Great Lakes

It’s time for graduation! While the excitement for a reunion is sure to be high, remember that your Sailor still has a few final milestones before officially becoming a United States Navy Sailor.

Continuing the Journey

Sailors will meet with their transfer clerks to determine the final details of their next duty station and receive their official orders.  The Navy recognizes the importance of this step and often pairs new Sailors with experienced sponsors who offer invaluable support and advice as they prepare for the next steps of their journey. 

This doesn’t mark the end of commemorating their boot camp experience, however. Sailors and their families often eagerly await picking up official Navy boot camp photos.  These pictures capture a pivotal moment in a Sailor’s life, a time of immense transformation and personal growth.  They become cherished keepsakes, serving as a tangible reminder of the challenges overcome and the foundation built for their naval career.

Preparing for Lifelong Service

This week, your Sailor will wrap up the Life Skills curriculum designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in their Navy career. Physical fitness remains a priority, ensuring they stay in peak physical condition. Additionally, they’ll receive briefings on liberty (free time off base) procedures.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo Fernan

Being graduation week, your Sailor’s division will practice their graduation ceremony with their entire training group. Your new Sailor wants to look their best for you and the whole world to see the “Newest and Sharpest” Sailors in the Navy. 


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Williamson/Released

Graduation week culminates on Thursday morning with the official ceremony, celebrating all Sailors who conquered the challenging 10-week boot camp experience. The culmination of their journey:  This formal event celebrates your Sailor’s accomplishment and the dedication of Recruit Training Command. Applause is highly encouraged to show your immense pride!

While not everyone can attend in person, a free live stream will be available on the Navy Recruiting Command Facebook Page for those who cannot attend. Only use the official Facebook page and YouTube channel for Recruit Training Command; they always stream the graduation ceremony for free!

The Transformation from Civilian to Sailor

The moment you see your Sailor in uniform will be unforgettable. They’ve accomplished a great deal, and you should be incredibly proud.  This week will fly by, and you’ll be reunited in no time.  For those traveling to graduation, safe travels! We wish your Sailor the best of luck throughout their Navy career.

Following Graduation

Liberty will depend on their assigned duty station and “A” School location. Some Sailors might remain at RTC for additional administrative processing, while others might transfer to a nearby “A” School on Naval Station Great Lakes. Transfers to more distant “A” Schools may occur over the weekend. Communicate with your Sailor to understand their specific itinerary. In “A” School training, Sailors acquire specialized skills specific to their chosen Navy career path.

On behalf of all of us at Sandboxx, congratulations! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your and your Sailor’s journey. Welcome to the Navy Family!


MCPO Don Garcia, USN (Ret)