3rd Brigade of the US Army Cadet Command is located onboard Naval Station Great Lakes, which is described as the largest military installation in Illinois. NS Great Lakes serves as the entryway to the Navy for all enlisted personnel; Navy boot camp and associated operations are located at Great Lakes and the installation employs more than 20,000 military and civilians.
3rd Brigade partners with universities “…to recruit, educate, develop, and inspire” ROTC cadets and Junior ROTC members. Find information about US Army Cadet Command 3rd Brigade, Illinois, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and in processing.
Mission And Units
3rd Brigade, US Army Cadet Command exists to run ROTC and Junior ROTC programs at participating educational institutions in the Cadet Command’s area of responsibility. Universities that partner with 3rd Brigade include, but are not limited to:
- Eastern Illinois University
- Illinois State University
- Loyola University
- Northern Illinois University
- Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
- Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
- University Of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
- University Of Illinois – Chicago
- Illinois University
- Wheaton College
- Iowa State University
- University Of Iowa
- University Of Northern Iowa
- Kansas State University
- Pittsburg State University
- University Of Kansas
- Michigan Technological University
- Northern Michigan University
Naval Station Great Lakes History
Naval Station Great Lakes began in 1905 with construction lasting until 1911. The installation had humble beginnings. Great Lakes opened its doors to Basic Training and accepted the very first Navy recruit trainee in July of 1911 (Joseph Gregg of Terre Haute, Indiana). The first Great Lakes graduating class consisted of a mere 300 graduates. That number would grow after the early days–the installation trained some two thousand sailors per year.
But World War One brought about a major increase in the number of recruits. At war’s end, some 45,000 sailors went through Great Lakes to receive training. A total of 125,000 sailors had been through boot camp at Great Lakes in the course of the war. And World War Two would bring even more progress to the installation–approximately one million sailors received training at the Navy base during World War Two.
Great Lakes was not the only place sailors could attend boot camp, but that would change in the 90’s. Naval Station Great Lakes became the sole basic training facility for sailors thanks to the work of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) in the middle of the decade.
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.
In the 21st century approximately 40,000 new recruits are processed by Recruit Training Command. There are approximately 7,000 recruits training at the installation at any given time.
3rd Brigade/NS Great Lakes Phone Contacts
3rd Brigade Headquarters
2730 Sampson Street, Bldg 73
Great Lakes, IL 60088-2845
Important Naval Station Great Lakes Contact Numbers
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (847) 688-6675
- Base Operator (847) 688-3500
- Civilian Personnel Office (847) 688-2222
- Emergency 911
- Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility (847) 688-6712
- ID/CAC Card Processing (847) 688-5550
- Information and Referral Services (847) 688-3603
- Law Enforcement (847) 688-3333
- Legal Services/JAG (847) 688-4753
- CDC Resource and Referral (847) 688-3100
- Child Development Center (847) 688-4470
- Child Development Center (847) 688-5662
- Child Development Center-Kids World (847) 832-9580
- Child Development Program Administrator (847) 688-2110
- BCAC Capt. James A. Lovell Cust. Serv. Dept. (847) 688-1900
- Capt. Lovell Health Center/Fisher Health Clinic (847) 688-6712
- Dental Clinic, Capt. James A. Lovell Health Care Center (847) 688-3331
- Family Housing Office (847) 688-3440
- Gateway Suites & Inn/Central Billeting Office (847) 688-6675
- Navy Lodge (847) 689-1485
- ID- Personnel Support Detachment (847) 688-5550
- Navy Legal Assistance (847) 688-4753
- Victim Services (847) 688-3603
- Personnel Support Detachment Midwest (846) 688-5550
- Recruit Training Command (847) 688-4700
- Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) (847) 688-3805
- Training Support Center (847) 688-4862
- CDC Resource and Referral (847) 688-3100
- School Age Care Programs (847) 832-9580
- School Liaison Office (847) 688-5700
- Loan Closet in Fleet and Family Support Center (847) 688-3603
- Personal Property Office (847) 688-5371
- Relocation Assistance Program (847) 688-3603
- Transition Assistance Program (TAP) (847) 688-3603
- Travel Office in Student NEX, Information, Tickets, And Travel (847) 688-3537
- Welcome Center / Family Housing Office (847) 688-3440
Great Lakes is located approximately an hour from Chicago and roughly an hour away from Milwaukee. 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 Willis Tower, once called the Sears Tower, is the 12th largest building in the world.
There are many major league sports teams in the area including the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and the Chicago Bears. The Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Admirals are all big draws for sports fans from all over the world.
The suburbs west of Chicago have many attractions; Oak Park is one such suburb–it was the childhood home of Ernest Hemingway and features much of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. Further south of Chicago, roughly four hours’ drive from the city you’ll find the capital city, Springfield, which is home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.
Check-In And Inprocessing
If you have received PCS orders to 3rd Brigade, contact your sponsor as soon as possible to discuss check-in and in processing requirements. If you do not have a sponsor, call your gaining command at 317-688-3328 to get instructions.
NS Great Lakes and the 3rd Brigade are served by Child Development Centers which provide full and part-day care for children ages six weeks through five years. Contact the CDC as soon as you get orders to the area as waiting lists may apply.
Call Child Development Center (847) 688-4470. You can also take advantage of something called 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 childcare within the Great Lakes area should contact the Child & Youth Referral office at 847-688-3100 for both on and off-base care.
All military PCSing to the installation are directed 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 healthcare for patients serving at Naval Station Great Lakes. This facility is unique; advertised by VA as a “first-of-its-kind partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.” The Lovell Center combines medical care “into a federal health care facility with a single combined VA and Navy mission”. To book an appointment 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
Those serving as “permanent party” military at Naval Station Great Lakes, 3rd Brigade and otherwise, send their children to a local school district where the family lives/zip code.
North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 offers pre-kindergarten through high school classes. Call the Great Lakes School Liaison Representative to get assistance with school transfer issues at 847-688-5700 for more information on school choices and related information.
Naval Station Great Lakes Housing
Housing is available on and off base. There is privatized on-base housing 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.
You will need to complete and submit DD Form 1746, Applications for Assignment to Housing. 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
If you are traveling on PCS, TDY, or leave orders should call 425-304-3366 or DSN 312-727-3366 to inquire about on-base lodging. If you are coming to Great Lakes with family members, 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. Availability may be affected by mission demands, training requirements, or other variables.
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.
Ask your sponsor for the most current policies regarding base access, especially for first-time visitors as policies are subject to change due to threat levels, mission demands, etc. All forms of ID must be unexpired and at least one may be required to be REAL ID Act compliant. Ask your sponsor about this before you PCS to the area.