Guests barred from attending boot camp graduations at Naval Station Great Lakes

In an Aug. 13, 2019 photo, a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps midshipman is congratulated by friends and family after a graduation ceremony at Naval Station Great Lakes.


By MADELINE BUCKLEY | Chicago Tribune | Published: March 10, 2020

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CHICAGO (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Navy is suspending guest attendance at graduation ceremonies from its boot camp at the Naval Station Great Lakes to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, officials announced Monday.

The military installation near North Chicago houses the Navy’s only boot camp for basic training.

The graduations will still happen but instead be livestreamed on official Facebook pages and other online platforms, according to a post from the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command, which is based at the naval station.

No cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed among recruits, and the Navy has “robust screening processes” for new arrivals, according to the post.

“This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution, to ... ensure the welfare of sailors,” the post read.

COVID-19 has spread to more than 100 countries, infecting more than 115,000 people and killing more than 4,000. In Illinois, 11 people have tested positive for the virus.

The U.S. military has canceled a number of events and has suspended some travel in recent weeks to prevent the spread of the virus among military personnel.

The Air Force canceled a three-day networking event in Austin, Texas, it announced earlier this month. The Spark Collider and Pitch Bowl was supposed to be held March 10 through 12.

The Air Force Academy is barring official travel for cadets and cadet candidates outside of the United States for the month of March.

The Army announced Sunday that it is halting movement of U.S. soldiers and family members to and from South Korea and Italy.


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