letters to a soldier during military training

What You Can and Can’t Send to Your Soldier in Training

When your soldier is in training, there is actually a very short list of the things that you can send to him and a VERY long list of what you cannot.

Read on to ensure he doesn’t have to do extra push-ups on your account.

You CAN send him the following:

Letters – You can and should send him many letters while he is in training. You can send cards as well as letters.

Many soldiers will tell you that any communication from Army wives, family, and friends is like gold when they are in training. Do your best to keep your letters positive.

Do not decorate the outside of the envelope in any way. No cute sayings, drawings of hearts, etc. He will have to pay in the form of extra push-ups and ridicule if you do this.

Pictures – They are allowed to have pictures with them at training. However, do keep in mind that they have limited space.

He doesn’t need the entire photo album, just a few pictures will do.

You may want to be sure you are sending him copies rather than originals, just in case something happens to them.

Also, be careful of the content of your pictures. If it is one you don’t want everyone to see, don’t send it!

Jokes, sports scores, etc. – While you don’t need to send him the entire sports section, sending some print-outs of ESPN is perfectly acceptable.

He will also enjoy comics or some humorous jokes. Just don’t send anything lewd.

NOTE: I received an email from the wife of a soldier at basic at Ft Benning, and she said their DS did NOT allow them to have newspaper clippings. This shows how much it can vary from DS to DS – be sure to check with your soldier first!

Phone cards – He is allowed to have a phone card with him. It’s best to include this in one of your letters.

If at all possible, it is much easier if you give him one before he leaves. If you send a card later, it will be best to insert it in a greeting card as it will be more difficult to detect.

Stamps, envelopes, and paper – Whenever I wrote to my husband, I would include a SASE and a few sheets of paper. Since I wrote every day, he never ran out.

We found this method easier than taking everything with him in the beginning.

If it is not mentioned above, he can’t have it.

Do not send packages to him.

Stories are floating around about the soldier who received a package from home full of baked goods (enough to last for several weeks), and the DS allowed him to have the package. He then forced him to eat everything that was in it in one sitting!

Don’t do this to your soldier.

Some Army girlfriends, Army fiancées, or Army wives of a soldier may decide to send a pair of sexy panties to their soldier.

Well, let me tell you a little story, and you’ll think twice before doing it.

One girl decided to do this, and the DS opened the envelope. He then hung the girl’s panties in the window of the barracks hallway so the guys would see the panties each day when they passed by.

On graduation day, the DS found the soldier’s girlfriend, handed her panties back to her, and told her she had inspired many men during their training.

Don’t be this girl!

I hope these tips have helped you decide what you can and cannot send your soldier during training. Please keep in mind this is only for training.

If he is deployed, the list of what he can and cannot receive is different.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. My girlfriend wrote me to send her a sugar free cough drop. You think she can get in trouble if I do? Please get back to me

    1. Did you ever find out if this was okay? My daughter is there now and I would like to send her some.

  2. Hi im glad i found your article. My friend is in training right now and i was wondering if i can send him a recordable card with all his friends’ voices. I want to make sure that it will be okay before i purchase one and send it to him.

  3. My boyfriend is enlisting soon, and I want to make sure I don’t send anything that could cause trouble. I heard the mail gets felt, at least in my dad’s day, and if they get suspicious the recipient must open it in their superior’s presence. I don’t want to cause that. That being said, you mentioned don’t decorate the envelope in anyway, so I assume that means no wax seals. Do you know if it would be okay to have the wax seal inside on the actual letter, but not the envelope?

  4. My boyfriend just recently left for basic and I of course already miss him very much. I too was wondering if sending a card with a voice recording in it is okay?

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