sending boot camp care packages
General Military Questions

Sending Boot Camp Care Packages: 4 Things You Need to Know

Sending a boot camp care package to your Soldier in Training (SIT) in boot camp is a fantastic way to send a little love and reminders of home.

Also, it is a fantastic way to build morale and to maintain a connection during this transitional time.

However, it is essential to remember not all units or military branches allow care packages.

In all cases, there are only a few allowed items to send in a care package, as well. 

There is not a lot of spare room, so the military care packages should remain small.

Related ArticleLetters And Words Of Encouragement For Someone In Boot Camp

What Can You Send to Your SIT in Boot Camp?

Sending a boot camp care package to someone in the Navy
Image: Wikimedia

Essentially, your recruit needs very little when they are at boot camp.

Most items are provided to recruits upon arrival, and drill instructors ensure recruits have access to their funds and the base exchange to purchase other items they may need.

Also, letters are always welcome, but be sure to send those letters in plain envelopes with a clear mailing address.

You will likely receive either a letter or postcard from your recruit giving you the exact address, or you will receive a phone call with that information.

If you send your recruit a boot camp care package, here are some allowed items that are unlikely to get your recruit in trouble.

When in doubt, refer to the packing list for the military branch to see what items are allowed at boot camp before you shop for your boot camp care package.

The following are some common acceptable items to include in your care package: 

  • Stationery
  • Stamps
  • Appropriate photos
  • Letters
  • Pencils and pens
  • Toiletries from the boot camp packing list
  • Visa-type gift cards
  • Religious reading
  • Toe and fingernail clippers
  • Sunscreen
  • Blister bandages and pads
  • Plain cough drops
  • Razors, disposable, men only
  • Lip balm, unflavored

What You CAN’T Send to Your SIT in Basic Training

  • Racy pictures
  • Perishable and non-perishable food
  • Clothing
  • Scented letters
  • Electronics
  • Alcohol
  • Cologne
  • Jewelry
  • Stuffed toys
  • Any large packages or envelopes
  • Any other item from the prohibited boot camp packing list

A Drill Instructor is present when recruits open packages, and they are ready to confiscate prohibited items.

One of the first things to remember is that mail call is not necessarily private.

For example, a drill instructor will not open the mail but expect pictures and anything else not to remain confidential.

Therefore, be cautious with what you send.

In most cases, snacks and perishables are not allowed.

In some cases, a drill instructor will allow recruits out to the ‘patio’ to consume as many perishables as possible before tossing the rest. Other times the food is thrown out right away.

Clothing is another prohibited item.

Your SIT cannot wear the clothing in boot camp, and storage space is minimal.

Also, your recruit has very little room to pack up civilian items for their following training location.

Putting Together Your Boot Camp Care Package

Airman writes boot camp letters to recruits at Lackland AFB

When putting together your boot camp care package, remember some key points.

For example, you want to seal everything very well.

If you send anything liquid or gel, such as toiletries, tape the top and secure the items in plastic bags for safety.

Also, the packaging itself is crucial for a boot camp care package. Therefore, you must use sturdy packaging when sending a box.

However, the United States Post Office has what is called the Military Care Kit.

The whole kit includes the address labels and tape, as well as customs forms. You won’t need the custom forms for boot camp, but the kit is for those who are overseas, as well.

Finally, the kit is free, but postage is not.

Remember that military mail is at a reduced rate, so be sure to inquire about that at the post office.

Related Article101 Military Care Package Ideas

Sending Your Boot Camp Care Package

Before you send your care package, be careful with your timing.

If you send the box near the end of the training and too close to graduation, your service member might already be gone to their technical school before it arrives.

Also, please do not send the package too soon because it takes a few days to get everyone squared away and sorted.

Ideally, you wait until you hear from your recruit and verify an address.

Also, when sending your boot camp care package, be sure to address the letter correctly.

Boot Camp Care Package: Air Force

Air Force basic training has several different squadrons. The TRS/FLT means training squadron and Basic Military Training.

When in doubt, Lackland Air Force Base has a reception center for families, and you can call (210) 671-3024 to verify the address.

AB Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial
### TRS / FLT ### (Dorm #)
1320 Truemper Street Unit #####
JBSA Lackland AFB, TX 78236-####

Boot Camp Care Package: Marines

You will receive a letter from your recruit within the first couple of weeks of training.

You need to ensure you have to platoon and company number for your recruit before sending a boot camp care package or letter.

There are two addresses. One address is for San Diego, while the other is Parris Island.

San Diego Mailing Address:

Recruit First Name and Last Name
## Battalion
## Bn. **** Company Office
Platoon #####
#### Midway Ave.
San Diego, CA 92140-####

Parris Island Mailing Address:

Recruit First Name and Last Name
## BN *** Company Platoon ####
PO Box #####
Parris Island, SC 29905-####

Boot Camp Care Package: Navy

For the Navy, you want to be sure you have the ship and division number for sending your military boot camp care package.

SR last Name, First Name, Middle Initial
Ship ### DIV ###
Recruit Training Command
#### Street or Drive
Great Lakes, IL 60088-####

Boot Camp Care Package: Army

The Army has several locations for boot camp, which means there are several different addresses.

Fort Jackson

PVT Last Name, First Name
# PLT. ** Company, #-## IN BN, ### IN BDE
Street Address
Fort Jackson, SC 29207-####

Fort Benning

PVT Last Name, First Name
Roster Number ** Company, #-## INF REGT
Street address
Fort Benning, GA 31905-####

Fort Leonard Wood

PVT Last Name, First Name
*Company, 1/** IN BN Platoon ####
495 Iowa Avenue, Unit #
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473-####

Fort Knox

PVT Last Name, First Name
# PLT ** Company, #/## INF REGT
## Rhineland Street
Fort Knox, KY 40121-####

Fort Sill

PVT last Name, First Name
* Battery, 1-## FA Battalion # PLT
#### Street Address
Fort Sill, OK 73503-####

Boot Camp Care Package: Coast Guard

SR Last Name, First Initial
Company # X Hall (James, Healy, or Munro)
1 Munro Avenue
Cape May, NJ 08204


Letters are welcome during boot camp.

However, care packages are discouraged by many military branches and squadrons.

If you choose to send a care package, be sure to review what is prohibited and what is allowed during boot camp.

For instance, you can send items that you find on the boot camp packing list.

However, avoid sending prohibited items such as food, racy pictures, or clothing.

Once your SIT finishes boot camp, you have more leeway in the items you send in your care packages.

See Also



Rob V.
Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)
Basic Training Care Package

Basic Training Care Package

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Find out what you can send in a military care package to your son or daughter in basic training or boot camp. Includes a list of items that you can and CANNOT send, as well as how to send it.

Originally posted on 06/15/21

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