Updated: January 16, 2016
Because storage space is extremely limited at Recruit Training Command (RTC), you should limit the amount of personal effects you bring, and keep luggage to a maximum of one small gym or travel bag.
If you are reporting to RTC during winter months (October through April) wear warm outer clothing – it does get cold near the lake! Keep in mind that during your in-processing you will be required to mail any item not listed below, with your excess civilian clothing and personal effects, to your home at your own expense, or donate the stuff to charity. Personal items and clothing won’t be allowed to be stored at boot-camp.
Here is a list of stuff you can bring to Navy boot camp:
- One pair of prescription glasses (most recent pair) and reading glasses. You will not be allowed to wear contact lenses during recruit training. If only contact lenses are worn (e.g., a recent pair of glasses is not available), you may wear the contact lenses to RTC and bring a contact lens case with a small bottle of solution for cleaning, disinfecting, and storage. Military glasses will be issued during the first few days of in-processing and contact lens wear will then no longer be permitted.
- Money – recommended, $10 – maximum of $50 (you won’t need more than that)
- Light sweater/jacket for winter months – it will be mailed back to your home after arrival at your expense.
- Completed Direct Deposit Sign-Up (Standard Form 1199A).
- Check book and ATM card
- Photo Identification/ Drivers license
- Small Bible
- Social Security Card
- Pre-paid calling cards
- Basic makeup: Female/one of each: face powder, blush, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara (non-aerosol or glass). Make-up will be authorized for division photographs, family night, and on graduation liberty only.
Note: At a designated time, you will be sent to the dispensary at RTC for medical evaluation.
Additional Items to Bring, if Applicable;
- Oral contraceptives (OCPs, sometimes called birth control pills or BCPs) and/or thyroid replacement medications
- Immunization Record
- Small address book
- Jewelry (limit to Wedding Ring, Watch, Religious Medallion)
- Retainer case
- Credit Cards
- Family Papers. If you’re married, bring copies of your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of all your dependent children. These certificates are necessary to register allotments. You must also bring copies of court decrees pertaining to alimony and child support. Additionally, if either your wife or husband has been previously divorced, a certified copy of divorce documents is required.
- Alien Papers. You must bring a copy of your certificate of entry.
Females – To expedite your medical processing, if you have had a PAP smear/pelvic examination during the six months prior to leaving for RTC bring the test results with you. Additionally, if you’re currently using birth control pills, bring copies of exam records (in addition to the pills) specifying type(s) of birth control pills both presently and previously prescribed. You will receive a pregnancy test within three days of arrival at Recruit Training. If the test results are positive, you will be discharged.
Boot-Camp Hair Standards
Female new recruits may travel to RTC with their hair styled as desired. The standard hair length for females may touch but not fall below a horizontal line level with the lower edge of the back of the uniform collar. Females will have their hair cut (styled) to military standards after reporting to RTC for a nominal fee.
UPDATE: According to the Navy’s All Hands magazine, beginning January 2015, Navy boot-camp will initiate a pilot program (length of time program will run has yet to be determined) to cease mandatory female haircuts. The pilot was established after receiving feedback that junior Sailors and officers are not taught proper grooming standards during their initial training. Grooming standards education will be incorporated into the curriculum, but will not impact other training. This will allow women to style longer hair in the same manner that they would wear it daily in the Fleet while providing the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the standards before transferring to the Fleet. If desired, women will still have the opportunity to cut their hair upon arrival and during training at Recruit Training Command.
UPDATE: The female pilot program has concluded and the changes have now been made permanent. Females NO LONGER are required to have their hair cut upon arrival to RTC.
Highlights of the changes and guidelines include:
– Hairstyles must allow for the proper fit of headgear and not interfere with the proper wear of protective masks or equipment.
– When in uniform, hair may touch, but not fall below a horizontal line level with the lower edge of the back of the collar. With service dress jumper uniforms, hair may extend a maximum of 1 1/2 inches below the top of the jumper collar.
– Layered hairstyles are authorized, provided that the layers present a smooth graduated appearance. No portion of the bulk of the hair (except the bun) as measured from the scalp will exceed 2 inches.
– The bulk of the bun shall not exceed 3 inches from scalp. The diameter of the bun will not exceed 4 inches. Loose ends must be tucked-in and secured. Buns must not protrude through the opening in the back of a ball cap.
– Angled hairstyles may not exceed 1 1/2 inches difference in length from front to back.
– All hairstyles must minimize scalp exposure.
– Two strand braids (a type of twist) are authorized. Braided hairstyles shall be conservative and conform to the grooming standard guidelines.
Male new recruits will have their head shaved to a stubble length upon arrival, and will receive two additional haircuts during training.
Items that will be Sent Home
Items that will be sent home (at your expense), donated to charity, or otherwise disposed of:
- All alcohol based health and comfort items
- Civilian Clothing
- Cell Phones
- All electronic/electric items
- Curling irons
- All books and magazines
- Cards, dice, or other gambling paraphernalia
- Large and bulky stationary
- Large plastic picks, rakes, etc., or any made of metal
- Anything made of glass, including mirrors
- Double-edged razor blades
- Disposable lighters
- Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, tobacco (smoking, chewing, or dipping)
- Large deodorants (larger than four ounces)
- Weapons (including brass knuckles, knives, firearms, etc.)
These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Phisoderm, Phisohex, and similar products
- Foot powders
- Rubbing alcohol
- Motion sickness medication
- Commercial sleeping aid
- Acne medication
- Eyewash (with the exception of saline solution for contact lenses)
- Sex-related materials (including diaphragms and condoms).
Sailor’s guest posts that convey their Navy Boot-Camp experience:
Boots Pound Towards the Future
Boot-Camp: Welcome to the Deep End – (a series)
Welcome to Navy Boot-Camp Video
The following video should answer many questions.