boot camp graduations
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Please be aware that it can take 30+ minutes to park, get through base security, and walk to the drill hall by 8:45 a.m.

  • 6:30 a.m. - RTC Gates open to visitors. Security screening begins.

  • 7 a.m. - Visitors begin walking to drill hall.

  • 8:45 a.m. - Guests should be in seats.

  • 9 a.m. - Recruit Graduation commences.

  • 9:20 a.m. - Divisions Arrive at drill hall.

  • 9:45 a.m. - Arrival Honors.

  • 10:30 a.m. - Ceremony concludes.

  • 10:35 a.m. - Liberty Call. Recruits meet with guests at drill hall. Recruits and guests transit back to parking area.

  • 8-9 p.m. - Liberty expires for recruits.

Please drop your recruit at the base early enough for them to walk back to their ship.

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. Continue to write your recruit and stay informed. Recruit Training Command Public Affairs does not have your Recruit’s schedule. Only your Recruit and his/her supervisor know the specific liberty schedule that they have.

Liberty is ‘time off’ from training.
Recruits may not smoke, drive, or consume alcoholic beverages while on liberty.
Recruits must stay within a 50-mile radius of RTC.
Recruits must remain in their complete uniform while on liberty. If they are engaging in physical activity or swimming, they must be in authorized gym clothes.
Recruits receive an in-depth liberty briefing prior to their graduation day.

There is no guest housing or prearranged transportation provided by Recruit Training Command. RTC highly encourages you to purchase REFUNDABLE tickets in case your recruit does not graduate on time. Lodging is available in the surrounding community. Cities within ten miles of RTC include North Chicago, Waukegan, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, and Gurnee. If you fly into Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway or Milwaukee airports you must arrange your own transportation from the airport to Great Lakes. Use the services of to book your hotel room.

Wheelchairs and handicapped seating are provided at the Visitor’s Center for anyone requiring them.
If you require a sign language interpreter, or if you use a seeing eye dog, please contact the Public Affairs Office as soon as possible.

Pets are not permitted on RTC. Working animals are permitted, but please call the Public Affairs Office in advance.

All visitors must have valid photo identification.
This requirement includes children (School ID, Social Security card, or copy of birth certificate suffices).

All persons, articles and vehicles are subject to and may be searched. Metal detectors and other security devices are in use onboard Recruit Training Command. Expect a delay at the security checkpoints due to this added security requirement.

Permitted Carry-Ins
  • Small purse
  • Small diaper bag
  • Camera/video recorder
  • Camera bag
Discouraged Items
These items are allowed, but discouraged due to space limitations. You can leave them in your car.
  • Luggage
  • Strollers
  • Car seats
  • Backpacks
Contraband will be confiscated and you may not be permitted entry. (Not all items listed)
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Knives
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Pepper spray
If you're planning on attending pass-in-review ceremonies, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Access to Naval Station Great Lakes has been greatly modified in response to our heightened security posture.
  • When walking on Recruit Training Command, please stay within the route marked by our road guards and please be cautious of curbs.
  • Smoking: Smoking or the use of any tobacco product is not permitted anywhere aboard the Recruit Training Command base, indoors, outdoors or in vehicles.
  • Seatbelts: Please be advised that base regulations require that all occupants of motor vehicles wear their seatbelts while aboard RTC.
  • Photography: Family or friends of recruits who are graduating are allowed to bring photographic equipment on board to take pictures. Note: Film is available in the vending machines at the visitor's center.

If you need information concerning your visit, please feel free to ask for assistance from any of our staff members. If they cannot help you, they will find someone who can.

While on liberty, recruits are not authorized to drive or consume alcohol.

Have a safe and enjoyable visit in the Great Lakes area!