Basic Training Essentials

What to Bring and What NOT to Bring to Basic Combat Training

"Preparation is key to BCT"

Use this checklist to make sure you pack everything you’ll need at BCT. Keep in mind that all of your personal belongings must be able to fit into one medium-sized gym bag—so make sure none of that space is taken up by anything that will get confiscated at BCT.

Personal Documents (5 copies of each):
___Certified copy of high school diploma or GED certificate
___Certified copy of college transcript(s)
___Original Social Security card
___Valid driver’s license with photo or valid photo ID
___Valid driver’s license, if required by your MOS (be sure it’s valid 30 days past your MOS training)
___ ATM or debit card for Sure-Pay account
___Certified copy of marriage license
___Certified copy of divorce decree
___Certified copy of birth certificates for children under 18
___Certified copy of legal papers for any Family members in your household for whom you have physical custody and/or financial responsibility
___Eyeglass or contact lens prescription
___Letter from doctor listing all required prescription drugs, including birth control pills
___Lease agreement or rental contract
___Any other legal document that may affect your pay
___If spouse is in military: spouse’s name, Social Security number and military address

Military Documents (5 copies of each)
All documents received from your unit RRNCO and/or MEPS, including:
___Military orders
___Travel and meal tickets (supplied by MEPS on the day you report for shipping to BT)
___Copy of DA 4187 Form showing promotion and/or Stripes for Buddies eligibility

Additional documents, including:
___Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
___Copies of your SF1199A (direct deposit form), signed by a bank official, with your account and routing numbers filled in
___Telephone number of the Liaison Officer/NCO at Battalion Reception

___2-day supply of casual, comfortable clothing
___1 pair of comfortable shoes
___6 pairs of white calf-length athletic socks
___Running shoes
___Shower shoes
___Eyeglass band (if you wear eyeglasses)
___3 pairs of white underwear (men)
___Athletic supporter (men)

Additional clothing/personal items for women:

___3 pairs of underwear (white, black or beige)
___3 bras (white, black or beige)
___1 full slip (white, black or beige)
___1 pair flesh-tone nylons/pantyhose
___Feminine hygiene products

___Disposable/safety razor with blades
___Shaving cream
___Toothbrush with case
___Dental floss
___Hairbrush or 6-inch black comb
___Soap and soap case

___Luggage (one small suitcase or duffel bag)
___2 washcloths and towels
___2 locks (combination or padlock with two keys)
___$25-50 in cash, traveler’s checks or money orders
___Long-distance calling cards
___Small box of laundry detergent
___Insect repellent
___Holy Scripture (Bible, Koran, etc.), if desired


  • Cell phones
  • Family members
  • Pets
  • Weapons
  • Privately owned vehicles
  • Steel hair picks
  • Pocket knives
  • Obscene/pornographic material
  • Playing cards
  • Dice
  • Dominoes
  • Tobacco products
  • Batteries (except size “D”)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Perfume or cologne
  • Jewelry, watches or other valuables
  • Electronic devices (CD players, cameras, laptops, etc.)
  • Personal reading materials (magazines, books, etc.)

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