Navy Adopts Packetless Recruit Travel

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – Recruits are arriving at Naval Station Great Lakes without the traditional large manila envelope containing their enlistment records.

Beginning in early December, now travel from one of the 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations throughout the nation, to boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, with a single legal size envelope easily placed in pocket or purse The envelope contains only three items: a meal voucher, one copy of their orders with travel instructions printed on the reverse side and their travel itinerary.

Thanks to a combination of advances in policy and processing, the Navy and the United States Military Entrance Processing Command have eliminated the decades-old requirement that individual recruits carry the iconic large manila envelope full of records, referred to as a “shipper packet,” in transit. The move reduces the potential compromise of personal information due to loss of the packet, and will eventually result in a savings of millions of printed pages of paper.

The Air Force was the first service to go “packetless” when it instituted the practice in March 2018.

Prior to the new procedures, a Navy chief petty officer directs recruits as they arrive at Boot Camp with their “shipper packets.” (US Navy Photo)

Navy Capt. David S. Kemp, commander of United States Military Entrance Processing Command, meets with new Navy recruits as they prepare to depart for Boot Camp Dec. 13. Each holds up their envelope containing only three pieces of paper, which replaced the bulky packet depicted in the previous photo. (Albany, New York, MEPS Photo)

A Navy recruit with his single envelope alights from the bus under the watchful eye of a recruit division commander. (US Navy Photo)