Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

I am going for basic training next week I like to know what are the essentials that I need to take?

I know the obvious of what no to take which is phone and electronic devices, but I need to know what to take? I read that I could only take one pair of pants and one shirt and two underwears. What do they expect for you to buy everything at the base. Could I take books? If you have been in the same road I have been I greatly appreciated if you could provide me with a detail answer of what to expect and the things that I could take. Immediate attention is appreciated in advanced.

20 Answers

  • Greco
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on what branch of the service you're joining.

    Ask your recruiter for a list.

    Marines don't take anything.

    Here's the Army list.


    Certified copies of your children's birth certificates.

    Certified copy of divorce decree ( if your present spouse has a previous divorce bring a copy of that decree also).

    Your social security card.

    Banking account information to establish Direct Deposit of military pay.

    Marriage certificates.

    Driver's License.

    Running shoes (Must be proper running shoes, color is insignificant).

    Personal hygiene kit.

    2 plain towels.

    Stationary and stamps.

    Sports Bra (minimum of 2) FEMALES ONLY.

    Regular Bra (minimum of 4) FEMALES ONLY.

    White calf length socks with no logos or color on them.

    Hair restraints of hair color. FEMALES ONLY.

    White Slip. FEMALES ONLY.

    Shower shoes (Plain not fancy).

    Civilian clothes (no more than 2 sets).

    Personal address book.

    Female hygiene items.


    Tobacco items.


    Pornographic material.


    Products containing alcohol.

    Medication not prescribed by military medical personnel.

    Magazines or newspapers.

    Large bulky items.

    Jewelry other than wedding band.

    Food stuffs.

    Here's the Air Force list.


    To complete all of your military records, you will need to bring some items with you to basic training. Better to be safe than sorry so, bring any paperwork you think may be useful during your processing. Below is a list of the minimum documents you should bring if you have them:

    Civilian eyeglasses Contact lenses/case

    College transcripts Driver's license

    Social Security Card Marriage license

    Dependents' birth records JROTC/ROTC certificates

    Civil Air Patrol certificates Naturalization papers

    Alien Card Enlistment contract

    Any important paperwork relating to your prescription

    Banking Information (routing number, account number, bank name/address)

    Required Items (All)

    All recruits are required to have the following items. Don't worry, if you don't bring them with you, as you will be allowed to purchase the items on arrival. Cost of purchase will come out of your military pay.

    Laundry soap Ball-point pen (black or blue)

    Shampoo Deodorant

    Toothbrush Toothbrush tray

    Toothpaste or powder Notebook and paper

    Black shoe polish Shine brush/cloth

    Shower shoes Soap (bar or liquid)

    Soap tray (if bar soap is used)

    Required Items (Males)

    Shaving Equipment Shaving cream or Electric pre-shave lotion

    Required Items (Females)

    Sanitary napkins/tampons Bras/sport bras

    Hair bands, bobby pins, etc. Underwear

    Brushes or combs Nylons/panty hose (6 WOT)

    Optional Items (All)

    As with the required items, you'll have an opportunity to purchase any or all of the optional items upon arrival, with the cost of the times coming out of your military pay.

    Envelopes Towels (2)

    Cotton balls Spray starch/fabric finish

    Nail trimming equipment Sewing kit

    Foot powder Shaving items (Females)

    Iron Stamps

    Spandex Shorts (females) Batteries (D size) (2)

    Watch Calling card

    White socks (3 pair) Stationary supplies

    You should also bring enough civilian clothes to last about 3 days

    Trainees who wear glasses or contacts are required to buy eyeglass straps.

    Do not buy or bring over-the-counter medication.

    Here's the Navy list

    The following is a list of items that you must bring to training and are allowed to keep during training:

    a. Photo I.D./ Drivers License

    b. Social Security Card.

    c. Marriage Certificate (if applicable).

    d. Divorce Decree (if applicable).

    e. Copies of Dependents Birth Certificate (if applicable).

    f. Complete civilian and military immunization records.

    g. Direct Deposit System form with bank account and routing number information.

    The following is a list of authorized personal items that you may want to bring to training, but are not required. Any unauthorized or unnecessary items (including the your civilian clothes) will be boxed up and shipped home at your expense.

    1. Wrist watch, wedding ring.

    2. Religious medallion (No larger than the size of a dog tag).

    3. Writing material (NO bottled ink).

    4. Pocket dictionary.

    5. Pocket bible.

    6. Small address book.

    7. Hairbrush and comb.

    8. Pre-paid phone cards.

    9. One pair of prescription glasses, reading glasses or contacts (with one week of cleaning solution).

    10. A small amount of cash (i.e. less than $10). Female recruits may retain the following personal items:

    1. Feminine sanitary items.

    2. Conservative cosmetics. Female/one each of face powder, blush, lipstick, eye shadow, and mascara (non-aerosol or glass) Make-up will be authorized for division photos and graduation weekend only.

    3. Barrettes (Female/must match hair color).

    4. Six white sports bras and two white full cup bras.

    5. Six plain white cotton briefs (No lace).

    6. One conservative, solid color (blue or black) one-piece swimsuit.

    7. Birth control medications.

    No No list for Navy

    The following items are UNAUTHORIZED to be possessed by recruits in training:

    1. Large cans of shaving cream. (12oz. Or larger)

    2. All aerosol containers.

    3. After shave/cologne.

    4. Lighter fluid.

    5. Disposable Lighters (the fluid cartridge of a “Zippo” lighter will be confiscated, the casing will be retained with)

    6. Magazines, books (non-Navy).

    7. Playing cards, dice, gambling paraphernalia.

    8. Large bulky stationery.

    9. Large hair combs/afro pics, rakes or anything made of metal.

    10. Anything in glass containers including mirrors.

    11. Double edge razors, blades.

    12. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, tobacco, chewing tobacco.

    13. Large deodorants (larger than 4oz).

    14. Alcohol-based health & comfort items.

    15. Portable electronics (Cell phones, pagers, PDAs, CD/cassette players, radios, MP3 players, hand held video games).

    16. Civilian clothing.

    17. Cameras.

    18. Electric razors.

    19. Large hair dryers.

    20. Curling irons.

    21. Other electrical items deemed unnecessary by the staff of RTC.

    22. Food items (gums, candy, chip, etc).

    23. All non-prescription drugs and medications that include but

    are not limited to:

    a. Phisoderm, Phisohex, etc.

    b. Foot powders.

    c. Rubbing alcohol.

    d. Motion sickness medication.

    e. Commercial sleeping aide.

    f. Decongestants.

    g. Acne medications.

    h. Antihistamines.

    i. Analgesics.

    j. Eye wash (exception: saline solution for contacts).

    k. Sex related materials (diaphragms, condoms, etc).

    l. Vitamins.

    24. Firearms.

    25. Ammunition/fireworks.

    26. Clubs, batons, etc.

    27. Brass knuckles.

    28. All straight razors, knives, ice picks, scissor.

    29. Narcotics/illegal drugs or any paraphernalia.

    Marine list

    The other services have lists of what you should or should not bring with you. The Marines make it simple: Don't bring anything except your important papers (such as driver's license, social security card, and banking information), except the clothes on your back. Everything you need will be issued to you. For non-issue items, it will be issued, and the cost taken out of your pay.

    Good Luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes you will buy all the basic items on the base. It is part of the process to shed the civilian life and immerse yourself in the cadre of the military way. So leave the clothes, shoes, jewelry and books at home and take very little. You will be clothed and fed By your Uncle Sugar. Maybe you would want to have that stuff boxed up and good to go so when you are finally somewhere you can have it shipped or pick it up on leave.

    Now when you leave basic you might wish you had some civvies. So wear something you like to basic. Good luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    you will need one change of clothes, tolietries, a cheap pair of flip flops for shower shoes, my son baught a cheap wallet so his would not get messed up, take no more than $50. A phone card to call home. Your ATM card!!! I would take a small address book and stamps. 3 padlocks. You will be given a locker to store items that are not allowed.

    You can take a book with you to read at the airport but you will have to put it with your other items once you get to basic.

    They will supply you with all of your military stuff. You will be able to go to the PX and buy things like writing supplies, and other personal items.

    The first part of basic is very hard as that part is more of a mental game, hang in there and know it gets better and easier. I am proud of you for taking this step and wish you all the best.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I ve been there - years ago. your in for a great stepping stone in life. Seriously you dont need a thing but the clothes on your back and a positive attitude and open mind. All will be provided. You wont have time to read. Youll understand what i mean in the first few days. Maybe some stamped envelopes and thats all. You will be kept so busy and so tired you wont even want to masturbate. Youll see.........

    Please keep an open mind and enjoy the experience for what it is. It gets alot better after they form your mind the way they want it. You will not be the happiest person, but you will look back at it some day and understand.

    One thing that helped me through it was always saying to myself - this is all you got. Your playing mind games with me and this is the best you can do ? Say it over and over and start to laugh and the 25 mile hikes with full gear seem alot easier.

    Source(s): E mail me if needed as I know you have alot of questions and are a little scared by this adventure - its natural and understandable.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First, what branch are you joining? Next, whatever you do, DO NOT bring any books! The service will issue you whatever they want you to read. For instance, The Blue Jacket's Manual will be issued in the Navy, and if you actually have a moment to read you will want to be studying their stuff. Some branches will let you have a watch, get something cheap with a stopwatch, so you can time your PT runs. However, when I went through boot only one person was allowed to have a watch, and he was responsible for keeping the whole company on time :(

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  • 1 decade ago

    the best thing to do is ask your recruiter, he/she should be the focal point for any and all questions military related. A small bag of personal clothing, shaving toiletries and such are highly suggested. You won't need the clothes you bring at first, but after you get out of Basic, chances are you will go straight to your next training location, where your personal clothes can be worn, and you will already have them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You won't have to buy anything...they'll issue you everything you need. Personally, I'd take as little as possible. Some places actually make you pack up all your "civilian" stuff and send it home. Your time is going to be pretty much occupied, so you won't have a lot of "extra" time. And if there's something you really need, you'll be able to buy it at the PX after the first few weeks and you get PX privileges.

    But as a general rule, I'd take as little as possible.

    Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can go naked. They give you a duffel bag at one end of a long warehouse. By the time you get to the other end the bag is stuffed full and you are waring fatigues, boots, everything. The will give you a razor and soap and a buzz cut. When I was drafted the gave me a "Flying Five" $5. Out of that I had to pay for my buzz cut ($.50) and I had to sweep up my hair. The buzz cut took less than 60 seconds.

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  • .
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Don't take a thing. They are going to take all your worldly posessions away from you and give you everything you need to survive from toothbrush to undies. Boot camp threw out (or something) my son's brand new $200 tennis shoes I told him not to take to bootcamp. No one was impressed, and he never saw them again after he was issued his stuff. Wear crappy shoes, old clothes, and cut your hair before you get there. They like that a lot. Have a great time in the service. I loved it.

    Source(s): USN/RET
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One set of "civies" (civilian clothes), No won't have the free time to read em...The only other things I suggest would be letter writing supplies, postage stamps, a pack of baby wipes (I know this sounds strange but when you get in the field where there's no showers or baths you'll thank me!) a razor and some basic toiletries and that's about it...

    Good luck and thanks for serving!

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  • sgt
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Just take you and your clothes you will need for maybe one day. You probably have to ship those home very soon. Do not take anything expensive, rings, watches, cell phones. You can get those later or after basic.

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