"It never fails.  During pickup, when you are transported to your training company, many trainees strain under the weight, trying to lug around two large suitcases.  Some trainees are surprised to discover that everyone must carry their own gear.   Travel lightly!  Not only will you have to carry your civilian bag from home, but also your military duffel bag full of military issue items.  These items include such heavy items as your boots, dress shoes and uniforms. Even if your suitcase has wheels, the drill sergeants will probably make you carry it.  The best type of suitcase you can bring is a large, sturdy gym bag with two short handles and a shoulder strap.  This is all you will need.  If you must carry something separately, bring a lightweight portfolio or large envelope for your important papers and documents. 

Contents of Your Gym bag:
           Toiletry kit (a small case that includes a hairbrush/comb,           deodorant, soap, shaving kit, shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, )
          Sturdy, "broken in" running shoes (no basketball or cross trainers, must be for jogging/running)
          Two casual civilian outfits (you will not be allowed to wear civilian clothes while in basic training  Don't bring anything expensive)
          Cotton white underwear (males get brown underwear issued, while females are given the chance to buy white cotton underwear at the reception station)
          Athletic supporters (males)/sports bras (females)- white only
          Female hygiene kit (females)
          Five pairs of white, calf length socks (no stripes or other markings)
          Towel and washcloth (No bright colors)
          ATM Card (occasionally you will be allowed to purchase items or services, so quick access to your money is essential)
          Sturdy watch (preferably waterproof, with alarm and nightlight)
          Pens/Pencil/Writing paper/Envelopes/Stamps/Small Notebook (You will need to take notes in class and you'll want to write home)
          Lock with Two Keys (Medium size.  Drill sergeants keep one key in case you lose yours)
          Shower Shoes (Inexpensive flip-flops for walking around the barracks and in the shower)
          Small Ziploc Bags (to keep your notebook and papers dry)
          Portfolio or Large Envelope containing the following:
          Marriage certificate
          Divorce decrees (certified)
          Birth certificates for children under 18 (certified)
          Military orders sending you to training
          Enlistment contract
          Form SF 1199A & your bank account information (this will allow your paycheck to be electronically transferred. At BT, you will also be given the opportunity to open a bank account there.)
          Small address book with addresses and phone numbers of family, friends, your bank and other important contacts
          Your wallet should contain your social security card and your driver's license

What Not To Bring!

    Now here's a list of things not to bring!  The items not allowed are shipped home at your expense, thrown away, or locked away until graduation.  So save yourself some time and effort, and do not bring them in the first place. Storage place is very limited! Your civilian bag and its contents will be inventoried during "shakedown" and then locked away until graduation.  You see some interesting things during "shakedown" when trainees dump the contents of their bags on the ground.  It's not unusual to see some of the things soldiers use as good luck charms or last-minute gifts from their loved ones.  Don't bring these items:

Large amounts of cash ($50-$75 is all you need.  The only place to secure money will be in your wall locker.)
Expensive jewelry (Do not wear more than your wedding band.  Gold chains get lost.  Remember, you'll have dogtags around your neck.  Religious medallions are okay as long as they're sturdy and can be hidden under your t-shirt)
Radios, CD Players, Walkmans, Boomboxes etc. (They'll get locked away along with your personal bag and civilian clothes. Even though these items are locked away, there's always a chance your stuff might turn up missing)
Reading Material (You will not be allowed to read anything but religious material.  It's okay to bring magazines and books for your trip to basic training, but just be ready to pack these away in your civilian bag.  Don't even attempt to bring pornographic or obscene material.)
Perfume/Cologne/Afthershave (Drill Sergeants will not allow you to wear these.  Save yourselves the hassle.)
Alcohol, all tobacco products and chewing gum (They will all be confiscated.  You can't smoke, drink or chew here.  Some companies allow trainees to chew gum later in the cycle as a privilege. Most don't)
Prescription medications not prescribed by a military physician
Braces/Wraps for legs, knees or feet or asthma inhalors (A drill sergeant will send you to the troop medical clinic to be examined by a military physician to determine what you need.  Nothing you received or were prescribed by a civilian doctor will be accepted for your use here)
Robes/Negligees/Pajamas (You will sleep in your physical fitness uniform, which consists of a gray t-shirt and black shorts. In cooler weather, you may wear the sweatshirt and pants)
Your family (You will see them at graduation)
Your privately owned vehicle (Trainees are not authorized to drive personal vehicles while in basic training)
Weapons (This includes small pocket knives)
Make-up/Nail Polish (You will not be allowed to wear make-up during the daily training.  Some companies allow female trainees to wear modest make-up at graduation)
Toys/game devices/stuffed animals"

As a sidenote, you are not required to bring everything on this list!  You may want to visit the training post websites to see what they recommend for their individual post.  I've had some recruits tell me that they want to travel as "bare bones" as possible.  In that case, just bring a bag, the outfit you are wearing plus toiletries to get you through a few days.  Once you arrive at the reception station, you'll be given a shopping list to buy the remaining items you may be missing (such as travel-size soaps, running shoes, shoe shine kit, laundry powder, etc..).  You will be given a card that has a specified amount on it.  I believe it currently runs around $250 for males; females get more because they have more to buy.  You will use this card to pay for your purchases.  This is not free money but an advance from your first paycheck, so do not be surprised when you do get your first paycheck and it is a bit less than expected.  In addition, I have also had quite a few recruits tell me that no matter what they brought with them, they had to buy EVERYTHING that was on their shopping list at reception, to include running shoes.  With this in mind, you may really want to travel light:-))