Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes) is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located nearNorth Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois.
Great Lakes was approved in 1904 by Theodore Roosevelt. Construction was supervised by Navy Captain Albert R. Ross. Chicago area architect Jarvis Hunt designed the original 39 buildings and Lt. George A. McKay was the civil engineer for the construction on the 172 acres (70 ha) wilderness location. $3.5 million ($92.2 million today) was appropriated to finance construction. President William Howard Taft dedicated the Naval Training Station in 1911. On 3 July 1911, Joseph Gregg was the first recruit to arrive. He would graduate in the first class of 300. 55 years later, he was buried at the Naval Station Cemetery 5 July 1966. John Philip Sousa led the Great Lakes Naval Station Band in the mid to late 1910s. Great Lakes also had a Radio School including two 400 feet (120 m) towers constructed in 1915. From 1911 to 1916 around 2,000 recruits a year were trained at Great Lakes.