Writing = Motivation
Patience is key. Your SR will spend the first five to seven days in a different building before they are housed in their permanent ship (barracks). So if you get an address from the recruiter the day after your recruit shipped out and you immediately send a letter, your recruit is not going to get that letter any quicker and in fact, it most likely will be delayed because again, it winds up sitting in the post office. (more on P-Days)
After recruits arrive, all cell phones are boxed up with their personal belongings and stored locally, to be returned to the recruit the day before graduation. From that moment on, the primary means to communicate with a recruit will be through the mail.
Writing your first letter. Families will receive an official form letter from their recruit shortly after P-Days with their accurate address. Do not rely on your SR's recruiter to provide you with the most accurate information including addresses. Waiting for the official form letter from your recruit is the wisest route.
The proper format for recruit mailing addresses is (see all addresses)
SR LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, MI
SHIP XXX DIV XXX
RECRUIT TRAINING COMMAND
GREAT LAKES IL 60088-XXXX
Letting your recruit know how much you support and love them can be tough - now you can send a weekly MondayDelivery.com postcard with an inspirational photo and message.
We miss you ❤️. Due to the structured nature of recruit training, your Recruit will not be able to contact you regularly. Your Recruit is given a short phone call upon arrival to let you know that he or she arrived safely. Your Recruit will also generally be given a phone call halfway through training.
Your Recruit's primary means of communicating with family and friends is via the United States Postal Service. We highly encourage you to write your recruit as often as you like. Recruits will receive your letters throughout the week but can only respond to them during "holiday routine," on Sunday mornings and federal holidays.
In case of a family emergency contact the American Red Cross to assist in passing an emergency message to your Recruit.
The American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with two options for requesting assistance: online and by phone. 1-877-272-7337
Typically, a standard letter sent using the United States Postal Service, can take anywhere from 5-10 business days, depending on where the letter was sent from. We also recommend adding on another day, due to the process utilized to distribute mail to the recruits in their ships. Although this tends to be the average time, we cannot say, for certain, the length and period of time it takes for mail to go through the send/receive process. Also, depending on what service you choose to use to send mail, will be a factor in the time it takes as well. It’s important to remember that we have no control over the delivery of mail until it actually arrives at your recruit’s ship. Prior to that, we are solely dependent on the delivery service.
Because space is limited in the barracks, recruits may receive letters and small photographs only. Please do not send your recruit packages of civilian clothing, toiletries, food items, etc. as they will not be permitted to keep them.
American Red Cross communication services keep military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of a family member or other important events, such as the birth of a child. The Red Cross quickly sends these communications on behalf of the family to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units. The information or verification in a message assists the service member's commanding officer with making a decision regarding emergency leave. See the "Contact Your Recruit" page for information on contacting recruits in case of emergency.
Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members may call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Centers for help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The best way is to contact the Red Cross, who, in turn, will reach the command. Call 1-877-272-7337 (toll-free) or contact your local Red Cross.
There are many reasons why a recruit might not have received any mail, especially in the first couple weeks of training. Typically, letters have simply crossed in the mail. By the time you receive your recruit’s letter stating they haven’t received any mail, they have actually received your letter. Another reason could be weather related, as Great Lakes can experience extreme conditions, especially in the winter months.
When a recruit gets set back in training, they are processed out of their current division and placed into a new one. Any mail that wasn’t delivered to the recruit before they moved will get sent back to the mail room, marked with the new address, and then redelivered. This process can take time and causes delays in recruits receiving mail. If the recruit is set back multiple times, their mail will be even further delayed as it takes time to catch up to the recruit.