The recruit graduation ceremony, also known as Pass-In-Review, is a formal military ceremony which honors your recruit’s hard work and dedication to a new way of life, and ties together the future of the Navy with our long-held Naval traditions and customs.
This page includes all of the information you will need to visit your recruit for graduation, including the schedule of events and directions to the Recruit Family Welcome Center. Please review the information carefully. If you have additional questions not covered in these pages or in the Frequently Asked Questions, you may get in touch with RTC via the contact page.
Graduation Ceremony Tickets and Guest Policy
STEP 1: Fill out the security access form you received from your recruit
GUEST SECURITY ACCESS FORM: If you are going to be attending the graduation ceremony, please fill out the security access form, maximum four guests per form, and return to your recruit, (using the recruit's address provided in the letter you received from them) according to the instructions on the form. A link to download the form is located at the bottom of this page. Children under 3 years of age do NOT count toward the maximum number of guests and do not need to be listed. ALL GUESTS 3 AND OLDER MUST BE LISTED ON THE ACCESS LIST, INCLUDING MILITARY GUESTS (ACTIVE DUTY, RESERVE, RETIRED, VET).
GRADUATION CEREMONY SPACE LIMITATIONS: Recruit Training Command will issue up to FOUR tickets for the graduation ceremony, per recruit. The maximum number of allowed guests is based on safety regulations and the fire code for the drill hall, where the indoor ceremony takes place. Again, recruits are permitted to invite up to FOUR guests to graduation, NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE AUTHORIZED for additional guests. There will be times, due to the number of recruits graduating that number may drop to THREE, so please pay attention to the information you received from your recruit in their initial letter home. Please do not call for additional seats!
ONLY YOUR RECRUIT CAN CHANGE THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ACCESS LIST: Your recruit will be able to make changes to the access list. The last opportunity to make changes will be the week before graduation. If there is a change to be made to the access list (such as a name spelled incorrectly, name-swap, etc…) please communicate any changes to your recruit by mail well in advance. Recruit Training Command staff cannot change these names or release the names of those on the list. Please do not call to verify receipt of security forms, only your recruit can verify that.
STEP 2: Plan your travel itinerary
ACCOMMODATIONS & TRANSPORTATION: The U.S. Navy does NOT provide accommodations, air or vehicle transportation, or shuttle service. Naval Station Great Lakes Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department has teamed up with SatoVacations to assist with making airline and car reservations for Navy recruit families attending graduation ceremonies. Please refer to the Family & Friends Travel Guide to assist with hotel options, travel information, and recruit care packages. You can also visit www.navymwrgreatlakes.com, call 847-688-3593, or stay up-to-date with the Navy Morale, Welfare & Recreation App that has graduation information plus things to do in the local area. Look for "navymwrgreatlakes" at either Google Play or the App Store.
STEP 3: Pick up your tickets for the graduation ceremony
TICKETING: Everyone who is planning on attending a graduation ceremony MUST personally obtain a ticket, which will be distributed at the Recruit Family Welcome Center the week of your recruit's graduation. Tickets are free of charge, but you must have valid photo ID to obtain your ticket (driver's license, state ID, military ID, passport, or, for minors, a student ID, driver's permit, SSN card, birth certificate). Once you receive your ticket do NOT lose it, as this will be the only ticket you will receive. These tickets are not transferable and are the only means to access the base for attendees.
WELCOME CENTER ADDRESS/GPS: Navy Exchange (NEX) Burkey Mall, 2650 Green Bay Road North Chicago, IL 60088 (Do NOT use generic terms such as NEX, Recruit Training Command or Naval Station Great Lakes).
RECRUIT FAMILY WELCOME CENTER HOURS:
Thursday [10:00 AM to 7:30 PM] and Friday [5:30 AM to 8:30 AM]
**Certain federal holidays may require adjusting days and times.
Please refer to the website for those specific updates**
Plan accordingly so each person can check-in to receive a ticket for the graduation ceremony. If you don't have a ticket you will NOT be allowed entry to the base. Tickets will only be issued to guests who the graduating recruit has verified will be attending. Please ensure those who check-in to receive their graduation tickets are the same as those who were listed on the security form.
**DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO THE BASE WITHOUT FIRST PICKING UP YOUR TICKET**
STEP 4: Attending the graduation ceremony
ARRIVING: Once the gates open to the public, it will take some time to clear security at the gate, so please plan accordingly. Visitors 18+ will be required to present valid photo ID (driver's license, state ID card, passport, military ID card). Minors, who can't produce one of the forms of ID listed above, must present either a school ID, driver's permit, copy of birth certificate, or Social Security card.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
- 6:30 am: RTC gate opens to guests.
- 7:00 am: Ceremonial drill hall doors open to guests.
- 8:45 am: All guests must be seated. Ceremonial drill hall doors close, no further entry for guests.
- 9:00 am: Pass-In-Review commences.
- 9:20 am: Divisions arrive.
- 10:30 am: Pass-In-Review concludes.
WALKING ON BASE: Pedestrians may walk onto the base using the gate adjacent to the METRA train station (Gate 8). Shuttles, taxis, and shared rides from hotels will drop you off in the parking lot adjacent to Gate 8. Once on base, approximately a quarter mile from the gate to the entrance of Recruit Training Command's Visitor Center (USS YORKTOWN).
DRIVING ON BASE: A driver's license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance or rental car agreement and graduation ticket must be ready to present to security at all access points. Once on base, attendees will be directed to park in the parking structure adjacent to Recruit Training Command's Visitor Center (USS YORKTOWN). Please obey the following while driving on base:
- No cell phone usage while driving on base!
- Seat belts are required for all drivers/passengers at all times
- Motorcycle drivers/riders MUST have proper protective clothing/equipment such helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and over the ankle hard-soled boots.
- Recent graduates are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including motorcycles, and are NOT allowed to be a passenger on a motorcycle.
MULTIPLE SEARCHES POSSIBLE: All graduation attendees are required to enter through Recruit Training Command's Visitor Center, for security screening, prior to entering the ceremony itself. Every person, bag, and vehicle on the base is subject to search. Metal detectors and other security devices are in use onboard Recruit Training Command.
- ITEMS PERMITTED INTO GRADUATION CEREMONY: Small bag/personal item (purse, satchel, etc…), small diaper bag, small camera bag, and personal wheelchair or walker. Strollers and car seats are allowed but discouraged due to space limitations (you may leave them in your car).
ITEMS NOT PERMITTED INTO GRADUATION CEREMONY:
- Large bags, backpacks, luggage, posters, signs/banners, large tripods, gift bags of any size, and flowers.
- Alcohol, illegal drugs, knives or weapons will be confiscated by security. Any person found with these items will NOT be permitted to enter the ceremony.
NO WEAPONS! Weapons possession on federal installations is highly regulated and those in violation are subject to arrest and prosecution.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SAFETY ACT: If you are law enforcement and are required to carry a weapon at all times as a condition of your service; please contact Great Lakes Police Department, Deputy Chief Knapp at email@example.com or (847) 688-5555 well in advance of your visit to meet requirements for doing so on a military installation.
Map to Graduation Ceremony
Graduation Dates and Divisions
Click here to see the list of Training Group Grad Dates and Divisions
Departure from Recruit Training Command
Newly graduated Sailors who will attend advanced training (“A” school) in Great Lakes, Illinois will most likely transfer immediately after graduation. Those who will attend “A” school out of state may depart the following day after graduation. Please discuss liberty with your recruit during their phone calls home and be sure to ask when they are departing Recruit Training Command for their next assignment. Recruit Training Command Public Affairs does not have access to individual schedules. Only your recruit and his/her supervisor know their specific liberty schedule.
Graduation Streaming Live
*** Live Stream Graduations have been suspended until further notice. ***
Recruit Graduation Award Winner Certificate
Each Award Winner will receive a letter of commendation from the commanding officer in recognition of their superlative achievements during recruit training. This is true for everyone except the overall top grad who receives a Flag Letter of Commendation.
Guest Security Access Form
If you did not receive the security form from your recruit or you misplaced it, please download a new form and return to your recruit ASAP, for proper graduation ceremony access. The security form you received must be filled out according to the instructions on the form and returned to your recruit, which will ensure the recruits graduation ceremony attendees are properly accounted for. If this form is not received you will not be able to attend the graduation ceremony.