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."

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:

Latest Activity

Ctracy11 replied to Jessica's discussion 'Son left 7/20'
2 hours ago

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.)

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Visite esta página para explorar en su idioma las oportunidades de educación y carreras para sus hijos en el Navy.



Where to Go in Chicago!


Where to Go in Chicago!

For anyone coming to to visit your Sailor in Great Lakes, one of the biggest questions everyone has is: Where do you recommend we go for (fill in the blank)?

I was born in raised in Chicago and the suburbs and for those of you who don't know, I work at the base (10 years as of May) but please know I am not here in a professional work capacity, I am here as a volunteer helping to make sure everyone has the correct information. I have been on this site under various names for 10 years since May 2008. (Various names because a few times someone has ticked me off on here and said, "Screw this site! Only to return a few days later. Oh, hush. I haven't quit in quite a few years now.)

Thus, I have a lot of knowledge of Chicagoland (which describes Chicago and all its suburbs) as do other fine ladies on this site who also live in the area.

Some ladies might live in the suburbs and frequent the city more than I do, even though I actually live in the city, and can offer suggestions that I'm not even aware of. Some may have vast knowledge of the communities surround the base; I have some but this idea here is to have a spot where locals can contribute.

I wish for this to be a group where you can come to get suggestions from locals on restaurants, events, commuting tips, shopping, and especially all ethnicity offerings for area restaurants.

This is a work in progress and I will continue building on it every day and welcome all to contribute if they also have been here and recommend something in a particular category.

Location: Chicago!
Members: 52
Latest Activity: Mar 10

Discussion Forum

After PIR Itinerary

Started by BoogiesMom. Last reply by BoogiesMom Jul 26, 2018. 6 Replies

My Son's PIR is 8/10/18, and because he won't be leaving for A School right away, we get all weekend with him.  Friday after PIR will likely be Pizza and naps in the Hotel Room, but for Saturday and…Continue

Tourist Attractions

Started by Hikergirl. Last reply by SunflowerLynn Jul 23, 2018. 1 Reply

Hi, we are looking for cool things the kids would want to do ththats not going to cost us 50-100 a person. Any advice? Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Where to Go in Chicago! to add comments!

Comment by diannep on March 7, 2020 at 1:34pm

NOLA-Mom:  Sadly the person who started this group is no longer on N4Moms. this same question on Bootcamp Moms too.  Hopefully someone on there can help!

Comment by NOLA-Mom on March 5, 2020 at 9:26am

I’m hoping for some suggestions of some good sites to take in on the Sunday of my son’s PIR. I’m assuming he will be gone, so my mom& I will need something to do on Sunday. We check out of hotel but our flight isn’t until midnight. Don’t want to sit at airport that whole time so I was hoping maybe I could get some suggestions of either places to see or maybe good place to do some shopping??

Comment by Chipmunk on July 24, 2019 at 11:02am

ellen0502 - thanks for the update. I knew I had not seen any posts from hooyahsuzy lately. A good reminder about not removing yourself from N4M so your posts don't disappear as well. 

Comment by ellen0502 on July 24, 2019 at 3:02am

Unfortunately the person who created this discussion left the website completely because she had too many other thing going on. If you leave the website it removes all of the posts.

Comment by Chipmunk on July 20, 2019 at 8:36am

This is not exactly about visiting in Chicago, but I had put a reply down for someone regarding where to go in GL on BC Mom and so I posted this and thought I would post it here as well.

You should have received a brochure with your form letter that has motels and such listed. If they did not mail it RTC might just have in online at the boot camp website now.
We stayed cheap and close at the Red Roof Inn, I think it was. There were two different ones and I think one was closed. This was next to a pizza place and close to RTC, but is more of a truck stop type motel and some people may not be as comfortable with it, but I was looking for inexpensive and since we were leaving very early on PIR, a simple breakfast was fine. Also, we left early Sat morning way before sunrise to meet our sailor at the airport and then head on home for our 12+ hr drive, so I was glad we had not opted for the expensive hotels with large breakfasts.
Others have done differently. Our motel did offer a free shuttle, however, the next morning we found out that they never wrote our name down, so we ended up driving and using Sarge's route advice and it worked out better for us in the long run to have our vehicle at RTC. We were able to park in the parking garage without any difficulty. And we stood in line before the doors open, but we were still not so early to get the best seats in the house. (In my opinion - top row of the bottom section - at least if you want to get to your sailor quickly and also not have to hold a camera up over the railing of the upper deck. Although you may not have as good of an overview when they are marching in.)

Comment by DesiD on March 26, 2019 at 1:08pm

Thanks, B'sNukeMom!

Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN on March 26, 2019 at 12:56pm

DesiD - we did that back in 2012.  Train and bus and it worked out great.  We did a LOT of walking (in December).  It was cold but so worth it.  We did Millenium Park, Navy Pier and took pictures of the Bean....everything was decorated for Christmas and it was beautiful.  I say get the pass and go for it!

Comment by DesiD on March 26, 2019 at 11:05am

We are thinking/planning to ride the train (Blue Line) from O'Hare to downtown to see Navy Pier and Millenium Park, since my daughter has to see The Bean.  Do you think it safe and worthwhile to get a $10 CTA fun pass for the train and buses?  Is it easy to get around downtown, and specifically between Millenium Park and Navy Pier?  Is Navy Pier worth seeing this time of year (end of March)? All advice welcome!

Comment by Cuchulain on January 21, 2019 at 8:43pm

Looking for a good Italian restaurant nearby for my son's PIR 02.01.19. Any suggestions? 

Comment by AnnieKay on December 20, 2018 at 4:18pm

Can you suggest a good motel in a safe area? I heard North Chicago around the base is a bad area. What about Waukegan or Gurnee ? Thanks! 


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