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 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.


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still 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.



* Fast Attacks vs. Boomers vs. Carriers

Written by Kaye S. Kaye S.

There are two types of subs, "fast attacks" and "boomers."  

Fast Attack subs serve two functions: (1) accompanying an aircraft carrier group to protect it from bad guys or (2) deployed alone on special missions as "hunter-killers" (searching for bad guy subs). They are designated with "SSN" in their name.  They carry mostly torpedoes (for attacking) and a few Tomahawk missiles for firing onto bad-guy ships or land. They are small and agile, easy to manuver. Crews are smaller and space is very tight everywhere. There's only one crew, so their deployment lasts as long as the boat is on a mission.  A regular schedule, when assigned to a carrier group, is generally a longer deployment (6-9 months) & shorter "at-homes" (3 months) because they must go where the mother ship goes. But, on solitary deployments, there's no way to predict what the sea time might be.  When cruising with the carrier group, attack subs get to make ports 'o call to foreign places, which is exciting. Communication with families is available via phone during these stops or via short emails when the sub is at communication depth.

Ballistic Missile Submarines, or "Boomers" for short, are "lone wolves." They are designated with  "SSBN" in their name.  They disappear into the ocean, purposely staying hidden, to do reconnaissance and peace-keeping. They carry Trident nuclear missiles (for peace-keeping) and some torpedoes (for self-defense). They are huge (2 football fields long and 3 stories high), but slower and not as agile. There are two crews, designated as "Blue" and "Gold."  The crew is larger than an SSN and more space is available for moving around (for instance, there's no racking amongst the torpedoes and little hot-racking). Their cruises are shorter than attack subs' (3 months), but they remain underwater constantly. The only communication with families is via short emails whenever the sub surfaces to communication depth. Their "at-homes" are longer though (5-6 months) making it easier on the personal life.  Guided Missile Submarines are essentially boomers which have been outfitted to also transport and deploy special forces personnel, and will support ground warfare.  They are designated with "SSGN" in their name.

ALL submariners must become qualified (earn their "Dolphins" pin). Unqualified guys get the bum end of every work detail, shift, and rack until they do. They must earn this pin within about 12-14 months of coming on board or they'll be reassigned to a carrier.  And, since sub crews are not 5000+ (like a carrier) and they cross-train extensively, the men know each other across functions (e.g. machinists know sonar techs).  There's less formality between enlisted and officers, so the crew knows the command better and vice versa.

Submarine crews have been the last Naval area to accept females.  A pilot program begun in 2012 placed female officers on a select group of boomer subs to assess eventually making the entire sub force gender-integrated.

On aircraft carriers, sailors have a more traditional ocean experience, such as getting to see spectacular sunrises and sunsets as sailors have for thousands of years.  They'll also see the foreign ports 'o call and have the ability to phone home during cruises.  But, there are strict chains of command and very little interaction between enlisted sailors and officers. There's also less interaction between functions (e.g. machinists don't know sonar techs).  The PBS series titled "Carrier" would be excellent for a view into "skimmer" life (what sumariners call surface sailors).  You can rent it from Netflix or buy it from

One other consideration from the mommy-viewpoint is that, if he can handle the no-sun and cooped-up atmosphere, I'd rather have my sailor underwater where bad guys are less likely to shoot at him!


For more information:

1) Go to the "Pages" area on the Sub Moms page for additional reference info on submarines.

1) Go to  Click "About the Navy" (on the gray bar at top)... then "Navy Equipment" (mid-page with photo of jet)... then "Vessels" (under video; second gray tab)... then "Submarines" (under video; sixth gray tab).

2) Check out the Discussion Forum for additional sub discussions.  Only 3 show at a time, although there are many more... click on "View all" in this area and you'll have two pages of more sub talk to read.

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