Monday, August 13, 2007

Navy Boot Camp Graduation Photo Division 259


Click on Images for larger view.


My son John just graduated from Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes, IL Friday August 10, 2007. Here is his Division photo and the other photo is of Boot Camp. My son John is in the upper left side of the picture in the corner. Congratulations to Division 259. GO NAVY!!!

I thought I would post a link to this site for the Naval Services FamilyLine. If you or a family member is new to the Navy this is worth reading.

http://www.lifelines.navy.mil/FamilyLine/NewtotheNavy/index.htm

UPDATE: 05/28/08 To see all Comments on this post Click "Post a Comment" at the bottom of this page and then on the comment page at the bottom of all the comments click Newer or Newest. Hope that helps. John

UPDATE: 01/29/08
I have had so many questions and conversations start in the comments sections of my posts and guestbook for this Blog about Navy Boot Camp and Navy life recently that I decided to start a message board to help facilitate conversation between users, and answer questions. You can see the board at http://kansasdad.aceboard.com/

Feel free to continue using the comment sections of the posts if you wish, just trying to make things easer for everyone. :) As always you can also e-mail me at kansasdad@gmail.com too.

241 comments:

1 – 200 of 241   Newer›   Newest»
John said...

One more thing, both of my children also say that their RDC's in Boot Camp were Great. They were tough but fair.

NavyMom17 said...

Hello, my son just got to boot camp last night 10/9/07, That guys comments about his son almost dying really scared me, can anyone give me some advise how to handle not being able to be in contact with them? How long does it take before I should get word from him?

John said...

Navymom17. I am sure your son will be fine. This is my Blog and that comment you are referring to was probably written by a Jarhead (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines). That is why they never responded to this. Go to my home page http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/ and you can see my son did just fine. He also has a blog http://navygeek.blogspot.com/ . My daughter also went through boot camp this year with no problem. It really is not that hard. If you sign my guestbook with your e-mail address I will e-mail you. John

DanaInEugene said...

My sister Melissa just joined the Navy. She's actually in Boot Camp as you read this. I miss her so much.I know she will be just fine. I love you Missy. Talk to you soon.
Love big sis.
Dana

John said...

Hello Dana, I am sure that your sister will be just fine. Boot camp gets easier after the first three weeks. Write her lots of positive letters while she is in boot camp. They get mail delivered to them every day, and they all want letters from home. It's good to see young people signing up to defend our country, you must be proud. John ( Blog Owner )

theonesweetkiss87 said...

Hello, My husband is 19 and he just left for boot camp. Everyday I cry in pain. I dont feel like eating or getting out of bed. When is the first time I will get a call from him? I long to hear his voice so much.

John said...

Hello theonesweetkiss87, If he just left he should be able to call you and tell you he made it there within the first 24hrs. After that the next phone call will be in about 3-4 weeks. They only get a few phone calls home while in boot camp. After boot camp you will hear from every day. Sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad. Write your husband lots of letters, every day. Stay positive in your letters. Boot camp is tough and he will need encouragement from you to make it through. Boot camp for him will get easier after the first three weeks. He can write home every Sunday, they don't get much time those days so his letters will probably be short. It will all be over in 8-9 weeks. That is such a short time with you start to think about it. You need to stay positive and take care of yourself for your husband. In your letters tell your husband what is happing in the news ( don't send newspapers ) just tell him what is going on with his friends, local, and national news. They don't hear anything while they are in there.

Remember, hang in there, stay positive, and it will all be over soon. Now go eat, rest, and talk with friends and family. God bless you and your husband for serving our country.

John said...

If you have someone in bootcamp, go to my sons blog here and print this out and send it to them

http://navygeek.blogspot.com
/2007/10/
navy-boot-camp.html

You will have to copy the entire URL above. I had to break it apart so it would show up in the comment

John said...

If you have any other questions you can e-mail me at kansasdad@gmail.com

theonesweetkiss87 said...

This my seem strange to you but i've meet your son. I was in boot camp the same time he was. Good kid.

John said...

Hi again theonesweetkiss87, that is interesting that you were in boot camp the same time as my son John. He is a good kid. Thank you. So what are you doing now? How is Navy life treating you? If you want to I will give you his e-mail address if you e-mail me at kansasdad@gmail.com

theonesweetkiss87 said...

Well I was actually seperated for being bipolar. I was there 1 in a half months. It has helped me understand what my husband is going through and for that I am very thankful. But I only made it to my p-2 day so I was never really in a division. I do not know when I will hear from him or what is is he is doing because he has been there 5 days already. He has made it farther than I did so im in the dark agian. But I know that we will do great and I just have to wait the time.

John said...

Hi again theonesweetkiss87, Just hang in there. I am sure that your husband will be just fine. You have to know that him being there is just as hard on him as it is on you. Even if you weren't there very long you have a good idea of what he is going through. Try your best to stay positive. :) In life things seem to work out for the best overall, you just have to be patient. God bless you.

ProudSoon2beNavyWife said...

Hi my husband left for great lakes nov 20th i miss him so much he called me the 3rd day he was there, he sound so tired , he said they told them to sit on the floor and if anyone fell asleep they will be physcially and mentally abused(how horrible) he said for 3 dys no sleep. he said they were doin alot paper wrk. then he told me how much he loved me and missed me so much we just got married 2 months b4 he left for bootcamp. he told me however he couldnt call me for another 3 weeks:( but he was allowed to talk to me that day for 10mins. it was very emotional and sad for both of us. since then i think in 1 week i sent him off 8 letters i wrote him twice a day and mailed it off next morning. i knw thats alot but im a newleywed and i miss him so much its so hard but im stayin and tryin hard to be strong for him. i got a letter from him last week, he todl me what division he was in ship 11 div 054 he said he feel like he is goin to get screwed because the people in his division is not takin it serious and the leaders arent even tellin on the ones who is fuckin up, not good for him im assuming. graduation day for him is jan 18th. i just write him alot and i stay strong 4 both of us i think what he is doin is a great thing, he is my husband iwill stand by him and support him with whatever he does if its something good. i knw its goin to be hard bein a military wife becase he probably is goin to be gone alot but i knew this b4 i said (i do) i think it will wrk out and we will be ok . i hoep for the best and i really hope he makes it in the navy or navy bootcamp i knw its hard. i believe in him. he said in his letter thisis his second week he hopes the pace picks up. im thinkin why he said all they do is wake up make beds shit shave shower eat get rdc instructions and do drill then eat then go to bed. well im thinkin this is only his second week im sure it will get harder. i feel so bad for him i knw they are goint owrk him to death in there but i believe in him, he's my husband and i am so proud of him

John said...

Hello ProudSoon2beNavyWife, First of all they will not be will be physically and mentally abused. The RDC's don't do that. Both of my kids went through boot camp this year and said that the RDC's are tough but they are fair and neither one of them witnessed any abuse. Both of my kids ended up liking their RDC's in boot camp.

The first week is p-week or processing week. Yes they sit on the floor sometimes, no big deal, we did that in Gym class in high school. If they fall asleep they will probably have to do more exercises, that's all.

That's good that you sent him 8 letters, keep doing that. Send lots of letters, like I have said before send him info on what is going on in the local and national news also. They don't watch the news or read newspapers while in boot camp. Don't send papers just write about the stories that you read.

The first real phone call is usually week 3 and it is for 5-10 min like you said. He will get a few more calls home and they gradually get longer. He can write you every Sunday. Be encouraging in your letters, boot camp gets easier after week 3 but it is still tough.

He is not going to get screwed because his division messes up, all divisions mess up. They are there to learn, tell him that they will get better and to work as a team!!!

Yes there is allot of waking up making beds and ironing and so on. Over and over again. It's gets better at the end of boot camp but that will help him get ready for his A-School.

Boot camp gets easier as the weeks progress not harder. They will learn to work as a team in his division and that will help allot. Just tell him to hang in there and don't give up

My son wrote this about boot camp:

I finished Navy boot camp back on August 10th, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, I think the hardest part was establishing teamwork in the division. There are so many different people from all over the U.S. and the world, not everyone is going to get along with each other. We had people yelling at each other and never getting along. We didn't really even start to come together as a team until about week 6.

One thing I really had a hard time getting use to was being bossed around and getting yelled at. I didn't take any of the yelling personally, because I know it is the job of the recruit division commanders to turn us from normal people into sailors, but still, being woken up each morning by yelling and having it continue throughout the day becomes stressful.

With that said I would like to give some good hints on how to deal with Navy boot camp. (although some of these will apply to Army, Air Force, and Marines.

1. Don't be sensitive
Don't take things that are said to you personally while in boot camp, even if it's by another recruit. All that does is cause you more stress. If a recruit division commander (RDC) yells at you for something just respond with "aye aye petty officer/chief" or "yes petty officer/chief". If another recruit yells at you just ignore them. If they are trying to correct you just listen to them and correct yourself.

2. Teamwork
Learn to work as part of a team. In order for a team to form everyone has to be able to have an active roll. Don't separate yourself from the others and don't let others become isolated from the group. If you see someone that isn't quite part of the team then have them help you with whatever the current task is. Another part of this is never leaving a shipmate behind. If someone is having a hard time with folding or running or push up, or anything else, then help them! I had this guy next to me at boot camp that really sucked at folding his shirts and pants. Every night I would help him with folding and make sure everything in his rack locker was organized correctly.

I believe the most common things people struggle with are swimming, running, folding, and making racks.

3. Never give up
If you give up you will never get anywhere. Just keep trying and seek help from your division (teamwork!). When you're doing the 20 minute run and you feel like you can't go anymore just keep trying. That only lasts for a little bit then you get more energy. Just slow your breathing down, and keep your current speed.

4. Take advantage of Holiday Routine (Sunday)
Every Sunday you get about 5 hours of free time. Take advantage of that. Take a break; write letters, go to church, get to know other people in your division. Letters were very important to me in boot camp. They are what kept me going. I made my dad write to me every day and I was able to respond every Sunday.

5. Attention to details
Pay attention to what you're doing. Do exactly what you're told, don't assume the RDCs mean for what they say to be interpreted a different way. This happened a lot in my division.

6. Sleep when allowed
When you're allowed to sleep actually take advantage of it, don't stay up talking to other people, you can talk at other times, use your sleeping time to regain your energy and rest. This will help A LOT.

7. Eat healthy
The galley's at boot camp offer a large variety of foods, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. (The galley will have a salad bar in it too.) Balance you meals out make sure you have a little of everything. Here is what I did in boot camp.
1 - meat
1 - cup of milk (not before running or PT)
2 - fruits (usually a peach and a banana)
2 - vegetables (whatever they had as the main vegetables and a salad)
2 - grains Usually a roll and one of the things in the main line.

Trials said...

Its not that big a deal. I went through the Army basic training and it was a joke. I'm a computer nerd by all means and still found the hardest part to be the gas chamber BY FAR. As far as food goes and rest, you'll learn fast to eat whatever you want when you can and sleep is a damn premium. Just don't stuff your face with all the fatty-foods.

John said...

Thanks Trials...

Anonymous said...

my brother just joined the navy and i would like to know how many people can go to his graduation??

John said...

He can invite up to 4 people to the graduation. My son John says "It would be best if they decided with their brother on the phone or by letter on who is and who isn't going to be at the graduation. Other people can go there too, just not onto the base, and everyone has to have a photo ID.

Megan11783 said...

I find this website to be very helpful! My husband (21) just left on January 23, 08 for Navy bootcamp. He was really scared and almost backed out last minute. I have been crossing my fingers everyday that I am not going to get that phone call that he wants to come home. My brother is in the Air Force and he was telling me how everyone feels scared but its not as bad as you think its going to be!

I did get a phone call from him at 2:30 am on 1-24 for 11 sec to let me know he got there safetly and the next time I will speak with him will be in two weeks. Does anyone know if he will call me or write me first?

I want this so bad for him, because I know serving in the military is such a honorable thing. I am just praying that everything will go fine and he will get through it with flying colors! Does anyone else out there have a boyfriend or husband that just left for bootcamp?

HSA-biophys said...

my boyfriend left on 1/7/08. His date was 1/17/08 for like 8 months, then in the middle of december his recruiter called and said "by the way, you're leaving the 7th now." he's older than most of the guys there (23) so that helped with his confidence going in. Their flight to great lakes got delayed and i go to college about 25 min from the airport, so i was able to leave early and go visit him and the other recruits. he was regulating everyones papers and keeping them in order, it was cute to see. After i said bye to him i went to his parents- thats where he was going to call once he got to boot camp. but Because his flight was so delayed (they landed at 10:15 and the last shuttle to RTC was at 10:30) he didnt call home till like 2:30 am, and i was already gone :(

a week later we got the first papers from him, and thats when i wrote him his first letter. i finally got a letter from him 2 days ago- his job is the mail man! thats a good job because everyone looks forward to seeing you.

both of us were excited for him to go to boot camp, i actually almost joined the navy too! but this is the start of a new chapter for both of us, so we had a positive attitude about everything, but even so, he said he hates boot camp. they pulled all 4 of his wisdom teeth at the same time, and he can't take hydrocodine (or whatever the generic form of vicodin is) cuz it makes him naucious, so he only has ibuprofen.

for all the wives and girlfriends out there I recommend a book called "married to the military". it was written by a marine's wife who started www.CinCHouse.com which is a site for military families. even if you know all the info in it, its nice to relate to it.

im worried that i wont be able to handle this for another 8-20 years. (he may go career). for 6 years i will be in grad school and i cant relocate. and we both want to be in norfolk, but the closest grad school is 1.5 hours away (which is doable), but the one i want to go to is 3 hours away! plus im scared of being the bitter, lonely wife while hes on deployment for 6-9 months at a time. i dont really know what to do. any suggestions? help!

Megan11783 said...

To hsa-biophys: Basically our man are there at the same time, yours is just a bit ahead of my husband. Thats funny that they changed his date because my husband was suppose to leave on Dec. 12 and they changed it to Jan 23. Which was good and bad. I mean I was very excited he could be here for christmas and he turned 21 on Dec 29, so he was excited about being to celebrate that as well. But, when I think about it, he would have been in his 6th week of bootcamp right now! Oh well.

I just got a call from his recruiter today with his address, so I was really excited about that and wrote him his first letter. His recruiter also informed me that he called him last minute and told his recruiter that he didnt want to do it anymore. Thank God his recruiter gave him so encouraging words to go forth. I have't heard from him yet, so I am hoping that he is realizing that he can do this.

I can't imagine that he got his wisdom teeth pulled in bootcamp. That poor guy must be in so much pain!!! I wonder how he can even focus on anything. That is just horrible.

John said...

Good morning. I am the Blog owner. I have two kids that are in the Navy and both went through Boot Camp Last year at different times. Don't worry about the wisdom teeth being pulled. That happens to everyone, even my kids and they were just fine. In fact when that happened it gave them a break because they were SIQ ( Sick in Quarters ) while they recovered and they got to lay in bed and relax instead of exercising. :) You can also expect them to get sick in Boot Camp, you have people from all over the place living together for 8-9 weeks and viruses spread quickly, my kids looked at it as another break. Be positive and it will be fine.

As for being nervous before leaving all of the recruit's feel that way from what I have seen and heard. Both of my kids would have backed out at the last minute if they could have, now they both Love it. I have no doubt that your Husbands and boyfriends will make it through with flying colors. Just write them every day with encouraging letters. The first 3 weeks are the hardest, after that it gets easier for them. If you have any questions you can post them here or e-mail me at kansasdad@gmail.com

John said...

I have had so many conversations start in the comments sections of my posts about Navy Boot Camp and Navy life recently that I decided to start a message board to help facilitate conversation between users, and answer questions. You can see the board at http://kansasdad.aceboard.com/

Megan11783 said...

John: Thank you so much. I find this website very helpful. I was able to write to my husband yesterday because his recruiter called me with his address. I was very excited about that. I just wrote to encourage him. I have went on Youtube and they have a 14 min clip of Navy bootcamp. That was really interesting as well. I like having the peace of knowing what is going on in his life and feeling like I am apart of it. It didn't seem that bad at all!! I know he will get through it just fine. I am assuming today, he got up and went to church. I hear they have 5 hours of free time today. Do you know what happens after that 5 hours of free time is up??

John said...

Hello Megan, I am glad this Blog has been helpful to you and so many others. The two videos on Youtube were really insightful and I posted them on my Blog last year. Blogger will sometimes have problems with a large URL in the comments but I will try, http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/04/navy-boot-camp-recruit-training-command.html
If that didn't work just e-mail me and ask kansasdad@gmail.com
You are correct that on Sunday they get 5hrs of free time, after that they go back to studying and their regular work sessions. Navy Boot camps is about 25% exercise and 75% classroom study and they have to learn allot of stuff in the 8 weeks that they are there. Write your husband every day, he can read the mail each day when he gets it but he can only respond on Sundays. Just write about what you do each day and also the news, as I have said before they don't get TV or newspapers on boot camp so any news is appreciated. If you have any more questions please ask. I will do my best to help. Sincerely, John

hsa-biophys said...

megan11783: what command and ship is your hubby? my boyfriend is command 94 ship 14. he is the mail guy, so maybe your husband knows him. His name is Pedini. i will also try the new site john set up

Megan11783 said...

Hey he is ship 5 division 7102. I just got his box of clothes and such today in the mail. I was very dissapointed to see that he sent back all of his stationary to write me letters!!!! Why did he do this?? Do you think that they told him they will give him stationary? His recruiter told me to get that stuff for him before he left so he could write. hsa-biophys: Did you get a second phone call from your boyfriend, and if so do you remember how long he was there before you got the call and how long he could talk for? My hubands name is Daniel too btw.

John said...

Megan, Don't worry about getting the stationary back in his box of stuff that he took with him. He had to send it back. I know that they tell you he can keep it but that is not the case. They can keep their wallet and that is about it. He will be issued a gift card for the NEX ( Navy Exchange ) at Boot Camp that he will use to buy stamps and stationary and other things that he needs while in Boot Camp for the 8 weeks.

The next phone call should come at about week 2-3. It really depends on his RDC's ( Recruit Division Commanders ) and then it will only be a 5 minute call. Phone calls home are not guaranteed. They gets calls home for rewards, their will be several while in boot camp but they will be more frequent towards the end. Usually they call you to tell you that they passed some sort of milestone in their training such as a big Test.

hsa-biophys, that is great that your boyfriend is the mail PO right now. My son did that for a while in boot camp too, he was also the laundry PO and was ARock ( which means that he sang the cadence for his Division when they marched ) for a while.

Hang in there, your husband and boyfriend will be done with boot camp before you know it. Remember write to them often and you can ask them questions in your letters too. :)

John

John said...

BTW, What are your Husbands and Boyfriends Rates ( Jobs )?

My son is an OS ( Operation Specialist ) and my daughter is an FC ( Fire Control )she went in as AECF ( Advanced Electronics Computer Field ) which is really two rates ET and FC ( Electronics Technician (ET) and Fire Controlman (FC) and took the FC path.

Even though they were different Rates and graduated boot camp months apart, they both went to Great Lakes for their A-Schools and got to spend allot of time together.

John

Megan11783 said...

John: I was so worried about the stationary, but now I feel much better about know that he will be able to find something to write with. I hope he can call in another week or so. If not, getting a letter will make me happy enough. My husbands job is (AM) Aviation Mechanics. From what he was told by his recruiter, he will be going to Pensacola, FL for "A" school. Now, does everyone have a job in bootcamp? I didn't know about this.

John said...

Hello again Megan, to answer your question about jobs in boot camp the answer is no not everyone has jobs while in boot camp. They are volunteer or given to the best students. Some Jobs can get you out of PT ( Physical Training ) for short periods of time so people want them. :) While the rest of the Division is doing PT someone with a job might be washing clothes or taking out the trash or so on. The problem with having a job in boot camp is that you are held responsible for your mistakes at that job. Most jobs switch around to allow for several recruits to try them.

I'm glad you are no longer worried about the stationary, we know how it feels. Our daughter brought a pocket Bible with her and it came home in her box along with her Watch and other things we thought she could keep. ( We found out that they issued her a Bible in Boot Camp ). The gift cards are for like $200-$300 and they are only good at that one NEX at Boot Camp. They have to buy things like tooth paste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, extra socks, paper and stamps with them. The money for the gift cards is taken out of the recruits pay check and they don't have a choice to buy one or not. They all get them and will need them.

I am sure your husband will write to you every Sunday. It seemed to take about 4 days for us to get mail from our kids while they were there and one week with my son we got no letter at all ( two came the next week ) The letter got lost in the mail and took an extra week to show up.

No news ( as in phone calls ) is usually good news too. If they get in trouble and get kicked out for any reason you will hear from them right away. So you know that if you don't hear anything from them they are still there. :)

That's great about you husband being an AM ( Aviation Mechanics ). That looks like an interesting field.

Megan11783 said...

John: That you so much for all of this information. It is nice to talk to someone that has already experienced all of this. I ment to mention that my husbands bible came back with him too!!! I was so sad! I know he really wanted to bring it, so I was so confused when that was in the box as well. I am happy to hear that he gets to get one there though. I also heard about that NEX card and how it comes out of their first paycheck. They said you should expect their first paycheck to have around 450$ taken out of it. I have sent him a letter almost everyday now. Do you know when they actually get their first paycheck?

hsa-biophys said...

megan i think they get their first two paychecks (one from the first month of boot and one from the second) paychecks when they graduate. is that right john?

today he called me.. he has been in 3 weeks and 2 days. but i was in class.... he called me twice and i didnt realize it was MY phone that was vibrating. then he called his parents for like 2 min, and they called me right away.. .THEN i heard my phone and walked out to answer it. I am devastated. This is sort of embarassing but ive been crying hysterically for about 4 hours. my face is swollen and hurts from it being distorted when i cry. the fact that i missed his phone call put me over the edge...

i know he is okay and that he still loves me, but i just wanted to hear his voice... and i was sooo close to answering. it will come up as Unknown since it will most likely be a payphone. he didnt even leave a message... but he only had like 5 min.

John said...

The first thing I will address is the paychecks. Pay dates are the 1st and 15th of each month unless its a non-duty day ( weekend or holiday ), and then they will be deposited the day before. It can take 4-6 weeks before the first deposit shows up in a bank account, and that one is less uniforms, seabag, and the NEX card they got when they started boot camp.

hsa-biophys, sorry you missed the phone call. I know that happens allot. The phone calls can come at any time of the day or night. My kids called some days at 6am and other times at midnight. You just never know when the call is coming so it's hard to be ready when it does come. Don't feel too bad. Just write him and let him know that you were sad and tell him to leave a message next time. You are right it was probably only a quick call and they have to hang up when the RDC says so. He will get longer calls as he progresses through boot camp.

Megan, I am glad the info about the Bible helped you. :) Everything that my daughter brought with her to boot camp was sent back in her box. My son got to keep his wallet but that is all. He has addresses and phone numbers written down so he could write people and they were sent back also.

Megan11783 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan11783 said...

I can't wait to get that phone call from him, just to hear his voice. It is funny how these recruiters tell them they can bring all this stuff, when they have to just turn around and send it all back. Really, all they should bring to bootcamp with them is literally what they are wearing, and that is it.

My husbands first phone call was very quick. It was only 11 seconds, and he didn't even have time to say I love you. I think he just wanted to obey what they were saying and quickly get off the phone. The other thing I thought was weird is that he brought his cell phone with him, which he sent back as well, and that is the phone he called me on when he got there. I'm surprised that the RDC's would have let him use his own phone to call me. Maybe it is because so many people come in with cell phones that they can get the calling process done faster. He also called me prior to that phone call, he was actually at the Chicago airport, and told me that he heard they wouldn't sleep until 10:00 pm that night. At this time it was around 1:00 am! I felt really bad, because that would have been almost 48 hours with no sleep!! From what I have read, everyone says the first night is by far the least amount of sleep you get.

Do you know how many people are in each division, and does each division or ship have only 1 RDC to it?

Also, at night, does a RDC sleep in the sleeping area with them as well? I also watched the bootcamp clip on youtube which I found very interesting. My parents sat down and watched it with me. They have been through this with my brother, but he is in the Airforce so every branch as you know is very different. I loved how you could see inside and things they are doing from week to week. On that clip is said that their day started at 04:00-22:00, but I read online in 2003 they changed the start of the day to 06:00. Do you know if that is true or not?

My husband is from Brazil, so his parents are very worried because the Brazilian military training is so different than the US military. They still live in Brazil, so I am trying to give them as much information so their minds are put at ease. I have tryed to stress about how much of a good thing this is for him! And how proud they will be when he graduates. I did give them his address, and his Mom did say she already sent out a letter. Even though by the time it gets there, he will probably be almost done. Haha...better than nothing I suppose.

John said...

Megan, I know what you mean when you say the "recruiters tell them they can bring all this stuff". It also states that on the website for Boot Camp. http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/recruits/bring.html

The Recruiter for my kids told them to just bring what they were wearing and would need on the trip to Great Lakes. My daughter took her cell phone and used it to call us before she got to Great Lakes. My son took his PDA and Instant Messaged us from the airport. We knew those would come back to us and they did but they used those on the trip there. Those things were sent back when they got to Great Lakes. On the website for RCT ( Recruit Training Command ) it has a list of things that you are supposed to be able to keep http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/recruits/bring.html. My advise for others is to do what my kids Recruiter told us. If you can't carry it in your wallet leave it home. :) I think you are correct about your husbands first phone call on his cell phone. They were probably just trying to get it all done and that was the quickest way.

The first day is the hardest ( and longest ) I would be surprised if you husband got to sleep much at all on the first day or night. My kids got to Boot Camp in the evening and with all the paperwork, haircuts, shots, initial training ( how to address people, salute, march and so on ) they were up most if not the entire night. After that first day you get regular sleeping times ( they get 7-8 hrs a night ) Now that is not to say they will sleep that long every night. Some nights they might have Watch ( guard duty ) for 4 hrs. It is a job that they all do at one time or another and that can cut into their sleeping times.

Each Division is comprised of 80 Recruits and Three RDCs. ( You can see my sons RDCs in the picture for this Post, they are the three front and center ) I will ask my kids today where the RDCs sleep. I don't think it is with the Recruits but I will find out and let you know this evening. I think my son told me that they woke up at 6-7am every day but again I will check on that time for you.

The two videos on Youtube are really great. Hope you saw them both. Part 1 and Part 2.

Just keep telling your husbands parents that he will be fine. Boot Camp goes by really fast. I will get the info on the RDCs in Boot Camp and post back later today. If you have any other questions just ask.

John said...

Megan, I talked to my son John today and he said that their are 3-4 RDCs for each Division but usually 3. The RDCs go home at night and don't sleep where the recruits are. They do have a room near the recruits with a rack in it in case they are on Duty. John said that they must have a pool table there too because he heard them ( the RDCs ) playing pool a few times. :) There are RDCs on assigned duty each night but not necessarily the RDCs for your division, that make patrols of the birthing ( sleeping ) areas. John said it was usually every 2-3 hrs that they walked through but it can be anytime.

Megan11783 said...

John: Thanks! I asked my brother, and he said that his TI's didn't sleep in the same room either, so I was curious to see if the RDC's at Navy bootcamp sleep in the same room.

Today has offically been 1 week that he has been there, so I am hoping that he is starting to get use to the schedule. I also read that if you make it to the 3rd week then you are most likely going to get through bootcamp just fine and going to graduate, and that is also the week where they start to let up just a bit.

John said...

Your welcome Megan. It's true that if you make it through week three you are probably going to make it through Boot Camp just fine. Week three is the first big Physical test. If they are able to pass that test and they are doing ok in their other classes then usually all is well. I don't know about them letting up but it does get easier on the recruits. Maybe it is because they are getting used to the routine of Boot Camp life? Hang in there and as always if you have any questions just ask. If I don't know the answer to something I will call my kids and find out.

Megan11783 said...

Hey John, I was talking to my husbands recruiter the other day and he said that I could send him cookies if I wanted to. I am not sure on how true this would be. I mean, it seems as if they wouldn't allow it, but if they do I would send something out for V-Day. He said that if I do send cookies to keep in mind that it will get passed around to everyone else before he can get his hands on it. Do you know if sending a packaging of cookies is ok?

John said...

Megan, Sorry to have to tell you but, no you cannot send him cookies. If you do they will show them to him and then throw them away. The Recruiter should know that. They cannot have food sent into Boot Camp from the outside. Just send him a nice card. John

Also, for others that may be thinking about sending stuff to Boot Camp, if you send your Recruit pictures of yourself in compromising dress the RDC's will show the pictures to Everyone. That happened allot when my kids were in Boot Camp. Then the pictures are throw in the trash.

Megan11783 said...

Thanks John. I did't think I could, but I figured I would ask. It didn't seem like you could do something like that. When he recruiter told me that, I asked him if he was sure, because I heard you couldn't send anything but letters. His recruiter did tell me not to send him any pictures of myself, but I had already planned on not doing that anyways. I will just leave it to a nice card with a note.

sailorswife said...

My husband went to bootcamp on the 28th. I recieved his box of clothes today, but no address. Im worried that he is the only one not getting letters. No one has contacted me with a address. Usually do they graduate 8 weeks from the date they left??

John said...

Hello sailorswife, yes they graduate 8 weeks from when they started on a Friday. You can get his address from his Recruiter, it might take a week for the Recruiter to know but you can ask Monday. You will also get a letter from your husband soon with his return address on it. They can write letters every Sunday. They can receive letters every day except Sunday. If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask. I have two kids in the Navy and they both went through Boot Camp last year at different times. You can post questions here or e-mail them to me at kansasdad@gmail.com.

John said...

Megan, I am sure a nice card with a note would be appreciated by him. :) Good idea.

sailorswife said...

What about Power of Attorney. His recruiter told him he could do it at the MEPs but when he got there they told him he should have already done that and he will have to do it at bootcamp and mail it to me. I dont know how long that will take and I need it for tax purposes.

John said...

Hello sailorswife, I really think he should have had that done before he went to Boot Camp. I don't know if he will be able to do it while there but I don't think so. You should write him and ask him and you can also call the RTC Public Affairs at (847) 688-2405, or write to rtc.pao@navy.mil. and ask them. Sorry I couldn't help more with this question.

sailorswife said...

I heard that some can graduate before the 8 weeks then I heard it can be up to 9 weeks?? Whats true?? Do you think I will hear from my husband at least within the 3rd week??

John said...

Hello sailorswife, I am sure that he won't graduate before 8 weeks. It is almost always 8 weeks unless processing takes longer than expected and then boot camp is longer not shorter. It can also be longer than 8 weeks if your recruit fails a test and is sent back in training. That does not happen as much as you might think. You will probably hear from after he takes his PT ( Physical Training )test in week three to tell you he passed. They usually get a phone call then. As boot camp continues he will get more calls home as he passes milestones in his training. I think my kids called about 4-5 times while in boot camp.

You should be getting letters from your husband each week, they are given 5 hrs on Sundays to write home and so on. If he happens to be SIQ ( Sick in Quarters ) then he might not be able to write that week. They all get sick at some point so don't worry too much. Just write him lots of letters.

John

Megan11783 said...

Hey John: I feel a little concerned because everyone else I have talked with online got something from bootcamp with their husbands or boyfriends address and a little note from their recruit. I just got a phone call from his recruiter who gave me his address. Why didn't I get something like that in the mail? Also, my husbands division # seems so high. The highest division # I have seen has been like 990-and his is 7102? I have talked to a lot of others who had love ones leave Jan 23rd as well, and have the same ship # as my husband, but not the same division #. Do you think his recruiter gave me his right addresss? Now I am getting nervous that all of the letters I have sent him he has not recieved!

John said...

Megan, Call his Recruiter back and get the correct address from him. You will get a note from him soon with his address on it. The mail will eventually find him even with the wrong address.

You can also call RTC Public Affairs at (847) 688-2405 and ask them why the recruiter gave you that address.

Here is a general address list for Recruits.

http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/family/contact.html

Megan11783 said...

Well, I just called his Chief and he called Great Lakes for me. It appears I did indeed have the wrong division #. He is division 115 NOT 7102!!!! OMG, I am so upset right now. All those letters I have sent and I fear he hasn't got one. His Chief said he has no idea where his Recruiter got that division # from. I am just thanking God I called, because I had a strong feeling that didn't sound right. He also said as well that they will probably find him and give those letters to him. I really hope so!

John said...

Megan, I'm glad you have the correct address now. I wonder where the Recruiter got that address from? As soon as I saw it I know it was wrong. I am sure the mail that you already sent will find him eventually. Just keep writing and hang in there. After Boot Camp is over you can talk to him every day. :)

Megan11783 said...

I got a letter from Dan today!!! He said its not as bad as he thought, and the food is really good! He also told me that he had a PT test Tuesday, the letter was written on Sunday, and he said that if he didn't pass it he would be held back two weeks!!!!! I hope he did ok! I have faith that everything went fine. He also said he met some really cool guys, and the oldest guy in his division is 34! That is crazy. He sounded very positive, and I feel so much better now.

John said...

Hi again Megan, Glad you got a letter and feel better. Yea, my kids said that the food was great and they even have a salad bar. LOL Really. I'm sure he will do fine on his PT test. Most people pass but they all worry. My son said that one of the best guys in Boot Camp with him was 33yo. Keep in touch and let us know how he is doing as he goes through this. Hang in there, it will be over before you know it. :)

navymom20 said...

Hi John and all navy family folks,
I just discovered your web page and I'm so happy. My son went to Navy boot camp on January 14th and it has been really hard that we only hear from him once a week. And unfortunately, his letters are less than full of info. Three weeks ago he wrote that he was "P-5 Hold". No idea what that means. Two weeks ago, we got a letter saying he was very unhappy, had an infection in his leg,and had to go to medical real early every morning before everyone else gets up and spends the rest of his time ironing. He said he was really struggling and needs a letter every day. (You can imagine how I got busy at that point.) Of course I was really worried about the infection for safety reasons and also worried that he would be held back in the training. Then he called on Friday night and we missed his call by about 10 seconds! I was sick about it for two days and now just hanging on until Thursday when we usually get a letter from him. he did leave the message that he sent home the info about graduation, so I think that is a good sign he is on track to graduate.
It's great to see I'm not the only Mom hanging onto a thread through this process. Thanks for the place to connect.

John said...

hello navymom20. I know what you mean about the letters not having much info. My daughter went through Boot Camp a few months before my son and her letters were almost nothing. My son on the other hand wrote allot. I don't know what P-5 Hold is but I assume it is a medical hold. Hopefully they got the infection under control. They have good Doctors there so he really should be ok. That is good news if you got the Graduation Package from him. The letters that I got while my kids were in boot camp almost always came on Thursdays too. I do remember that one week we didn't get one from my son and found out later that it had been lost in the mail. That was a stressful week. LOL We eventually got that letter... Hang in there, most of the Recruits do just fine. Write every day and be very encouraging in your letters to your son. Keep in touch and let us know how things turn out.


You might want to read these post. I posted when my son would write home from Boot Camp. I would have done the same with my daughter but she didn't write much. :)

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/08/phone-calls-from-both-of-my-kids-that.html

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/08/got-another-letter-from-my-son-at-navy.html

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/07/another-letter-from-my-son-john-this.html

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/07/navy-boot-camp-second-letter-home.html

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/07/navy-boot-camp-another-letter-home.html

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/07/navy-boot-camp-third-letter-home.html

navymom20 said...

Thanks John. Those letters from your son fill in a lot of blanks. He should be giving letter writing classes to some of the recruits (I have one in mind already). I also checked out his blog and loved the video he has on there that shows some of the interiors of the training "ships" and some commnetary from the RDCs. It seems like boot camp survival is a mental process as much as it is physical and that letters from home really do help a lot. It also sounds like "not making it" pretty much happens in the first week if it is going to happen at all, so by the third week, they're over the hardest part.
Thanks for offering your family's experience as encouragemnt and support. Looks like you have some really great kids.

John said...

Hi again navymom20, yes, my son could give letter writing classes. :) You are correct that boot camp is as much mental as physical. Both of my kids say that Boot Camp consist of 25% physical Training and about 75% classroom Training. It is also true that most people that get kicked out are out in the first week or two, during processing week. If they make it through the third week they will probably graduate. By the time the third week comes along the Navy has invested allot in them and it is in their best interest to see that they make it through. You also might want to take a look at these two videos about Navy Boot Camp. It will give you a good idea of what happens during the 8 weeks that they are there. If you can't see the link correctly just e-mail me and I will send it to you. kansasdad@gmail.com

http://kansasdad.blogspot.com/2007/04/navy-boot-camp-recruit-training-command.html

navymom20 said...

Thanks, John. Those are great videos. good luck to you and your kids.

John said...

Thanks navymom20, best of luck to your son. Let us know how things turn out for him. Remember, just like anywhere they will have good and bad days. Both of my kids are happy now. My son is on his Ship "The USS Doyle" as an OS "Operations Specialist" in Mayport Florida, and my daughter is in her FC C-School learning CIWS "Close-in weapon system" in San Diego. I hear from them almost every day. It's nice...

sailorswife said...

I just got a letter from my husband and it basically says he is very depressed from missing us. Im really worried about him. If he gets to depressed what could happen?? Do they have people there for that kind of stuff. He also mention failing the run, I think thats what it said the run test? Then he started putting himself down and aplogizing to us for it. I m so upset and worried about him. He has never been like this ever Im so worried.

John said...

Hello again sailorswife, He can talk to a Chaplin if he wants to, they are available to all Recruits. The Chaplin can refer him to a Psychiatrist if need be. Being in Boot Camp is tough for anyone but for a married person it is even more difficult. Hopefully you two talked about this before he left. Being away for two months is hard but when he goes to the Fleet it could be for 6 months at a time while out at sea.

You need to write him encouraging letters, just keep building him up and tell him that you know that it is difficult but you know that he can make it through. If he failed the run test he will be given extra training and he will get to try again. That is not unusual, allot of people fail the initial test. My son helped a person that failed the first run test in Boot Camp. That person eventually graduated a few weeks after my son and is doing fine. On the other side of the coin if he cannot adapt he will be administratively processed out of the Navy for Failure to Adapt. That takes longer than Boot Camp. Both of my kids said that it is better to just keep trying than to get processed out.

After Boot Camp you will get to talk to him every day. Hang in there. Remember, tell him that you love him and support him and this will all be over soon.

John said...

One more thing, Only about 9% of the Recruits in Boot Camp are Processed out. So 91% of them make it through and Graduate. :)

Megan11783 said...

I finally got a phone call from my husband on V-Day. He sounds very encouraging and happy. He said that of course he has bad days, but its not that hard at all.

He did say that he failed his first PFA (Physical Fitness Assignment), but has passed his swimming test and written test and inspection. I hope that he passes his final PFA.

He also has a job RPO (Religious Petty Officer). We got to talk for 20 mins so that was just great. The best V-Day gift I could have asked for. He told me to just keep writing letters because it is very helpful and encouraging for him. I am just so happy that he is doing good :)

John said...

Good morning Megan. That is great that he got to call you on Valentines Day. Allot of people fail their initial PFA so don't worry too much. That is great that he is RPO, that means that the RDCs must like him and think he is going to pass.

John said...

This was posted to my guest book last night but I thought it had some good information in it so I thought I would re-post it here. John

"My son graduated 11-21-07. His boot camp was shortened because of holidays. He is now in A School at Great Lakes. He returned after there after Christmas and was the sickest he had been in 19 yr from the flu.

Indeed you carry your cell around and look for 847 Area Code and answer no matter what. After boot camp we talk by phone or on MSN every night. Video cam on computers alleviate a lot of worries as you can see them. When they enter at RTC during Graduation is so spine tingling and then hear Anchors Aweigh by them and Finally liberty call is so emotional. The RTC website is how I can keep track of his weather while there at Naval Training Command. He just made it back to day school as for the first 6 weeks was in night school. 12:30 am is real early for this mom.

Lots of encouragement and love is great. Remember to allow for at least a 2 week delay from when you write them and they respond. I found out later that the Navy Lodge in Great Lakes is a great and cheap place to stay for graduation. I just returned from there for just a 2 day visit and it was great. I live in far southeast Kansas in Gorilla country so travel to KCI is time consuming but well worth it. His division picture in his dress blues is awesome, speaking as an extremely proud Navy Mom. Keep up the encouraging letters and cards with pictures. Put them all in a box when you see him after boot camp for later reminiscing. I am starting his scrap book from RTC and NTC for future memories."

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
We were wondering if you could give us a little info about graduation weekend. Do families stay the whole weekend, or pretty much just Friday night? I guess the question is, how much liberty do the sailors have to spend time with their famiies after graduation?
Thanks.

John said...

On Graduation and Liberty for Sailors. On Graduation weekend they get off after Graduation and get to go on Liberty ( unless they have to work that day, some sailors will have watch and other duties ). They will also have off again on Saturday and Sunday if they are not Grad and GO, see paragraph below. My kids had off after Graduation on Friday and then again on Saturday and Sunday. Each night they have to report back to Boot Camp but their days are free to spend with their families. Most Families that attend Graduation stay the whole weekend.

http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/family/schedule.html
Some divisions may depart Recruit Training Command a few hours after graduation (Grad and Go). Some divisions may depart RTC the day after graduation. Please discuss liberty with your recruit during their phone calls home. Be sure to ask when they are departing boot camp for their next school.

Also see: Rules for Recruits on Liberty
http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/recruits/rules.html

Liberty expires at 2100 in the Sailor's berthing compartment, on Friday and Saturday evenings, and 2000 on Sunday evening.

No overnight liberty is authorized.

Families my pick-up and drop-off graduating Sailors for liberty from the designated site at MCPON Hall. Due to security checks and transit time, please allow ample time for graduating Sailors to walk back to their assigned ship prior to the end of liberty.

Graduating Sailors departing RTC for follow-on training the same day as graduation or in a duty status will be granted limited on-base liberty.

Graduating Sailors receive an in-depth liberty briefing prior to their graduation day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John. So far our son has only called once and we missed the call! So, we are really lacking in information. He doesn't put much in his letters either. So, your response is very helpful. He's supposed to graduate on March 14th, but we have no idea when he leaves for A school.
Thanks again,
Lisa

John said...

Hello Lisa. I understand what your saying. My daughter didn't call as much as my son and her letters were a little lacking in information. I found out later that she wrote more to her friends and called them instead us us sometimes. LOL, Kids.... I'm glad I could help you out. One suggestion that I have for you is to write your son a questionnaire and ask him to fill on his answers to your questions. My kids suggested that. I hope that helps. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

John - That is a great idea! I'm going to do it tomorrow for sure. Wish we'd thought of it sooner.
Thanks,
Lisa

John said...

Hi again Lisa. I hope that works out for you. My kids said that allot of the people in boot camp had a hard time with writing letters home and that it was easiest to answer questions directly. :) Kids just don't know how to write anymore in general. My son did a good job but he has always been a good writer, my daughter on the other hand was just a normal young adult. :)

They both say that a questionnaire would be more effective at getting the answers you want.

Anonymous said...

the petty officer female on the right looks like the one for my division. 273.

John said...

It probably is the same female petty officer as you division. :)

Megan11783 said...

Hello John! So, we have made it to almost week 6! I can't even believe how fast it has gone by. Seems like last week he left. I have missed him like crazy, but just counting down the days until I get to see him again. PIR March 21st!

Every Thursday I get a letter in the mail from him. He doesn't talk about a whole lot, but he did say in this past letter that they're all counting down the days until they're out of there. I do write him a letter everyday and send it out. He said that was very important to him.

I got a phone call at his 3rd week, and haven't got another since. Do you know if I will get another one, and if so how soon?? I have a lot of questions about when he will be leaving for A School, and if I get to have liberty with him on Easter Sunday. I love getting those letters in the mail, but by the time I get his, that week has almost already gone by. I ask these questions in the letters, but he never seems to answer too many of my questions. I have come to the conclusion that he is NOT a good letter writer. I just want to hear his voice again so bad.

John said...

Hello Megan, the time sure does seem to go by fast. I bet that they are counting down the days now, only a few left :) . That's great that you write him every day, that is a big help to him. On the phone calls it's really hard to say when he will call again. He should get a call after Battle Stations 21 on the USS Trayer. That is in the last week of Boot camp. If he passes he should be able to call you after that in the morning. (BST 21). Battle Stations 21 is the culmination of all training received at the Navy’s only boot camp. It is a grueling 12-hour test of a recruit’s skills in several shipboard evolutions, including fighting fires and stopping floods. The event is held entirely aboard Trayer and marks the recruit’s final rite of passage into the Navy. ). My kids got to call a few times near the end of Boot Camp but remember that phone calls home are rewards from their RDCs. If the RDCs don't think they earned them they won't get them. Also remember that the calls can come at any time of the day or night. We got calls ranging from 6am to after midnight. You can read more about Battle Stations 21 here http://www.nstc.navy.mil/battle_stations_21_New.htm

As to weather you will get to spend Easter Sunday with him or not is up to the Navy. It depends on when he leaves for his A-School. He is the only one that can answer that. Sorry, wish I could help more. I would guess that the chances are good that you will get to spend that Sunday with him but that is not a definite yes... God Bless you both and good luck.

BTW: If after he graduates he has any money left on the NEX card that he got in Boot Camp have him spend it before he leaves for his A-School. The NEX cards issued in Boot Camp are only good at the NEX at Boot Camp and not other NEX's.

My kids told me that and they just stocked up on junk. Remember the money for the NEX card came out of his pay at the beginning of Boot Camp so he might as well use it when he still can .

John said...

I thought I would post this site for the Naval Services FamilyLine. If you or a family member is new to the Navy this is worth reading.

http://www.lifelines.navy.mil/FamilyLine/NewtotheNavy/index.htm

Megan11783 said...

Thanks John! It is always nice to get as much information as I can, considering I am new to all of this :)

John said...

Your welcome Megan. Glad I could help. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello John! Well hopefully i'll get a letter from his soon. It's been a week now and i just wanted to know how hes doing. Thanks

John said...

I hope you do get a letter soon. If you don't know your Recruits address call his/her Recruiter and they will get the address for you. :)

Megan11783 said...

Well, I finally got my 2nd phone call last night. It was such a relief! He said they have already done final inspections and test. Now, just final PT tomorrow and battlestations on Sunday. He said he feels much better about PT because they ran on Saturday for 20mins and he was fine :) He also said they did the gas chamber, and he thought it was fun! He also said he got a medal for being a "sharpshooter" in his division. I didn't even know he could shoot.

Boot Camp isn't too bad at all he said, and some of the RDC's are really nice. He sounded so happy that theres only 11 days left until GRADUATION!!!

He also told me, the reason I haven't got more phone calls is because they have to do good as a division to get a phone call, or good on their test. Since he's only taken 2 test he has got 2 phone calls, because he got a 4.9 out of a 5.0 on both of them! Now, its just counting down the day.

samm said...

Hello, my son graduated Friday, March 7. He is still at Great Lakes. He was told that he would be going to Virginia in April. What would be the reason for the delay?

John said...

Hello Megan, That's great that you heard from him again. :) LOL about the Gas chamber. My son John said that it helped clear his sinuses... That's great about the medal. My son got that one too while in boot camp and he had never shot a gun before boot camp..

That is right about the phone calls, Tell him Congratulations on getting 4.9's. and welcome to the Navy...

John said...

Hello samm, I assume that he is going to VA for his A-School? They all start at different times and April could be the starting date for his. There could be several other reasons such as barracks being full in VA and so on. Nothing to worry about.. That is not unusual. Tell him Congratulations on Graduating Boot Camp and welcome to the Navy.

Manda said...

Hello. My boyfriend just left for Navy Basic Training on February 26. I have had so many questions but of course I can't really ask him because I don't get to talk to him. He has only called once which was the friday after he got there. And I just received my first letter yesterday. Anyway I thought you could answer one of my questions. For the graduation.. is there a limit of 4 guests only. I read that somewhere but I asked his recruiter and he said he's never heard of a limit. Just wondering. Thanks.

Manda said...

Also, you mentioned to someone earlier about sending your recruit pictures with compromising dress they will throw them away. What do you mean by compromising dress? If that's a bad thing then I shouldn't have a problem, but I've sent my boyfriend pictues, one being of his grandmother, just to keep him going and have something there to look at when he has some down time. Those shouldn't be a problem right? I hope not.

Megan11783 said...

I am happy to say that my husband called me today, and we talked for nearly 2 hours :) I guess today was called "Recruit Heaven", and thats where they get to eat Taco Bell, play pool & video games, talk on the phone, and do a bunch of other stuff. He DID pass his final PT! The first time he ran the 1.5 mile in 18 minutes, and this time he ran it in 12 minutes, with 69 sit ups and 47 push-ups! I was so happy. He has Battlestations tomorrow, and thats where he offically becomes a SAILOR! Off to graduation on Thursday! I am so happy :)

Thanks John for everything. This website has been great help. It gave me a lot of information I would have never known before. Once again, Thank You.

Manda said...

Wow, that must have been real nice. To talk for 2 hours. I would love that. Ive only talked to my boyfriend once and it was for 2 minutes. :( Hes only been there for about 3 weeks though, almost. Do they all get that? I hope so. What week do they take the PT test?

Megan11783 said...

Hi Manda! Don't worry and hang in there! My husband only called me when he got there, and than I got another phone call three weeks later, which lasted around 20 mins. I got a letter from him every Thursday, and didn't receive another phone call from him until his 6th week.

It all depends on their division and RDC's. If their division does good, then they will be able to get more phone calls home.

The reason I was able to talk with him for 2 hours is because it's his 7th week, and he has passed everything besides Battlestations, which he is taken today. He was in what you call "Recruits Heaven". Like I said, everyone is different, and every division is different. I talk with other ladies who hubbys graduate the same day as my husband, and have got many more phone calls than me, but didn't get the 2 hour phone call that I just got. So, it just all depends.

They have a PFA (Physical Fitness Assignment) test when they first get there, and a 2nd one around the 4th week. The final one is around the beginning of the 7th week. They have to pass the final in order to move toward graduation. If they don't pass they can be set back two weeks.

Good luck! You will get more phone calls, I promise. Just hang in there and write lots and lots of encouraging letters. He needs them, believe me :)

Manda said...

Thanks Megan. Yea so far his letter I got last week said that his division actually sucks. He says they are immature and don't seem to understand that they are in the actual military and not high school ROTC anymore. Which sucks because I know that determines his phone calls to me. So right now I am just looking forward to the letters. And I write him pretty much everyday and if I miss a day then I for sure write the next. Anyway thankyou for the encouragement.

Manda said...

Oh yea and even if he doesn't necessarily get the 2 hour phone call to me do they usually all get the Recruit Heaven if they pass?

Megan11783 said...

Yes, they all get "Recruit Heaven". I think it may depend once again on the divisions. I think some get it after battlestations, or the day before, like my husband did. Basically it's just a day where they get to eat Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, play pool, video games, talk on the phone, and do a bunch of other fun stuff. This doesn't happen until the 7th to 8th week though.

My husband called me yesterday to let me know that he passed Battlestations, and he is OFFICALLY a SAILOR!!! I was so happy. He was very tired though, because he hadn't slept in 36 hours. It was nice to end the converstation with "See you Friday"!!!!

Manda said...

That's so great that he's already graduating I'm so happy for you. It must be nice to be able to see him so soon already. How far away from Great Lakes do you live? I'm in Texas so it's gonna take at least 2 days to get there. I already have plenty of time off though and I'm not missing it for the world. My boyfriend actually got to call me today, while I was at work and I work at a daycare so you can't just leave your room you know. But there was someone else in there and I was like uh sorry but I gotta take this be right back. We got to talk for about 30 minutes I was so excited. He said it's not that bad at all anymore. But I wasn't to worried about that anyways. And I had to ask him about his graduation date once again because he would say it's gonna be April 18th but I didn't understand why because that wouldn't even be 8 full weeks of him being there. (He got there February 26) But he said because of the scheduling from when he got there that's when it's gonna be and he just got lucky for the time he got there. So that's good. Only a week less but that means there's only about 4 more weeks left before I see him. I can't wait. Well, be safe on your trip there Megan. Have fun. Thanks for the help.

John said...

Ok, I am back. I will answer the questions that I missed one at a time.

Manda, small pictures that he can put in his wallet should be ok, just don't send too many. Compromising dress means nude or partial nudity. Allot of those were sent to boot camp and shown to all the people in the division and then thrown away.

John said...

Megan, congratulations. :)

John said...

Manda, Yes they all get the Recruit Heaven after they pass Battle Stations. My kids saw a movie and ate pizza and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi John, my boyfriend left March 5, 2008, Wednesday, and I got my first letter from him today well 03/19/08, Wednesdsay, and he says the food is pretty good and the division lost a call because one of the recruits didn't know their left foot from right foot, and he graduates on May 2, 2008.

Do you know any where I can get cheap plane tickets ?

Does this mean he is in his first week, because he said NEXT WEEK SOMETIME WE SHOULD RECIEVE OUR BLUES AND WHITES LIKE THEIR SMURF UNIFORM LOL and he said they have been excercising and drilling and getting up 4:30 a.m. he doesn't like that lol

John said...

Hello Anonymous, Both of my kids say that the food was good in boot camp.

It's not unusual for the division to loose phone calls because the Recruits aren't working together as a team at the beginning. When one person falls behind the others are supposed to help that person out. It takes them a while to learn that. :)

Cheep Plane tickets can be found at

http://www.priceline.com/ and
http://www.expedia.com/

Those are the places that I would check.

He is in his second week, the first week is processing week. I laughed at him not liking getting up early. My son was great at sleeping before boot camp. He used to think it was early when he would get up at 10am. Now when he gets to sleep to 7am he considers it as sleeping in. LOL.

John said...

For your information:

PBS is going to host a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz April 27th - May 1st.

CARRIER, a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The programs follow a core group of film participants, from the admiral of the strike group to the fighter pilots to the youngest sailors, as they navigate personal conflicts around their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror.

http://www.pbs.org/weta/carrier/

Anonymous said...

Hi John, well I know you gave me two websites for cheap plane tickets, but have you ever tried priceline.com (the name your on price)?

John said...

My son John used priceline the last time he came out to visit us. :)

Anonymous said...

O ok thanks John

Do you think that my boyfriend will get to call on Easter Sunday, tommorrow ?

John said...

Anonymous, It's hard to say weather or not he will get a phone call today. All phone calls are earned by the Division. Each Division is comprised of 80 Recruits. So they all have to do well to get a phone call home. Just keep writing letters ( every day ) and it will all be over sooner that you think. :) God Bless and Happy Easter. John

Anonymous said...

O ok thanks John, I was really looking forward to taking to him since it is a holiday.

John said...

Hi again, you never know. Maybe he will get to call. :)It's really hard to say what the RDC's will let them do. Hope you have a great Easter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John I forgot to say Happy Easter to you too and no he didn't call lol

But do you know what I should do about this Navy Federal Credit Union packet that I got in the mail.

John said...

Hello again Anonymous. Thank you. Sorry to hear that he couldn't call but that is not unexpected at this point in his training.

Save the stuff from Navy Federal Credit Union. It sounds like he signed up with them for his pay. Both of my kids use Navy Federal. They have great rates and excellent customer service and even have an ATM on my sons ship. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you John

You have been very helpful

Megan11783 said...

UPDATE: Hello everyone!! I just got back from graduation weekend and it was amazing. I had the best time ever being able to see my husband/ SAILOR after 8 weeks. He looked so good and different. He lost 23 pounds, so it was a big shocker.

He was unsure of where he was going to school, and finally got orders. He was considered a "GRAD N GO" and that is something we both didn't know until I got to the graduation. The best part is that, his schooling ends up being at Great Lakes, so he was condersidered already in school. So, he not only had liberty, but had OVERNIGHT liberty with me. We both couldn't have asked for more.

When they released all of us during liberty I was only able to hug my husband, then he had to process into school. So, I didn't get to actually start my liberty with him until 6 PM Friday night, and had to drop him back off on base at 8:30 PM Sunday night. It was the hardest thing for the both of us having to say goodbye once more. I am hoping it won't be long until we see eachother again.

To all the ladies going to graduation, be ready for a heart felt moment! It will bring chills to your body, and a experience you will never forget!!!!!

John said...

Thank you for sharing your experience at Graduation Megan. That's great that you got to spend the night together on graduation weekend. That rarely happens.

My kids both went to A-School in Great Lakes and loved it. They liked being able to go to Chicago on the weekends. By the way what is your husbands rate ( job )? My son was in OS A-School and my daughter was in FC A-School while at Great Lakes.

Manda said...

Megan, that sounds like it was very worthwhile. I can't wait to go up there and hopefully have an experience that nice. John, do you know if the recruits are usually Grad n Go's? Is it rare that they are granted liberty for Friday or even the weekend? My boyfriend already knows he will be going to Pensacola, FL for A school so I guess that means if he is a Grad n Go then I'm only gonna be able to see him right after graduation and he's off. Is that right?

John said...

Hello Manda, it is rare that they are granted liberty for Friday and Saturday nights. Usually they have to report back each night to sleep in the barracks. As for your boyfriend going to Pensacola, FL for A school it is really hard to tell when he will be going. He could go right away if they are ready for him down there or he could be waiting at Great Lakes until things are ready in Florida. I have talked to people that have had to wait weeks before they went to A-School and others that left in a day or two. Sorry I'm not much help with your answer. Your boyfriend would be the best one to answer those questions.

Manda said...

Thanks anyway. Yea I know he won't be able to be out during the nights I read about that, having to report back in the evenings. But I was just wondering if he would even get to be with us during the day.. like have the weekend out with his family. But yea I know it always just depends on each recruit. Thanks for the help though.

John said...

Manda, The chances are good that he will be able spend time with you during the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They usually don't get shipped to their next assignment until the next week. :)

John said...

I received this e-mail a few weeks ago and thought I would post it for all that read here. Look at his suggestion for hotel stay at Graduation.

Had a truly memorable visit to Great Lakes for the Graduation on 29 Feb.

I'LL SAY IT AGAIN--- your posts and blogs about the experience and base itself,
gave some much needed insight and proved EXTREMELY helpful to helping us
understand and "know what to expect"

Our Grad was very impressed with how much we knew about "Boot Camp"
before he could even begin to TELL US a story.... heh.

Everything went smooth, from the parking to the liberty periods to the traveling
to/from Chicago.... very much grateful to your posts & responses all this time!

/Carlos F********

(I stayed at the Motel 6 Waukegan which was NOT advertised in the flyer,
but did receive a VERY IMPRESSIVE $50 nightly rate-- which beat out
anything the MWL flyer had offered)

Manda said...

Thanks again John. That's good to hear he will most likely get to spend time with us during the weekend. And also thanks for posting what that guy said about it. As soon as I saw that Motel 6 was cheaper I told my mom and we already reserved our nights there. That helped alot.

John said...

Manda, Glad I could help. :)

Sha' said...

Hi John this the Anonymous that you was talking to about getting a call on Easter Sunday lol

I talked to him yesterday which was Wednesday he called 2 times, because he thought he had to get off the phone so he called back and we talked for about 20 minutes and he says he graduates May 2, 2008, but he said Monday (03/24/2008) was 2-3, you know week 2 day 3 lol, and if you look at the calendar May 2, 2008 will only be 7 weeks, but he left March 5, 2008, so that is the full 9 weeks, but he didn't start training until like a week after he got there so I really don't know and the website also says that his division graduates on May 2, 2008

Sha' said...

Hi this the same Anonymous that you was talking to about Easter Sunday lol

I wanted to know does the weeks stop at 7 like when they say 2-3 like can you explain this to me I know it means week 2 day 3

1-1, 1-2, do the days stop at 7 such as 1-7

Manda said...

Sha', what website were you talking about where it says the different divisions' graduation days?

Manda said...

Oh wait nevermind I found it.

John said...

Hello Sha' said, First of all I am glad you got to talk to him on the phone. :) As for counting the weeks, it really depends on how long processing week is ( that can run from a few days to two weeks. Boot camp is 8-9 weeks total. Yes, the days stop at 7 such as 1-7 LOL.

manda, glad you found the website.:)

http://www.nstc.navy.mil/rtcgl/family/upcominggrad.html

Sha' said...

Hi John he is through with Processing Week lol and he graduates on May 2

Sha' said...

I know when he finished Processing Week, he started actually training on 03/13/08 and he arrived in Great Lakes on 03/05/08, so his processing took 8 days lol

Sha' said...

Ok and when you said the days stop at 7 lol such as 1-7, do we suppose to count Sundays too, even though they have free time on those days ????


Please help lol

Sha' said...

Hi John you didn't ever reply back to me !!!! LOL

John said...

Hello Sha', yes they count Sundays too. They only get about 5hrs of free time that day and the rest is normal boot camp work. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. :)

islandbabe4eva12 said...

Hello.... My fiance left for boot camp at the end of February and will graduate April 25th :) I have been working a lot of hours overnight and during the evening at the hospital. I have gotten some "private" calls on my cellphone. When recruits call does it always show up "private" Cause I have only gotten a few letters from him.

Thanks.

Stephanie

John said...

Hello Stephanie, Yes it did show up as private, unknown, and pay-phone when my kids called from boot camp so I would answer those calls if you can.

Since he graduates Friday he should be able to call you again after "battle stations 21" this week. :)

islandbabe4eva12 said...

Is Battle Stations 21 in their last week of boot camp? Otherwise I have no idea how to tell him that I am coming to see him when he is on liberty after Fridays graduation. You wouldn;t happen to know how to get a hold of a graduated recruit who would be on Liberty would you? My heart sank that I missed his calls. I work in the hospital and when i;d get these calls they were at different times and I would literally just miss them when I could make my way out of a patients room. I feel so awful.

John said...

Hi again Stephanie, Yes Battle Stations 21 is in their last week of boot camp, it is the last thing they do. After completing Battle Stations 21 they get their Navy Ball Caps and are in the Navy. There is no way except by mail to get a hold of a graduated recruit unless it is an emergency. Sorry. If you are going to graduation then you should be able to see him afterwards. Sorry you missed his calls, they come at all times of the day or night, it is up to the RDC's as to when they get to call home. He will get another phone call after he passes Battle Stations 21 ( that was probably yesterday or today ). After they graduate then they can make phone calls whenever they want as long as they are not on duty. He can also get a cell phone when he goes to his A-School. Hope you hear from him soon.

hankieraerae3.26.08 said...

my bf left for bootcamp on march 26th and he still hasn't called?. and i also wanted to know how many people can go to the graduation for bootcamp?. and how long is his "A" school?

John said...

Hello hankieraerae3.26.08, Don't worry about not getting phone calls. They only get a few while at boot camp and they are at the discretion of the RDC's. Write lots of letters to him.

Graduation after boot camp is limited to 4 people.

It's hard to tell you how long or where his A-School is. That would depend on his rate ( job ). What is he going to be doing in the Navy?

Anonymous said...

how much time do they get off after they graduation from bootcamp?

John said...

Hello Anonymous, After graduation from Boot Camp they have off most of the weekend. They have to be back in the barracks at night.

They don't get any leave until after they go to their A-School and then usually not until after they graduate A-School.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Im pregnant and my boyfriend just joined the navy he is in boot camp right now. he should be done before i have the baby but if not will he get to come home to see the baby after boot camp? Or can he not come home at all until after his a-school?

John said...

Hello Anonymous, I'm not sure what his leave situation will be in your case. I will ask my kids tonight and see what they say. Since you say boyfriend not husband that will probably make a difference. The military treats girlfriends like they were anyone else, no special privileges for girlfriends, just spouses. Sorry. I will post back after I talk to my kids.

Anonymous said...

my bf wrote me a letter and said that he might only be able to spend 30 minutes with me after he graduates..is that true?..

John said...

Hello Anonymous, It's possible. What were his reasons, is he grad and go that day? Most people get off the weekend after Boot Camp and don't go to A-School until the following Monday.

Amanda said...

Hi john. I asked about my boyfriend coming home for our baby's birth earlier. I was just wondering if you ever happened to talk to your kids about that. I was under the impression that if he was in A school they will notify him about the birth and allow him 48 hours leave. Im not sure if that is right. But i would really appreciate hearing your opinion on it.
Thanks Again

Anonymous said...

i don't know for sure if he is grad and go that day..he said that he found out the he might only get to see me for 30 minutes instead of 12 hours a day for 2 days..

Amanda B. said...

hi john.

my boyfriend just left for bootcamp yesterday...and these two days have definitely been the hardest of our relationship. i miss him more than anything. he's supposed to graduate July 4th....it seems so far away but so far, over these past 2 days I have written him two 5 page letters! haha.

i had a question....i thought that after bootcamp they get like a 7 or 10 day leave to go home....is that not the case? do they only have the liberty weekend where they have to check in every night, and then they go to A-school Monday?

he is at Great Lakes, and his A-school is also at Great Lakes, so does that change anything?

John said...

Amanda, My kids said that he should get leave when the baby is born and notify him about the birth but he has to tell his chain of command right away so they know in advance.

John said...

Anonymous, you are going to ask him why he only gets 30 min to see you after graduation. There will be a reason.

John said...

Amanda B, They don't get leave after boot camp except for that weekend and then only during the day time, yes they go to A-School the next week.

They usually get leave after graduation from A-School. My daughter and most people did. My son didn't get leave until he went to his ship after A-School. The ship needed him right away. Both of my kids went to A-School in Great Lakes. What rate ( job ) is your boyfriend? My kids asked.

Keep writing him letters and that will help him make it through those tough times at boot camp.

Amanda B. said...

John,

I don't know if this is considered his rate/job....but he is going to A-school for internal communications.

And also, do you know of a number I can call to find out his address? His recruiter told me he would call me when he knew, but I just wanted to get the letters out ASAP so I thought maybe if I called Great Lakes directly they would know sooner. Is there such a thing?

Thank you for the info!

Amanda said...

John,
Thanks so much for all of your help. Its very reassuring to know he will be able to come back at least for a short time for the birth of our baby.
I also wanted to ask, does the length of their a-school just depend on what they are going in for (hes going for intelligence and communications.)? Also are they allowed to have visitors on weekends when in school??
Thanks again in advance!

John said...

Amanda B., the best was to get his address is to call his Recruiter and ask him, don't wait for him to call you. They can get the address after the first week of boot camp.

John said...

Amanda, Yes the length of A-School depends on what they are going in for ( their Rate ). I know that you can usually see them on weekends but it depends on what phase they are in in A-School. There is phase 1, 2, and 3.

Phase 1 liberty ( usually last first 2weeks )
you can go out after school until 9pm on weekdays
Weekends are 7am - 10pm

Phase #2 Liberty ( usually last 3 weeks ) is Monday-Thursday after school until about 10:45pm

Friday after school until 11:45pm

Saturday 7am-11:45pm

Sunday 7am-10:45pm

Phase three Liberty you can be gone every day after school until 5am unless you are on duty.

If you or others in your building or ship mess up your Chief can put you back to Phase 1 Liberty and put other restrictions on you.

Amanda said...

Wow!
There is a lot to remember haha.
So the longer they have been in school the more liberty they get?
Also, do you happen to know where he would be attending a-school being in intelligence and communication?
Thanks Again!!

John said...

Hi again Amanda, Yes, the longer they have been in school the more liberty they get. There are a few jobs in the area or rate that you mentioned. A-School used to be in Dam Neck, VA for 89 days. I will ask around and see if it still is. Do you know what his exact rate is like "Intelligence Specialist (IS)"? His A-School is listed on his Navy contract that he signed.

Amanda said...

Yes it is intelligence specialist.

He was also testing to be a navy seal. He passed all the preliminary tests before he went to boot camp, but he was told he had to test again during boot camp or something like that. Would he be going to a school if he is a seal?

Amanda said...

oh! I also wanted to ask. My boyfriend and one of his friends left on the same day but they are on different ships and in different divisions. So will they not see each other at all?

John said...

Hi again Amanda, If he is going to be a Seal he will still go to A-School for his normal Rate and then go to Seal school. While in Boot Camp and A-School he will train harder than the rest of the guys. The seals exercise program is much more intense. My son said he saw the guys that were going into Seal training and "they exercised all the time."

In Boot Camp he will be in the seal division and take special test to make sure he qualifies for that. Becoming a Navy Seal is extremely difficult. If he makes it through all that it is a Great honor. God bless and good luck to him.

I will ask my kids if your boyfriend and his friend that went to Boot Camp together will get to see each other while there. My son is not available until Friday and my daughter is very busy so I will post back as soon as I find out.

You can read more about SEAL training here.
Navy Seals Training:
http://www.navyadvancement.com/development/navy-programs/navy-seals.php

John said...

Amanda, Also read

New SEAL School Dedicated at Naval Station Great Lakes.
Release Date: 2/12/2008 3:50:00 PM

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=34922

kalhprigkipissa said...

My boyfriend joined the navy and is in Bootcamp right now!
He's having a really hard time, He's only been there for alil over 2 weeks...I've gotten two letters...ok I have a few questions so sorry..

First off will he beable to get my mail everyday? or will they hold it?
what time do they usually give them their mail?
and If I send him letters everyday will he get them everyday?

Amanda B. said...

Hey John,

I have another question....On Great Lakes' site it says that my boyfriend's division is graduating June 27th....He left on May 1st....That's exactly 8 weeks, but I thought that with processing and all it would add an extra week to really make it 9 wks....Before he left the MEPs center told him he would most likely graduate on July 4th...and I believe the Great Lakes' site over them, but just wondering how it's turning out to be exactly 8 wks?

John said...

Hello kalhprigkipissa, I know he is having a really hard time. They all do the first three weeks. Write him and tell him that it gets better after week three and as the weeks go by. Tell him to hang in there. :)

They get mail every day. If you send them every day he will probably get them every day of just about. My kids did. I will ask my kids about the mail call time and let you know asap.

John said...

My kids said that Mail call at boot camp was at night.

kalhprigkipissa said...

Thank you so much for the reply! I am so happy to hear he will be getting my mail, I just hope the people handing out the mail don't get mad that I'm sending letters everyday!

and yes I'm trying to be really supportive.

thank you so much though, you have helped me most then anyone.

John said...

Hi Amanda B., If the Great Lakes website states that the graduation is June 27th that is when it will be. My kids graduated 8 weeks exactly too. :) It just means that the processing didn't take long for them.

John said...

Hi again kalhprigkipissa, Your welcome. If you have any other questions just ask. When I don't know the answer to something I ask my kids and their friends in the Navy. :)

Keep writing him daily. It is a big help to them to get that mail. If will get them through some tough times.

That's great that you are being really supportive. Keep that up. He will need it. All will be fine and worth it in the end. :)

The people that hand out the mail don't mind. They take turns being mail PO ( giving out the mail )

John said...

Amanda, you asked

"My boyfriend and one of his friends left on the same day but they are on different ships and in different divisions. So will they not see each other at all?"

John A. says (9:38 PM):
Probably not.

John A. is my son, I asked him on messenger and that is his answer. Sorry.

Amanda B. said...

Thanks John.

Ya know, I got my first letter from Shawn yesterday and it was the best! I couldn't have been happier!

But I also have a question about mail....Since you said mail call is at night, do they get to read the mail every night or do they only get to read everything on Sunday during their "holiday routine"?

kalhprigkipissa said...

Hello, Another question!

Earlier this week I had to send my boyfriend an important letter so I sent it express mail. Is that ok? or are people going to get mad or idk?

Amanda said...

Thanks John. Well they are going to to the same A-school so maybe they will see each other there. I got the first letter from him last week. He says that its not too bad there but he hates that they can't sit on chairs with back rests and that kinda sucks haha. He tests for seals next week, so cross your fingers for him to get in. Thanks again for all your help!

John said...

Amanda B., The get the mail in the evening and they are not really supposed to read it them but they all do. That is what my kids said. :)

John said...

kalhprigkipissa, That's fine that you sent mail using express mail but with the Navy post office at Great Lakes it still might take a while for him to get it. My kids said that it always seemed to take two weeks for them to get mail sent from us. We dated all the letters so they would know when we would send them. That was even the case while they were in A-School there.

John said...

Amanda, since they are going to to the same A-school they will get to see each other at that time. I had to laugh about the chairs. Best of luck on his Seal test.

Amanda B. said...

Hey John,

Thank you, that's good to know! Also, I read something somewhere [maybe here haha] about 900 division.....Is that just for the division 900, or an division that starts with 9? My boyfriend's in 932 so I was wondering if that's one of the special divisions.....

And also, does that mean they'll get less time to write or anything? What does that entail?

John said...

Amanda B. , My daughter Cindy was in a 900 division. That is the drill division. The 900 division consist of people that can be in the band, and such. My understand from my kids ( they went through boot camp at different times ) is that the 900 division is easier because the don't have to do as much PT ( Physical Training ) because they are busy marching and drilling. Yes that's any division that starts with a 9. No they don't get less time to write. :)

You can read an example of what the 900 division consist of here.
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navyjoin/l/aanavybasic3.htm

kalhprigkipissa said...

you said they get mail everyday, and then you said he might get it 2 weeks late! I'm confused!! so why would he get it 2 weeks late??
he's already been in there almost 3weeks and I've gotten two letters from him...So shouldn't he beable to get my letters since I live like 2 hours away from his great lakes naval base anyways?

John said...

kalhprigkipissa, sorry I confused you. They have mail call every day where they can get mail. The mail to boot camp goes to a central processing building and them is delivered to boot camp. Sometimes it takes a while for them to deliver the mail to the buildings. With my kids it took about two weeks for them to get the mail. This happened in A-School at Great Lakes also. Even with over night mail. Great Lakes would get the mail and it would sit somewhere for a week or two before it was delivered. We found that if we mailed letters every day they would get them daily starting two weeks after we mailed the first letter. All the letters were two weeks late arriving.

The mail that they would send to us on Sundays would arrive at our house on Thursdays, it was always Thursdays. It didn't take two weeks for us to get their mail. LOL, Go figure that one out. Most other people that I have talked to have been receiving mail from their boot camp recruits on Thursdays too. What days did you get the letters from him?

kalhprigkipissa said...

Wow, really? I really hope he gets my mail, I've been mailing letters everyday, sometimes even two a day, It's really important he gets the mail soon that's why I expressed it. If I get a letter from him Wednesday telling me he didn't get any mail I'm seriosuly going to cry.

Oh and I get it every Wednesday.

Amanda B. said...

Thank you for all the information John.

And dang, that sucks about the 2 week waiting period for the initial mail. It must suck for them to not be getting anything from anyone for two weeks!

And I'm sorry, but I have one more question....[I must be wearing you out haha!] I read on Great Lakes' site that only 4 people are allowed at the graduation ceremony.....Well, I know that his parents, grandma and little sister are gonna wanna go.....Is there really no other way to get an extra ticket? What was your experience with graduation? I know about the access list and all....I'm just so scared I won't be able to attend his graduation.

John said...

kalhprigkipissa, I am sure he will get your mail. It just takes a while for them to get it. Maybe yours will go through faster, I can just tell you my experience with the mail to Great Lakes. Hang in there and all will work out and be fine.

So you get it Wednesdays, and we got it Thursdays. We live in Kansas.

John said...

Amanda B. , Your welcome. That is correct that only 4 people are allowed at the graduation ceremony. More people can go to Great Lakes that day and see him after graduation. After he graduates he can leave base for the rest of the day.

I'm sorry but I don't know any way to get an extra ticket.

Ask me as many questions as you want. I never mind.

kalhprigkipissa said...

Yeah I live in IL like 2 hours away from greatlakes.

kalhprigkipissa said...

Do you know anything about division 931 ?

John said...

kalhprigkipissa, Living close probably helps with the mail.

My daughter Cindy was in a 900 division. That is the drill division. The 900 division consist of people that can be in the band, and such. My understanding from my kids ( they went through boot camp at different times ) is that the 900 division is easier because the don't have to do as much PT ( Physical Training ) because they are busy marching and drilling. Yes that's any division that starts with a 9.

You can read an example of what the 900 division consist of here.
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navyjoin/l/aanavybasic3.htm

anonymous said...

Hi John
Your site has been very helpful, THANKS...I heard that before the mail is given to the recruits it is opened and read first! Is this true?? I hope not because what I write is personal and private...And if it takes a while for them to get their letters,how soon before Graduation should we STOP sending them because they wont be there to get them???

John said...

Hello anonymous, I'm glad my site has been helpful to you.

To answer you question, no they do not open the mail before the recruits read it. The recruits have to open it in front of the RDC's and show them that their is no contraband in it and that is all. Don't send pictures unless you want everyone in the Division to see them. They do make them do that.

I would just keep sending their mail to them because it will catch up with them when they get a new address. If you don't want to do that then stop two weeks before graduation.

kalhprigkipissa said...

Well I got my first phone call from my boyfriend today! I almost didn't answer I didn't know the number, but I'm glad I did it really made my whole day. and he's been getting my letters and writing me, he said it's gotten alittle easier and he's doing better so that's good. =)

John said...

Hello kalhprigkipissa, Thats great that you got a phone call. :) As you have found out when you have people in Boot camp always answer the strange calls, they can be from pay phones, private numbers and so on.

I'm glad gotten a little easier and he's doing better. The first three weeks are the hardest. Hang in there and it will all be over soon.

Amanda B. said...

Hey John!

Another quick question: in A-School, when do the start getting any kind of libert whatsoever, and can they have phones or computers in A-school?

John said...

Hi again Amanda B. Liberty starts right away in A-School. It is three phases.

Phase 1 liberty ( usually last first 2 weeks )
you can go out after school until 9pm on weekdays
Weekends are 7am - 10pm

Phase #2 Liberty ( usually last 3 weeks ) is Monday-Thursday after school until about 10:45pm weekdays.

Friday after school until 11:45pm

Saturday 7am-11:45pm

Sunday 7am-10:45pm

Phase three Liberty you can be gone every day after school until 5am the next day unless you are on duty.

If you or others in your building or ship mess up your Chief can put you back to Phase 1 Liberty and put other retractions on you at any time.

Yes they can have both cell phones and computers. Both of my kids bought cell phones the first week of A-School and my son bought a laptop. You really can't have a desktop computer because you have to put it in your closet when you are not in your room during school.

Amanda B. said...

Oh my gosh! That is awesome! So since his A-School is 4 months, it's only the first 5 weeks where he can't stay out overnight? And the rest of the time he can til 5 am?

And, so maybe I'm being redundant haha but so if I stay up there the week following graduation, I can hang out with him every day after school?

John said...

That is correct Amanda B. :) Remember, all liberty is up to his Chief so things can possibly change but that is doubtful. You will probably be able to see him after school and definitely on weekends.

Amanda B. said...

That's fantastic! Oh yea! What clothes are appropriate for graduation? I got the invitation today and it said casual clothes....I mean is a dress okay? It's basically like a dress someone would wear to church...Sunday dress....is that ok?

Andddd also, I know they have to stay in their uniform for the entirety of graduation weekend, but what about in A-school? Are they permitted to wear civilian clothes on the weekends and after school?

John said...

Hi Amanda B., I talked to my kids and clarified some things last night about Liberty while in A-School.

While on Phase 1 and Phase 2 liberty they can't leave base on weekdays, only weekends. You could go see him on base but he would have to go to the gate on base at A-School to pick you up ( that was a 45 min walk at Great Lakes A-School ). On Phase 3 Liberty he could leave Base every night.

Appropriate clothes for graduation would be a dress for women or slacks and dress shirt for men. You can also dress casual if you wish to. No tea shirts with logos on them. Your Sunday dress would be great.

At A-School they are permitted to wear civilian clothes on the weekends and after school while in Phase Two and Three not Phase one. While in Phase one liberty they have to wear the uniform.

Amanda B. said...

Ohhhh ok. Thank you so much, I swear this has given me so much more help than anything on Great Lakes' website!

John said...

Amanda B., I'm glad I can help. I know that when my kids went through Navy boot camp last year there wasn't allot of good info out there. My son saw that when my daughter went through first and that is why he wrote long detailed letters home for me to publish to my blog for others. I wanted to help other people out with what happens and relieve their anxieties a little. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi John
I wondering if you can help me find out when my friend will get leave from A-school. He graduates bootcamp June 20 (he had told me that he came home after bootcamp but I think the recruiter gave him the WRONG info. He just found out is a GRAD and GO...His A-school school is in Groton CT. (submarine school) The first part is 4wks the second part is 9wks and then the third will be 7wks if he does auxiliary specialist OR 17wks if he does weapons specialist....And the third part will be in CT, GA, or WA... Does he do ALL of his school before he gets "leave"?? or is it before his third part?? or after the BASIC first part?? I'm soo confused. I really want to see him and I'm trying to prepare myself for how long the wait will be.....Thank You soooo much

John said...

Hello Anonymous, He probably won't get leave until after he is done in Groton. I will check with my kids in the Navy and see what they can find out and post back.

Anonymous said...

hello John: my husband went to boot camp on september 24 when he come back to home

Anonymous said...

my husband A school is in Pensacola on AV jobs how much time is this school and when come to home

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