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Ask An Army Spouse: Basic Training Letters & Communication

Holding Mail During Basic Training

My husband has been at basic training for a week. When he called me, he said that he has not received any letters. I have sent him a letter every day and I live in the same state!!!!! Why isn’t he receiving my letters? Do they hold their mail?



It seems to be common for mail to not make it to new soldiers in basic training for the first two weeks. Whether it is being held or it just takes some time to process the mail when a new class comes in is anyone’s guess. Rest assured if the letter was addressed correctly, he will eventually receive it.

I remember feeling horrible when my husband called and was upset that I had not written him yet. But I had been writing daily since he left. He got all of my letters shortly after that.

Phone Calls in Basic & Moving After Graduation

My fiance and I are getting married next month and he leaves for Basic in three months… will he be able to call me often? This is going to be really hard for us we have never really been apart and we are only 18. When he’s finished with AIT will I be allowed to move with him on the base right away?? I would really like to know, it will make this whole thing easier.


How often he is able to call will depend on his basic training location, his drill sergeants and his fellow soldiers. In the Army, if one person messes up, they punish everyone. I know some who heard from their soldier at least once a week during basic training and others who were lucky to hear from them once a month. There is really no way to predict. Your main form of communication with him in basic training will be through letters.

If AIT is his last school, you will be able to move with him to his permanent duty station at that time. The only exception to this is if he gets orders to Korea. While it is possible to be able to move to Korea with your soldier, many times it is an unaccompanied tour. Barring that, you should be able to move with him at that time.

Cell Phones at Basic Training



If your husband takes his cell phone with him at basic, he should be able to use it while he is in reception. When he actually starts training, it will likely be taken away from him though he should get it back at the end of training. As far as when you will find out where he is going, it is usually towards the end of his final training school. In most cases, it would be towards the end of AIT. How long after basic training this is depends on how long his AIT is.

Generally, AIT is more laid back than basic training though it all depends on the instructors. Longer AITs tend to be more lenient than shorter ones. Regardless, unless he is in OSUT (where basic and AIT are combined), then he should be able to call more often once he makes it to AIT.

You may find this guide for new spouses helpful as well.

International Letters During Basic Training

My good friend is leaving for basic training soon. I am in Canada and he is in the US. We would like to know if it is possible that we, while he is in Basic Army Training, will be able to send letters to each other. We are not sure if he will be able to send anything out of the country. I have heard a no and a yes on this question and I am looking for a more solid answer hopefully from you. Thank you!
I was not sure of the answer to your question so I contacted an Army wife who I have been friends with for a while. She is from Canada and her husband attended basic training at Ft Benning in Columbus. She said that they did not have any issues with being able to write to each other with the exception that the letters took a long time.

Address for Basic Training

My boyfriend left for basic almost 2 weeks ago I received a call a week ago and he said it was his last day in reception. I asked about when I would get his address and he said he wasn’t sure but he wouldn’t have it until he got to the actual basic training. I haven’t heard from him since and neither has his mom. Is it normal for it to take this long to get the address?

He can’t give you an address until he starts training. At that time, a letter will be sent with the address so I would say it isn’t at all unusual that a week later you haven’t yet received it. I hope it arrives soon!

Communication During OSUT for Infantry

I have several questions to ask. My fiance is currently in reception and about to start basic at Ft Benning, GA. I have received one call from him and was told I would get one the day he left for basic. He is going through OSUT with a Ranger/airborne contract. A friend of mine’s husband is currently in infantry training at Ft Benning as well and she gets to talk with her husband on a weekly basis and gets letters almost every day.

Should I expect the same or will his training be harder and more restricted? Will his commander mail his graduation and family weekend between basic and AIT information to his father instead of me since were not married? What can/can’t I mail him while he is in OSUT? Thanks for taking the time to answer questions it makes it easier for those of us out there who have no clue.

Infantry for soldiers who do not have a Ranger contract and those who do is the same. While it can vary from one class to the next, your friend’s experience with communication with her soldier is likely to be similar to your own.

The information will most likely be sent to his dad since you are not married though it can be sent to whoever he chooses to receive it. While he is in OSUT, it is best to only send letters, cards and a few pictures that you wouldn’t mind having everyone else see (nothing risque).

Limit on Number of Letters Mailed During Basic Training

How many letters can he send out in a week? His parents got one but I haven’t this week. Would there be a limit a week to the letters??? Thanks !!

To my knowledge, there is not a limit on the number of letters he can send. His time, especially in the beginning, is very limited. He may be pressed for time. Hope you hear from him soon!

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

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • very frustrated army girlfriend April 3, 2011, 11:15 am

    I’ve received every letter that my boyfriend has sent, but he hasn’t received any of mine. it’s been 3 weeks already and I’m very concerned at the moment I’m sure I have the right address, because his mom gave it to me. He is stationed at Fort Leonard wood and is in (red phase) would anyone know why he isn’t receiving my letters yet??

    • Emily February 16, 2014, 7:32 pm

      Im having the same problem except my husband is at Ft. Benning. I’ve received every one of his letters but he hasn’t gotten one of mine.. 🙁 I’m getting really anxious. :/

  • Onolee October 19, 2012, 11:30 pm

    I just have a question about writing to my soldier. I received his adress on his last letter but the roster number he gave me is different from the one he gave his other friend. Mine said 430 and hers said 403. I’m sure he’s tired and made a simple mistake. Will my letter still get to him if the roster number is incorrect?

  • Heather February 7, 2013, 1:42 am

    My husband has been in reception for a week. When will i get an address to write to him and how?

    • Stacey February 12, 2013, 7:11 pm

      You will receive a letter from him with the address.

  • Monica March 2, 2013, 12:07 am

    My husband has been in basic training for a week now and I hear that he may not be able to receive my letter is this true? and I have the base address he’s at but I was wondering if there was a specific way you write it or a specific place he’s in that I’d have to actually wait until I get a letter from him to have the exact room he’s in or something

  • Jessica May 10, 2013, 10:19 pm

    I wrote my boyfriend a letter he’s in fortbenning ga and in the envolope I wrote his full name then his rank dose it matter ?

  • Jesa Carter February 3, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I just recently received 2 letters from my husband. He is in OSUT training at Fort Benning, GA. The 2 letters that I got were the first with his new address on it. I sent the letters I have been writing him with the address. Today I got a letter from the commander telling me his address but its in a different format than the ones I sent. Will he still receive my letters?

  • Cheyanne April 28, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Okay my boyfriend and i will be getting married before he goes to basic. Is it possible for me to live on base with him when he’s going through basic training?

    • Stacey Abler May 15, 2014, 9:12 pm

      No, you can’t live with him during basic. He has to finish all of his training first.

  • Brittney Torres August 6, 2014, 6:08 pm

    I’m an Army girlfriend and I wrote to my boyfriend once and that was 5 weeks ago. I still haven’t heard from him and he writes to his family and also facetimes them, his sister always lets me know when she gets a letter from him. His friend who’s in basic training with him in Fort Jackson called me last weekend and told me my boyfriend carries the picture I sent him in his pocket, couldn’t my boyfriend tell me that himself when he had his phone that same weekend? He never calls me or writes me when he gets the chance to, I’m guessing that isn’t normal? Can someone help me understand why he isn’t writing back.

  • Deziraee Tucker September 9, 2014, 9:38 pm

    I was wondering..Could my fiance come home from basic training when i go into labor with our baby girl?

    • Stacey Abler September 23, 2014, 8:52 pm

      Very unlikely he would be able to leave basic training.

  • Anali Mejia November 19, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Hello my husband just arrived to hes BCT At fort benning GA .I have all the information I need but am confuce on the ROSTER #. When he was in reception he gave me one but my question is if that one is the same Roster# he will have in Basic training? Or will it be different?

  • jackie guti March 19, 2015, 4:39 pm

    My boyfriend has been in basic training for a month i received his letters but he hasnt gotten non of mine he says hes upset because i haven’t wrote to him but ive been sending him letters .. How come??

  • Meghan June 10, 2015, 2:34 am

    I know your post was from awhile ago but my boyfriend just recently left for Army BCT in GA. I’m just wondering what the normal time frame is for receiving the first letter? It’s been 2 weeks and I still haven’t gotten a letter, and I can’t write because without his letter I don’t have an address. Is it normal for it to take this long? I’m sure it’s probably just my nerves getting to me!

    • Stacey Abler June 27, 2015, 9:42 am

      Should only be about 2 weeks unless things have changed. Keep in mind it’s 2 weeks from starting basic, not getting to basic.

  • Shirley June 14, 2015, 11:51 am

    Hello its been almost 3 weeks that my husband left for OSUT. He called me on the 5th saying he arrived at basic. I still don’t have an address or letter from him. Its frustrating not knowing anything. How long does it usually take to get the first letter? Everywhere I read everyone has received letters 1-2 weeks after their Soldier shipped.

  • Misty Chevallier June 21, 2015, 5:44 pm

    I was wondering how long it takes for the spouse or parent to receive the package from the base my son is training at? He has already sent his wife 2 letters but was told that she can not give out that address. So how are we supposed to write him if we don’t have the address? Please help me understand how this works, I’m confused.

    • Stacey Abler June 27, 2015, 9:20 am

      There’s no reason why she can’t give the address to family members. If you’re referring to the package of information from the commander, it should only take a couple of weeks. They would typically only to send it to his parents if he’s single though.

  • Cindy September 4, 2015, 2:52 am

    I wrote the wrong RN# on the first letters I sent. Will he still get them if the rest of the info is correct on the envelope?

  • Samantha September 16, 2015, 6:05 pm

    My boyfriend is at Ft. Benning and I have been getting his letters so have his mom and dad. He has gotten his moms letters but not his dad’s or mine. I checked all of our addresses they are all the same. He told me in one of his letters that all the other guys have been getting letters from their girlfriends. I just don’t understand why he’s not getting mine and I’ve sent 3.

  • Ashlee September 28, 2015, 11:01 pm

    My boyfriend left for Fort Leonard Wood almost a week ago and I still haven’t received a letter from him. I just got his mailing address. Am I supposed to wait until he write me first before sending a letter?

  • nikki November 12, 2015, 11:38 pm

    my boyfriend left for the army on november 3rd 2015 and its now november 13th and i got the call with the address to mail his letters but he told me he sent me 3 letters and i havent gotten any of them yet. how long does it usually take to start recieving mail?!?!

  • Chelsey March 9, 2016, 6:52 pm

    My husband has been at Fort Jackson since the 17th of February. I just got a letter from him the other day saying that he’s only gotten one of my letters from weeks ago. I’ve been writing to him about every other day. Why would it take so long, when I’ve gotten six of his letters that are addressed from a week ago?

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