Visitor Center (Pass and Security)
Private automobiles may be operated on the base only if they meet minimum insurance requirements with an approved company. Motorcycles are permitted on base, but riders must successfully complete a motorcycle safety course before receiving a decal. Motorcyclists must also wear basic safety gear, such as hard soled shoes, a reflective vest, long sleeve shirt or jacket, a helmet with eye protection, and gloves. Base decals are issued by the Visitor's Center, near the main gate. To receive a base decal you need to bring your:
- Valid Drivers License
- Current Registration
- Proof of Insurance
- Valid Government Issued I.D. Card
Visitor Center's hours of operation:
Monday-Friday 0600-1600 (10 hours per day), Sat/Sun 0800-1100 (3 hours per day)
Individuals who require assistance outside the prescribed hours of operation will be able to receive a one-day pass at the Main Gate if they have a valid requirement to enter the installation, current proof of registration, insurance and a valid driver's license.
For more information please call the Visitor Center at (847) 688-5648
The Metra Union Pacific North Line, (Off-site link) which is part of the Regional Transportation Authority (METRA), offers commuter service to and from downtown Chicago and to and from Kenosha, Wisconsin. A one-way fare from the Great Lakes station to the Chicago terminal for military personnel in uniform costs approximately half the normal fare.
Lodging is available at the Great Lakes Navy Lodge (Off-site link) located centrally in the Forrestal Village. The Navy Lodge offers 50 kitchenette units, with two units designed for handicapped personnel. No smoking and connecting units are also available. A mini-mart and gas station, open 18 hours per day, are located conveniently nearby. Check-in 1500-1800, check-out 1200.
FAX: (847) 689-1489
Morale, Welfare and Recreation features a number of fine restaurants on base.
Galley 535 serves students attending "A" and "C" schools.
All major airlines serve O'Hare International Airport, (Off-site link) which is located about 30 miles southwest of Great Lakes.
Major airlines also serve Mitchell International Airport (off-site link) in Milwaukee, which is 49 miles north of Great Lakes.
Taxi and limousine service are both available from O'Hare and Mitchell at all hours. However, military personnel need to remember that PCS/TAD personnel will be reimbursed for taxi fare only when no bus service was available and the only if a receipt is provided.
Although driving in the Chicago area can be intimidating, Great Lakes is easily accessible from a major interstate highways, and also from U. S. 41.
Great Lakes is located approximately 15 miles south of the Wisconsin state line, several miles east of Interstate 94 and U. S. 41.
From the south, follow either I-94 (West) or I-294 (Tri-State tollway) toward Wisconsin. I-294, which is a toll road, is generally the less traveled of these two roads and would be the wiser choice during rush hour. I-94 and I-294 eventually converge about eight miles north of Chicago's O'Hare airport.
I-94 (West) passes near downtown Chicago and continues in a northerly direction following the shoreline of Lake Michigan. As it passes through Chicago, I-94 includes portions of several named expressways (Bishop Ford, Dan Ryan, Kennedy, and Edens. At the north end of the Edens Expressway, one can either continue straight ahead onto U. S. 41 or exit onto a ramp and follow I-94 in a northwesterly direction. Either choice will work, but from that location, the shortest route to the Training Center is by continuing straight ahead, following the signs that say "U. S. 41 north to Waukegan"
If you choose to stay on I-94, you'll find that you will soon merge together with I-294 near Deerfield Road. Both I-94 and U. S. 41 eventually intersect with Buckley Road (Route 137).
Turn east (right) onto Buckley Road and go a couple of miles to Great Lakes.
From the north, the Training Center is easily reached from either I-94 or U. S. 41. Just turn left at Buckley Road (Route 137) and go east a couple of miles.
Once on Buckley Road, to reach the Recruit Training Command, turn right at Illinois Street. To reach the Main Gate, go under the train overpass at the end of Buckley Road and follow the signs.
Bus travelers will find it necessary to transfer to a Waukegan-bound bus either in Chicago or in Milwaukee. Buses from Chicago will usually stop at the main gate to discharge passengers, even though there is no official stop here.
Buses run between Navy housing (Forrestal Village), North Chicago, and Waukegan. PACE, the suburban bus line of the RTA, (Off-site link) offers bus transportation to North Chicago and Waukegan with stops at the Naval Hospital and Pier 525.
Recruit Training Command Tours
Tours are not available to the general public at Recruit Training Command.