Navy Dads



Graduation Ceremony Guest Policy

If you are attending the recruit graduation ceremony, you must pick up your tickets in advance at the Recruit Family Welcome Center at Burkey Mall, 2650 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60088.

Ticket pickup hours: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, and 5:30 a.m.-8 a.m. Friday. If you are picking up your tickets on Friday, please allow yourself ample time to pick up tickets and arrive to the ceremony prior to 8:45 a.m.

Each guest must pick up their ticket individually and they must have an ID; parents may pick up their minor children's' tickets under the age of 18 with their proper form of identification.

There are no tickets available for extra guests or guests whose names are not on the access list.

Guests who do not have a ticket are not allowed on base and there is no waiting area for them.

Names cannot be changed/swapped at the time of pickup; only the names that are on the access list will be given tickets.

*PLEASE NOTE* If you are returning to RTC later in the day to pick up your recruit, everyone in the vehicle must still have a ticket in order to drive onto the base or else you will be instructed to turn around.

*** Certain federal holidays may require adjusting days and times. Please refer to the command website for those specific updates. ***

Early in training, your recruit sent a letter, which contains important information about attending the graduation ceremony. Please follow the instruction you received in the letter and fill out/return the security forms to your recruit so your names are placed on our access list. The security form you received must be filled according to the instructions on the form and returned to your recruit within seven days of the postmark.

Please communicate with your recruit well before the final week of training to be sure the right names are on the list and to note any changes.

ALL GUESTS, including Active Duty/Retired Military Personnel and those ages 3 and older must be on the access list. The maximum number allowed is four per recruit. Children under 3 do not need to be on the access list. Please coordinate with your recruit as only recruits may place names on the list. RTC staff can neither change these names nor release the names of those on the list.

NOTE: There will be times when the number is reduced to three due to the number of recruits graduating.

Only the recruit may submit or change names, and no changes are permitted once the access list has been submitted to RTC Security the week prior to graduation. Please be sure to write to your recruit to let them know who will be attending.

All guests 18 and over must present an original and valid, government-issued photo identification to RTC Security to enter the base (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.).

Guests 17 years or younger who do not possess one the items listed above must present one of the following: school ID, driver's permit, copy of their birth certificate, or social security card. On the security form you received from your recruit, the state ID number may be substituted with the social security number.


Uniform of the Day:
All Pass-in-Reviews at Recruit Training Command are formal ceremonies.

Military personnel participating in the ceremony shall wear the seasonally appropriate ceremonial uniform. Military personnel who arrive as guests shall wear the service dress uniform or service dress uniform equivalent. Military members who arrive in working uniforms will not be permitted inside the drill hall.


WINTER: Dress Blues with ribbons.

SUMMER: Dress Whites with ribbons.

Note: Working Uniforms (NWU, MARPAT, ACU, ABU, ODU) are not authorized uniforms for Pass-In-Review.



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Replies to This Discussion

my son graduated with 7 divisions. the person at the door let all of us in: 4 people on the list, 2 children and one extra person. They didn't even check the list because they knew there would be plenty of room for extras. we all got to enter at the same time.


Because there wasn't as many divisions graduating, we took the hotel person's advice (courtyard marriott). we signed up for shuttle the night before and left hotel at 6:45am. the shuttle took us to parking lot really close to the door. not much of a line of people waiting to get in. only took minutes. The shuttle cost is $3.00 per person.


After the ceremony, you can take any taxi that is out there. we just took a random one and they charged $3.00 per person also. no need to wait for specific hotel shuttle to get there, you can take any taxi.


you can take a few snacks and bottles of water with you. it is a long wait. if you have kids, take some coloring books or something for them to do. it's a long wait.


they sell navy hats right in the same graduating room. $5 each. they do sell a few snacks and some drinks. not a huge selection.


courtyard marriott: about 10 min away. the staff was really helpful. Walmart is right across the street. they have large suites that were able to accommodate all of us. 2 double beds and pull out sofa bed, fridge and microwave.

Anastasia's restaurant is right next to parking lot. the staff was great. we went there two different nights.

our new Sailor didnt get as much liberty time as we were expecting. he wanted to head back to base by 6:15pm (needed to report at 7pm). so we had to rush the dinner...the staff at Anastasias really had to hustle to get his meal ready in time for him to eat it. they were super accommodating.


going to chicago with Sailor on liberty: we got going on the road around noon. ran into traffic going there and coming back. it took a lot longer than expected. we went to Shedd Aquarium. we bought the membership so we could go w/ the shorter entry line, but that still had a line. i politely told the other groups waiting in line that i had a new Sailor with me and only a few hours of liberty and asked if we could cut in line. They were ALLLL so nice and let us cut line and congratulated my son. in fact, my son said it felt weird to be held in such high regard when in boot camp they are the bottom of the totem pole..haha.

so, after cutting line, we had two hours to really rush through the aquarium. we left the aquarium at 4:15 and ran into traffic on the way back up north. rushed to anastasia's for a quick dinner.


i'm not sure why he had to muster at 7pm, but i dont think i would recommend going to chicago if that is all the time you sailor has.


it was fun, but glad its over with and he is safely off to A School.

If you read the top of the discussion you will see that RTC is very clear on the number of guests allowed. 

As of January 1st, 2013 Recruit Training Command will enforce the following policy:

ALL GUESTS, including Active Duty/Retired Military Personnel and those ages 3 and older must be on the access list.  Children 2 and under do not need to be on the access list.

12 or less divisions within the training group: FOUR guest maximum per recruit.

13 or more divisions within the training group: THREE guest maximum per recruit

Individuals not on the access list will NOT be able to enter the drill hall and we do NOT have a standby list.  In addition please plan on arriving at least 1.5 hours before the ceremony, which begins promptly at 9:00 a.m.

These changes arose because of changes to the Fire code and they are NOT flexible. Have occasionally heard rumors that extra guests have been allowed to wait in the chapel- however I would NOT count on there being someplace on base to wait.

I sent the question in about this and received a response from the Navy. They said that the Chapel would be available, but don't recommend it. As it might be full. Has anyone recently been and can confirm this? My 78 year old dad wants to be there and because of family issues we can't stay the night before. Soooo we have to drive up that morning. I'm willing to sit in the Chapel with him and my wife instead of the drill room and watch it. If anyone can help out, it would mean a great deal to me.
Thank you, Gino Pardini

We were there 30 January 2015, extra guest's were taken to the Chapel but the video would not work so they brought them down and they were able to personally witness the PIR, now that was quite an anomaly and please don't plan on the video system malfunctioning. I would take your dad if it were me. Go to Sarge's Meet and Greet you will never be sorry and Sarge will give you way more up to date info than you can imagine. Also I suggest you either take a shuttle from your hotel or call Sarge for a taxi, I do not work for Sarge but after PIR I called him for a cab to take us back to the hotel following PIR, another cab came, I called Sarge back to ask if he would mind and he said "get out of the cold",  about 15 minutes later he called me back to make sure we had made it! You can TRUST Sarge.

By the time our Sailor went back to his ship to pick up orders it was after 12. We went to the Paragon for steaks, I cant remember the street but google has a good memory. We had six meals for under 100 and every meal was good, service was excellent. Congratulations and have a safe and good trip.



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