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Ask An Army Spouse: All About AIT or Advanced Individualized Training

For questions and answers about moving with your soldier to AIT, click here.

Below are questions I’ve received from visitors to the site about AIT (advanced individualized training). They range from visitation to the first PCS move after AIT graduation. If you have a question of your own, message me on Facebook or comment below.


Visitation and Communication During AIT

My boyfriend lost his phone at AIT, so how will they go about letting him get another one? Will someone be able to send him a new one? Is it possible for me to visit him at while he’s in AIT in Fort Lee? I haven’t seen him in so long and its getting difficult for me to handle. I will do anything I can to at least be able to visit him. Thanks in advance.

You could probably send him a new one if he’s allowed to have it. As for visiting, it depends on his command and their procedures for visitation. Some allow it, some don’t. Regardless, you (or his family members) will receive a letter about graduation and any family day times. You can definitely see him during those times.

He should also have pay phones available to use or he could always ask to use a battle buddy’s phone if they are allowed to have their personal cell phones while there.

Driving Him to AIT from Basic Training

Hi! My fiance is currently at BCT in FT Jackson, SC. His AIT is at FT Eustis, VA. I was wondering if anyone knew if I’d be able to drive him to his AIT location? I’ve heard different things. Some say no. Some say maybe. Some say only parents or spouses are the only authorized ones to transport them there. I’m just trying to figure out how all this works! Any help will be appreciated!! Thanks!


He will have to have permission in order for someone else to transport him to his AIT location. Typically, permission is granted to a spouse or parent though stranger things have happened. All he can do is ask and then go with that answer. Good luck!

Moving After AIT Graduation

My husband has just start AIT training at Fort Sam Houston and is scheduled to finish on 10 Aug 2010. I wanted to know how long after his graduation from AIT will we be able to move with him to his first duty station.


As long as he has orders cut when he graduates, you can move with him right away. The only exception would be if he is assigned to an overseas duty location. In that case, it takes a little longer to process the paperwork. Most of the time, the family has to follow in a few weeks though I have known a few cases where it worked out for them all to travel together.

After my husband completed his training, I went with him to his duty station. It worked out perfectly with transportation so we could get everything moved without me having to wait around for that to occur. Hope it happens as quickly for you.

Sending Packages to AIT

Hello, my boyfriend left for Fort sill, Oklahoma November 9th and I’ve been able to talk to him and I’ve been getting letters. I got a letter from him yesterday and he told me he was allowed to have a small bottle of mouth wash, a tongue cleaner, dental floss picks and halls drops and foot insoles.

I will be sending it out tomorrow in a package, but I was wondering if I can send him candy in it also? If I have to send it for the whole platoon then that’s fine, but would he be able to eat it? What else can he get? Ive looked it up and I get different answers. He comes home the 18th of this month for Christmas and I was going to wait but he would be excited if I sent it. Please help?

All training is different and every drill sergeant is different as far as what is allowed and what isn’t. What may be allowed during one soldier’s basic training or AIT won’t be allowed in the next or vice versa. To be on the safe side, I would only send exactly what he asked for to avoid him getting into trouble. The candy isn’t worth all of the pushups he may have to do once his DS sees it.

Holiday Breaks During AIT

My wife is currently in AIT in Gordon, GA and been there for almost 4 weeks since 10-18-10. She has to complete a 37 week program. I would love to know if she will get free time to come back home on Thanksgiving and Christmas or if I can go and spend time with her during these special days. Opinions and advice are really welcome and will be appreciated.

It’s unlikely she will be given a break for Thanksgiving. They may have the day off but they will likely have to stay very close to post or on post (my guess). For Christmas, since she is in training, she should get exodus which is a 2 week break. It generally starts one week before Christmas and lasts until one week after Christmas.

Because her AIT is 37 weeks, it is very likely they will be more lenient with visitation, etc. so you should be able to see her more often than the typical soldier in AIT.

When Do You Get Orders After AIT?

When do soldiers usually get their orders for their first duty station? my husbands CO (he spoke to me before AIT started, when i was down there for BCT graduation) told me that they should know about 2 weeks before graduation. But is that typical?


If you ask 20 people, you will probably get 20 different answers. I know some who knew as soon as they started AIT, some who found out just before they graduated and others who had to wait on orders after graduation. It is difficult to predict when his orders may arrive. Unfortunately, this is one of those “hurry up and wait” things that the Army is infamous for.

Leave After AIT

Okay, my husband is in OSUT in Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri. Will he get to come home for 2 weeks before he has to report in to his duty station? Recruiters are telling me he comes home, but other Army officials are telling my husband that he does not come home, he reports in to his duty station first and gets permissive leave for 10 days…which one is it?

I know every one in regular basic training comes home for 2 weeks after their basic, but since his basic is combined with his AIT will he not get that leave, because he goes straight into AIT from basic with no leave in between and then go to his duty station??  Help.


Soldiers do not get two weeks directly after basic or AIT unless it is for hometown recruiting. In that case, they will return home before reporting to their duty station (or additional training).

Typically, the soldier has to inprocess at his new unit before he is given 10 days to move his family. This can vary but that is the most likely scenario. Depending on what the unit is doing at the time (such as if they are preparing for deployment), this time off may be delayed. However, most soldiers are given the time after they inprocess.

Good luck!

Length of AIT and Visitation

I’m joining the army will my husband be able to come see me during my MOS training? How long is MOS training?


The length of AIT for your MOS training depends entirely on the MOS that you choose. The shortest AIT is five weeks where the longest is close to a year. The shorter the AIT is, the less freedom you will have during the training. If the AIT is longer, it is more likely that you will be able to have more communication with him as well as visits.

For AIT schools that are longer than 20 weeks, it is possible for the family to move with you to the training location. Depending on the instructors, you may be able to live with your family in that situation after a certain time period (usually after the 11th week of training). But it can vary widely from one school to the next.

The recruiter should be able to give you information about how long the AIT school is for your MOS training. After you know your MOS, you can likely find information online (including here!) about the training schedule and how often you may be able to see him.

First PCS Move After AIT

My husband is in his 8th week of AIT. His orders say AIT will last 25 weeks however he is fairly certain he will finish around 20 weeks. As I’m sure you must know we have no idea where we will be after AIT. My husband is doing AIT in GA and because we have kids I have chosen to stay at our home in CA until he is done with his training.

My question is: What kind of planning can I do? At what point into AIT will he know where he is being sent? I’ve heard it is usually around a week prior to completing his training. When he does get his orders and what steps as his wife do I need to take to prepare for the move with the movers, on post housing,expenses etc? Any info you might be able to pass along to me would be greatly appreciated! Is there an info #?
Thank you, New to the Army and feeling confused….


It is difficult to tell when he may get his orders for his permanent duty station after AIT. His AKO account may already show where he will be, though you should not trust that until you have paper orders in hand. It is typical to find out just before graduation.

Once he has paper orders, you can contact the transportation office at the post where he will be assigned. They can put you in touch with the closest office to your home to arrange your move. The Army will send movers to your home to pack everything, load it and move it to the new location. It is actually a fairly simple process. It is much easier, in my opinion, than dealing with a do it yourself move.

You can choose to live off post and receive a housing allowance or to live on post and forfeit the housing allowance. On post housing may have a waiting list. Generally, you will not be able to add your name to the waiting list until he has paper orders. In some cases, they won’t allow you to add your name until he has inprocessed with his new unit.

If there is a short wait, you can live in temporary lodging on post until something opens up. If the wait is longer, you may have to live off post until something becomes available. Be sure to read your lease carefully if you go this route as the military clause does not cover breaking your lease when on post housing becomes available.

Good luck!

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 88 comments… add one }
  • Jaynessa June 23, 2017, 5:52 pm

    Hello my name is Jaynessa. I was wondering about something because I’ve heard both yes and no. My husband is in Fort Jackson in South Carolina for basic. He graduates August 16. I was planning on staying at a hotel on base and I was wondering if my husband could come back to the hotel with me because since his birthday passed while he was in basic, I have a cake balloons and gifts for him to open and they would be at the hotel. If he does get an on post pass, will it allow him to come back and open his gifts at the hotel with me?

  • ZANDRA S Curry August 9, 2017, 11:22 pm

    My son is at Fort Leonard he got there 7/26/17. I have not heard from him is there away I can find out of if he ok.

  • Miranda August 11, 2017, 4:29 pm

    My fiancé graduates in September, I still haven’t received a commanders letter, but families of other SITs in the same platoon received theirs at the end of July. Should I be worried?

    • Stacey Abler August 18, 2017, 9:41 am

      Is it possible his letter went to his parents since you’re not married? Regardless, you don’t need the letter to attend. If possible, just get the details from one of the other families you mentioned who received the info.

  • Jeremy August 30, 2017, 9:00 pm

    I am in the process of joining(still need to take ASVAB and go to MEPS) and unsure of which MOS I will go with. But I am married with 2 children(ages 2 and 8) and i know that may not be important to this question but I have heard that a solider can’t have his first duty station to be overaeas(if true it’s kinda sucks because we want to go to Germany and I know we don’t get to pick where will live but still) is this true whatsoever? Also I have heard that negotiating my contract with the recruiter is possible to an extent. Not sure if I believe much of that or not but the contract info came from a friend who served in the Army. Thank you for your time!

    • Stacey Abler September 20, 2017, 12:33 pm

      I know people who have been sent overseas for their first duty station. And you can absolutely negotiate with the recruiter assuming you have the ASVAB scores you need to qualify for the position you’re seeking.

  • Katrina September 15, 2017, 11:42 pm

    My boyfriend is on his way to AIT in ft Leonard wood Missouri. And I have so many questions. Is he going to be able to have his cell phone? How long does it usually take? How long after will he be stationed? Could I move with him even tho we are only dating?

  • Marisol Lara September 19, 2017, 10:38 pm

    My husband is currently training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO and is doing OSUT since he is training as a 31B MP.. He arrived on Tuesday, Sept. 12th and finally left reception today and officially started basic training today! My question is, since he is active duty and he is doing OSUT which is 20 weeks for him, from what I’ve read so far, he will most likely go directly to his first duty station after graduation, correct? Can he come back for a few days so we can go together, I read he has to request it, do they usually let them? When will he be able to get us housing? Before graduation or when he arrives to his first duty station? Am I aloud to help him with choosing housing or does he have to be the one to do that, I just want to help in any way ?? Also, I read that there is usually a waiting list for on base housing and I’m worried we will have to wait longer to be together, we are expecting a baby in December and would love it if we could have everything figured out before he graduates to move as soon as possible with him. If there is a waiting list, how long does it usually take for the families to be able to move with their SIT?

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