Navy Dads


Ship 5

For loved ones and graduates of Ship 5. This is a haven for those in need of support. PLEASE READ THROUGH THE MASTHEAD. THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE!


Members: 55
Latest Activity: Oct 19, 2020

Important Numbers and Information for Ship 5

About Ship 5

Ship 5 houses two groups of personnel:
    •  Departing Sailors who have graduated from Recruit Training Command and are awaiting orders to “A” school, also known as the Temporary Holding Unit (THU); and
    •  Recruits who have been removed from Recruit training for either medical or legal reasons, or failure to meet Navy standards. The majority of these personnel are awaiting their administrative discharge from the Navy.

Ship 5 is a modern, climate-controlled seven-year-old facility divided into compartments with a maximum per compartment capacity of 160 personnel.

All berthing compartments – both THU and Separations – contain a lounge area with couches or chairs, a television with DVD player, board games, and racks with books and magazines.

THU Sailors

THU Sailors are Sailors who have graduated from Recruit Training Command and are awaiting follow-on orders to their A school. The reasons  for placing a graduated Sailor on hold can vary from clearance issues to the need for special physicals. Sometimes it is as simple as waiting for a class to fill up.

These Sailors, however, are not just waiting around. THU Sailors follow a daily schedule. Many THU Sailors maintain work assignments while awaiting their follow-on orders, to include: manning the Ship, acting as escorts for recruits transiting to medical or legal appointments, or performing office duties at locations throughout the base.

THU Sailors are housed in separate compartments from separating recruits, with males on the lower deck and females on the upper deck.

THU Sailors also enjoy more liberty time, and are permitted to leave the base for recreation or visiting with family members. They may call home in their freetime.


Currently, an average of 70-80 separating recruits are housed in each of three separate compartments on the upper deck of Ship 5: male recruits are divided into medical and legal separations, and females recruits are housed together.

Recruits follow a daily schedule which may include: attending legal and medical appointments, work assignments and compartment watches. Recruits are offered life skills courses and receive counseling to assist in transitioning back to civilian life.

Recruits are granted two one-hour phone calls during the week, generally one week day and one weekend day.

After 4:00 pm each day, recruits are given personal time where they may watch television or movies, write letters to loved ones, read or play board games. During weekends, recruits may earn time in the recreational room, which has work-out equipment, video games, theatre style seating to watch movies, pool tables and internet access.

Daily Life

Sample Daily Schedule

0600-0700  Reveille
0700-0715  Personnel Inspection
0715-0825  Breakfast
0830-0900  Med Call
0800-1000  Field Day / Working Party
0830-0900  Departure Brief
1000-1130  Life Skills: Credit Reports
1120-1230  Lunch
1230-1300  Med Call
1330-1430  Life Skills Class
1600-1730  Unit Counselor Time
1730-1930  Dinner
1930-2015  Recruit Hygiene
2015-2100  Med Call
2115-2155  House Inspection
2155-2200  Tattoo / Taps


Recruits can typically expect to have the separation process take approximately 10 to 20 working days from the first day they arrive onboard Ship 5. However, it is important to note that every case is unique and the discharge process can be delayed by several factors, thus each recruit’s experience and situation will differ.

Unfortunately, due to the Privacy Act, Recruit Training Command’s staff are unable to answer questions from family members or friends regarding a specific recruit, including the reason for separation and any travel arrangements home. However, recruits are given the opportunity at their first appointment with the Legal department to sign a waiver to their Privacy Act rights and name any family members whom they wish to be given information.

If you have questions regarding separations procedures, please contact the Recruit Training Legal department on 847-688-4949, option 1 and then option 7.

If they are being separated on medical issue, have them sign HIPPA release so you can talk about the medical issues too.
Medical 847-688-6755


Q. How are recruits supervised at Ship 5?

A. Unit Counselors are assigned to each compartment and are responsible for maintaining good order and discipline 24 hours a day. They supervise the compartment and maintain the daily schedule. There are times when Unit Counselors must discipline recruits to maintain good order. This typically involves limiting activities such as television viewing hours, access to the recreation area, or limiting phone conversation (at no time are calls limited to less than 20 minutes).

Q. What medical facilities are available on Ship 5?

A. Personnel are never denied medical care; to help facilitate prompt care, Ship 5 is equipped with its own Sick Call to handle minor issues that may arise. Sick Call is conducted by Registered nurses Monday through Friday from 1300 until all personnel have been seen.

For more significant problems or time periods outside of normal Sick Call hours, recruits are seen at the main Recruit Training Command medical facility.

Recruits receive over-the-counter, non-prescription medication at Sick Call, including cough drops, Tylenol, etc, which they take immediately. If a recruit is given prescription medication by the main medical facility, it is collected immediately upon the recruit’s return from medical and stored in a locked locker. Unit Counselors conduct Medication Call several times daily and as needed to distribute medication. Medication is recounted immediately after distribution and then placed back in the bottle and returned to its storage area. Additionally, detailed records are maintained with the time and amount of medication distributed. These measures have been implemented to minimize the likelihood of improper use of medication.

Q. What are the conditions like on Ship 5?

A. All recruits have their own bed which includes locked storage for their personal items. Recruits do not share any items, including hygiene items. Compartments are cleaned daily and clean linen is provided every Monday. There is a laundry room located in each compartment and recruits wash laundry daily. Recruits also receive a minimum of one hour of personal hygiene time per day.

Q. What entertainment is available for my recruit on Ship 5 when they are not working?

A. Each compartment is equipped with books, magazines, board games, television and a DVD player. Recruits are permitted to watch television at the Unit Counselor’s discretion during non-working hours: typically 1600-2200 on weekdays and 0800-2200 on weekends and observed holidays. Movies shown do not have a rating above PG-13 and have been approved by the Leading Chief Petty Officer.

Please do not send movies to your recruit as they will be returned.


Q. May family members be authorized to visit recruits in the process of separation?

A. As long as they are in a recruit status, visits are not authorized.


Q. What is my recruit’s new address?

A. SR Last Name, First initial. Middle Initial
Ship 5
Recruit Training Command
3610 Illinois Street
Great Lakes IL 60088-3118

Q. I sent mail to my recruit at their other ship address before knowing about their separation. Will they receive it?

A. Yes, mail sent to recruits in separation will be forwarded from their old ship to their new ship.

Q. What happens to mail that is received after my recruit has departed Recruit Training Command?

A. Letters and packages received after a recruit has processed out of Recruit Training Command are marked return to sender and returned to the shipping authority (USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.).

Q. Is my recruit authorized to receive electronic devices, civilian clothing, etc., while in the process of separation?

A. Recruits in separations are not authorized to receive any items they were not issued or were unable to receive while in training. Be aware that while personnel are not authorized to open sealed mail, they may ask a recruit to open it in their presence to check for contraband.

Q. Is my recruit still only allowed to write home on Sundays?

A. No, recruits at Ship 5 are permitted to write letters every day. Their only restrictions are when there is formal instruction taking place or they are standing watch. Additionally, they are not authorized to write or read letter after lights out (2200). Restriction of sending or distributing mail is never used as disciplinary tool.


Q. My recruit called and said they were being separated, but I don’t have any further information. When will they call again?

A. Recruits being separated are required to call home, typically a 5-10 minute call, and notify their families they are being referred for separation and being transferred to Ship 5. Once they arrive at Ship 5 (typically a few hours after the above call is made) they are normally not granted further calls until after they receive their Indoctrination brief, which is conducted at 0700 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Once they have completed the brief, recruits are permitted another 10 minute call.

Q. Can my recruit make phone calls from Ship 5?

A. Recruits who have completed their Indoctrination brief are permitted one hour phone calls twice a week, typically on Wednesday and Saturday. However, those days are subject to change in the case of any scheduling conflicts or if personnel traffic is secured base-wide (typically due to inclement weather). A recruit may also be granted additional calls during the week if they need further information from their families or to contact a potential employer or on a case by case basis. Scheduled phone time is never taken away as a punishment, though the duration may be reduced for poor behavior, but never to less than 20 minutes. Phone calls are at no time monitored.


Q. Can you give me information about why my recruit is being separated?

A. Due to the Privacy Act, we cannot give out personal information about a recruit, including the reason for their separation. For inquiries regarding a recruit’s separation, please contact the Recruit Training Command Legal Department at 847-688-4949, Option 1 and then Option 7.  If no one answers or it is after normal business hours, please leave a detailed message. Before any information can be disclosed to anyone besides your recruit, they must fill in an “Authorization to Release Privacy Act Protected Information” and specifically name the individuals to whom they wish to release the information.

Q. What are the most common reasons for separation from Navy?

A. The following articles of the U.S. Navy’s Military Personnel Manual (MILPERSMAN) discuss common reasons for Entry Level Separation of personnel.  The below MILPERSMAN references can be easily located using your internet search engine.
    a. Convenience of the Government – Mental or Physical Conditions (MILPERSMAN 1910-120)
   b. Defective Enlistment and Inductions – Erroneous Enlistment (MILPERSMAN 1910-130)
   c. Defective Enlistment and Inductions – Fraudulent Entry into Naval Service (MILPERSMAN 1910-134)
d.Entry Level Performance and Conduct (MILPERSMAN 1910-154)

Q. What are ASMO codes and what do they mean?

A. ASMO stands for Assignment Memorandum Order. These codes are the internal administrative process codes the Navy uses to track the assignment and movement of personnel onboard Recruit Training Command. Below are some commonly used codes at Ship 5:
   a. 307 — Medical separation
   b. 309 — Legal separation
   c. 311 — Psychological separation
   d. 333 — Failed urinalysis separation
   e. 337 — Awaiting Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP, also known as Captain’s Mast)
   f. 349 — Restriction or extra duty assignments awarded by the Commanding Officer at Captain’s Mast. This is a temporary code.
   g. 350 — Medical Board separation

Q. What is the characterization of my recruit’s separation?  

A. The characterization for a separation is dependant upon the recruit’s actual time served in the Navy.
   a. Recruits who serve in the Navy less than 180 days are typically separated with a characterization of “Entry Level Separation (Uncharacterized)”.
   b. Recruits who serve in the Navy more than 180 days are typically separated with a characterization of “General Under Honorable Conditions” unless the reason for separation was due to any type of misconduct.

Q. Will the type of separation my recruit receives negatively impact their ability to obtain civilian or government employment or receive federal benefits (i.e. federally-subsidized loans)?

A. It is up to the company’s hiring authority whether to take into consideration any prior military service in their hiring decision.

Q. What are the main types of Re-entry Codes (RE) codes and what do they mean?

A. Pursuant to Bureau of Naval Personnel Instruction (BUPERSINST) 1900.8B, the following RE codes are most commonly used for Entry Level Separations:
   a. RE-3B — Parenthood/Pregnancy/ Childbirth
   b. RE-3E — Inducted/ Enlisted/Extended/ Reenlisted in error
   c. RE-3F — Failed the physical fitness assessment (PFA)
   d. RE-3G — Condition (not physical disability) interfering with performance of duty
   e. RE-3H — Hardship/ Dependency
   f. RE-3J — Failed entry level drug test, not drug dependent (must have disclosed at moment of truth, tested positive for marijuana only, and had been in DEP for less that 30 days)
   g. RE-3R — Not meeting the professional growth criteria
   h. RE-3X — Non-qualified swimmer
   i. RE-4 — Ineligible for reenlistment
   j. RE-8 — Temporary medical conditions or unsatisfactory initial performance and conduct

Q. Can the type of discharge or RE code be appealed?

A. If a recruit wishes to appeal their RE-4 code decision, they may submit a petition along with supporting documentation to the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). Information about the appeal process can be found at the BCNR internet website at: Board for Correction of Naval Records


Q. How will separated recruits be sent home?

A. Recruits being separated are sent to their home of record or within 50 miles of their home of record. Per Joint Federal Travel Regulations, service members must complete 90% of their first enlistment to be eligible for a flight home. Otherwise, the government-provided transportation will be the most cost advantageous to the government, typically via bus or train.

Q. Can my recruit upgrade their mode of travel?

A. Recruits wishing to upgrade their mode of travel must pay for it privately. Every recruit is afforded the opportunity to purchase an airline ticket if they prefer; it is their responsibility to make any necessary arrangements. If a recruit chooses to fly home, the ticket must be paid for in full privately, by either the recruit or the family. Once home, recruits may fill in the travel claim provided to them, and mail the claim and unused government bus or train ticket to Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) for 85% reimbursement of the government ticket’s face value.

Q. Is it possible to collect my recruit at Recruit Training Command instead of sending them home on a bus or train?

A. Absolutely. Although the government will provide travel for all separated personnel, you are welcome to meet your recruit at Recruit Training Command if you and your recruit prefer. Recruits are given their departure date at a formal travel briefing two days prior to their day of departure. Once your recruit has their departure date, please arrange a time to meet at the Great Lakes Metra train station located adjacent to Recruit Training Command off Buckley Road.

Q. Will transportation from the bus/train station or airport be arranged for my recruit?

A. No, your recruit will need to find onward (to home) transportation from the bus or train station, or airport.


Q. How long will my recruit be paid once they are in separation status?

A. All pay entitlements cease when Recruit Training Command’s Commanding Officer authorizes the separation. Until then, recruits will be paid the usual base pay they were receiving while in training.

Q. How will my recruit receive their final paycheck?

A. Direct Deposit is required for all payments, will typically be received in their bank account within 1-2 business days. If a recruit does not have Direct Deposit, they are instructed to contact the Customer Service Desk (CSD) – Recruit Training Command immediately upon arriving home with their banking information to receive final payment. If a recruit does not contact CSD, Defense Finance and Accounting Service – Cleveland (DFAS) will eventually cut a hard check and mail it to the separation address the recruit provided.

Q. Will my recruit be reimbursed for uniforms?

A. No, recruits are awarded a clothing allowance to pay for their uniforms.


Q. Will my recruit typically be eligible for benefits?

A. Most recruits separated from Recruit Training Command are not eligible for additional benefits. For additional questions regarding service member benefits, please contact the Veterans Administration.

Q. Does my recruit accrue leave time while in separation? If so, what happens to that leave?

A. Yes, all active duty service members accrue leave; however most recruits separating from Recruit Training Command are not eligible to “sell back” any accrued leave.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS 847-688-2405 if no word from recruit they will have them call back!!

LEGAL 847-688-4949 hit 1 at first prompt, 7 at 2nd.
***Have recruit sign WAIVER so they can speak to you about their case. The hours in Legal are 9 am to 5 pm Central Time. This is only if they are being separated and have been transfered to Ship 5.
If they are being separated on medical issue, have them sign HIPPA release so you can talk about the medical issues too.
Medical 847-688-6755

Contact your CONGRESSMAN if your recruit is getting a raw deal, it does wonders.
Recruit Training Command Ombudsman
(ombudsman assists with problems recruit s family is experiencing)
Ombudsman info
Great Lakes, Illinois 60088-2845
DSN: 792-3603 ext. 100
PHONE: 847-688-3603 ext 100

NORTH CHICAGO VA HOSPITAL NAVY LIASON; for hospitalized recruits
1-847-688-1900 ext.85438 or 85441
write to
5722 Integrity Drive
Bldg 768
Millington, Tenn 38054
Phone; 800-522-3451 Mon thru Fri 8am to 4 pm
Click here for more information from the Red Cross Red Cross Assistance Phone number; 877-2727337
TAMP (Transitional Assistance Management Program) is a program that offers TriCare standard benefits to separated service members (and their dependents) for 180 days after separation. The coverage begins the day following separation, and you can then go to CHCBP (Continued Health Care Benefit Program- similar to COBRA at $933/quarter for service member, $1900 for family), The separated service member has to call and activate the TAMP benefits. That's it- just a phone call. The service member had to have served for than 30 days and the cause for separation has to be no fault of their own (like a medical condition). Click the link below for more information.

TAMP Information


This contains all the codes and authorities complete with detailed explanations. It explains every block and every code on a DD-214.


Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services

  Department of Defense INSTRUCTION NUMBER 6130.03


Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces

  Department of Defense INSTRUCTION NUMBER 6130.4

Discussion Forum

Ship 5 Wanting to go back to Training

Started by Jay and Jean Henry. Last reply by Patrick J. Doherty Oct 19, 2020. 7 Replies

Our son worked hard to prepare for boot camp during the lockdown. He created a work out room on our front porch when school and gyms closed down. Kept a strict daily schedule for himself of keeping…Continue

In need of help for SR

Started by carrie elizabeth bratton. Last reply by Jay and Jean Henry Sep 30, 2020. 5 Replies

I need help concerning ship 5My daughter decided to enlist in the Navy, she left for bootcamp and was set to graduate on March 7th,I received a phone call 2 days ago informing me she was being…Continue

Moved to Ship 5

Started by Robin Lady. Last reply by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza Jul 9, 2019. 4 Replies

Hi, I am hoping to gain some insight, support, guidance on how to handle what is going on with my son.  When I first talked with him 2 weeks into basic at RTC, he said he had hurt his heel, saw the…Continue

12 days before he turns 20 and his times would qualify he's being separated

Started by Jim Mashburn. Last reply by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza Sep 19, 2018. 3 Replies

Hi, I'm new here and would just maybe like to get some advice if there is anything to do. My son tweaked his back a bit right at the point of the final 1.5 mile test and missed the time by 14…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Ship 5 to add comments!

Comment by Patrick J. Doherty on September 2, 2018 at 10:27am

Hi, Mark:  

Hoping that you are able to receive your daughter's phone call (s) as your family navigates the journey.    I was fortunate (very lucky) that I did not miss any of Michael's calls from Legal/Ship5, including the best one when he reported going back to boot camp.  Best wishes to you and your family.  ~ Pat

Comment by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza on September 2, 2018 at 7:53am

We will probably never fully understand this particular reason for separating a recruit. I would be a little anxious too at boot camp. There's a lot of yelling and tears those first few weeks. It's tough for a young person. 

I hope nothing but the best for her! Oh one more thing. She may be able to try again later. Pay close attention to the RE-Codes in the chart up above. It's possible to re-enlist with a doctor's waiver.

Comment by Mark on September 1, 2018 at 11:08pm
Thankyou so much! And thats a will do, I definitely understand that its a reason for everything they do in the process. Thanks again
Comment by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza on September 1, 2018 at 10:49pm

The HIPPA waiver is probably the most important part when it comes to anything medical. The doctors won't talk to you about her condition unless she signs one. 

Try not call very often, and don't get upset with the medical staff. They are only doing their job and that is to weed out recruits with potential risk.

Good luck!

Comment by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza on September 1, 2018 at 10:45pm

Mark, start here:

PUBLIC AFFAIRS 847-688-2405 if no word from recruit they will have them call back!!

LEGAL 847-688-4949 hit 1 at first prompt, 7 at 2nd.
***Have recruit sign WAIVER so they can speak to you about their case. The hours in Legal are 9 am to 5 pm Central Time. This is only if they are being separated and have been transfered to Ship 5.
If they are being separated on medical issue, have them sign HIPPA release so you can talk about the medical issues too.
Medical 847-688-6755

Comment by Mark on September 1, 2018 at 8:34pm
My daughter Caitlyn shipped out to bootcamp in the Great Lakes August 13th 2018. She called a couple of days ago very upset and disappointed because she was placed in Seps. She said she went to medical and they told her she had anxiety issues. I was stunned, and unsure what to say. She said she wants to go to bootcamp training, but she cant. In this short conversation, all I could tell her to do was fight the situation. I want to help her, but I dont know how to contact her, and i dont know how to advise her thru this process.
Comment by Paul Barger on September 18, 2014 at 7:50am

This adds to John Wards info on ship 5. My son was recently medically separated for his back and was in ship 5 and he told me many stories about how they were treated, some were scary. I would say that degrading someone who is psychologically unsound doesn't sound like a good idea.  These recruits are having a bad enough time without being put down in the process. I guess one guy went pretty far trying t hurt someone but I wont discuss details. Not trying to scare anyone but I think they need to watch what happens more closely. I did talk to the PA up there and he said he checked it out himself but found no wrong doing. I feel sorry for those that are so Homesick that they leave and have to go to ship 5. I guess it isnt the same as when I was there in the 70's. I can say my son called home several times each week and we talked for about 1/2 an hr each time. But he did not like the way he was treated, as John said kinda "Inferior" although the PA told me they treat them well and supervise them 24/7. I know better I was in for 13 years and served both Navy and Army as well as reserves. Tell your kids to keep their heads up and that your proud of them and try to ignore the mind games. God Bless all

Comment by Patrick J. Doherty on September 17, 2014 at 11:30am

Hi John:  I am sorry for what your family is experiencing.  Our son spent some time at Ship 5 and it was an emotionally challenging time for all of us.  If she has not already done so, your daughter will be able to speak to a Legal representative and will have an opportunity to speak with a Social worker as she transitions to civilian life.   I suspect the Navy does not wish harm to come to any of our sons/daughters in addition to being on a military post, thus activities are restricted.  I had an occasion to speak to representatives at Legal - they were professional, informative, and honest.  When our son met with Legal, each time he was permitted a phone call.  I was able to speak to Legal, also.  My very best wishes to your family and your daughter.  

Comment by Luis Daniel Christian on October 11, 2013 at 7:50am

thanks Paul

Comment by NavyDads Admin (Paul) on October 9, 2013 at 9:43am

here is a link to some general TAMP information...believe there is a link to eligibility requirements....


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