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Army Basic Training Packing List

As you prepare for Army basic combat training there are a few things that you’ll …


As you prepare for Army basic combat training there are a few things that you’ll want to make sure you bring with you when you leave. Below you’ll find an comprehensive Army basic training packing list along with some tips to consider when you pack.

What to bring for Army Basic Training


At the top of your Army basic training packing list should be clothing. You’ll want to think carefully about the quality and the comfort of what you chose to include, to ensure it lasts you throughout all of training.

  • One shirt or blouse (no halter-tops or cut-off shirts)
  • Three sets of underwear (white, black or neutral)
  • One pant or jeans without rips or torn (no shorts or cut-offs)
  • One pair of comfortable, shoes (preferred athletic running or cross-training, suitable for walking and running) extended standing (no high heels) and socks
  • One pair of Black, calf-length athletic socks (no logos or markings)
  • Coat or jacket, if needed


During Army basic training you’ll be securing your belongings everyday in a wall or fool locker – if not you’ll suffer the consequences.

  • One lock (combination or padlock with two keys). Purchase additional locks at the PC if you find yourself needing one.


As you run low on these supplies during Army basic training you’ll be given some opportunities to purchase more at the PX. What’s important is having the basics to get you through the first few weeks.

  • Shampoo and conditioner (3.4oz)
  • Soap (1 bar soap or 3.40z liquid soap)
  • Antiperspirant/deodorant (stick, non-aerosol only)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 3.4oz
  • Disposable/safety shaving razor (non-electric)
  • Shower shoes (all rubber open-toed flip-flops)
  • One washcloth and towel
  • Shaving cream 3.4oz (non-aerosol, and optional for women)
  • Comb, brush, hair accessories (black or matching hair color) Hair color must be natural, without color or dyes
  • One week supply of feminine sanitary items
  • Eyeglasses, with prescription if available (no stylish eyewear)


Trainee will receive a $350 Smart card for purchases at the training base, this will be enough to purchase needed items you are not issued and replace items above.

  • Bring no more than $100 in cash
  • Checkbook and/or ATM card with access to direct deposit account for military pay (must have active account accessed within the last 6 months)

Documents you may need

The below documents are crucial for you to pack before heading to basic training. We recommend placing them all together in a large document envelope. These documents will be needed during reception, so if you want to start training on time make sure you have them all.

  • Government-issues photo ID card / Social Security Card / Proof of Citizenship (if required)
  • Marriage certificate, family birth certificates, and their SSN (if married or legally supporting)
  • Childhood and adolescent immunization records if available
  • Copies of lease documentation or rental contract (if required)
  • Required prescription medications (in original pharmacy container with your name and/or a doctor’s prescription. No supplements or over the counter drugs.

Your Orders

  • Be sure to have all copies of orders and documents issued by your unit recruiter and/or MEPS. These orders must be delivered by you and by hand. Travel and meal tickets will be provided.


  • All items must fit into the Army Future Soldier bag or small airline approved “carry on” suitcase or gym bag. Mobile Phones are highly encouraged to communicate with family or contact travel assistance.
  • Soldiers traveling from overseas locations or more than 2 days should add 1 change of clothing and underwear (same guidance as above, extra shoes and extra coat not needed)
  • Any item not conforming to TSA/FAA rules or containing any ingredients listing alcohol will be discarded at Reception. If not on this list it may be confiscated
  • Personal Documents, make sure someone has access to these documents that you trust or have given power of attorney
  • Do you have friends or family who are interested in the Army? Share this link with them so they can learn more about the career opportunities, and the benefits the Army has to offer.

What not to bring to Army basic training

Some of these items may seem like a no-brainer, or not a big deal to bring – but trust us you’ll be better off if you leave these at home.

  • Expensive personal items: cellphones, cameras, jewelry and expensive electronics are hard to safeguard during training.
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Privately owned vehicles
  • Nonprescription drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Steel hair picks
  • Razor blades
  • Weapons of any type, including pocket knives
  • Obscene or pornographic material
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Playing cards/dice/dominoes
  • Cigarettes/tobacco products
  • Batteries (except size “D”)

Want to know more about preparing for Army basic training? See what you need to know before you ship out.

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Jeremiah Runser