What To Take To Marine Combat Training (MCT)

Written by Kevin Webb

What should I bring to Marine Combat Training (MCT)? Even though Marines get lists, directions and instructions several times on what to bring to MCT, I still receive questions on this topic very often. Below is a detailed list of items, issued gear and documents that you’ll need when you head to MCT after your 10 Boot-Leave. You’ll also find travel details, as well as a list of things to do and things not to do for your arrival at Marine Combat Training (MCT). Most importantly, don’t do anything stupid on your 10-day boot leave. Stay as far away from trouble as possible.

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What NOT To Do?

DO NOT bring your computer, or any other personal communication device.
DO NOT bring your privately owned vehicle (POV), you are not authorized to have a vehicle while at MCT or ITB.
DO NOT bring knives or other personal weapons.
DO NOT bring your spouse or children; billeting is not available to Marines under instruction/training.
DO NOT spend all of your money when you are home on leave.
DO NOT gives any uniform items away. You must report in with your complete uniform issue. Missing items, lost or unserviceable must be replaced. You pay for replacements.
DO NOT hang out in town, if arriving early in Jacksonville, NC. There are people who make a living by taking advantage of your ignorance of the area.
DO NOT get a Hotel room in town. You can check into SOI 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
DO NOT lose your original orders! Neither SOI nor your MOS school is your first duty station. You will need your original orders when you get to your first duty station to settle your travel claim and get reimbursed.

What TO Do:

DO report in the Service “A” uniform.
DO report in early, if desired.
DO bring your cell phone and charger to MCT. There’s no promises, but you may have a chance to use it during your 29 days of training.
DO, if flying, travel in uniform and bring 2 complete sets of camouflage uniforms in your carry-on bag! Luggage routinely gets misplaced during transit; if you arrive without sufficient uniform items and your records, you will not be able to begin training as scheduled. Include in your carry-on bag: 2 sets of utilities, to include: rank insignia (if any), combat boots, green T-shirt, matching camouflage covers, Tan Belt, hygiene kit, health & dental records, Service Record Book, ID Card, ID tags, and orders with all endorsements (including PRASP assignment).
DO, if married, bring your original marriage certificate and your spouse¡¦s original birth certificate, and a copy of their social security card. If you have children, bring their original birth certificates and copies of their social security cards. With the exception of the social security cards, be sure you have the originals, as they will enable you to start the allowances you rate by having dependents, (BAH, FSA, issue ID Card, etc.)
DO bring a complete Direct Deposit Start Up Form (SF-1009A), if you are planning to change financial institutions.
DO report with your entire uniform issue that you received while at MCRD Parris Island.
DO bring your Guidebook for Marines, General Military Subjects, Series Taught Classes and Field Training Unit Student Handouts; you will need these references during training.
DO continue to PT while at home, keep in shape, stay off the couch, and keep away from junk food, alcohol, and smoking. You will hike over 30 kilometers, participate in regular PT programs, and perform other highly strenuous activities while training at SOI.
DO bring at least 2 sets of appropriate civilian attire.
You can bring a cell phone but be aware that you cannot use your cell phone during training periods and while in the field. Secure your cell phone, with personal gear, prior to departing for field training.

Air & Ground Transportation Information

CAMP GEIGER, MCB CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – The main entrance is through the main gate of New River Air Station on State Highway 17, 2 miles south of Jacksonville, NC

CAMP GEIGER AND CAMP LEJEUNE are serviced by the following:
Albert Ellis Airport – Located 14 miles northwest of Jacksonville, NC. Taxi fare from the airport to Camp Geiger is approximately $30.00.

Scheduled Bus Service ¡V The bus terminal is serviced by Carolina Trailways and Greyhound and is located inside the city limits of Jacksonville, NC.

Taxi from the Jacksonville, NC terminal to Camp Geiger is approximately $15.00.

Required Gear to Bring to MCT

The following equipment is required for training at Marine Combat / Infantry Training Battalion:

Wash cloths 2
Towels 2
Shower shoes 1 pair
Toiletries bag 1
Toothpaste 1
Tooth brush 1
Dental floss 1
Mouthwash 1
Soap box 1
Soap 2 bars
Hand sanitizer 2 small bottles
Baby wipes 2 small packs
Feminine products (females only)2-week supply
Deodorant 1
Anti-fungal powder 1
Cotton swabs 1 box
Band aids 1 box
Nail clippers 1 set
Razor 1
Razorblades 10
Shaving cream 1
Eyeglasses (if applicable) 1 set
Insect repellant 2 small bottles
Laundry pins 2
Laundry bag 2
Moleskin 1 package
Hand brush 1
Boot inserts 2 pair
Boot bands 3 sets
Boot laces 72″ 1 set
Sewing kit & mirror 1
Running shoes 1 pair
PT shorts 4
White PT socks 4 pair
Sports bras (females only) 6
Whistle 1
Ear plugs 2 pairs
Camouflage face paint 1 set
Black marker 1
Ball point pens 3
Small notebook 1
Mapping pens 2 black superfine
Lock Set w/Cable 1
Flashlight 1
Batteries 2 packs
Gun towel 1
Scrub brush 1

Marines are required to report to SOI with the following uniform items from their initial issue:


BAG, DUFFEL: w/carrying strap 2
BELT, TROUSERS: web, khaki 2
BOOTS, MARINE CORPS COMBAT: hot weather (HW), pr 1
BOOTS, MARINE CORPS COMBAT: temperate weather (TW), pr 1
BUCKLE: f/belt, gold plated (coat) 1
BUCKLE: f/belt, web, khaki, gold plated 2
CAP, COMBAT UTILITY: field, desert MARPAT w/embroidered emblem 1
CAP, COMBAT UTILITY: field, woodland MARPAT w/embroidered emblem 1
CAP, COMBAT UTILITY: garrison, desert MARPAT w/embroidered emblem 1
CAP, COMBAT UTILITY: garrison, woodland MARPAT w/embroidered emblem 1
CAP, GARRISON, MAN’S: all-season polyester/wool gabardine, green 1
CLASP, NECKTIE: gold plated 1
COAT, COMBAT UTILITY: desert MARPAT w/embroidered emblem and embroidered desert MARPAT name and service tape 2
COAT, COMBAT UTILITY: woodland MARPAT w/embroidered emblem and embroidered woodland MARPAT name and service tape 3
COAT, MAN’S: all-season polyester/wool gabardine, green, w/belt 1
COAT, MAN’S: all-weather 1
CROWN, SERVICE CAP: all-season polyester/wool gabardine, green 1
CROWN, SERVICE CAP: polyester/rayon, white 1
DRAWERS, MAN¡¦S: cotton, white, pr 6
GLOVES: leather, black, pr 1
INSIGNIA, BRANCH OF SERVICE: dress cap, gold plated, screwpost 1
INSIGNIA, BRANCH OF SERVICE: garrison cap, black, screwpost 1
INSIGNIA, BRANCH OF SERVICE: service cap, black, screwpost 1
INSIGNIA, BRANCH OF SERVICE: service uniform collar, black, pr 1
INSIGNIA, BUTTON: dress cap, gold plated, screwpost 2
INSIGNIA, BUTTON: service cap, black, screwpost 2
NECKTIE: khaki 2
SHIRT, MAN’S: polyester/wool, khaki, long-sleeve 2
SHIRT MAN’S: polyester/wool, khaki, quarter-length-sleeve 3
SHOES, DRESS: black, pr 1
SOCKS: athletes, PT, white, pr 3
SOCKS: boot, coyote brown, pr 6
SOCKS: dress, black, pr 3
SWEAT PANTS: green w/insignia 1
SWEAT SHIRT: green w/insignia 1
SWEATER: pull-over, olive green, w/epaulettes 1
TROUSERS, COMBAT UTILITY: desert MARPAT w/embroidered desert MARPAT name tape 2
TROUSERS, COMBAT UTILITY: woodland MARPAT w/embroidered woodland MARPAT name tape 3
TROUSERS, MAN’S: all-season polyester/wool gabardine, blue, pr 1
TROUSERS, MAN’S: all-season polyester/wool gabardine, green, pr 2
TRUNKS, GENERAL PURPOSE: nylon, olive green, pr 3
UNDERSHIRT: cotton, olive green 6
UNDERSHIRT, MAN¡¦S: cotton, white, crew-neck 3

About the author

Kevin Webb


  • Mr. Webb,

    Thank you for this website. It has been most helpful to us as parents. Our Marine graduated MCRD Parris Island on November 12. After 10 days of Boot Leave he left yesterday headed to Camp Geiger for MCT.

    A note to other parents – this was new to me: We were treated very well by the staff at U.S. Airways in Atlanta, GA, they provided myself and the other parents that were there to send their sons off to MCT at Camp Geiger gate passes so we could accompany our new Marines all the way to the plane to send them off again.

    • Mark your seas bags VERY GOOD. Other than that, just mark your gear accordingly like you were taught to in boot camp. Make sure your sea bags are locked too… maybe even locked together, as they are unattended and throw around by 400+ Marines who all only care about their own stuff. Do your best to keep an eye on your gear. The first 24 hours is chaotic.

  • Thanks for all the info. I leave for MCT on 20110104 and I’ve heard two things said about it:

    a. MCT sucks and you will absolutely hate your life for those 4 weeks

    b. MCT is a lot of fun because you get to use the big guns, blow s**t up and do cool infantry things and they go easier on you than the DIs were in boot camp.

    Admittedly, I was not the best recruit when it came to all of the garrison stuff like admin/keeping track of every little piece of obscure, useless gear (I did very well in knowledge and anything to do with weapons though) but I did a lot better whenever we were in the field and had a lot of fun at BWT and the Crucible. Also, I’m a pretty good hiker and none of the humps at boot camp bothered me all that much (the worst part to me was the ILBE pack itself and trying to get all my gear into and out of the thing). If I can, I’ll report back on how it was when I’m done.

  • Well, this is something that I did not have to worry about.

    I graduated from boot camp in November 1983, and 14 days later reported directly to the Infantry Training School (ITS) at Camp Pendleton. I basically brought with me everything that I had been issued, and 2 sets of civies.

    In the mid 1980’s, ITS became SOI, then a lot more changes. We basically called ITS “Phase 4 Boot Camp”, because that is pretty much what it was. No DIs, but some hard-assed instructors, many of which had combat experience in Lebanon, and even some Vietnam vets in senior instructor positions.

  • I’m checking into MCT a day early. I’m flying there and I’m debating whether to wear my Service Alphas while traveling. The reasoning is because the video they showed to us during bootcamp told us not to so we dont make ourselves “targets”, but I know if I check the body bag in it’s goin to wrinkle the uniforms. I wear the uniform proudly so when I check it I dont need it looking like trash.

  • Kevin my son leaves to report to Camp Geiger tomorrow but he is reporting for SOI I see all of this info is for MCT…. is there a difference as far as what he needs to take and prepare for?

  • Taking electronics to MCT or SOI isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you have the option to have someone bring them to you after you’ve settled in a while it would probably be better…however, if you bring them it’s ultimately not a big deal…

  • I brought my laptop to SOI: MCT(west) and they didn’t care.
    If you’re west coast you do get liberty on the weekends after a major hike, if you pass. Just stay in shape

  • This site is very informative. Our grandson is now at camp Geiger. Our daughter, his mom and his father got a place near by. He will have time Christmas Eve and Day free, but on the Base. Would they be able to go to the camp and visit him?

    • Lea Thorbecke,

      Which base is your recruit at? I am not sure of the West Coast rules, but the East Coast (Parris Island) visitors are not permitted except for on family day and graduation.

      If he is at MCT and has a few days off, it is likely that he will be able to have visitors during his liberty.

      I was in boot camp during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and this is my experience unless things have changed.

      Semper Fi

      Sgt Webb

  • DO NOT bring your computer, or any other personal communication device.

    DO bring your cell phone and charger to MCT. There’s no promises, but you may have a chance to use it during your 29 days of training.


    • Mister Lister,

      I’m assuming you’re questioning being able to bring your cell phone, but since you’ve poorly expressed your sentiment, I can only assume.

      They do allow for cell phone usage on a reward basis. Some platoons do not get to use their cell phones at ALL,some use them once, and I know some Marines (on the West Coast) that were able to use them every week.

      Sgt Webb

  • Marine Webb,

    My daughter is currently at MCRD PI and due to graduate June 14, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. I appreciate your lists of Dos and Don’ts and gear to take to MCT and travel information. I’m sending it along to my daughter, just in case something is there that she hasn’t already heard.

    Thank you also for the Commandant’s Reading List. That gives me a good idea of what I can have for her here to read on her leave, plus what I might give her as a gift. I’ve read some of those books already, and she has commented that she wants to read them as well so that we can discuss them.

    Thank you for your willingness to serve our country in the capacity of a US Marine. I appreciate it!

    Yours truly,

  • –I’m sorry. I just now noticed that you signed a previous comment with “Sgt”. I would have used the proper address if I’d seen it first.

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