Specific underway schedules can vary widely.  Normally ships will go to sea for 10 days to 2 weeks each month for training operations in preparation for deployment. Extended operations away from home port can last up to 6 to 9 months, and ships typically deploy once every 18-24 months. This varies depending on the mission and type of ship your son or daughter will be serving on. Ships on deployment usually spend time visiting ports throughout the world. If your son or daughter is on a shore duty tour, they will likely spend no time at sea during that duty assignment.

Except for the 8 weeks spent in Boot Camp (if an Enlisted Sailor), your son or daughter will typically be just a phone call, text, or email away. Most of the time, Sailors have access to many forms of communication. These services are offered anywhere your son or daughter is stationed—even while at sea. Sailors look forward to hearing from home while underway. While the ship is in-port, your son or daughter will likely report to work each morning on the ship, and return home each evening.

Having a son or daughter child in America’s Navy isn’t always easy. If this is their first time away from home, it can be tough on him or her—and on you. Luckily, you’re not the first parent or family member to walk this road—in fact, you can learn a lot from those who have at sources like NavyForMoms.com and NavyDads.com. These sites are sponsored by America’s Navy, but parents are free to express their opinions, provide support and advice, and share their stories.

Once your son or daughter has completed basic training and any follow-up schooling, they will probably move just once to their first permanent duty station. Naturally, if they stay in the Navy past their first enlistment (or if they request a specific assignment) they may have to move again.

Enlisted Sailors and Officers enjoy generous vacation time in the Navy. Sailors earn 30 days of paid leave each year, plus federal holidays. If they don’t take all 30 days in one year, they can accumulate up to 60 days to use in the future