Navy Dads



Navy Boot Camp: Questions & Answers to what your Sailor will be doing at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, IL.

This Support Group is for Families & Friends with Recruits attending Navy Boot Camp.

Members: 1555
Latest Activity: 22 hours ago

Boot Camp Forum, Helpful Links and Videos

 Moment of Truth - First week of Boot Camp

Complete List of Navy Boot Camp FAQ's - Need to Knows

Pass in Review Dates - Dates for Upcoming Graduation Ceremonies

Contact Your Sailor - RTC Division Addresses -
RTC Ship/Div Addresses

Bootcamp Weekly Training Schedule - Follow Your Sailor's Training

Recruit Division Command Structure - Division Recruit Command Positions

Bootcamp Videos - Several Videos about Bootcamp

Return To Bootcamp Videos - Series of Videos from All Hands TV

Captain's Cup Competition - Final Competition between Divisions

BattleStations 21 - Videos and Infomation about BattleStations

Navy Lingo & Slang -
 Learn to speak their Language

Navy Enlisted Ratings- Navy Job Descriptions

Boot Camp Checklist - Items you can and cannot Bring to Boot Camp

Being Paid While in Boot Camp - Yes, you get paid in Boot Camp!

A MUST Read for All New Navy Parents - Bootcamp....and how it changes your recruits!

Small Arms Training and Qualification -
 OPNAV Instruction 3591.1F

Current Weather Conditions at Recruit Training Command - Great Lakes, IL

Pass in Review Group- Tips, Hints, & Help for Navy Graduation

(PIR) Pass in Review Support Ribbons - Custom Ribbons for Bootcamp Graduation


You must save the form letter you get from your SR. It will have important information on it including the password so you can download the parking pass when it's time to go to PIR. Even if you rent a vehicle to drive to PIR from your hotel, you will need the parking pass. SAVE THAT FORM LETTER!

That is all...stand down!


Discussion Forum

Bill PIR 03/18/16

Started by William F Ronayne 22 hours ago. 0 Replies

Son leaves in 4 weeks

Started by Alan Bland. Last reply by Brian hooks Jan 29. 11 Replies

Son left today January 26 for bootcamp

Started by David R Crandell. Last reply by David R Crandell Jan 27. 4 Replies

Navy Boot Camp

Started by Joe Pearce. Last reply by Joe Pearce Dec 31, 2015. 9 Replies

When should I expect that first letter?

Started by Mark Pavey. Last reply by Mark Pavey Dec 22, 2015. 7 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of NAVY BOOT CAMP to add comments!

Comment by Navy Dads Co-Admin Tom on Wednesday

Really nice! Best of luck to Kenzie as she begins her adventure!

Comment by Tracey McCoy on Wednesday

We are getting close!  My daughter Kenzie heads off for Boot Camp next Tuesday. We had a little going away party for her last Sunday. She is very excited about the adventures ahead of her. I am so proud of her for making this major life decision and even more proud of her for the attitude that she has right now about heading off to an new life that is a big unknown for her. The cake turned out great huh?

Comment by Steve Van Slavens on Wednesday
Doug, yes I agree. I think that young sailor, who was the guard, did a great job of telling people over and over not to step over the bleachers, and don't lean on the rails, and you can't stand in the walkway.
Comment by Doug Grant on Wednesday

Steve, we were right behind you but at the top of that section before it notched in and we looked right down on the heads too.  It was almost humorous to watch Mom, Dad, and four kids climb all the way up to the back of the bleachers, even though it was clearly packed like sardines, and then stand there as if some miracle was going to transpire and provide them a seat.  Then they would trudge down to the bottom and stand around until somebody would point up towards the balcony.  I couldn't help but wonder just how hard it was to see that balcony, especially when you walk into the hall and there it is...

Comment by Doug Grant on Wednesday

After dinner, we drove the boys back to the base.  When we arrived at the gate where everybody was making entry, it was packed for miles.  I ended up turning into the gate across the road, making a U-turn with the assistance of the nice gate security personnel, and crossing the road when the light turned.  The boys jumped out prior to us needing to enter the base so I was then able to make another U-turn and leave the base.  It took us all of about 15 minutes tops to drop them off.  Based on the length of the line of cars trying to get in, I'd say some people were there for much longer.  My son said there were sailors who arrived late in the barracks who got into trouble.  I think an even better plan would be to drop your sailor off a block away from the gate and just have them walk in.  I don't know why everybody insisted on driving all the way into the base.

Comment by Doug Grant on Wednesday

The ceremony was every bit as gut wrenching and tear jerking as everybody states.  I was actually holding it together pretty good until the entire compliment of graduating sailors recited the Sailor's Creed in unison. Then I will have to admit to choking up.  Somebody recommended folding up your coat and sitting on it.  I concur, but some people brought seat cushions and that is an even better option.  You will end up with a numb butt in no time.

Once the ceremony ended, we expected that they would march the sailors outside and we would have to go find them.  I was surprised to see them announce "Liberty" and it was a mad rush from the stands to the sailors.  We hugged out boy and got to meet a buddy that he made starting in MEPS who then ended up in his Division and his bunk mate.  We took him out to dinner later with us.  Our joy was short lived when my son told us that he and Rigoberto, his buddy, were assigned sentry duty from 1200 - 1600.  I was ticked off but then figured somebody was going to have to do it, we just drew the short straw this time.  

We were able to go over to the NEX and in a room next door, we purchased challenge coins and some pictures.  We browsed the clothing at the NEX but did not buy anything.  We said our temporary goodbyes and told our boy we would be back at 1600 to pick him up for dinner.  This proved easier said than done.  We were told that to pick a sailor up, we should go to the visitor center.  Sure enough, we watched sailor after sailor coming out of that gate and leaving with people.  Apparently, the visitor center is nowhere near the RTC.  After driving all around the base, we stumbled on the gate where my son was.  

Now comes dinner time.  Several people recommended a steak and chop house called Stevens in Gurnee.  We called for a reservation and they were packed.  They had one table for four but we had five people.  However, our shuttle driver earlier had recommended a place called The Shanty.  We called and got a reservation there and this proved to be a great decision.  I highly recommend The Shanty.  It is a very casual environment but looks are deceiving.  They serve prime rib, filet mignon, ribeye, seafood, you name it.  And, they treat the sailors like kings.

We were seated near the front by the bar and about every five minutes a patron would come over and shake the boys hands.  One patrons insisted on paying for their dinners.  Several tried to buy them drinks and when they couldn't do so, forced me to make up for it.  I made the sacrifice.  The food was really good and the atmosphere was great.  There were a few other sailors in the restaurant so apparently it is somewhat well known.  

Comment by Steve Van Slavens on Wednesday
Doug, I agree with everything you are saying. We must have passed by each other a few times. We were in the 3rd row, closest to rail near the heads on our right side, facing division 084. I must have stood up and moved up the bleachers about 20 times, due to late arrivals and people needing to use the head.
Comment by Doug Grant on Wednesday

The day of PIR, we scheduled the earliest shuttle leaving at 0630 from the hotel.  We were very pleased to see that all the good things we heard about taking a shuttle were true as we bypassed the miles of people in their cars waiting to get into the base.  We pulled into a parking area, exited the van, and were immediately screened and let into the gate.  The security police used hand held metal detectors then sent us in.  It is about a 100 yard walk to the first building and it was a bit crisp at about 25 degrees I believe.

Upon arriving at the ceremony hall, we presented our ID and our names.  We then went into the hall and were happy to see that there were only 50 or so people there, with more filing in behind us.  On the floor, there were stands with the division names on them with two sailors standing by.  We went down to Division 084 and entered the lower bleachers.  I chose the end of the row near the top where there was nobody behind us, just an aisle leading to the rest of the seats.  This was a good spot as we did not have people hitting our backs the entire time as nobody was behind us.  However, if I were to do it again, I would have gone up a bit farther and chose seats against the wall to lean on.

Since we arrive so early, it was a long slog waiting for the ceremony to begin.  I won't judge people for coming in late, as I have no idea as to the reasons why, but I will say that I was amazed at how many people were running in all the way up until the last minute.  I was also surprised at how many people who did show up late expected people to squeeze together on the bleachers to accommodate them.  Most did not.  We had parades of people walk past us to the seats behind us, which were clearly packed, stand there for five minutes waiting for Moses to come and part the crowd, so they could sit down.  Didn't happen.

I was also irritated to watch one guy who just ignored the poor sailor assigned usher duty in our section who told this guy about ten times that he couldn't stand in the aisle.  This guy just gave the poor kid the stink eye and stayed put.  Finally, I saw the kid going to get backup and the guy must have figured out he was going to be on the losing end.  Some people think that they are special and rules only apply to everyone else.

Comment by Doug Grant on Wednesday

Just got back recently from the 1/29/16 PIR.  It has taken me a while to get back online as I came down with a nasty flu bug, or some kind of infliction, while there.  I have a new slogan for the Chicago Tourism Board; "Go, it's in our name for a reason..."  But seriously, my California body just couldn't handle that cold and whatever infected my body.  Anyway, here is my review or our trip.

First, we stayed at the Waukegan Marriott Courtyard.  I recommend this hotel as the location was quite convenient, they have a Starbucks in the lobby, and they had shuttle vans to RTC for only $3 per person.  The staff there was very friendly and helpful.  The rooms are nothing too fancy but they were clean and comfortable.  

An added bonus to the Courtyard location is a great BBQ nearby called Big Eds BBQ.  We ate there the day of our arrival and the food was awesome.  No BBQ is cheap, and the prices were typical.  But, the quality of the food was good and they had some unique offerings such as Big Tony's Mac and Cheese.  They add BBQ brisket and BBQ sauce to the Mac and Cheese it is outstanding.

This location is also not too far from Gurnee Mills Mall if you are so inclined to visit and is a short driver to RTC.  We also had to shoot down the road just a bit and eat at White Castle just to say we did.  They don't have White Castle in California other than the frozen sliders you can microwave from the grocery store.

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Jim on January 26, 2016 at 6:48pm

Brian, thank you for the map! I'm going to put this into the PIR group as well.


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