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."


**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.

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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.



Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

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.)

Members: 12941
Latest Activity: 2 minutes ago

Answers to Common Questions

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


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.


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.

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 5 pm to 10 pm 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.


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

Who can attend PIR?

Your recruit will indicate the names of up to four 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

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®

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

Christmas without

Started by Amanda. Last reply by belovedbyHim on Friday. 9 Replies


Started by VintageGal. Last reply by VintageGal Dec 30, 2020. 6 Replies


Started by Tadpole. Last reply by Chipmunk Dec 23, 2020. 9 Replies

How to Contact a Recruit

Started by jenatn. Last reply by Tammy_Girl Dec 15, 2020. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by partyofseven 2 minutes ago

Hello Everyone,

Hope your day is going well and that you are doing the best that you can today.

carolyn- it is cold, wet and rainy here which I love. We are in a drought so all this rain and snow up north is so good for us. Hope your weekend is going well.   :)

Agnes B- Hey, us to. It has been rainy, wet and cold here. I love it. :) Hope your day was good to.  :)

DallasNavyMom- Hey, it was good to see you post on here. Whoo hoo. Letters and calls are the best. You can't beat that feeling when you finally get to talk to them!!

There's a lot of different ways you and your family could celebrate. Some families made fliers, posters, videos of the family saying congratulations seem to be the big one that a lot of families did. They would video tape the small gathering of family saying their well wishes and love.

Your Sailor will love it when they are able to see it!!  :)

It's so exciting ladies I can hardly wait with you. This is going into home stretch for this week. They will work their butts off and will so be ready for boot camp to be over!!!   :)

Will be keeping you ladies that have PIR this week in my prayers!!!

warriorprotector- Hey, That sounds like so much fun. I had a ball decorating everything I did.  :) Have fun and I can't wait to see everything.   :)

God Bless and Have a great Sonday!!!

Comment by Chipmunk 19 minutes ago

Warriorprotector - Have fun with your PIR project!!! Hugs to all of our families this week and prayers for your SRs!

Comment by warriorprotector 2 hours ago

DallasNavyMom, I'll send you a pm once my son goes through PIR this week. He is also heading to Pcola for A school.

Comment by warriorprotector 2 hours ago

Good Sunday Ladies!

I am a big ball of nerves! 4 more days, 4 more days DoriBry and Proud and Grateful!

My daughter and are making a PIR framed anchor for our SR. We purchased our components yesterday: open rustic wooden frame, wood anchor cut out, hemp rope, metal Navy emblem, and paint. Will be printing his division flag. Bravo flag and Zulu flag to decoupage onto frame too. 

I also got planks to put together to create another piece that will go into his old room, now guest room. I will burn out the message: Military Family, United by Love, Divided by Duty. It will also have Navy symbol and Coast Guard symbol for both our sons. I will also burn out a flag on it.

Between art projects, work and my photo project to send to our SR on PIR I hope to not loose it this week! Lol!

Party, hugs right back!

Prayers for you all today! Big hugs!

Comment by Chipmunk 15 hours ago

AgnesB - Glad you were able to enjoy some sun shiny weather. We lived in WA for a few years. There is so much to see and do outdoors. 

DallasNavyMom - It is so good to hear from our recruits!! My son usually started each letter with - "I have only 10 minutes to write!" 

How is everyone else doing? We have several with a PIR this coming week. 

Comment by AgnesB 17 hours ago

Gorgeous day here in e. WA. Cold, but sun shining with minimal wind. Trying to soak it in as weather supposed to turn this week. Went for a drive and happy to see so much snow in the mountains where we need it. Hope everyone had a good day!

Comment by DallasNavyMom 22 hours ago
Heard from my recruit (not recruiter!)
Sorry, but dated iPhone interface is no aid to my already fallible typing skills!
Comment by DallasNavyMom 22 hours ago
Happy Saturday everyone! I bet those who just gotten to watch their recruits graduate are having particularly good weekends! If all goes well I have one week to go myself.
And soon as the great silence blessedly ended about week six I got a couple of letters from my recruiter and even a call. How sweet it is!
Nothing came these last few weeks but I realize that my SR is really working hard. Glad he was able to send his girlfriend one letter and from that I know he is on track and continuing to manage all the challenges.
Would love to hear from anyone about the experience of watching graduation online in any particular way they marked that celebration?
My understanding is that my SR will be detained a bit before he goes off to A school in Florida.
Want to thank you all again for each and every post, your camaraderie and all the great information.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Comment by partyofseven 23 hours ago

Psalm 84:11

Comment by partyofseven 23 hours ago

Hey Ladies,

 I was a busy beaver this morning. Lol

warriorprotector- I am so glad he kept trying and his mates huddled together and got him thru. What a way to go and it truly does make our hearts happy to hear from our kids. Yay for the emails to. Big hugs to you!!

Carolyn- You are very welcome and good for you for not having allergies yet!! :) It will be ok when you do. And yes I hope the Packers win as well and that it will be a good game!!

I have to wear my mask all day at school to and I don't like it either. I like wearing my shields better. 

And yes we can always help you ladies look for other groups as well when you know where their going after A school some groups are not as active as others but what I have learned is to try and see if you can still connect with the other moms on there anyways. It just depends.   :)

BBH & Phoenixmom- I agree as well. I have had that same conversation with mine as well and now he knows the first night and last night home are always family time. If he wants to add another day or say mom let's hang out I am always game!!! Lol

LBF- hey, hang in there and don't give up. Let him know how you feel and let him know that you would like some time to be with him and designate what ever days you would like. Once mine knew how I was feeling it started to get better. :) Big hugs to you!!!

Anti M- Hey, good to hear that you are ok. And yes leaves under the snow are always a mess. Lol I'm hoping for lots of snow up north this week so we can go up north and play in the snow!! :) Have a good day and take care of yourself!!

Phoenixmom- Hey, not sure if you will see this but I texted you yesterday.  :) That is great news about the little one I had asked about him to. The program sounds good and one thing that I loved about working with kinders is the difference you see from the beginning of the year to the end. It sounds like he is doing well and that is great!!!

As always keep those phones on you at all times, those ringers on loud as you never know when a call will come thru!! Keep writing and know that they are missing you as much as you are missing them!!


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