Updated 12/28/2015: I graduated BMT in November, so I have updated this list so you will have absolutely everything you need. I was a bit taken by surprise on things they said you “should have.”
It is amazing how little information there is available for female trainees heading off to Air Force BMT. I have loved adding my voice with first-hand experience as I’ve enlisted, taken the ASVAB, processed through MEPS, and hung out in the DEP, all while working full-time. It’s been a real stress, but writing it all out here has been a huge relief and help! And I can only hope it’s given some relief to other men and women who are considering joining up as well.
But the point of today’s post isn’t to talk about how stressful everything has been. At my last recruiter meeting, I was 30 days out and he gave me my BMT packing list. It’s an excellent guide, but in reality, it’s not tailored to women and is very generic. That’s why I went over to Aunie Sauce’s blog and copied her BMT packing list. She went to Basic about a year and a half ago, so she has recent experience on how things go down in ole’ San Antone…
That being said, if you’re a female heading off to Air Force Basic Training soon, here’s what I am packing – adapted from Aunie’s.
NOTE: Here are some things I wish I’d known before heading to BMT.
- Taking one backpack with minimal items was a lifesaver. You will be issued uniforms in 0 week, so I recommend only bringing 1 pair of jeans and 2 shirts. Wear your running shoes down.
- Have a bag packed with a few cute outfits that you can take to technical school, but keep it minimal. DO NOT pack your laptop or iPad. They will not let you keep it. You will have to have your family ship it to you once you arrive.
- You really don’t need a lot of stuff for your trip down. You WILL buy everything at the mini-mall, but it won’t be for 2 weeks, so plan wisely.
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
- 1 pair of jeans (no rips, holes, etc.)
- 2 plain crew neck tees
- Running shoes (ASICS Kayanu 21)
- Plain black shower shoes (Old Navy flippies); you’ll want to take these with you because as noted above, you won’t get to go to the mini-mall for 2 weeks.
- 10 pairs of underwear (you can never have too many)
- 5 Sports bras
- 2 Regular bras
- 3 Pairs of socks
- Bible (I didn’t end up taking mine. Glad I didn’t. They gave us a New Testament version at church)
- Military ID (Only the Guard/Reserve have their IDs before they attend Basic)
- Social Security Card
- Driver’s License
- Debit and Credit card (I used these more than you would think. Do not take cash unless you want to keep track of it on a money list. More on that in another post.)
- Waterproof watch (this is a lifesaver. Have one from the beginning or you will NEVER know what time it is)
- Small journal/address book
- Pre-stamped envelopes (until you can buy some more)
- 2 Ballpoint Pens (they issue you a set, but they get lost easily, and people are always wanting to borrow them)
- 2 Sharpies (Same as ballpoint pens)
- Cell phone & charger
- Dr. Scholl’s insoles (I wish I’d had these for my boots. I finally bought some in the 4th week of training, but by then, the worst was over. Do yourself a favor and take some. You’ll thank me later.)
- 10 copies of orders (Guard/Reserve Only)
- Unit personnel records (Guard/Reserve Only)
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificate
- Certified copy of dependent’s social security card, license, and birth certificate etc. (You can have this copied, verified, and stamped at your MEPS location.) If you don’t have these copies, you can’t register your dependents in the system, meaning you’ll lose out on BAH until they can snail mail them to you.
- Personal photos
- Retainers (if you had braces)
- Travel sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, etc.
- Facial moisturizer w/ SPF
- Chapstick with SPF
- Deodorant (the stick kind)
- Bobby pins (matching hair color)
- Fingernail clippers
That’s about it. Let me know if you have any questions!