Naval Station Great Lakes, the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy, hosts the Navy's only Recruit Training Command. Each year approximately 38,000 men and women complete the requirements to become enlisted Navy Sailors at the Navy’s only boot camp. Naval Station Great Lakes is also home to the Navy's technical training schools for surface warfare excellence supported by Training Support Center Great Lakes. Yearly, more than 13,000 students attend these initial and advanced training schools where they learn the basic skills of their Navy jobs.
Since the first group of recruits reported for training July 1, 1911, more than 3.5 million Sailors have started their Navy careers right here in northern Illinois. Their experience in “boot camp” transformed them from civilians into Sailors, and it is an experience that continues to be a source of pride for all who have earned the right to wear the uniform of a United States Sailor. Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy. The installation includes 1,153 buildings with thirty-nine on the National Register of Historic Places. Naval Station Great Lakes sits on 1,628 acres and uses 50 miles of roadway to provide access to the station’s facilities.