Illinois Traveler Information Map

Commander greeting Airmen at graduation


Welcome to your complete guide to graduations at Great Lakes Naval Station. This is an exciting time in the life of your sailor and we endeavor to provide you with the most comprehensive graduation information available for Great Lakes Naval Station. Graduation schedules and events are published below to aid you in scheduling your attendance at your sailor's graduation.  You will find many cost effective options for traveling to Great Lakes Naval Station.  You will be able to review the complete details on the many hotels available to meet your lodging needs.  The greater Great Lakes Naval Station area provides many options for dining ranging from fast food to full service restaurants.  Be sure to check out the information on the many attractions available for sight seeing.


Important Update - Change in Policy

The following RTC policy will be enforced for all graduations beginning with the January 4th, 2013 Graduation.  ALL GUESTS, including Active Duty/Retired Military Personnel, and those aged three and older MUST be on the access list.  (Please note: Children two and under do not need to be on the access list.)

Access list:  Recruits are permitted to place up to four names on the access list for graduation (children under 3 do not need to be on the access list).  Only the recruit may submit or change names, and no changes are permitted once the access list has been submitted to RTC Security the week prior to graduation.  Please be sure to write to your recruit to let them know who will be attending.

Great Lakes Naval Station General Information

Great Lakes Naval Station is located in Illinois adjacent to Waukegan, IL on the north of Chicago.  Click here for more information on air, bus, and train transportation for Great Lakes Naval Station.

Due to security measures that are implemented at Great Lakes Naval Station you may experience delays getting onto the base. Be sure to allow for extra time to make sure you arrive at the graduation event on time.

Family members and/or friends attending graduations that are arriving here by motorcycle must have in their possession a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Card. Without this card motorcyclists will NOT be allowed to ride on base.

During your recruit’s first week at Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Commanding Officer will send home an informational letter that contains very important information regarding graduation, including your recruit's graduation date, the names of their intended guests, and the password required for the gate pass. The gate pass is required only if you intend to bring your vehicle onto the base. 

Recruits are permitted to place up to four names on the access list.  If the names in the packet are different than the guests attending, please write to your recruit immediately to let them know so they are sure which names to include on the list.  They will put this list together before the final week of training and it cannot be changed once it is submitted to security, so please coordinate with your recruit as only recruits may place names on the list.  RTC can neither change these names nor release the names of those on the list.

Documentation required to obtain a vehicle pass if not obtain in advance for entrance into Great Lakes Naval Station:

  • Drivers license
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Vehicle Registration

What to wear to a graduation ceremony?  Your sailor will be dressed in a Navy Dress White or Blue uniform which is the Navy's formal uniform. You may wear want you want from casual to your Sunday's best.

Liberty Policies vary by unit and depending upon the next destination of your sailor.  Please see unit for details on liberty after graduation.

There are no animals allowed at the Graduation. The only exception is for service animals. Cell phones are not allowed in use while driving unless you have a hands free connection. The fine for using cell phones without hands free is $50.00 and $25.00 processing fee. Seat belts are required and strictly enforced.

Sailors in formation at graduation

Great Lakes Naval Station Graduation Schedule

Basic Training graduations from the Navy are conducted every Friday.  For complete graduation details and schedule of events please click here.

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