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Naval Station Great Lakes
North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Seal of NAVSTA Great Lakes
Naval Station Great Lakes insignia
Coordinates 42°18′33.08″N 87°51′0.25″W / 42.3091889°N 87.8500694°W / 42.3091889; -87.8500694
Site information
Owner United States
Controlled by United States Navy
Site history
In use 1911 – present
Garrison information
Captain Randall John Lynch, USN
Garrison Recruit Training Command

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.[1]

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 is located in Illinois
Red pog
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)
US Navy 100923-N-7682A-014 Navy Junior ROTC cadets from Hamilton High School, Ohio, practice marksmanship at the Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS

Navy Junior ROTC cadets from Hamilton High School, Ohio, practice marksmanship at the Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS)

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

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.[2] 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.[3]


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

See also[]


  1. Jarvis Hunt Buildings. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
  2. Public Affairs Office, Navy Medicine Support Command Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (April 28, 2008). "Naval Medicine Training Command (NMTC) Fort Sam Houston, Commissioned". (A Medical Enlisted Military Web Community, For all Military Services). Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  3. Great Lakes Naval Museum webpage. Naval History & Heritage Command official website. Retrieved 2010-03-09.

External links[]

All or a portion of this article consists of text from Wikipedia, and is therefore Creative Commons Licensed under GFDL.
The original article can be found at Naval Station Great Lakes and the edit history here.