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 as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**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).  


RTC Graduation

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

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer 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.



Welcome to the Navy! Everything will be ok! (revised)

First things first.....New Moms.... Take a Deep Breath in....... Let it out...... Take another one......... Let it out....... Repeat continuously!!! Just keep breathing and it will all be OK!! We haven’t lost a mom to Boot camp yet, we won’t start with you.

If your Child has NOT left yet, Read on.  IF THEY HAVE LEFT Skip to the next section.  Nothing here is critical, but it is useful.
If your Recruit has not left yet: have him or her leave you a voicemail message so when you just can't stand it you can hear their message (Over and Over and Over, Just don’t listen to it till after they've been gone for at least 24 hrs. You’ll know when it’s time.), Sneak a note of encouragement in their wallet and ask them to leave you a note at home so you can find it there. One of the Moms suggested setting a time of day that they would be thinking about/ praying for their SR. That way they would always be connected. Also have them call as soon as they land in Chicago. It will be your last "Visit" until the call home around week 3 or 4. Also talk with them about who they want to be told about and when, should something happen back home. I know this is an uncomfortable topic but it is important to know. They likely would not be able to come home unless it is for their Immediate family.(Mom, Dad, Siblings)

Other things to take care of before your Recruit leaves: Please go read this page! It is Very Helpful and has a complete list of all the things you may want to consider before they leave. Keep in mind it was written some time ago and the box is no longer shipped home (take the Charger for their phone!!)and a few other things may have also changed but the basic gist is still there.
If you have time I would get Power of Attorney’s for: any real property, A financial power of attorney and a Medical Power of Attorney There are many places that you can get the forms for free Online and then you just have to get them notarized. I also suggest they open an account with Navy Federal Credit Union if you have a location near you. (the article goes into why and what all they will need otherwise) If you also have the time I strongly suggest you look into getting a Civilian Passport or at least getting all the paperwork filled out unless they are going to a Long A school (nuke or corpsman). Most of the time they can and will travel “on orders”, However if they are stationed overseas they will need a passport to travel outside of their “Station Country” (and Europe has many wonderful countries to see but some are smaller than many of our States!!). If they have to travel under an emergency or something happens to their orders they will at least have their Passport to allow for some greater ease in travel.

Now on to P-Days and what the first few weeks may hold.
Day of Departure/ MEPS/ Flying out-- After they Swear in (You MAY be able to attend this ceremony, Depending on COVID protocols in your area) they will be transported to the Airport to fly to Chicago (unless you live close by in which case they are bused.) Shortly after arrival they will make the “I am Here Call” This usually comes Very late at night or Early morning (Ours came at 1:30am Mountain time) It is Scripted and they are not allowed to vary what is said. You can read the script in the boot camp files but I advise just talking over your SR (Seaman Recruit) and telling them you love them and are proud of them and you KNOW they GOT THIS and OH Yeah… You LOVE THEM!!! Don’t expect an answer but know they will have heard you!


The Processing Days.
P1 begins the Day of Arrival and continues through the night and into the next day. So If your SR (Seaman Recruit) Swore in on Tuesday then Wednesday counts as P1. As you count the P-days DO NOT count Saturday or Sunday or Federal Holidays—Those will be P-Hold days. In My example it would look like this P1- Wed, P2- Thurs, P3- Fri, P-hold- Sat & Sun, P4- Mon and P5- Tue. On P5 they take the initial PFA. (It can be P-4 if they are in a Push Division) Assuming they pass the PFA They will then move into their Ship (Berthing space).  "Weeks" can "Begin on any business day so don't get stuck thinking that their week will always start on a Monday.  PIR however is Nearly Always on a Friday (Thanksgiving week is the exception)
If they opt into Sandboxx then you may receive their mailing address and Division  (Div) as soon as 3 days after they arrived at BC.  You DO NOT have to use Sandboxx to send mail but you can if you choose.  This is a new change (less than 6 months as of the writing of this blog) so we don’t know if Sandboxx letters mailed in the first couple of weeks are delivered during P-days or not.  There is a fee associated with sending mail through Sandboxx, but you can still receive the address at no charge.  Please discuss this with your SR before they leave if you are able.

This is Phase 1 of boot camp which begins when recruits first arrive on board RTC. The new recruits will begin filling in their paperwork; they are given further medical and psychological evaluations and receive their inoculations; and receive an initial set of PT gear; are interviewed; and will be assigned to a division. When P-Week is over, Boot Camp officially begins. Phase 1 can be as short as 4 days to as long as 2 weeks, but are seldom over 11 days. (See Arrival and What Happens at RTC and

This marks the transition to Training Days. Usually denoted as W1TD1 (Week 1 Training Day 1). This is the day that they traditionally fill out the form letter that gets mailed home. This is where the first big change has happened. If your SR has opted into Sandboxx then you may receive their mailing address and Division (Div) as soon as 3 days after they arrived at BC.  You DO NOT have to use Sandboxx to send mail but you can if you choose.  This is a new change (less than 6 months as of the writing of this blog) so we don’t know if Sandboxx letters mailed in the first couple of weeks are delivered during P-days or not.  There is a fee associated with sending mail through Sandboxx, but you can still receive the address at no charge.  Please discuss this with your SR before they leave if you are able.  If they opt into Sandboxx then RTC advises that the form letter is NOT mailed out, however we have had scattered reports that some moms have gotten both and others have had nothing for weeks on end…. So this next part is still germane.  
The form letter is collected and mailed the next business day (W1D2) of their training week (Remember we do not count Sat, Sun or Holidays). Usually that letter arrives home between 14 and 21 business days since departure, HOWEVER there are reasons it may be delayed. If they didn’t pass the initial PFA, If they were on P-hold waiting for others to join to fill the Div/ TG, If they were waiting on paperwork….. If Ma Navy was just not feeling it that day…. Lots of reasons that are NOT cause to panic. 

The first 3 weeks are hard but Repeat after me.... No News is Good News!! Again... No News is GOOD NEWS!!! Repeat daily, hourly, Minute by minute as necessary!! Shout it if you need to or whisper it as a prayer! Whatever gets you through!!  Come to this site and post on the Main BC page or in your PIR group page.  There are many other moms who are here to support you through this time!  The Form letter or Sandboxx will give you the address and PIR date!! Time to start making plans to help get your mind off the silence!! Make refundable or Changeable travel plans, work on Room Decorations, make or source a blue candle, take up a hobby so you ahve someting to write to your sailor about. Remember that letters sent in the first 2-3 weeks of training may not arrive in a timely fashion since the Mail Petty Officer has to be trained and until that happens mail is set aside to be sorted later and sometimes that later is MUCH later!!  They do try and get the mail delivered but this process is still in place. (If you have information that confirms that mail is getting delivered in the first 2-3 weeks please let me know so I can update this blog.) This is honestly the hardest part of Boot camp! Your emotions are still raw from letting go of your Child and knowing that for better or worse they will be changed by this experience (even those who don’t complete it are changed!) and add to that the Communications Blackout that is imposed and it can be quite overwhelming but trust us that they know you love them, they feel your prayers and you will get a chance to send letters!

Around week 3 you will get the first call home. They may be homesick and there may be tears so be prepared and be strong. (You can come here and cry later, to quote my favorite wizard…”I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” It’s ok to cry about missing your baby, even if they are mostly full grown!! (We are over 10 years in and I still cry on occasion—Navy Mom Allergies!!!) It does not mean you are weak or not proud!!). The call can come on ANY day of the Week at any time from 9am-9pm Central time. Keep Phones charged and ringers on LOUD at all times while they are in BC!! Answer all Calls!! Yes telemarketers may call but you can hang up on them!! You don't want to risk missing a call from your Recruit! Keep a notepad handy of all the questions you want to ask so you don't forget!

In the meantime while you are waiting through the “Great Silence”, write letters!!! Write all the Letters you can! Take all the raw emotional letters and save them for a BC burning/shredding party at the end of BC and get ready to send positive and encouraging letters. There is a whole file here on letter writing.( Read all you can and watch the videos “The Making of a Sailor” videos to get an idea of what your SR’s are going through. ( &

This whole experience is a huge roller coaster of emotions. We have been where you are now and we know what you are feeling. Just remember you are stronger than you feel… You raised a young Man or Woman who was willing to put duty to country over self. They are strong enough to take on this challenge because they were shown strength from home! You have raised the 1%!! Be proud of that and welcome to the Family!

The other big change is that your SR will call usually after week 8 to say they are a Sailor.  They don't always say that but that is how we denote the 3 typical calls (They can earn more.) The big 3 are "I'm Here" - the scripted call that comes in the middle of the night when they arrive at RTC, The "I'm still alive" or "Proof of Life" call --Usually week 3 or 4, and the "I'm a Sailor" call following successful completion of BS21.  They then have 2 additional weeks of "Sailorization" training to get them ready for the fleet.  This includes Warrior Training as well as some life skills (If you care to share more details I'd love to update the blog with that too.) This is the 2 weeks before PIR.  You made it! 

I know that if you are reading this  you are likely at the beginning of this journey but know you are NOT alone and you are going to get through this!! This whole experience is a huge roller coaster of emotions. We have been where you are now and we know what you are feeling. Just remember you are stronger than you feel… You raised a young Man or Woman who was willing to put duty to country over self. They are strong enough to take on this challenge because they were shown strength from home! You have raised the 1%!! Be proud of that and welcome to the Family!


The Expected timeline will look like this:
Day 0 -- Travel, Arrival and "I'm Here" scripted phone call

Week 1 Day 1-7 -- Arrive Onboard RTC and begin P-days (P-days- Initial Processing Days) including 2 days of P-hold (Weekend)
Day 8 -- Begin training and mail form letter out. Look for it to arrive around 1-2 weeks later (Unless they opted into Sandboxx)
Week 2 -- First week of Training including PT and Swim Qualifications
Week 3 -- Marlin Spike - (Line handling- How to tie up a Ship to the Pier) , First inspections and tests (Dental May be this week or next... Not Confirmed)(Form letter/ Personal letters usually arrive this week)

Week 4 -- Confidence Chamber & Fire Fighting training
Week 5 -- Fire Arms Training

Week 6 -7 -- More training, Drilling (Flags and Marching).

Week 8 – Battle Stations (done prior to final PFA). Your SR will call home to say they are a Sailor but they still have to pass final PFA in order to graduate.

Week 9 & 10– Warrior Training (Life skills) and Final PFA
Aprox 10 Fridays from Departure they will have PIR!! If you can go you will be amazed at the change that happened in just 10 short weeks. RTC is also still Live Streaming the PIR ceremony on Fridays at 9am CST @  or afterward on their FB and YouTube  pages

Views: 508

Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️MMN(Vet) on January 6, 2023 at 6:15pm

belovedbyHim - great info as usual - thanks for updating!

Comment by dilyn1967 on January 12, 2023 at 5:57pm

Thank you for this ! Great info!

Comment by belovedbyHim on January 13, 2023 at 3:57am

dilyn1967-- You are welcome.  I remember how lost and adrift I felt when my son left and my husband was NAVY!! You'd think I'd be prepared but nope... But I found that having an idea of what was happening and when helped to reduce my fear and worry and that.... Pit feeling!  I also learned a TON that I'd wished we knew beforehand.  He has been with NFCU since before he was born but he blew me off about the passport... Said the Navy would give him one. Then he got stationed overseas... and couldn't travel except back to the states!  We spent most of that visit trying to get an expedited passport! I was with him but it was a bummer still.  There are also a few tidbits he shared that might help others too. Like setting a time to agree that you will both be thinking of each other.  We decided that 10:15 pm Central would be our time.  It was just after lights out but early enough that he'd still be awake and less likely to be getting yelled at! That was 9:15 for me.  Dinner and dishes would be done and our youngest would either be at work or doing homework and so the house would be reasonably quiet.  We just too a minute to say "I love you" even if it was to the air and we knew the other was doing the same.  He said it helped to not feel so alone.

Comment by Happynurse on May 3, 2023 at 9:52pm

I am so grateful for this .  I will be on this site VERY often paver the next few months/years.  I feel Ike I am so blessed to have everyone here!!❣️

Comment by Kimaps on May 11, 2023 at 11:29pm

This site saved my son and I a lot of aggravation. I followed the suggestions list, passport, POA, NFCU, etc. I feel a little bit better knowing my kid is as prepared as possible. Thank you, it is much appreciated.

Comment by BLUEBETTERNAVYMOM on August 8, 2023 at 3:07pm

Hello there 

My son is in BC in Chicago and this is week 3 for him this past Sunday I missed 3 calls from him  and it broke my heart all over again 🥺 should I be expecting another call anytime soon?

Comment by Chipmunk on August 8, 2023 at 6:55pm

Bluebetternavymom - They generally are only able to make phone calls every few weeks or so, assuming the division is doing well. Sometimes they have watch duty and they miss being able to make phone calls. I am so sorry that you missed this call. This can be very sorrowful and frustrating, but I urge you to send your SR a letter and apologize. We recommend that you always keep your ringer on loud and answer all calls even if you don't know where they are coming from. Another thing we suggest is that you leave a voice message that your son will recognize but others might not who may call you. That way you can let them know you love them and are proud of them. I hope your son was able to leave a voice message for you. 

Comment by Chipmunk on August 9, 2023 at 5:50pm

Bluebetternavymom  - I sent you a friend request. Look for it on your profile page. -

FYI - For anyone new to this site with a loved one at BC. The best place (group) to join is our BC Mom and Loved Ones group - Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) - Navy For Moms ( .  When you join that group (there should be a little + join button in the upper right corner), then you may add comments to the group. We have a lot of information on that group page. So, be sure to scroll down past a lot of information, then you will see a discussion area, scroll down past that and you will come to the COMMENT WALL. This is where you want to come say hello, ask your questions, share your emotions. It is our daily chat area. The more you chat, the more other members are likely to see your messages there and reply, even if other "veteran" moms on here are busy. 

If you are trying to view this site on our mobile device, we recommend that you put it into desktop mode. I only use my computer with this site, and I don't have any issues with navigating around the pages or the site, but it can take some getting used to. The blue bar at the top is your main search bar and where you can click on to find your profile page. From your profile page, you can navigate to various groups that you have joined. 

We also use a lot of hyperlinks on this site. So, any time you see blue letters, click on them and they will take you to information about what is listed. Hang in there. The Navy created this site for you, but we all volunteer our time on here, but we understand you, and this is your training ground as well. 


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