November 21, 2013 – From the steaming hot days in the summer to the frozen snowstorms in the winter, Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Ill., is home to basic training for all Navy recruits. For a little over two months each recruit will eat, sleep, and live Navy and nothing else, to prepare him or her for A School, or specified training school. The Navy trained more than 30,000 recruits in 2010 and, according to NavyTimes.com. Recruit training can be a difficult and lonely prospect, especially if you have a significant other and children back home. Uprooting a life is a serious decision, and you can make a better choice if you know all the facts.
Your days at Recruit Training Command will be filled with Navy business, from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until the moment you close them at night, plus some time in the middle of the night. Recruits have very little social time outside of training camp. On many days they will have bare minutes to perform personal tasks such as reading and writing letters home, and it is a common practice for recruits to add a paragraph a day to a running letter until it’s full enough to send. Recruits are never allowed visitors until graduation day, and they are allowed only three calls during their training, the first of which comes when they are no longer recruits and become official sailors.
Because recruits live on base and have little to no time for friends and family during basic training, moving a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse and/or children to Illinois at this point makes no sense. The military will not pay for the move, and you’ll spend no time together. Once the sailor completes training and gets his or her assignment, this is when to plan the move. The military will move families through its Defense Personal Property System (DPS).
Great Lakes A School
If your recruit stays in Great Lakes for his or her A School training, you might move the significant other or family into temporary housing, but it will be at your expense. A School takes place after basic training and it’s where the recruit learns his or her trade.
If you and your significant other decide that he or she will stay in the Chicago area while you are in A School, there are a few housing options to consider. Only married couples qualify for military housing, so all others must seek alternatives. Those making a longer-term commitment can check for Chicago apartments from ForRent.com. You’ll find advice on neighborhoods, cultural attractions in the area, and even advice on what neighborhoods to search, as well as current listings for apartments in all price ranges and sizes.
If your A school won’t be in the Chicago area, an extended-stay hotel or apartment building is probably your best option. These suite hotels offer small apartments that house bedrooms, living areas, small kitchens, and work spaces, and come completely furnished with linens, cookware, and everything you need except food and clothing. Extended-stay properties generally rent by the month, but some are available for shorter stays. Ask about military discounts.