what to bring to navy boot camp

What To Bring To Navy Boot Camp

When you join the Navy, you are embarking on a lifetime journey. The process of becoming a sailor means recruits leave behind who they were and begin integration into the life of a sailor.

Part of this integration is navy boot camp, and while you say goodbye to friends and family, you might be worried about what to bring to Navy boot camp.

Fortunately, the Navy provides you with nearly everything you need, and there is very little you have to pack.

However, we created a helpful list to take the worry out of this task so you can focus on other essential responsibilities.

Note:  Click Here for a free downloadable and printable version of the Navy Basic Training packing list.

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Things You Need to Bring to Navy Boot Camp

Things You Should Bring to Navy Boot Camp

Things You Should NOT Bring to Navy Boot Camp

Things You Need to Bring to Navy Boot Camp

Female recruits at Recruit Training Command are issued the new navy working uniform
Image: wikimedia.org

While you pack what to bring to Navy boot camp, here are some essentials you cannot forget.

Paperwork is an absolute must-have, and make sure you have the originals or certified copies of the originals.

  • Vital paperwork – necessary paperwork includes two forms of identification. At least one form of identification must have a photo. Also, bring along your social security card.
  • Spouse’s information – you need to fill out paperwork for your dependents and for medical insurance. You will need your spouse’s identification number and other details on-hand. 
  • Immunization records – try to have your shot records a part of your medical record from the beginning. When you join the Navy, you will receive any missing immunizations, so if you already have some, you can save yourself from extra shots.
  • Other Documents – You need to bring a marriage certificate and divorce decree if you have them. Also, include your transcripts for high school and college. You will also need your dependents birth certificates, as well. Lastly, you will need any necessary proof of citizenship documentation.
  • Direct Deposit form – The Navy pays you while in boot camp, so you need your direct deposit form filled out so funds can be deposited to your bank.
  • Prescription information – bring the prescriptions for any medication. Also, include your eyeglass or contact prescriptions, as well.

Related Article Navy A School: A List Of All 24 Locations + Training Summary

Things You Should Bring to Navy Boot Camp

There are several items you can bring, in addition to the necessary items.

However, space is limited, and you can expect excess items to be donated or shipped home.

The Navy provides all you need as a recruit or gives you access to purchase items while in boot camp.

Therefore, it is better to pack very light.

  • Watch – having a watch is not necessary, but for some, it is handy to have. If you decide to pack a watch, make sure it is conservative.
  • Wedding rings are allowed if you wear one.
  • Religious medallions or a small bible are acceptable, as well.
  • An address book is an excellent idea for access to addresses when writing to family and friends. You will not have access to your cell phone where your contact information is often saved while at Navy boot camp.
  • A Phonecard is useful to avoid having to reverse charges when calling home. Be sure to activate the calling card before you leave. Also, write the card information down in your address book just in case the cards become lost.
  • Prescription glasses – The Navy will give you glasses, but while you wait, you will want your own glasses.
  • A minimal amount of cash is helpful, especially if you are en route and need to eat at the airport.
  • Feminine hygiene items for women, if needed.
  • Prescription medications with the label intact. The Navy will dispense your medicines, however.
  • Females may bring a minimal amount of makeup and hair ties and barrettes that match the color of the hair.
  • A hairbrush and/or comb is also acceptable. Recruits have inspections of their person, and tidy hair is necessary. However, be sure the comb and brush are plastic and not metal.

Related ArticleNavy Grooming Standards: Hair, Beard, Mustache, And Nail Regulations

Things You Should NOT Bring to Navy Boot Camp

U.S. Navy recruits wait in line at Recruit Training Command
Image: wikimedia.org

There are several items you do not need on your list of what to bring to Navy boot camp.

The Navy gives recruits with what they need, and everything else is boxed up and sent home.

  • Electronics, including MP3 players, cameras, handheld video games, are prohibited.
  • Sharp objects and weapons of any kind. Do not bring glass items, including mirrors. If you are uncertain about the definition of weapons, talk to your recruiter. Although, if it is not on the list of items you need, it is better to leave it behind.
  • Electric personal care items such as hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors, and straighteners are not necessary at Navy boot camp.
  • Food, including gum and candy, is not allowed. If you bring food as a snack while en route to boot camp, consume them beforehand.
  • Illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol-based items are forbidden—plan on working through dependency on these substances before arriving at boot camp.
  • Nonprescription drugs are also prohibited.
  • Extra clothing is unnecessary. The Navy gives you uniforms. You can wear comfortable and conservative clothing appropriate for the weather upon arrival, but everything else will be shipped home or donated.
  • Lighter fluid and lighters are not allowed.

Related ArticleNavy Boot Camp Graduation Gift Ideas


When contemplating what to bring to Navy boot camp, understand that the less you bring, the less anxiety you will have during intake.

The instructors will have you box up and send home all the items you do not need.

Therefore, it is better only to bring the essentials.

The Navy provides you all you need for your new career as a soldier.

Also, you will have access to the base store to purchase items you forgot or need to replenish.

When you pack, start with the necessary items. At that point, ask yourself if you can do without the rest you hoped to bring.


Recruit Training Command Home Page

Recruit Training Command – Recruit Information

Packing Lists for each Military Branch

Basic Training Packing List For Each Military Branch

Army Boot Camp

Air Force Basic Training

USMC Basic Training

Rob V.
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Find out what you need to bring, should bring, and should definitely NOT bring to Navy Boot Camp, as well as a free downloadable checklist.

Originally posted on 08/27/20

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