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What to Bring to Army Basic Training

Updated on June 11, 2010

Every year thousands of new recruits attend Army Basic Training.  At the time of enlistment, each new recruit receives a recruit checklist, which details what you should and should not bring with you.  This checklist should be carefully followed, as some items, such as personal and military documents, must be with you upon arrival at base camp.  It is important not to bring anything that isn't on your checklist, as it will be taken away from you upon your arrival.

Fort Jackson

Photo by Dmark3 at
Photo by Dmark3 at

Required Documents

Each new recruit is required to bring specific documents with them to basic training. The exact documents will be checked off on the recruit checklist. The following are the most common required documents:

  • Certified copy of high school diploma or GED
  • Certified college transcript(s)
  • Social Security Card
  • Valid photo ID
  • Valid driver's license
  • ATM or Debit card
  • Certified copy of marriage license
  • Certified copy of divorce decree
  • Certified copy of each child's birth certificate
  • Certified copies of spouse's birth certificate and photo ID
  • Eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Letter from physician listing all prescription medications
  • Lease agreement or rental contract
  • Child support documents
  • If spouse is in the military, their name, Social Security number and military address

Military Documents

The following military documents are also required upon arrival to from Army personnel attending advanced training:

  • Military orders
  • Travel and meal tickets
  • Copy of DA 4187
  • Leave and Earnings Statement
  • Copy of SF1199A for direct deposit
  • Phone number of the liaison or NCO at Reception Battalion

Men's Clothing Items

There are few clothing items that you will need to bring with you to basic training, as most will be supplied to you upon arrival. Bring the following with you:

  • 2-day's supply of casual clothing
  • 3 pairs of white underwear
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • Athletic supporter
  • 6 pairs of white, calf-length athletic socks
  • 1 pair of shower shoes
  • Eyeglass band for prescription eyeglasses

Women's Clothing Items

Women also have a list of specific clothing items they should bring to basic training. These items include:

  • 2-day's supply of casual clothing
  • 3 pairs of white underwear
  • 2 white bras
  • 6 pairs of white athletic socks
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • 1 pair of shower shoes
  • Eyeglass band for prescription eyeglasses
  • 1 full slip
  • 1-2 pairs of flesh-toned pantyhose

Miscellaneous Items

Recruits will need the following items throughout their stay at basic training camp:

  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Toothpaste with case
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Small bottle of mouth rinse
  • Hairbrush or 6-inch black comb
  • Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • Soap and soap case

You will be able to buy non-prescription medications such as aspirin or cold medicine at the store on base after you progress through the first several phases of your training. Your family may also send them to you at a later time.

There are some items that are helpful to have at basic training. These items may be purchased at the store on base. However, most new recruits will not have access to the store for several weeks. Bring these items with you to avoid having to ask family members to send them to you:

  • 1 black duffel bag with no logos or a suitcase
  • 2 washcloths and towels
  • 2 combination or padlocks with keys
  • Travel and meal tickets
  • $50 in cash - you'll need the money for haircuts and snack items later
  • Calling cards
  • Small box of laundry detergent
  • Small box of dryer sheets
  • Stamps
  • Stationery
  • 2 pens
  • Insect repellent
  • 1 large box of Q-tips (they will come in handy for cleaning guns)
  • 1 box of D batteries
  • Cell phone (you may bring cell phones, but they will be taken away from you upon arrival. They will be returned to you when you have phone privileges as time progresses during your training).

Do Not Bring These Items to Basic Training

Do not bring the following items with you:

  • Food
  • Family members
  • Pets
  • Weapons
  • Private vehicles
  • Steel hair picks
  • Pocketknives
  • Pornographic materials
  • Playing Cards
  • Dice or Dominoes
  • Tobacco products
  • Batteries (other than D size)
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Jewelry or other valuables (with the exception of post earrings for women and wedding rings)
  • Electronic devices such as MP3 players, cameras or laptops

If you bring any of these things with you, they'll be taken away from you upon arrival.  Save yourself the aggravation and leave them at home.


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