Base History \ Arrival
Naval Station Great Lakes is a military town, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, sits 1 hour North of Chicago, Illinois and 1 hour South of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Naval Station Great Lakes is located in the middle of two metropolitan areas Chicago and Milwaukee which can be consider as a high cost area. The base operator's phone number is 847-688-3500 or DSN 312-792-3500.
Great Lakes has been turning civilians into seamen and seamen into Sailors for more than 100 years. From its founding in 1911, Great Lakes has maintained its position as the Navy's largest training facility. Since World War I through today, it has trained and sent to the Fleet more than two million new Sailors through the Recruit Training Command (RTC), and nearly an equal number from its technical schools.
The largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training center in the Navy, the base includes 1,153 buildings on 1,628 acres, and uses 50 miles of roadway to provide access to the station's facilities. For more information on Great Lakes’ history and the installation itself, go to our homepage.
Our mission is to train Sailors for the Fleet. Naval Station Great Lakes (NS) is home to the U.S. Navy's only Recruit Training Command.
Naval Station Great Lakes is home to over 4,000 active duty staff personnel and families, 14,000 recruits and students, 3,000 government civilian employees, and over 2,000 contractors. Naval Station Great Lakes provides services to Active Duty military, their family members and retirees, from a surrounding 16 state area.
The shuttle bus on base is free and run by Naval Station Quarterdeck/CDO. Please call 847-688-3300 or DSN 312-792-3300 for more information.
Contact your new command for information on sponsorship assistance. You may also get help with obtaining a sponsor by going to the Navy Personnel web site and clicking on Sponsor Assignment Aid.
Postal Service Center:
Call 847-688-2197; DSN 312-792-2197. Members who will be living in Central Billeting (Gateway Suites & Inn) may request a Post Office Box prior to arrival. Send a letter to 320 A Dewey Ave., BEQ 438, Great Lakes, IL 60088. For all others, make arrangements to forward mail to the gaining command. The commands can only hold mail for up to 15 days.
Directions to Naval Station Great Lakes
Arriving from O'Hare International Airport
If you are arriving by plane, from O' Hare International Airport, we have a Military Information Detachment located in the USO facility at Terminal 2, to assist you with obtaining transportation to Great Lakes. The Airport Express has a van that goes to and from O'Hare.
Arriving from Midway Airport
If arriving at Midway Airport, look for the American Taxi company. They have a flat rate fee for coming to Naval Station Great Lakes. You can also take the Metra to Downtown, then transfer to the Chicago & Northwestern Line which comes to the Naval Station Great Lakes installation.
The Airport Express has a van that goes to O'Hare and there you can transfer to the Great Lakes van.
If arriving by auto, NAVSTA is located approximately 3 miles east of Hwy. 41 and approximately 15 miles east of Interstate 94/294 at US Rt. 137 (Buckley Rd.).
Driving coming North from Chicago
If you drive, the following route is suggested coming north from Chicago; take Interstate 94 (north) to Hwy.41 Waukegan exit. Do not take the by-pass to Interstate 294. Take Hwy.41 north to Rt. 137. Make a right turn on Rt. 137 (Buckley Rd.); go east approximately 2 miles.
Driving North from the Chicago Area
Coming north from the Chicago area using the bypass Interstate 294 (north), to Rt. 137. Make a right turn on Rt. 137 (Buckley Rd.) and go east approximately 6 miles.
If Coming from Wisconsin
Use Interstate 94 south. At Wisconsin/Illinois border exit onto Waukegan exit Hwy. 41 south (off ramp is on the left side of Interstate 94). Take Hwy. 41 south to Rt. 137; make a left turn on Rt. 137 (Buckley Rd.) and go east approximately 3 miles.