I get lots of questions about sending care packages while your SIT is in Basic Combat Training. Mail is always welcome at Basic Training but there are some rules around care packages.
Before I get into that, focus on communication by sending encouraging letters first and foremost. You can do that by:
- Hand writing a letter: I like to use very plain paper and envelope to keep it basic. It will take a couple of weeks for your soldier to receive the letter.
- Using the SANDBOXX app: You can send a letter from your smart phone. A real, physical letter gets delivered to your SIT! Letters are delivered faster with SANDBOXX.
Now, if you can’t wait to send a care package too, let’s get into what you can send.
What You Can Send to Your Soldier in Basic Training
Before your son or daughter left for basic training, they should have had a list of everything they needed. If anything was missing, they are brought to the PX on post every couple of weeks to purchase needed items.
The Army has rules about care packages in basic training. The very first question to answer is “Does their unit allow care packages?”
Find that out first as there are units that allow care packages and some that don’t.
Also keep in mind they have very limited space in their barracks so keep your care packages small. Also if you send personal items like deodorant or soap, put them in a sealed zip lock type of bag.
This list is more of a guide. Although there may be other items that can be included, be sure to ask your soldier in training (SIT) about the unit’s rules for care packages.
- Address book
- Baby wipes, unscented
- Bar soap, unscented
- Black Pens
- Cash less than $50
- Dental floss Deodorant, unscented
- Digital watch (black band)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hair gel (unscented)
- Hair ties (black)
- Lip Balm, unflavored
- Lotion, unscented
- Moleskin Paper (white lined)
- Permanent marker (black)
- Self-addressed stamped envelopes
- Laundry Soap (unscented)
- Nail clippers (no file)
- Shampoo/conditioner combo
- Flushable wipes, unscented
- Razors (Males ONLY)
- Travel size Kleenex packages
- Religious medallions
- White calf length socks (no logos)
- Combination lock (plain black/silver)
- Underwear (briefs, white)
- Fine/medium tooth comb (helps with female hair)
Send your care packages to basic training through the United States Post Office (USPS.)
You can get care package mailing supplies from USPS sent to your home (at no cost) that include priority mail boxes, tape and address labels. Although you can get the package supplies at no cost, sending the package is NOT free. Check the USPS website for current pricing.
Be sure to stop sending any mail about 2 weeks before basic graduation.
You can check the individual website for Army Basic Combat Training for care package information:
- Fort Jackson: Columbia, South Carolina
- Fort Leonard Wood: Waynesville, Missouri
- Fort Sill: Lawton, Oklahoma
- Fort Benning: Columbus, Georgia
Your soldier in training will love hearing from you as they transition from civilian to soldier! Be sure to keep writing letters of encouragement.
If you do send a care package, keep it small and only included needed items.
I hope you found this list helpful for what you can send in a care package to your SIT in Basic Training.
Share your experience in the comments below!