Separations from loved ones during boot camp are often challenging, but boot camp letters help build morale and confidence.
Fortunately, even though keeping in immediate contact is impossible, it is still possible to stay in touch by writing letters.
Since we live in a digital world where we can text, email or video call each other on a whim, the art of writing a heartfelt letter the old-fashioned way may not come easy.
Therefore, we put together sample letters that can help you reach out to your loved one while they are in boot camp.
Obviously, these letters to someone in basic training shouldn’t be copied verbatim.
They were simply designed to give you an idea of what sorts of things to write about, not a template for exactly what to write.
Also, we came up with words of encouragement tailored to each branch of the military.
Each branch has its own culture, and while your loved one is acclimating to a new normal, it will be fantastic for them to read words that are in line with their new adventure.
It is better to write something than nothing at all.
Your words of encouragement and news about the day will be cherished.
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Basic Tips for Boot Camp Letters
Write your recruit as often as you can because when mail call happens at the end of the day, your recruit will be overjoyed to receive even one piece of mail.
Begin your letter with a greeting and a quick update.
Try the leave the negative news to a minimum. Do not omit important news, but negativity hits harder when someone is away from home and powerless to help.
Instead, invest the time to tell a funny story or describe an exciting event. This part of the letter will help your recruit feel as though they were home.
Also, be sure to ask open-ended questions about how they are to encourage writing back.
Be yourself and talk about what is going on in general, but be sure to remind your recruit why they embarked on this journey in the first place.
Words of encouragement go a long way.
Lastly, do not forget to have fun with boot camp letters.
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Sample Boot Camp Letter – Army
We miss you so much, and we are so proud of you. How is training going for you? What are you learning this week?
Yesterday the cat gave into his homicidal tendencies and brought in a live bird to play with and chase around the house. It was quite a fiasco. I heard a strange flapping, and I came around the corner to see the cat mid-air trying to catch the bird in the living room. I started screaming for your brother because I know he is the only one willing to trap and catch a bird. Your dad wakes up to me yelling for your brother, and he nearly has a stroke. Your sister just watched it all happen while laughing, as you might expect. In the end, it was a pretty bird, and your brother managed to catch and release it outside. I shut the cat in for the rest of the day, bless his heart.
Your brother and sister are all doing well, and dad is still puttering around in his workshop, keeping busy. As for me, I alternate between various levels of worry, but I am overwhelmingly proud of you. I remember when you started talking about joining the Army and all your plans for your future.
Remember, this is the first step towards achieving all you set out to do.
We all miss you so much! I will write again tomorrow, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Words of Encouragement – Army
- We are so proud of your service.
- Stay patient and trust your journey.
- If you feel like quitting, remember why you started.
- If it does not challenge you, it won’t change you.
Sample Boot Camp Letter – Navy
I hope you are well. Is boot camp hard, or do you find it easy to get through?
I finally realized you had not been around for a while, and I asked mom where you were. Image my surprise when she told me you shipped off to boot camp. I feel like I would have known if you were leaving, but now mom is on me about how much time I spend on my computer instead of pay attention. Something about ‘situational awareness.’ She was upset with me until I saved a bird from your crazy cat.
Everyone is doing well here. Mom and dad are doing the usual, and I am ready for school to start again. I miss not having you around, though. Our sister is not as amused with me like you are.
Remember, there was a reason you set out to join the Navy. I admire what you are doing, and I am proud you are my big brother. Now that I know where you are, I will write to you all the time.
Words of Encouragement – Navy
- A sailor is defined by how many storms he has overcome.
- Remember, Navy life begins at boot camp.
- You can, and you will get through this.
- I am so proud to call you my son/daughter.
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Sample Boot Camp Letter – Air Force
It has been a long time since I have sat down to write a letter. I went into the house a bit ago to tell you something and realized it is not that easy right now. I miss you lots, but I am filled with pride, knowing you decided to join the Air Force and realize your dreams. It says a lot about a young man who makes a plan and follows through.
Everything here is as chaotic as you would expect. Your mother woke me up this morning, screaming for your brother over a bird loose in the house. I thought something tragic happened, but your cat snatched a bird from outside and thought it would be fun to play with it inside. I take this as a personal affront because I built that cat a cat stand, thinking it would amuse him.
Your brother just realized you were gone, so you can expect to hear from him soon, too. I want to know how you are and what you are learning. Do you get yelled at a lot? I think being yelled at as a young man might stress me out, but you are Air Force strong.
Remember, it is okay to be afraid, but courage is triumph over fear. I believe in you.
Words of Encouragement – Air Force
- You are Air Force strong.
- Aim high.
- We are so proud of you.
- You have accomplished so much.
Sample Boot Camp Letter – Marine Corps
Special note: When addressing your letter to a recruit in Marine boot camp, address the letter as ‘Rct. Last name, First name’.
Do NOT put ‘Marine Last name, First name’, as him or her is not yet a Marine while they are in boot camp.
I did some reading about the Marines and learned about ‘The Crucible.’ I know this is coming up in your training, and I am wondering how you feel about the challenge? You have always accomplished everything you set out to do, though.
We are all doing the same here at home. Mom lost her mind over the cat bringing in a bird, and it flew all over the house while your cat repeatedly launched itself in the air to catch it. I did not realize the cat could move that fast. Our brother saved it, and dad was not impressed with the commotion. I stayed out if, though, and found it hilarious. Our brother just realized you were gone. He is so much in his own world. Mom got on him about it and makes him leave his room now to visit with everyone. Without you around, he annoys me, instead.
I think what you are doing is impressive, and the whole family is proud of you. You have always been the one to set your expectations for yourself high, so I know you will find success.
Lots of love, Sister
Words of Encouragement – Marine Corps
- Your strength comes from overcoming what you thought you could not do.
- Remember how far you have come.
- Improvise, adapt, and overcome
Sample Boot Camp Letter – Coast Guard
It seems like just yesterday that we graduated from High School, and now we are both off on new adventures. How is boot camp working out for you? Is there anything going on that surprised you or you didn’t expect?
I am doing well. I am moving into my college dorm tomorrow morning. My mom won’t stop crying, and I am worried her crying is going to happen the entire time I am moving in. Speaking of moms, I saw your family when we were at dinner last night. They sure are proud of you.
It is hard to believe we are at this point in our lives already. I am confident you will rise to the challenge of the Coast Guard; you are good at meeting challenges. I will write to you tomorrow and let you know how it went with moving into the dorm with my mom crying the whole time.
Miss you, Friend
Words of Encouragement – Coast Guard
- A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
- You are capable.
- The struggle you face today develops the strength you will need tomorrow.
- If you are having a rough day, believe in yourself a little more.
Sending a loved one off to boot camp may evoke a wide range of emotions for everyone.
Your recruit will face a new set of challenges and opportunities.
In the end, having contact from loved ones helps build morale.
Remember, write your recruit often and offer words of encouragement to keep them going through rough days.
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