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 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).  Still limited to 2 guests maximum.

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 7/16/2021**




**UPDATE - 2020**

Due to COVID there is no public PIR. The graduations are on Thursday, and the video of the graduation is posted on RTC's FaceBook on Friday at approx 3pm. Please keep in mind that a division may need to complete additional quarantine during training which will delay their graduation.

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.



Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

**LIVE PIR's RESUMING 8/13/2021**  Maximum of 2 guest allowed.  Mask and social distancing is required.  

UPDATE 7/29/2021 YOU ALSO MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED IN ORDER TO ATTEND PIR (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).

To everyone with a loved one at RTC or soon to be there, we say, "Welcome!"  To those who are sticking around after PIR to help those who are just beginning this awesome journey, we say, "Thank you!"

This is a place to talk, ask questions, and share stories. It is our desire that this Group will provide the information, encouragement, and support you need while your loved one is at RTC in Great Lakes. Enjoy your time here and feel free to Comment and join in the Discussions. Be sure to check out the "Pages" to the right, located under the pictures of the Members, especially OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile), (Click "View All" to see all of them.)

Please, if you no longer want to be a part of N4M's consider NOT deleting your profile as everything you have ever posted will disappear when you delete it .  You can leave a group but don't permanently delete your profile!

Members: 13105
Latest Activity: 48 minutes ago

Answers to Common Questions

New in 2022: Navy to lengthen Basic Military Training

Navy to lengthen Boot Camp - Navy Times

Are there any official RTC sites?

Yes, check out and They will have lots of information for you. also has items at times. has pics of some of the recruits who give blood while at RTC. Those donations occur about 2 weeks (10 to 16 days depending on the division) before PIR.

You may also find pics in

RTC will stream PIR live at beginning at 8:45 am CST on the day of PIR for those who are unable to attend in person. (Once PIR has passed, you will be able to see the video at If the one you want is not there, then click on a PIR video and then change the date in the URL to the date you want. You will have to change both the numerical date and the written out date in the URL. For example, if you want the video for the March 3, 2017 PIR date, then change to


Can recruits take anything to BC with them?

Recruits should go with what they have on their backs, their cell phones, and not much else. (See Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for RTC.)


What will the first day be like at BC?

See Arrival and What Happens at RTC and Ship/Division--How it Works.

How long is the "I'm here!" call and when will s/he be able to call again?

See Phone Cards and Phone Calls.


I got my recruit's address from the recruiter. Can I trust it?

Double-check the address the recruiter gave you against those at, but we strongly encourage you to wait on the form letter before sending mail to your recruit since the address provided by the recruiter prior to that can be wrong up to 11 business days or more after the recruit's arrival if the recruit failed the first attempt at the run and then passed (or failed) the second attempt and was ASMO'd to a different division (or to SEPS) or if RTC needed to move recruits for some reason. Sometimes a form letter is not mailed by accident and if it has been at least 3 calendar weeks since your recruit arrived at RTC and you do not have a form letter, then you can call the recruiter and get the address and mail letters to your recruit since the address in the system should be the correct one at that point, but be sure to double-check the address against those at or Ship/Division--How it Works


**UPDATED 7/29/2021 YOU ALSO MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED IN ORDER TO ATTEND PIR (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).

**UPDATED 7/16/2021**




Posted March 19, 2020

Effective immediately, the U.S. Navy is suspending all Recruit Training Command (RTC), in Great Lakes, IL, and Officer Training Command (OTC), in Newport RI, formal, large-scale graduation ceremonies until further notice as part of its proactive approach to protect our mission and limit the potential spread of COVID 19.

**NOTE: There is a virtual graduation for your Sailor that you can watch on the RTC FaceBook page.  It is posted the FRIDAY after PIR.

RTC Facebook Page - Graduation


When will the Form Letter come and what is in it?

The form letter will arrive in your regular mail around nine to fourteen business days after the recruit's arrival at RTC since it is not mailed until a division’s 1-1 Day of Training, which takes place after your recruit has taken and passed the run portion of the Baseline PFA, which is on or about the fifth business day after arrival (later if the division that your recruit was tentatively placed in upon arrival did not fill until a later date). See Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and Fitness Improvement Training (FIT)The brochure that is included from MWRGL about hotels and other things is at RTC Friends and Family Brochure October 2017. The form letter includes your recruit's address, so now you can mail out all the letters you have been writing. There is more on this in Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.

The form letter will also tell you the date of PIR, so you can start making plans for your trip. There are many hotels in the area and there is information in the grad pack and on this site about them. If you fly in, renting a car will make your life easier. Also, if you are flying, some airlines, such as Southwest, will allow you to change your flight without a charge if something happens, so you do not have to book refundable tickets.  ** EDITED - LIVE PIR's RESUME 8/13/2021**


(as put together by belovedbyHim)

Day 0 -- Travel, Arrival and "I'm Here" scripted phone call

Week 1&2
Day 1-14 -- ROM (Restriction of Movement/ Quarantine-- Lots of studying and waiting)

Week 3
Day 15-21 Arrive Onboard RTC and begin P-days (P-days- Initial Processing Days) including 2 days of P-hold (Weekend)
Day 21-- Complete P days. (Initial PFT & Run)

Week 4- First week of training 
Day 22-- Begin training and mail form letter out. Look for it to arrive around 1-2 weeks later

Week 5 -- First inspections and tests (Dental May be this week or next... Not Confirmed)(Form letter/ Personal letters usually arrive this week)

Week 6 -8 -- More training, Drilling (Flags and Marching), Fire Fighting training, Marlinspike (Line handling- How to tie up a Ship to the Pier) and weapons lessons, Confidence chamber( May or may not be happening yet, we don’t know for sure).. Warrior training in here somewhere.

Week 9 & 10 -- Stressful!! They have all their final inspections, PFA, Drills, BS21 and Tests. This is the lead up to the end!!

Once you know your recruit's PIR date, be sure to join the group for that date. PIR groups are posted on the Comment Wall below once they are created. 

USPS Informed Delivery - Sign up and receive an email from the US Postal Service showing what mail you will be getting each day (if available in your area).  

Informed Delivery®

The following events are NOT  happening due to COVID:

How long should I plan to stay in the Great Lakes area?

Arrive at least the day before PIR so you can pick up your ticket/s for PIR and also attend Sarge's Meet and Greet if you wish to do so.

If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, then plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday. If your Sailor will be flying out, then plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday to have the most time with your Sailor. (This may need to be adjusted if PIR is not on Friday.) See Saving Money PIR Weekend and PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend.



Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing PIR and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet from 4pm to 8pm the evening before PIR at the Lakehurst Event Center (go to to RSVP). Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information. His cell number is 847-212-0246. His Meet and Greet and services have been getting great reviews. Find Sarge on N4M as OldSarge.


Who can attend PIR?

**UPDATED 7/16/2021**




Your recruit will indicate the names of up to four  TWO guests who will be permitted to receive tickets and attend PIR. RTC may change that to three guests if there is a large TG. Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket to attend PIR, but a copy of the child's birth certificate may be presented in order for the child to attend PIR. The names of the guests will be listed on the Security Access Form. Your recruit will send the Security Access Form with the form letter and it will need to be completed fully and returned to your recruit. if you do not receive the form letter, then you can download the Security Access Form and complete it and send it to your recruit, but your recruit has the final say on who will attend PIR.


GUESTS SECURITY ACCESS FORM: If you are going to be attending the graduation ceremony, you will need to fill out the security access form, which is included with your form letter. Return the form to your recruit according to the instructions. 

ONLY YOUR RECRUIT CAN CHANGE THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ACCESS LIST: Your recruit will be able to make changes to the access list throughout training. The last opportunity to make changes will be the week before graduation. If there is a change to be made to the access list (such as a name spelled incorrectly, name-swap, etc…) please communicate any changes to your recruit by mail. Recruit Training Command staff cannot change these names or release the names of those on the list. Please do not call for additional seats!

The form can also be downloaded by anyone from the website, but only the recruit has final say-so as to who will be invited. Those names are submitted and those names will be printed on tickets. All of those guests attending must be present with ID to pick up the ticket in person. No exceptions, no swapping of tickets, no changing of names during final week of graduation.

If you are attending a graduation ceremony, you MUST personally obtain your ticket, you cannot pick up tickets for others. Tickets will be distributed at the Recruit Family Welcome Center, located inside the Navy Exchange Burkey Mall, Bldg. 3452, 2650 Green Bay Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 

Additional information on ticketing is also available at (See

Once you receive your ticket, please DO NOT lose it, as this will be the only ticket you will receive. These tickets are not transferable and are serialized to each graduation attendee. If you do not have a ticket, then you will not be permitted access to the base.

The Recruit Family Welcome Center will be open on the following days and times: Thursday [10:00 AM to 7:30 PM], and Friday [5:30 AM to 8:00 AM]. ***Certain federal holidays may require adjusting days and times. Please refer to the command website for those specific updates***

Please plan accordingly so each person listed can check in to receive a ticket for the graduation ceremony. Again, if you don’t have a ticket you will NOT be allowed entry to the base. Tickets will only be issued to those guests who the graduating recruit has verified will be attending. 

Driving on to base.

Driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance or rental car agreement and graduation ticket must be ready to present to security at access points. Everyone in the car ages three and over must show their ticket to graduation. If someone in the car over the age of two does not have a ticket, they are not allowed through the gate, no exceptions.

  • NO cell phone usage while driving on base! 
  • Seat belts are required for all drivers/passengers at all times
  • Motorcycle drivers/riders MUST have proper protective clothing/equipment such helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and over the ankle hard-soled boots.
  • Recent graduates are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including motorcycles, and are NOT allowed to be a passenger on a motorcycle.

See for the Frequently Asked Questions.

What will happen PIR weekend?

See PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend and

Be sure to check out the Pages to the right (under the pictures of the Members) for additional information. (You will need to click "View All" to see all of them.)

Donna is no longer active on the site. Several others who have begun this journey before you are here to help. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)

Discussion Forum

Another New Mom

Started by Krystal. Last reply by Krystal on Monday. 13 Replies

Hello Everyone I’m new here.

Started by Marienavymom4kk. Last reply by Krystal Jan 14. 21 Replies

American Red Cross phone call???

Started by Autumn96. Last reply by belovedbyHim Jan 2. 8 Replies

Phone card

Started by Olaf. Last reply by belovedbyHim Jan 2. 15 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) to add comments!

Comment by belovedbyHim on September 3, 2020 at 8:20pm

On the Blue Candle --- I bought a battery LED one that I keep burning on the mantle next to his picture.  I like the fact that since it is battery operated I can leave it on.  It has been on 24/7 since he left on deployment.   No fire Hazard here.

Parrot head queen --  This is the link to my blog that will give you an idea of what to expect for the first few weeks.

First Things First-- The Quarantine Edition

It's ok to miss your SR.  Everyone does!!

Comment by Shanny on September 3, 2020 at 8:15pm

Mandy:  that was my son with the mechanical baby!  I even took a picture of it, put it in frame and sat it out at his graduation party lol. That thing drove me insane. He would put it in my bedroom when he took a shower and if it started to cry while he was in the shower I had to take it into the bathroom so he could touch it with this bracelet he had to wear. Then I would have to feed it, change its diaper, burp it, rock it for him until he got out of the shower. That thing gave me nightmares!

As for the bedrooms...  i literally attacked that the next day...  stripped his bed and washed everything. My son also didn't bother to clean his room. I found a gift bag from graduation that he never opened. It had cookies and brownies and other food in it. He graduated May 31. He left here July 29. It wasn't pretty. I can't even get started on his clothing because I will get angry again. We will just go with his girlfriend took almost everything. All of his sweatshirts and many of his t-shirts. I still haven't located his socks...  

Oh I haven't seen Grease in a long time. I am about to watch Army Wives. I loved that show when it was on so I checked out the dvds from the Library to rewatch it again!  

Comment by Mandy on September 3, 2020 at 8:09pm

Parrot head queen-

I think about dinners too. I too get very weepy. I choke back tears most of the day at work. I read about the blue candle, I am going to buy some this weekend after pay day. I hope that you feel comfort and peace this very moment and it wraps you up like a fuzzy blanket. xoxo

Comment by Mandy on September 3, 2020 at 8:04pm

Good evening lovely ladies, 

.I love all the good news!! This is all very encouraging. When the time comes, I will check out some of the FB pages you. 

About the son left his a mess after promising me several times he would clean it...LOL...I can agree though, that it was very therapeutic to clean it and wash his bedding and clothes. I didn't even get upset because I knew he would be responsible for keeping his things in order and clean at BC. I am so happy you got your letters Shannon. I am still hoping for mine. I think it will be soon if I'm counting the days correctly. Welcome to our newest members. I am still fairly new as well. You made the right choice. These women are great! 

I am feeling encouraged and stronger as we go through these first steps with one another. (though,I still have my moments of tears and wishing for those hugs.) I was thinking today, that when we are finally able to talk or visit, those moments will be that much sweeter. I am transitioning from longing for quantity time to looking forward to quality times. It's times like this I wish I was telepathic just so I can tell him I love him and I am rooting for him.

I am trying to remember who told me about their son and having to take the fake baby on their driving test. It is so far back in this discussion and I can't find it, but I had a good laugh this morning when I read it!

Stay strong and keep the faith! Going to watch Grease with my daughter..

Comment by Parrot head queen on September 3, 2020 at 7:41pm

I can’t say what division my RS is in, due to safety that’s why I changed my name on this page.  I miss my RS so much, I sometimes find myself crying when I think of my RS when they were young or if I cook something that they truly enjoyed. I didn’t think I would be this weepy. I burn my blue candles all the time. I’m pray to all the gods and goddesses for his safety and everyone else’s that service with him. Thank you for listening. Xoxo  weepy mom 

Comment by Northwoodsmom on September 3, 2020 at 7:01pm

In the discussion about your son or daughters room. I really need to get in there. After my son left I came home from work and my husband was in there tearing everything apart, I was so upset with him. It was like he was just trying to push him totally out of our lives. He even ripped his carpeting out, I wanted to go in there and smell his scent on his pillowcases and just feel close to him. We have huge house and it wasn't like we needed his room for anything so I was mad. Since then I have forgiven him but he does has not touched any of our son's stuff sense. Maybe it was his coping mechanism and I overreacted but at the time it felt like he was twisting the knife in my chest. Like Velvetenor I want his room to remain his room.

Comment by Northwoodsmom on September 3, 2020 at 6:47pm

Jen(OS MOM), welcome we are happy you have joined the group. I know how emotional this journey is for you but I fo Love your positive attitude! The Ladies are great on here and will encourage you with compassion. They are knowledgeable and very supportive. You are in the right place, let us know how we can help. God Bless your tender heart

Comment by belovedbyHim on September 3, 2020 at 5:42pm

I know the wondering when we may see our sailors again is tough but we are a tough breed! Many moms throughout history have sent their kids off to the Military and have gone Much longer with Less communications than we have now!!  We have The internet (e-mail, texting, facebook, Face time.......) and we are not in a major war where they are facing serious threats daily!! (WW1, WW2, Korea, VietNam, .... Iraq is still dangerous but that is not where most of our sailors are headed!)  We may not know what tomorrow holds but please know that neither we nor our sailors have to face it alone!!!

Comment by partyofseven on September 3, 2020 at 5:35pm

Velvetenor- Hey,

Thank you so much for sharing that. That is what my family says all the time. Lol I'm like no, but it is still his room and I want him to feel that yes it is still his room.  :) 

I have his things put out that he left and his coins that he has brought home before COVID. It is a good feeling thou when you can clean it and freshen the room up for them.  :)

Comment by Velvetenor on September 3, 2020 at 5:21pm

Kristel2400 - I totally understand coming to the slow realization that you are not going to be able to see your sailor as much as you thought when they originally enlisted or left for BC. I was lucky to still be able to attend PIR and spend a few hours with my son that afternoon and at the airport early the next morning before he flew out to SC, but I thought the next 2 years in the Nuke pipeline meant that we could visit him occasionally, and he could get leave and come home a couple of times before he got his orders and shipped out. COVID changed all of that, and it is only by God's grace that I have been able to visit him once, after 3 other plans to visit were cancelled. Now I have no idea if/when we will be able to see him again. I totally understand "Semper Gumby", but it's the overall resetting of our expectations that is hard to grapple with, sometimes.

Regarding my son's room - before he left for bootcamp he "cleaned" his room, but that mostly meant stuffing everything in his closet so it looked clean - LOL! So after he left I went into his room and really cleaned it - re-washing and hanging/folding all of his clothes, reorganizing his closet and shoes, etc. It was very therapeutic for me, actually. More recently we had the carpets replaced in the house, and I also replaced his curtains and bedlinens, since they were pretty old, but his room still looks mostly the same as he left it. My husband and my kids joke that I have made it a "shrine" to my son, but I just want it to still feel like it is his when he does finally come home, since he hasn't been in it since the night before he left for MEPS.


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