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.

Format Downloads:

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.





Q. My recruit is being processed for separation. What does this mean?
A. Your recruit has have been removed from training for either medical or legal reasons, or failure to meet Navy standards. The majority of these personnel are awaiting their administrative discharge from the Navy. Those who are being processed for separation will be retained at Ship 5. So when you hear or see the name Ship 5, know that it pertains to where your recruit is being housed.

Recruits can typically expect to have the separation process take approximately 10 to 20 working days to be processed out. However, it is important to note that every case is unique and the discharge process can be delayed by several factors, thus each recruit’s experience and situation will differ.

Unfortunately, due to the Privacy Act, Recruit Training Command’s staff is unable to answer questions from family members or friends regarding a specific recruit, including the reason for separation and any travel arrangements home. However, recruits are given the opportunity at their initial Indoctrination Brief at Ship 5 within 24 hrs to sign a waiver pertaining to their Privacy Act rights/election to name any family members and/or representative/s whom they wish to be given information, and to make any changes to such, if necessary, during their first appointment with the Legal department.

If you have questions regarding separations procedures, please contact the Recruit Training Legal department on 847-688-2405: Option 2.

Q. How are recruits supervised at Ship 5?
A. Unit Counselors are assigned to each compartment and are responsible for maintaining good order and discipline 24 hours a day. They supervise the compartment and maintain the daily schedule. There are times when Unit Counselors must discipline recruits to maintain good order. This typically involves limiting activities such as television viewing hours, access to the recreation area, or limiting phone calls.

Q. What medical facilities are available on Ship 5?
A. Personnel are never denied medical care; to help facilitate prompt care, Ship 5 is equipped with its own Sick Call to handle minor issues that may arise. Sick Call is conducted by Registered nurses Monday through Friday 0630-1100 and 1230-1500.
For more significant problems or time periods outside of normal Sick Call hours, recruits are seen at the main Recruit Training Command medical facility.
Recruits receive over-the-counter, non-prescription medication at Sick Call, including cough drops, Tylenol, etc., which they take immediately. If a recruit is given prescription medication by the main medical facility, it is collected immediate upon the recruit’s return from medical and stored in a locked locker. Unit Counselors conduct Medication Call several times daily and as needed to distribute medication. Medication is recounted immediately after distribution and then placed back in the bottle and returned to its storage area. 
Additionally, detailed records are maintained with the time and amount of medication distributed. These measures have been implemented to minimize the likelihood of improper use of medication.

Q. What are the conditions like on Ship 5?
A. All recruits have their own bed which includes locked storage for their personal items. Recruits do not share any items, including hygiene items. Compartments are cleaned daily and clean linen is provided every Wednesday. There is a laundry room located in each compartment and recruits wash laundry daily. Recruits also receive a minimum of one hour of personal hygiene time per day.

Q. What entertainment is available for my recruit on Ship 5 when they are not working?
A. Each compartment is equipped with books, magazines, board games, television and a DVD player. Recruits are permitted to watch television at the Unit Counselor’s discretion during non-working hours: typically 1600-2200 on weekdays and 0800-2200 on weekends and observed holidays.


Q. May family members be authorized to visit recruits in the process of separation? 
A. As long as they are in a recruit status, visits are not authorized.


Q. What is my recruit’s new address?
A. SR Last Name, First initial. Middle Initial
    Ship 5
    Recruit Training Command
    3610 Illinois Street
    Great Lakes IL 60088-3118

Q. I sent mail to my recruit at their other ship address before knowing about their separation. Will they receive it?
A. Yes, mail sent to recruits in separation will be forwarded from their old ship to their new ship.

Q. What happens to mail that is received after my recruit has departed Recruit Training Command?
A. Letters and packages received after a recruit has processed out of Recruit Training Command are marked return to sender and returned to the shipping authority (USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.).

Q. Is my recruit authorized to receive electronic devices, civilian clothing, etc., while in the process of separation?
A. Recruits in separations are not authorized to receive any items they were not issued or were unable to receive while in training. Be aware that while personnel are not authorized to open sealed mail, they may ask a recruit to open it in their presence to check for contraband.

Q. Is my recruit still only allowed to write home on Sundays?
A. No, recruits at Ship 5 are permitted to write letters every day. Their only restrictions are when there is formal instruction taking place or they are standing watch. Additionally, they are not authorized to write or read letter after lights out (2200). Restriction of sending or distributing mail is never used as disciplinary tool.


Q. My recruit called and said they were being separated, but I don’t have any further information. When will they call again?
A. Recruits being separated are required to call home, typically a 5 minute call, and notify their families they are being referred for separation and being transferred to Ship 5. Once they arrive at Ship 5 (typically a few hours after the above call is made) they are normally not granted further calls until after they receive their Indoctrination brief, which is conducted at 0800 Monday-Friday. Once they have completed the brief, recruits are permitted another 20 minute call.

Q. Can my recruit make phone calls from Ship 5?
A. A recruit may also be granted additional calls during the week if they need further information from their families or to give additional updates involving their individual case.


Q. Can you give me information about why my recruit is being separated?
A. Due to the Privacy Act, we cannot give out personal information about a recruit, including the reason for their separation. For inquiries regarding a recruit’s separation, please contact the Recruit Training Command Legal Department. Before any information can be disclosed to anyone besides your recruit, they must fill in an “Authorization to Release Privacy Act Protected Information” and specifically name the individuals and/or representative/s to whom they wish to release the information.

Q. What are the most common reasons for separation from Navy?
A. The following articles of the U.S. Navy’s Military Personnel Manual (MILPERSMAN) discuss common reasons for Entry Level Separation of personnel.  The below MILPERSMAN references can be easily located using your internet search engine.

    1. Convenience of the Government – Mental or Physical Conditions (MILPERSMAN 1910-120)
    2. Defective Enlistment and Inductions – Erroneous Enlistment (MILPERSMAN 1910-130)
    3. Defective Enlistment and Inductions – Fraudulent Entry into Naval Service (MILPERSMAN 1910-134)
    4. Entry Level Performance and Conduct (MILPERSMAN 1910-154)

Q. What are ASMO codes and what do they mean?
A. ASMO stands for Assignment Memorandum Order. These codes are the internal administrative process codes the Navy uses to track the assignment and movement of personnel onboard Recruit Training Command. Below are some commonly used codes at Ship 5:

    1. 707 — Medical separation
    2. 709 — Legal separation
    3. 711 — Psychological separation
    4. 733 — Failed urinalysis separation
    5. 737 — Awaiting Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP, also known as Captain’s Mast)
    6. 750 — Medical Board separation

Q. What is the characterization of my recruit’s separation?  
A. The characterization for a separation is dependent upon the recruit’s actual time served in the Navy.

  • Recruits who serve in the Navy less than 180 days are typically separated with a characterization of “Entry Level Separation (Uncharacterized)”.
  • Recruits who serve in the Navy more than 180 days are typically separated with a characterization of “General Under Honorable Conditions” unless the reason for separation was due to any type of misconduct.

Q. Will the type of separation my recruit receives negatively impact their ability to obtain civilian or government employment or receive federal benefits (i.e. federally-subsidized loans)?
A. It is up to the company’s hiring authority whether to take into consideration any prior military service in their hiring decision.

Q. What are the main types of Re-Entry Codes (RE) codes and what do they mean?
A. Pursuant to Bureau of Naval Personnel Instruction (BUPERSINST) 1900.8B, the following RE codes are most commonly used for Entry Level Separations:

RE-3E — Inducted/ Enlisted/Extended/ Reenlisted in error

RE-3G — Condition (not physical disability) interfering with performance of duty

RE-3J — Failed entry level drug test, not drug dependent (must have disclosed at moment of truth, tested positive for marijuana only, and had been in DEP for less than 30 days)

RE-4 — Ineligible for reenlistment

RE-8 — Temporary medical conditions or unsatisfactory initial performance and conduct to include not meeting the Navy’s minimum standard (ie: Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Non-Qualified Swimmer (NQS)

Q. Can the type of discharge or RE code be appealed?
A. If a recruit wishes to appeal their RE-4 code decision, they may submit a petition along with supporting documentation to the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). Information about the appeal process can be found at the BCNR internet website at:


Q. How will separated recruits be sent home?
A. Recruits being separated are sent to their home of record or within 50 miles of their home of record. Per Joint Federal Travel Regulations, service members must complete 90% of their first enlistment to be eligible for a flight home.  Otherwise, the government-provided transportation will be the most cost advantageous to the government, typically via bus or train.

Q. Can my recruit upgrade their mode of travel? 
A. Recruits wishing to upgrade their mode of travel must pay for it privately. Every recruit is afforded the opportunity to purchase an airline ticket if they prefer; it is their responsibility to make any necessary arrangements. If a recruit chooses to fly home, the ticket must be paid for in full privately, by either the recruit or the family. Once home, recruits may fill in the travel claim provided to them at their departure travel brief, and mail the claim form and unused government issued bus or train ticket to address provided on the form Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) for 85% reimbursement of the government ticket’s face value.

Q. Is it possible to collect my recruit at Recruit Training Command instead of sending them home on a bus or train?
A. Absolutely. Although the government will provide travel for all separated personnel, you are welcome to meet your recruit at Great Lakes Metra train station located adjacent to Recruit Training Command off Buckley Road if you and your recruit prefer. Recruits are informed given of their scheduled departure date one week in advance and confirmed discharge date at a formal departure travel briefing one day prior to their day of departure. Once your recruit has their departure date, please arrange a time to meet at the Great Lakes Metra train station located adjacent to Recruit Training Command off Buckley Road.

Q. Will transportation from the bus/train station or airport be arranged for my recruit?
A. No, your recruit will need to find onward (to home) transportation from the bus or train station, or airport.


Q. How long will my recruit be paid once they are in separation status?
A. All pay entitlements cease when Recruit Training Command’s Commanding Officer authorizes the separation. Until then, recruits will be paid the usual base pay they were receiving while in training.

Q. How will my recruit receive their final paycheck?
A. Direct Deposit is required for all payments, will typically be received in their bank account within 1-2 business days. If a recruit does not have Direct Deposit, they are instructed to contact the Customer Service Desk (CSD) – Recruit Training Command immediately upon arriving home with their banking information to receive final payment. If a recruit does not contact CSD, Defense Finance and Accounting Service – Cleveland (DFAS) will eventually cut a hard check and mail it to the separation address the recruit provided.

Q. Will my recruit be reimbursed for uniforms?
A. No, recruits are awarded a clothing allowance to pay for their uniforms.


Q. Will my recruit typically be eligible for benefits?
A. Most recruits separated from Recruit Training Command are not eligible for additional benefits. For additional questions regarding service member benefits, please contact the Veterans Administration.

Q. Does my recruit accrue leave time while in separation? If so, what happens to that leave?
A. Yes, all active duty service members accrue leave; however most recruits separating from Recruit Training Command are not eligible to “sell back” any accrued leave.

Here's the link to the RTC page:

Separations from RTC Page

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