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Navy Boot Camp Graduation: Great Lakes

Preparing for Navy boot camp graduation can be very exciting, especially when you have accurate information regarding the schedule of activities. To help you plan...

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre N. McIntyre/Released)

Preparing for Navy boot camp graduation can be very exciting, especially when you have accurate information regarding the schedule of activities. To help you plan your trip to graduation, here is what to expect at Navy boot camp graduation in Great Lakes, IL.

Graduation Tickets

The most important thing you need to know about graduation is that all guests who plan to attend must be on the access list in order to pick up a graduation ticket.

During the first few weeks of training, you will receive information in the mail from your recruit regarding Navy boot camp graduation. Make sure you write down ALL of the guests that will be attending graduation on the included form and then send that information back to your recruit.

To get your tickets for graduation, you will need to pick them up in person at the Navy Exchange in the Recruit Family Welcome Center at:

2650 Green Bay Rd.
North Chicago, IL. 60088

The Recruit Family Welcome Center is open Thursday 10:00am to 7:30pm and Friday 5:30am to 8:30am. We recommend that you pick your tickets up prior to the morning of graduation; you won’t want to miss the ceremony because you’re stuck waiting in line!

Getting on Base

Where is Navy Boot Camp Graduation

Navy boot camp graduation is held at Great Lakes Navy Recruit Training Command. RTC Great Lakes is about 45 minutes outside of Chicago.

Navy Boot Camp Graduation Address

11025 W Downey Rd,
North Chicago, IL 60064

On the morning of graduation, expect heavy delays as all of the families make their way through the gates to get on base. The gates will open to guests starting at 6:30am the morning of graduation, and the hall where graduation will be held will open at 7:00am.

You will need to be in your seats for the graduation ceremony no later than 8:45am. We recommend arriving quite early to ensure that you get a seat for the ceremony.

To get on base, all guests will need to present a valid form of identification, including those who are 17 and younger. The following forms of identification are permitted for those 17 and under: school ID, driver’s permit, copy of their birth certificate, or social security card. You will not be permitted on base without a proper form of identification.

If you are driving on base, be prepared to have your car searched. Although this is not common, there is a possibility that it could happen. Remember this is an active military base; these measures are taken not only for your safety, but for the safety of others on base as well.

Graduation Schedule

6:30 AMRTC gate opens to guests
7:00 AMCeremonial drill hall doors open to guests
8:45 AMAll guests must be seated.
Ceremonial drill hall doors close; no further entry for guests
9:00 AMPass-In-Review commences
9:00 AMDivisions arrive
10:30 AMPass-In-Review concludes

Not sure what day your Sailor is graduating? Take a look at our list of Navy boot camp graduation dates for 2022.

Navy Boot Camp Graduation Live

If you or others in your family are unable to attend graduation, you can watch Navy boot camp graduation live stream.

Navy Graduation Dress Code

There is no strict dress code for boot camp graduation, though your Sailor will be dressed in either their Navy Dress White or Blue uniform. Graduation attendees have worn everything from custom Navy  t-shirts, to their Sunday best.

Read our Navy boot camp graduation packing list so you know exactly what you’ll need to bring for your trip.

Navy Boot Camp Graduation Gifts

Though not necessary, many families choose to get their Sailor’s a gift for graduating. Here’s a list of our top picks for boot camp graduation gifts.

Do You Get Leave After Navy Boot Camp

Your newly graduated Sailor’s next steps after graduation will depend on where they will attend A-School.

Your recruit will know where they are being sent, so it is best to discuss post-graduation plans with them. Send your recruit a Letter through Sandboxx to ask them about liberty after graduation.

Don’t forget to stop at the Navy Exchange before leaving base. Make sure to grab some Navy souvenirs and memorabilia, so that you can proudly represent your new Sailor. You’ll also be able to pick up a DVD of the graduation ceremony, as well as photos.

If you have a loved one at RTC Great Lakes, be sure to join our RTC Great Lakes Facebook group.

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