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I am a 34 y.o. male and will be shipping out to basic within 2 weeks. My preparation has been to read over a dozen books to date and prepare physically to the point I can score a 275 currently on the APFT. Any additional tips would be appreciated! My basic current level of prep is as follow:

I am going to bring basicly whats on the MEPS Basic List and additionally; bandaids, antibiotic, moleskin, laundry marker, stamps, paper, envelopes, preprinted labels for freinds/relatives...etc, 6-8 inch note cards with all of my IET handbook notes on them, blank ones for new info, my Masonic Bible, 3 highquality/durable waterproof pens, and my boot polish kit which consists of 3 cans of parade gloss kiwi, 15 100% cotton cloths, a bag of cotton balls, 2 polish applicators and my favorite horsehair brush! Money will consist of 10 1$ bills, 4 $5 bills, & 2 rolls of quarters (for laundry). My kit also contains 8 D batteries for the 2 flashlights I will utilize in BCT.
Professionally I am a network security engineer and I am a STICKLER for preparing properly for anything I intend to undertake...

Any other suggestions as to what I should or SHOULDN'T bring or DO? Appreciate your feedback folks....

-Michael Vaughan
Original Post
Well Ill tell you when I went though this past Feb. They took all that stuff from me and made me buy all new stuff. See they give you this "smart card" with 250 bucks on it and they expect you to use it. They let my keep the cash I took with me, my boot shining kit and any personal hygenie items I had. But just like you I took the parade gloss...thats a HUGE no-no in bct. Standard kiwi is all anyone in my company was allowed to use. It may be different depending on where you go but thats my experience.
Do you think I will be allowed to keep my bandaids & footpowder? I expect to get some ferocious blisters with those damn new boots. I have been running and wearing combat boots for 3 months now and have built up some callouses but I expect with all of the PT and running in those damn new boots that I will NEED my bandaids and foot powder. If they take them, will I be able to get them at the PX...etc?

-Michael Vaughan
don't expect to run in boots, you'll be wearing running shoes for PT.

expect to walk between 4 and 12 miles in your boots. You'll stop once, depending on the length.

they might let you keep the bandaids, they should let you keep the powder. Anything else you will be able to get at the PX.

as NASCAR said, you won't need quarters for the laundry. You'll either have to use the laundry service, or the machines are regular washer/dryers.

and don't worry about parade gloss in BCT. Save that for AIT.
[quote:fd28fe137b="mikeyv1970"] 15 100% cotton cloths[/quote:fd28fe137b]

Like the quarters, you don't really need these either. They probably won't even let you keep them. You will get or have to buy ( I don't remember which) brown towels and brown washcloths. If you are talking about a shoe shine type cloth, 1 should be sufficient... 15 - overkill. Don't take too many unnessecary items. You are going to have to lug around your things when you get there.

I got my ship date today! Huyup Big Grin

Rank E-4 (BA., In progress MSc.)
MOS: 91W Health Care Specialist (Combat Medic)
BCT: Ft. Leonard Wood Ship to Recep: 20041116 and
"Start" BCT on 20041126

AIT 20050214 Ft. Sam Houston

I have revised my list of what to bring and not to bring based in large part on your folks feedback and further research.

My newest questions are why would I be landed in recep. for 10 days? I would imagine that the 5 days for the Thanksgiving Holiday may have something to do with it but what would we be doing?

To give you a little background I am Reg Army prior service (E-3) 1989 was my ETS date. D&C would be good for me to refresh and I have already pretty much memorized the IET handbook....but would it be advisable for me to bring some books for me to read that are 'disposable' for this time frame? I have read some stories about some recruits be terminally bored in reception...what can I do to make this constructive time? Shining both pairs of my boots to look like mirrors would take me 4 hours...any other books/FM's I could read without becoming the target of Drills? What could I do that would help me make the most of this time?

Fishing for ideas to ensure I use my time constructively in Recep...I expect to be to busy to scratch my arse in basic. I might as well start by learning to be "high Speed" again...
You are never going to be able to blend in and hide. Sorry, just tough luck on that.

Why did you not go OCS?

They may let you keep the mole skin and band aids. They are a little more lienent with older guys in that they expect you to be more mature. They will also heap responisibility on you, and not the nice stuff, more like all the book keeping.

Since I made this posting I sucessfully completed Basic and AIT and was awarded the MOS of a combat medic. Shortly thereafter I was selected for OCS and completed it and OBC as an engineer officer (12A). I subsequently deployed to Afghanistan as an Intel Officer and a BN Battle CPT. Some of my duties also included leading a platoon doing RCP missions and engaged in various TICs. 80% IED find rate. FOlks on this site will help you as best they can. Trick to BASIC, AIT, or OCS is to NEVER QUIT. If you dont can't help but to eventually succeed. Good luck and never be complacent...

1LT Michael Vaughan, EN
Your beer belly is one you will have to constantly work on even after you are in. You will not have to meet any heght and weight requirements once you make it past MEPS until it is time to graduate from AIT. To graduate from BCT you must be able to pass the APFT in your age group with a minimum of 50% in each category (60% for AIT and pass the Ht/Wt. You r diet will comsist of what they serve in the dining facilty and you will only be given the ammounts they are in regulations. You will not starve in BCT, but you will not gorge yourself. Most Soldiers I have come through who are over weight lose between 15-25 lbs after completion of BCT. Proir to shipping out, you need to be able to try and get atleast 50% in each category of the APFT. If I see anyone sucking during PT, that gives me a reason to ride them until they get batter.

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