What to Bring to Army Basic Training


When you are preparing to leave for Army basic training, you have a lot on your mind. One of the last things new recruits think about is what they need to take with them. You may have assumed you would not need to take any personal items, but in fact, there are many items you will need to start your training for the Army.


  • You will need to have certified copies of your birth certificate, as well as your spouse's and children's birth certificates if applicable. In addition, you will want to bring all applicable Social Security numbers, including your own Social Security card. You will need your banking information in order to establish direct deposit of your military pay. Also, be sure to bring a valid driver's license or government-issued photo identification.

Must bring

  • You will need to bring a personal hygiene kit, including female hygiene items for women and disposable shaving items for men. The kit should contain toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, washcloth, a towel, deodorant, hairbrush or comb, dental floss, shampoo, and conditioner if desired. Soap and toothpaste should have clear carrying cases for storage. One change of civilian clothes is necessary, but two sets are recommended.


  • It is recommended that you bring two combination locks, stationery, stamps, hair restraints that match your hair color (for women), plain shower shoes, personal address book, sports bra (for women), and white calf-length socks without logos.


  • You should bring a minimum of $10 in cash, but not more than $50. Bringing an ATM or debit card is also highly recommended. You will normally be given a card to use for the first required purchases at Army basic training. The funds on the card will be deducted from your first military pay. In the event your needs go over the allotted amount supplied by the Army, you will want to have your own cash or debit card as backup.

Do not bring

  • You cannot bring tobacco of any kind, alcoholic beverages of any kind, food, jewelry other than a plain wedding band, magazines, lighters, knives or nonprescription medication. Prescription medication must be approved or prescribed by military personnel.


  • When packing for Army basic training, you will need to consider that within the first two weeks after your arrival, you will be given a list of items for purchase. Your company will be escorted to the shop where you will be required to buy certain things, including approved running shoes, plain white undergarments, sports bras (for women), and personal hygiene items. Generally, items on the list that you have brought with you will need to be repurchased at this time.

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