Great Lakes Naval Training Station

Great Lakes Naval Training Station

Naval Station Great Lakes
North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Naval Station Great Lakes insignia
Coordinates 18|33.08|N|87|51|0.25|W| name=


In use 1911 – present
 United States of America
Controlled by Template:Country data United States Navy
Garrison Recruit Training Command
Commanders Captain Randall John Lynch, USN
Great Lakes Naval Training Station
Great Lakes Building 1
Nearest city Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
Area 193.2 acres (78.2 ha)
Built 1906
Architectural style Classical Revival, Other, Federal Revival
Governing body Federal
NRHP Reference # 86002890[1]
Added to NRHP September 15, 1986

Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes) is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago. Naval Station Great Lakes is the second largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy. The base has 1,153 buildings situated on 1,628 acres (6.59 km2) and has 50 miles (80 km) of roadway to provide access to the base's facilities. Within the naval service, it has several different nicknames, including "The Quarterdeck of the Navy", or the more derogatory "Great Mistakes".

The original 39 buildings built between 1905 and 1911 were designed by Jarvis Hunt.[2]

The base is like a small city, with its own fire department, Naval Security Force, and public works department.

One of the landmarks of the area is Building 1, also known as the clocktower building. Completed in 1911, the building is made of red brick, and has a tower that stands 300 feet over the third floor of the building. The large parade ground in front of the administration building is named Ross Field.

Major Tenant Commands

Recruit Training Command

Naval Station Great Lakes
Location of Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois

In 1996, RTC Great Lakes became the Navy's only basic training facility. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission of 1993 resulted in the closure of Naval Training Center San Diego, California and Naval Training Center Orlando, Florida, their associated Recruit Training Commands, and the consolidation of US Navy enlisted recruit training to Great Lakes. Approximately 40,000 recruits pass through Recruit Training Command annually with an estimated 7,000 recruits on board the installation at any time. RTC Great Lakes has been active for over 100 years.

Training Support Center

TSC Great Lakes is the Navy's premier technical training command. It has an annual throughput of 16,000 sailors a year. TSC supports the following six learning sites:

  • Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS)
  • Center for Naval Engineering (CNE)
  • Center for EOD and Dive (CNEODD)
  • Center for Naval Leadership (CNL)
  • Center for Personal Development (CPD)
  • Center for Service Support (CSS)

The following rating training class A-schools are located at Naval Station Great Lakes:

  • Electrician's Mate (EM)
  • Electronics Technician (ET)
  • Fire Controlman (FC)
  • Gunner's Mate (GM)
  • Interior Communications Electrician (IC)
  • Boatswain's Mate (BM)
  • Operations Specialist (OS)
  • Hull Maintenance Technician (HT)
  • Damage Controlman (DC)
  • Engineman (EN)
  • Gas Turbine System Technician (Electric) (GSE)
  • Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) (GSM)
  • Machinery Repairman (MR)
  • Quartermaster (QM)
  • Machinist Mate (MM)

Culinary Specialist (CS) A-school was also taught at TSC Great Lakes until December 10, 2010, when the school graduated its final class. The course has been consolidated with the US Army's parallel program and relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia.

Hospital Corpsman (HM) "A" School has been moved out of Great Lakes. The last class graduated on July 27, 2011. Its last class was Class 11-125. The school has relocated to the Medical Education and Training Campus at Fort Sam Houston, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.[3] This change has merged Air Force, Army, and Navy Medical staff to a centralized location.

In addition, all Navy rates that require basic electrical knowledge and troubleshooting training complete Apprentice Technical Training (ATT) school. This includes the Mineman (MN) and Sonar Technician (Surface) (STG) rates, as well as some aviation rates prior to detachment to their respective school locations in San Diego, CA and Pensacola, FL. Boatswain's Mates complete Surface Common Core (SCC) Basic Maintenance Training and engineering rates complete Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC)


Base Realignment and Closure of 2005

Despite issuance of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list in 2005, Naval Station Great Lakes and RTC (Recruit Training Command—the Boot Camp portion) are not slated for closing. Almost $800 million has been invested in building new barracks ("ships"), Battle Stations 21, as well as numerous upgrades around the base, including a non-denominational chapel, and reception center for civilian families. It is the United States Navy's only boot camp facility. Approximately 40,000 recruits pass through RTC annually with up to 7,000 enrolled at the installation at any time.

Geographically, the station separates the affluent North Shore from the more industrial Waukegan/North Chicago area, the latter now announcing numerous redevelopments across their span for strip malls and New Urban residency communities.

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Great Lakes Naval Training Station historic district in 1986 covering 1,932 acres (7.8 km2), 43 buildings, 14 structures, and six objects.


On or near the base is the Great Lakes Naval Museum, one of fifteen official U.S. Navy museums.[4]


Scenes of the training center are shown in the 1944 movie The Navy Way.

See also


External links

  • DoD Lodging Worldwide
  • Naval Station Great Lakes official website
  • - Boot Training
  • Gov. Blagojevich Vows To Fight For Great Lakes Naval Training Center And Do Everything Possible To Save Any Jobs In Jeopardy
  • Great Lakes Naval Training Station - National Register District
  • History of Great Lakes Naval Station Football