Naval Station Great Lakes is a large and busy place. More than 20,000 military and civilian personnel work, train and live here. Our training commands and schools proudly graduate thousands of recruits and Sailors every year.
The installation is now 100 years old. It, along with the mission here, has been in constant change, allowing us to prepare Sailors for an increasingly sophisticated and technology-based Navy.
Our mission here at Great Lakes is simple: Deliver highly skilled, technically proficient, disciplined and motivated Sailors to the fleet.
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.
Situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, Naval Station Great Lakes offers exciting recreational and sightseeing opportunities. Both Chicago and Milwaukee have major sports teams, museums, concerts, theaters and restaurants. During the spring and summer months, Lake Michigan features great fishing, swimming, sailing and camping opportunities. In the winter months, the nearby Chain O’ Lakes area offers ice fishing, snowmobiling, skating, sledding and other seasonal activities. Several ski resorts are within an hour’s drive from Naval Station Great Lakes.
Write to us at:
Naval Station Great Lakes
Public Affairs Office
2601 E. Paul Jones St.
Great Lakes, IL 60088