These words will change your children’s lives - for they are no longer just your children. If they have completed Recruit Training, they are now members of the United States Navy. They have earned the rights and responsibilities of a Sailor. And are embarking on a new adventure.

 

The purposes of the next few pages are to help parents, and other family and friends understand that this is a new adventure for the entire family.

 

Not only will you have to decipher all those new terms your sailor tosses at you, it quickly becomes apparent you need to learn to tell time all over again. Just what is 1930?

 

If your sailors have finished RTC, you have already received “THE BOX.” If not -- this is a box of extra items and clothing your new recruits will mail home to you shortly after their arrival. It does not mean that those awful meanies at RTC have harmed your child and are returning their effects. It just means there is no storage available. Please refrain from doing bodily harm to the Fed Ex/UPS/Postal employee whom delivers it. Especially since you will be spending a lot of time at the Post Office for the next few years, and will want to be on good terms with them.

 

If your sailor has just finished RTC and has now started ”A” school, or just reported to their first duty station, you may notice that those weekly letters you got during Boot Camp have abruptly stopped. Your sailor has not disappeared off the face of the earth - but is either busy with school or enjoying his new friends and a bit more freedom. Probably both are true. If this is their first time away from home, a little patience and understanding will go a long way. Encouraging them to remain focused is helpful.

 

If your sailor's new rate requires them to hold a security clearance, there will be a background investigation done. Strange folks with badges will visit you, your neighbors, your sailor's school, and workplace. This is all routine and normal. Be upfront and honest even if there are things that aren't complimentary. Better you tell them than they dig it up at the police station.

 

If your sailor is scheduled to go to sea, the following info will help you cope:  The more sailors on a ship, the longer the lines for everything. This includes the phones and the computers to email family and friends. There will be times that you won't receive any email from the ship. Sometimes email is shut down for security reasons or for operational reasons. Sometimes it's a result of the direction the ship is sailing. This  does not mean that your sailor is ignoring you or has fallen overboard or anything else dire. The work hours while at sea are long and grueling. When not working, most just want to sleep. Keep sending emails and snail mail, even though they can't answer. The sailors will still receive incoming mail and will appreciate your positive messages.

 

Life at sea is by nature, dangerous. Things happen every day both minor and major. These are warships. And when things happen - the news organizations are very quick to report. Most often the first reports are sketchy and not true. If there is something going on, sending multiple emails to your sailor isn't going to help. Again, patience is the key. Participating with other NMOL members in the chat, and on the message boards can be a great comfort in times like these.

 

Life on a submarine is called the “Silent Service”. Rules are very strict on releasing any information regarding submarines.  There will be times when your sailor will be vague, talk in general terms and really not tell you much of anything. As much as we want to be involved and know what's happening in our sailor's lives, there are things that we don't “need to know.” Again, patience and understanding will go a long way.  This applies to all sailors, and not just submariners.

 

Now that you know the frustrations, you should know that there are just as many joys to balance them out. The pride you will feel when you see your new sailor finish RTC or graduate from “A” School is incredible. The fun you will have as you pack all those Care packages to mail (Post Office--remember? Our moms are full of ideas for just about any occasion you may have.) Homecoming--another occasion of pride along with advancements in rate, transfers close to home, or to somewhere exotic are a few of the other memorable events for your sailors. Dust off those frequent flyer miles and venture out into the wonderful world of the U.S. Navy.

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Navy Personnel - Who’s Who

Navy Talk - What did you say”

Boot Camp - RTC Great Lakes

Graduation - Passing In Review

A Sailor’s Creed

NMOL History & Reunions