Packing Checklist for USN Deployment

Having a packing checklist makes packing easier.
Having a packing checklist makes packing easier. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Enlisting in the United States Navy (USN) can be fulfilling and rewarding. When you are being deployed aboard one of the naval ships, ensure that you have everything that you need while onboard, within reason. Because rules and regulations dictate the highly regimented naval life, familiarize yourself with what you can and cannot pack as well as what you must have with you for the day that you are due to ship out.

Read your Manual

When you first enlist in the Navy, you will be given a handbook that details everything you need to know about naval life, including sections for both at sea and onshore deployment.

Pack Minimum Requirements for Deployment.

The type of uniform that you pack for at-sea situations may be different from the type that you would wear onshore because of safety considerations. In addition, you will need to have underwear, T-shirts, socks and other items. You will also need a pair of black, steel-toed leather shoes.

Pack Some Other Clothing Items Besides Your Uniform

Certain nonuniform items also should be include with you onboard the ship. For instance, you might want to bring athletic clothing, a bathrobe and some shower shoes as well as some civilian clothing items for the times when you are on liberty.

Pack wisely without taking unnecssary items.
Pack wisely without taking unnecssary items. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bring Personal Items for Down Time

Certain items, like CD players and a few CDs to listen to may be allowed on some ships, but only at certain times. Bringing a journal to make notes or to jot down your thoughts is also a good idea.


All clothing, including uniform and personal clothing must be clearly marked for identification. If you want your items to make it back to you from the ship’s laundry, mark them. Each ship’s laundry has different requirements for these markings. Generally, it is the first letter of your last name plus the last four numbers of your Social Security number.

Carry some extra moving boxes--that way, if you have excess baggage, you can always box it up and parcel it back home.

In addition to clothing items, you will be required to bring a large mesh laundry bag.


Not all items are allowed aboard each ship. Certain ships may not allow cameras and some types of electronics to be brought onboard at all. Other ships may allow them but greatly restrict their use.

Do not overpack. Ships have narrow passageways and many ladders that you will have to climb with your items. Minimal storage area will be available.

Never try to sneak things onboard that are not allowed.

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