Many future recruits ask: what can you bring to Marine Boot Camp? The short answer is that the Marine Corps will issue you everything you need, including underwear and running shoes (which will now be referred to as “go-fasters”). But there are certain things you will want to include.
What You Should Bring to Marine Corps Boot Camp
During receiving week, everything that you brought with you will be cataloged and stored for the duration of your training. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring anything. What can you bring to Marine Boot Camp? Here’s a generous list.
- Your recruiter’s information and enlistment packet.
- Photo ID like a driver’s license, passport, etc.
- Social Security Card
- Proof you’ve completed college, if applicable.
- A copy of your high school diploma.
- Addresses of people you want to write (on a piece of paper, no notebooks).
- Prescription medication.
- $20 cash so you can buy food or drinks at the airport.
- A small Bible, Koran, or other religious book.
- One pair of civilian clothes (clean-cut, no holes in your jeans)
Everything else will be taken away from you, including: hygiene gear like razor blades and soap, cell phones, tablets, your wallet, books, pens, paper, even your socks and underwear. All your civilian gear will be documented and you’ll be given a storage receipt to claim it when you are done with recruit training.
Remember, you’re here to become a United States Marine and that means giving up everything from your civilian life until you earn the title. What can you bring to Marine Boot Camp that will help you succeed? A base level of fitness and a positive mental attitude, for starters. If you’re willing to do whatever it takes to earn the title, that’s a great start.
What Can You Bring to Marine Boot Camp | Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other questions we’ve received over the years:
Can You Bring a Cell Phone to Marine Corps Boot Camp?
No, you can not bring your cell phone through Recruit Training. If you bring a cell phone, it will be stored with your other civilian items until you graduate as a United States Marine. The chances are good it won’t be in an air-conditioned storage unit, so keep in mind that any lithium batteries could be negatively affected by heat.
What can you bring to Marine Boot Camp to communicate with your family back home? Your Drill Instructors will allow you to call home and write as necessary, and your family will be informed of your graduation date. Tell them prior to shipping out about anyone you want to be notified of your graduation date. The chances are that either way, they will be very excited for you and tell everyone they know.
While it is true that other services might allow recruits to call home on their cell phones occasionally, the Marine Corps does things differently. Marine Corps boot camp is considered the toughest basic training of all the United States Armed Forces, and as part of the indoctrination, this includes no contact with the outside world.
Will I Be Able to Bring my Own Insoles Because I’m Flat Footed?
No, you won’t be able to bring insoles unless you have orthotics prescribed to you by a doctor. In that case, there’s also a chance that you won’t be accepted for Marine Corps Recruit Training. Marine recruits spend a lot of time running, hiking, and carrying heavy loads for miles. In the Crucible, for instance, recruits travel more than 45 miles with combat gear over the course of 54 hours.
Your best bet is to strengthen your feet before you go to boot camp. And when you get to Marine Combat Training or the School of Infantry, you can buy insoles for your boots. Personally, we preferred gel inserts to the ones issued with your combat boots. They help absorb the pressure of heavy packs and hard concrete.
If you have a medical issue that requires orthotics, this doesn’t mean the Marine Corps won’t take you. Check with a recruiter about any medical issues, you may be eligible for a waiver.
Can You Dip in USMC Basic Training?
We thought this goes without saying, but no, you cannot chew tobacco or “dip” while training as a United States Marine Recruit. Also, you cannot smoke or drink alcohol. There is a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and tobacco products while in boot camp, which means if you are caught, you’re out. You’re done. No do-overs.
Consider it a chance to give up your tobacco habit. It’s better for your health, anyway.
Will I Be Able to Bring Feminine Products With me to Boot Camp?
You should bring as much as you need for the trip. When you get to Marine Boot Camp, you’ll be able to buy all the basic hygiene gear that you need at the base Post Exchange, or PX. You can buy deodorant, toothpaste, razor blades, sunscreen, and more at the PX. Feminine hygiene products will be readily available as well.
My Lips Dry up Frequently, Can I Bring Chapstick or Aquaphor?
No, you won’t be able to bring chapstick to Marine Boot Camp. Once you begin training, you’ll be able to buy some at the PX. Dry lips might be the least of your concern, when you begin running and hiking in boots many recruits develop large blisters. You’ll also be learning drill, Marine Corps knowledge, first aid, basic combat skills, martial arts, and be working hard to stay hydrated and eat enough during your short mealtimes.
What Can You Bring to Marine Boot Camp? Be A Team Player
The truth is, you can bring whatever you want, but you’ll only be able to keep the items listed above. Furthermore, the more you bring, the longer it will take to process all the recruits through receiving, as every item has to be cataloged, given a receipt, and then stored for the next three months.
What can you bring to Marine Boot Camp that will make you more of a team player? Be ready to go when you get there, with the minimum amount of clothes, cash, and personal items that you need. Personally, I had the clothes on my back, $20, and my driver’s license. I also had copies of my high school diploma with my recruiter’s package. That was it.
The more recruits bring, the longer this processing takes. As you will now be a part of a unit, and slowing down the entire unit, you may be singled out by your Drill Instructors for increased scrutiny. Showing up with just the above items and ready to train shows the Marines that you did your research and are ready to go.
Looking for more information on Marine Boot Camp? We wrote an article explaining the entire recruit training schedule. We’ve outlined every single training week, from swim week to rifle qualification, even in-depth insider knowledge on the Crucible.