The Great Lakes Naval Base, officially known as Naval Station Great Lakes, was commissioned in 1904 and dedicated in 1911. It is the U.S. Navy’s only basic training facility, as of 2015. The base is north of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan.
As of 2015, Naval Station Great Lakes has grown from its original 39 buildings to 1,153 buildings situated on 1,628 acres with over 50 miles of roadway. It is the largest military facility in Illinois and the largest training facility in the country. Over 40,000 recruits pass through the base each year. The National Park Service added the base to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986