What to bring to Army Basic Training 2013

Do you know what you need to contribute to basic training? Before reading the official packing list on the site, you need to know what items to buy, before spending your money on things your drill sergeant might throw away.

Also, you don’t need to carry everything on the packing list. You can purchase most of these items from the Post Exchange Store (PX) when you arrive at the BCT Reception Battalion (Basic Combat Training). Here are some helpful tips on what to bring to basic training.


Your wardrobe should be of minimal concern, so don’t worry about trying to pack 3 different outfits for each day you leave. I highly recommend that you wear your clothes because new uniforms will be delivered to you as soon as you arrive at reception.

These are the things you need for basic training:

What Brig

  • A cell phone / charger. Bring your cell phone because that 30 minute talk time means the whole world. It is your lifeline to the outside world because you will not be able to use it for several weeks until the BRM (Basic Rifle Marksmanship) ends. In basic training, your drill sergeants may not allow you to use it at certain times until you get that privilege.
  • 2 combination padlocks (without keyed padlocks). You will want to protect your wall locker from thieves who will try to steal your wallet, postage stamps, etc.
  • Glasses (if prescribed, not fashionable or fancy glasses). When you arrive at the receiving battalion, you will be given BCG glasses or contraceptives.
  • Glasses band (for glasses wearers only)
  • Calling cards. You don’t have to buy them unless you are going to leave your cell phone at home. They provide free prepaid dining room cards or DFAC as it’s more commonly called, but you have to activate it at a phone booth with a debit card to use the minutes.
  • GI gooseneck flashlight. You will have field training exercise in the dark and also use it for fire watch. (Buy at PX)
  • Batteries You will need a “C” size type because you don’t want a dead flashlight.
  • Wristwatch. You’ll want to tell the time for everything and it will make your life a lot easier to keep track of the schedule. (Buy at PX)

Shipping documents

  • A copy of your birth certificate.
  • Your marriage license
  • Your social security card
  • Your orders
  • Your direct deposit form SF-1199
  • A photo ID, such as your DL driver’s license, state ID, or your Future Soldier ID card
  • You are an ATM card, a debit card, or a checkbook.

Personal hygiene (buy at PX)

  • Shampoo and Conditioner (1 oz.)
  • Soap and soap box (1 bar of soap or 1 oz. Of liquid soap)
  • Antiperspirants / deodorants (non-spray only)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Disposable razor (not electric). I wouldn’t pack it for TSA and airport reasons. Better to buy it from PX Store when you get to basic training.
  • Shaving cream (non-aerosol)
  • Hair Accessories. Comb, brush, hair accessories (black or matching hair color).
  • Foot powder / baby powder
  • Floss
  • Camouflage hydration packs over 3 liters (buy at PX)
  • Wash cloth
  • Many swabs
  • Men’s supporter (sport / bike shorts) or spandex

Stationery supplies (buy at PX)

  • Postage stamps, envelopes and postcards.
  • Notepad or stationery
  • Gallon size zip-lock bags and a snack. Put everything in a zip-lock bag because basic training will throw your stuff on the floor. It will prevent your liquid items from splashing on the floor.
  • Sharpie marker. Name all your things because they will be stolen in desperate battles that need them and your things can get confused when drill sergeants turn over your bags. Markers don’t come off and markers don’t lie.

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