Naval Station Great Lakes is the United States Navy’s largest training base, the largest military installation in Illinois, and is the gateway to the Navy for all enlisted personnel. The Navy’s only boot camp facility, plus associated operations are located at Great Lakes. The installation employs more than 20 thousand military and civilian workers.
Find information about Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Naval Station Great Lakes Mission And Units
Naval Station Great Lakes is referred to as the Quarterdeck of the Navy and is home to more than 50 tenant commands. Great Lakes is best known for Recruit Training Command and Navy boot camp, but also Training Support Center Great Lakes (which specializes in Navy Surface Warfare), Navy Recruiting District Chicago, and also (but not limited to):
- Marine Corps Recruiting District Area 9
- Marine Air Control Group 48
- U. S. Military Entrance Processing Command
- Navy Drug Screening Lab
- Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Great Lakes Reserve Component Command
Great Lakes is host to Commander, Naval Service Training Command, the only flag command at the installation.
Naval Station Great Lakes History
The earliest planning for Naval Station Great Lakes began in 1905 and construction ran through 1911; the entire installation consisted then of just under 40 buildings.
Once upon a time, Navy recruits simply joined and get their training on-the-job, but after conflicts such as the Spanish-American War, certain trends in the quality of Navy recruits were noticed and Navy officials decided to conduct a study resulting in the determination that there was a need for the facility that eventually became Great Lakes.
The Very First Basic Trainee At Great Lakes
The installation had humble beginnings; Great Lakes got its’ very first recruit trainee in July of 1911; Joseph Gregg of Terre Haute, Indiana. The first Great Lakes graduating class consisted of 300 new Sailors.
World War One
For about six years, the installation trained about two thousand sailors per year, but World War One happened and accelerated the number of recruits (as many as nine thousand at one point) and increased the number of buildings to well over seven hundred.
By the time the war ended there were some 45 thousand sailors in training. A total of 125 thousand sailors had been through boot camp at Great Lakes in the course of the war.
More Expansion In World War Two
The expansion in World War One would be mirrored in World War Two; military historians estimate that from the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the surrender of Japan in 1945 approximately 16 million military members were in active duty service. Four million of that number were sailors, with one million of them having been trained at Naval Station Great Lakes.
Naval Station Great Lakes Becomes The Only Navy Boot Camp
In the mid 1990s, Naval Station Great Lakes mission would become even more critical thanks to the work of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), which made Great Lakes the sole United States Navy basic training facility.
BRAC closed Naval Training Center San Diego and Naval Training Center Orlando plus the Recruit Training Commands for those boot camps, leaving Great Lakes to handle the Navy’s entire boot camp mission. Today, some 40 thousand new recruits are processed by Recruit Training Command; there are approximately 7,000 recruits training at the installation at a time.
Naval Station Great Lakes Contacts
2601 E. Paul Jones Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088-2845
- Phone 847-688-2702
- Phone (DSN) 312-792-2702
- Fax 847-688-3970
- Fax (DSN) 312-792-3970
Important Naval Station Great Lakes Contact Numbers (unless otherwise specified, all numbers begin with (847) 688)
- Billeting 2170
- Child Development Center (6 wks – 5 years) 4470
- CDC (6 wks – 5 years) 5662
- Child Development Home Office (CDH) 5498
- Glenview Kids World (6wks–teen) 847-832-9580
- Great Lakes Youth Ctr/School Age Care 5573
- Dental Clinic Fisher Clinic 3331
- Dental Clinic USS Osborne 2100
- Dental Clinic USS Red Rover- Inprocessing 5567
- Emergency Maintenance 4820
- Eye Clinic Fisher Clinic 5317
- Eye Clinic USS Red Rover 4983
- Duty Officer Naval Station Great Lakes 847-340-0495
- Fire (on base) 2135
- Fire -(housing residents only) 911
- Medical 7500
- Police Base 9-911 / 3333 Non-emergency 5555
- Police (Housing Residents Only) 911
- Army ROTC/3rd BDE 3328
- Defense Health Agency/DHA 3950
- Defense Service Office 4753
- Dental 7500 x 83749
- DLA Document Services 5489
- DLA Disposition Services Great Lakes (DRMO) 3655
- DRMO/DLA Disposition Services Great Lakes 3655
- Drug Screening Lab (NDSL) 2045 x 110
- Family Housing 3440
- Fleet and Family Service Center 3603
- FISC Midwest 6975
- Great Lakes Fire Department 3324
- Great Lakes Police Department 5555
- LEARN Charter School 847-473-3845
- 9 th Marine Corps Recruiting District (847) 887-8306
- Marine MACG48 GDO 847-722-9073
- Medical Clinic Appointment Line 1-800-941-4501
- Administrative Chief 7129 x 223/221
- Naval Service Training Command 4760 x 10
Naval Station Great Lakes Surrounding Area
Great Lakes is about one hour from Chicago and an hour away from Milwaukee. There are many major league sports teams in the area including the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Bears. The Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Admirals are all big draws for sports fans from all over the world.
Chicago is home to a variety of music, arts, and culture attractions including the Chicago House Of Blues, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and the Chicago Art Institute. The downtown attraction Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) is the 12th largest building in the world.
The area is famous for its’ music, urban barbecue scene (especially the Taste of Chicago food-centric outdoor festival held each year) and the area has been the location for many famous film productions including the Transformers films, Batman, and television productions like Chicago Fire.
The outskirts of Chicago includes the famous Oak Park suburb which was the childhood home of Ernest Hemingway and features a large amount of architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Naval Station Great Lakes Check-In And Inprocessing
24-hour a day check-in is available Naval Station Great Lakes via the Quarterdeck of the service member’s gaining command. Those who arrive to Great Lakes during duty hours must report to the unit’s Commander’s Support Staff / Quarterdeck. Great Lakes recommends new arrivals bring the following documentation to inprocessing and check-in:
- 10 copies of PCS orders minimum
- Birth certificate or certified copy
- Marriage certificate where applicable
- Any advance travel pay or allowances paperwork
- All household goods paperwork including the household goods inventory, TMO information, all moving receipts
- Employment record / resumes of civilian family members
- Medical and dental records (family members, too)
- Immunization records (including family members)
- School records/transcripts (including family)
- Pet medical and immunization records
- Letters of credit from utilities companies are recommended to avoid security deposit requirements
Naval Station Great Lakes Services
Child Youth Placement is a service for permanent party military members stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes, offered by the installation Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department. Parents who need for childcare within the Great Lakes area should contact the Child & Youth Referral office at 847-688-3100 for both on and off-base care.
Great Lakes encourages military members relocating to the installation to use the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil to manage household goods shipments. Additional assistance may be available from the Great Lakes Household Goods office. Contact them at [email protected]
The Lovell Federal Health Care Center offers medical services to patients serving at Naval Station Great Lakes. This facility is unique; advertised by VA as a”first-of-its-kind partnership between the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense” The Lovell Center combines “all medical care into a federal health care facility with a single combined VA and Navy mission”.
This operation began in 2010 when the North Chicago VA Medical Center and the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes merged resources and services. 40,000 Navy recruits and approximately 67,000 eligible military and retiree beneficiaries from Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin get their care at Lovell. The facility has satellite operations at Great Lakes:
- USS Osborne (Bldg. 1017)
- USS Tranquillity (Bldg. 1007)
- USS Red Rover (Bldg. 1523)
- Fisher Clinic (Bldg. 237)
To book an appointment, veterans should call 800-393-0865, and TRICARE patients should call 800-941-4501.
ID Card Replacement, Renewal For Retirees, Dependents
Appointments for ID cards, CAC, and Retiree ID replacement or renewal should be made via the RAPIDS Appointment Scheduler website.
Naval Station Great Lakes Schools
Children of permanent party military members serving at Naval Station Great Lakes will send their children to a local school district where the family lives. North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 offers pre-kindergarten through high school classes.
As many as one-third of the district’s students are military children whose parent(s) are assigned to Naval Station Great Lakes. The Great Lakes School Liaison Representative is available to help new arrivals; call 847-688-5700 for more information on school choices and related information.
Naval Station Great Lakes Housing
Housing is available on and off base; the on-base housing system has been privatized and is operated by Hunt Companies. Applications for base housing at Great Lakes must be submitted to the Navy Housing Resource Office once the military member receives official PCS orders and must include a completed DD Form 1746 (Applications for Assignment to Housing).
Also required-a copy of (not originals) Page Two of the member’s Permanent Change of Station orders as well as a Detachment Endorsement (NAVCOMPT Form 3067).
It is advised not to submit base housing applications via the third party website HomeLink.com. Great Lakes Housing availability is good both at the installation and in the local community. Call the Navy Family Housing Office at 847-688-3440 for assistance with housing in the area.
Naval Station Great Lakes PCS and TDY Lodging
New arrivals check in at the Naval Station Quarterdeck in Building 2000. Unaccompanied military members will receive Bachelor Enlisted Quarters on the installation. PCS, TDY, and those traveling on leave may call the Front Desk; call 425-304-3366 or DSN 312-727-3366 24 hours a day.
Those arriving to Great Lakes with military families should call NGIS to check the availability of on-base temporary lodging facilities at 425-304-4860 or DSN 312-727-4860. Pets are not allowed in NGIS.
Naval Station Great Lakes Transportation
Naval Station Great Lakes Quarterdeck / CDO operates a free base shuttle bus. Schedules and more information is available via 847-688-3300 or DSN 312-792-3300.
Naval Station Great Lakes Vehicle Registration Requirements
Naval Station Great Lakes requires on-base vehicle registration. A valid driver’s license is required, plus current insurance (see below), valid military ID and if the vehicle is registered to someone else, a letter of permission is required to show the military member is authorized to operate that vehicle. Registration can be done at the Base Visitor Center located at the main gate.
Naval Station Great Lakes Vehicle Insurance Requirements
Naval Station Great Lakes requires drivers operating privately owned vehicles on base to carry minimum Illinois vehicle insurance coverage:
- $20,000 for bodily injury / death of one person
- $40,000 for bodily injury / death of all persons as a result of one accident
- $15,000 for damage to property of others for one accident