Navy boot camp is a nine-week program that takes place at Recruit Training Command, RTC, in Great Lakes, IL. Within the first week of arriving at RTC, the recruit will be given the opportunity to send one address card home to give her family and friends the proper address for letters. Because RTC is such a large base, each ship--or barracks--has its own address. Therefore, you must wait for the address card from the recruit to know where to send the mail.
Use only a standard size envelope -- such as a No. 10 envelope, 4 inches by 9.25 inches -- to mail letters to the recruit. Larger envelopes aren’t accepted by RTC and will be returned to you.
Opt to send a greeting card to the recruit if you don’t want to write an entire letter. Don’t send the recruit any greeting cards that play music or have any other multimedia properties. Additionally, oversized cards aren’t permitted.
Include pictures, newspaper clippings, magazine clippings or even screenshots of websites the recruit enjoys, such as social media network websites.
Put some extra paper in the envelope for the recruit. During boot camp, recruits write on Navy stationary or in their recruit notebooks. However, some regular paper or special stationary from home may put a smile on the recruit’s face.
Place a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your home address in the letter to the recruit. These will usually fit in a regular envelope if you fold the self-addressed stamped envelope. Recruits are extremely limited in the amount of time they can spend writing letters. Envelopes that are stamped and addressed maximize the amount of letters the recruit can write.
Address the envelope to the recruit properly. Each recruit must have the initials SR in front of her name. This stands for "Seaman Recruit." The address format should be exactly like the format that follows.
SR Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial Ship XXX Division XXX XXX Drive or Street Great Lakes, IL 60088-XXX
Do not write or draw on the outside of the envelope, except for the mailing address and return address.
Mail the last letter to the recruit the day after you get the phone call that she has passed Battle Stations 21. Mail takes a few extra days to move around RTC, so letters mailed after that day may not reach the recruit before she leaves for her next duty station.
Don’t call the recruiting office or RTC to find out the recruit’s address. Because of strict privacy laws, the recruit is the only person who can give you the proper address. However, if you know the recruit’s ship number and division number, you can find the correct street address for the ship on the RTC website.
Never send the recruit a care package. Recruits aren’t allowed to receive any packages from home. So save the cookies and other goodies for Liberty Weekend, after the recruit’s Pass in Review.
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