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 mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow 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. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

...and visit - America's Navy and 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. There are now tickets issued, and there are no longer parking passes for PIR.

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.



Bumping up for new members/update to an instruction.  This is written with the Christmas holidays in mind, but much of the information applies all year.

With the holidays fast approaching, I see more and more moms who are stressed about whether they can see their sailor or not. Entirely understandable! But I know that the recruits in boot camp are quite confused also, many of them are new to all of this Navy stuff too, and haven't got the hang of the lingo, the paperwork and the inevitable Hurry Up and Wait and No Matter What You Plan, the Navy Will Change it.

Leave is earned time off. Every sailor earns 2.5 days a month, which adds up to 30 days a year. To take leave, the sailor puts in a special request form, aka a chit, and has it signed off by his immediate chain of command. Once the sailor receives leave papers from Personnel, he then can travel out of the immediate area. SOMETIMES, sometimes a sailor can borrow forward on his unearned leave. This is called "going in the hole". Most commands frown on this, as the sailor won't have leave on the books later. The sailor then has to decide when taking leave is going to be to his best advantage. If the sailor is stationed in the U.S., and they plan to leave the country, they must have permission.  Parts of Mexico are off limits, so have your sailor check with their Chain of Command before booking cruises.

Liberty is regular time off. This is normally weekends and holidays, not to exceed 72 hours. Four day weekends are 96 hours, the sailor must have special permission to take all four days depending on their command and duty rotation. Sailors cannot leave the immediate area while on liberty. Each base/school/ship sets different definitions of local area. I've seen as low as 50 miles and as high as 400. Plane trips on liberty are a big no-no. The sailor must be able to return to their command if recalled during that time. There is something called an out of bounds chit, but the details on those vary by command and the sailor's situation.  

The liberty limit for PIR weekend at Great Lakes is 50 miles.  

All federal holidays are liberty days, unless the sailor has duty.  Easter is not a federal holiday.

In general, Leave and Liberty CANNOT be combined. You get one or the other; you can't take that three day liberty weekend and stretch it into leave on Tuesday through Friday after. Nope, leave would start on the Friday before.  (Some commands allow sailors to check out on the phone, but school commands never do so.)  Sailors returning from leave may check in on a Friday, and have the weekend off as liberty, but must be physically present in the area of their command/homeport.

Boot camp ... there is no liberty or leave DURING boot camp. At PIR that's different, SOME sailors must go check in or get on a plane to their new command immediately, others have Cinderella Liberty where they must check back in at a certain time. Used to be that others had unrestricted liberty and could stay off base for the entire three days but that policy is NOT in effect anymore. Generally, boot camp CANNOT grant leave, that's done by the A school the sailors report to. For Christmas Eve graduations, the divisions do get to take leave, the procedure will be explained to them in boot camp.  For those in boot camp over the holidays, they will have a nice dinner, maybe with a church group, and will have a relaxed routine.  The Adopt A Sailor program only applies to those close to graduation and is subject to change year by year.  

I do have this from the General Discussion forum on holiday graduation from Navy for Moms Admin:

***I have some updated info for sailors who will have PIR and then coming to GL "A" schools during Nov and Dec time frame:

The sailors will be allowed to take the holiday leave, they will fill out a leave chit and sign a page 13,
stating they understand that they will go in the hole with leave days. When a sailor goes in the hole with leave days, if something happens later on (before they earn the leave days back) it will be hard to go on leave. Also if the sailor does not earn the leave days back prior to transferring to their next command they will NOT be allowed to go on leave between "A" school and their fist duty station.

New: Thanksgiving PIR liberty for Wednesday graduations: For those staying in Great Lakes, they will check into TSC barracks on Wednesday afternoon, then have all day liberty on the holiday and weekend, returning each evening. Technically Friday is not a holiday, but any duty would be unusual.  For those departing to A schools in other locations, Wednesday afternoon/evening liberty, then Thanksgiving Day liberty.  Departure will usually be on Friday, with a few going on Saturday depending on flight availability.  

A school ... generally, NO leave is granted during A school, except during holiday stand downs. There is sometimes leave after A school, which depends on the next reporting date for C school or the new PCS orders. This is often a time when if a sailor has gone in the hole on holiday leave, they will not get this leave granted.  Now and then sailors on hold waiting for orders are allowed to take leave, but this is very much on a case by case basis and not to be expected.

Liberty is subject to duty status, if a sailor is on duty, they must remain on base and must muster (roll call) several times a day, and possibly stand watches (think guard duty on the quarterdeck). As a sailor goes through A school, they may earn more privileges and have more liberal liberty policies, such as wearing civilian clothes.  Sailors must have a liberty buddy (a group of three is the latest I have heard) to leave the base at Great Lakes, or be checked out by immediate family. Married sailors may put in a "live ashore" packet requesting to live off base with their spouse (depends on the length of the school, ~20 weeks, mostly AECF/nuke/SECF/AV can do this).

Great Lakes A school liberty policy (other training commands have the same policy, more or less):

C school ... same as A school, basically. No leave during C school except for the holiday stand down, but possible before or after. Possibly the liberty buddy is in effect, but it may depend on paygrade.  

The fleet ... all depends on operational needs of the Navy. A sailor may have leave on the books, up to 60 days, but if the ship needs him, he can't take leave. MOST of the time, sailors are encouraged to use their 30 days... some times in two week blocks, sometimes longer. The command doesn't want their sailors to lose their leave by not using it and will provide options and times when leave would work best for the ship/command. The more senior sailors may get the better dates. When a sailor changes commands, a PCS move, that is generally when leave can be taken also. If stationed overseas, the sailor will get a plane ride home to the home of record between duty stations. Holiday leave in the fleet? That varies by ship and command. They do not stand down like the schools, although they may have a relaxed liberty policy during that time. Who gets to take leave? It depends, the chain of command looks at which jobs must be covered, operational needs, who went on leave last holiday period, who has leave which needs to be used or lost. The new guy often gets the leftovers, as do the ... let us say, the sailors who don't shine.

I'm not even going to touch emergency leave (death in the family) or convalescent leave (after surgery) or any of the other special leaves. There is even paternity leave now! Do note all the terms I used ... sometimes, usually or generally. Every situation can vary for every sailor!

Views: 67552

Comment by Anti M on November 22, 2008 at 8:50pm
Jacquie ... yes, they begin earning leave the moment they swear in. Doesn't mean they can take it, but that's the Navy.

Bette ... sounds like he does have liberty after graduation, but I know there's restrictions on their time that weekend. Stay flexible and cheerful! He can take the Christmas leave from what I understand, but that's not a given until he checks in to A school. Some sailors go straight to their next command, some have to do a C school.
Comment by Anti M on November 22, 2008 at 10:31pm
I hope you do get to see him. If he doesn't get Christmas leave, he will almost certainly get leave between A school and his new command. Almost is the key word, you never know until he's boots on the ground at home!
Comment by carols_kitchen on September 24, 2009 at 7:48pm
Glad this got re-posted. We treasured last year knowing we would not have him home again like that. Now that he is married, guess we will be doing the traveling, knowing we get the very next best thing if he does not have any time off.
Comment by diane {Shawns mom} on September 25, 2009 at 9:21am
Thank You!! A wealth of Knowledge, as always!
This is extremely helpful. As my son proceeds through the Navy I am finding that I actually "understand" the terms and procedures you are writing about, thank you!!!!!
Comment by Anti M on September 26, 2009 at 10:11am
No, the Navy doesn't pay for them to travel unless they're between duty stations or in conjunction with TDY orders. Just plain leave is at their own expense. Yeah, I know. Been there, paid for that!
Comment by Michigan Cindy on October 27, 2009 at 11:12pm
Anti M, I have read many of the posts you have placed on this site. Very clearly, we appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with the "fledgling" Navy Moms. You have a great way of presenting information in a no-nonsense manner without being condescending. Many thanks, and please continue to share.
Comment by wisconsinmom on October 28, 2009 at 1:22pm
Thanks for the information. This is our first holiday season in the Navy. Our son is waiting to start A school so we are holding off on making plans until we see where he is. So glad you are willing to take the time and share what you know.
Comment by janeyjane on September 1, 2012 at 5:16pm

Thank you. This site has been incredibly helpful and easy to navigate to find answers to my questions!

Comment by Anti M on September 28, 2012 at 10:49am

I have updated the body of the main blog post to reflect the new PIR liberty policies.

Comment by Anti M on September 28, 2012 at 10:52am

Tip for holiday leave travel:  NEVER BOOK MORNING FLIGHTS FOR DEPARTING THE SCHOOL.  Okay?  The command is checking out hundreds or thousands of sailors, it takes time.  

ALWAYS GET THEM BACK A DAY EARLY.  Even a valid flight delay will mean the sailor is UA if he/she is not present and checked in off leave.  

(UA = unauthorized absence)


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