz they put that on. You get the old Navy ring included plus earrings. My son picked blue for the earrings and he must have seen my face because my fav. color is purple did he forget. He said I am sorry Mom they are for Jess.( a girl he liked) Well at least I got to pay for them:)
Ouch! That had to hurt.

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