Military Lifestyle

Basic Training Graduation Gifts

Basic Training Graduation is an incredible accomplishment. Your service member will have just endured weeks of mental and physical exhaustion in order to join the United States Military. Sandboxx Travel can help you get there to watch them graduate. We’ve asked former service members and active duty what some of the best/most practical Basic Training Graduation Gifts are.

Military Exchange Gift Card

Although it may not seem like the greatest of gifts, your service member will need to purchase A LOT of items from the Exchange throughout their career. The small odds and ends items they need can really add up.  The Exchange gift card is not only an easy to purchase gift, but also a very practical and much-appreciated gift. Exchange gift cards can also be used to purchase personal items. You will never go wrong with an Exchange Gift Card.

AFFES Gift Card (Air Force and Army)


MCX (Marine Corps)

You can also purchase Military Exchange gift cards through the SANDBOXX app.

Barracks Room Decor

Your service member will move into the barracks for their next round of training. It is helpful to purchase items to personalize their room. This could be sports memorabilia, flags, posters, family photos, etc.

Medals and Insignia Box

Throughout their career, they will be promoted, receive recognition for various achievements, and possibly earn medals. An insignia box is a great gift to keep all of their honors and recognition in one place. Since moving around a lot is inevitable in the military, it’s nice to keep important items such as insignia, ribbons, and medals all together to avoid being lost or misplaced. Insignia boxes also make a great keepsake for when you are out of the military.


One of the most common items given as a Basic Training graduation gift is a multitool. If you don’t know what a multitool is, it’s a tool typically carried in their pocket that has many different functions, hence the name multitool. This is a great practical gift for any service member who at any given time may need to use a screwdriver, scissors, pliers, etc. There are many multitools online or you can visit a local outdoor shop in your town. The most commonly used multitool in the military will be a Leatherman, however, any multitool will get the job done.

Tactical Pen

Great for taking down notes a tactical pen can also function as a self-defense weapon. Unlike plastic pens, tactical pens are made out of heavy duty metal making it a functional weapon. Service members will almost always have a pen on them while at work, a tactical pen will go perfectly with the rest of their tactical gear.

Some popular tactical pens are:

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen With Stylus

Hardcore Hardware TWI-02 Tactical Pen

TuffWriter Operator Series Tactical Pen

A Watch

Being on time is an important concept taught in basic training. You DO NOT want to be late, ever. A watch makes a great gift to ensure your service member will always be on time. Watches that have the option for more than one time zone are ideal for deployments, then they can always know what time it is back home. Keep in mind if your service member has an MOS where they will be in a classified area, they will not be able to wear a watch that has a GPS in it.

Some popular watch brands amongst the military are:





If you want to learn more about watches, read The 15 Best Tactical Watches. Not quite sure what type of watch your service member would want? Send them a Letter through Sandboxx and ask them.

Battalion Memorabilia

Over the course of basic training, your loved one has formed a brotherhood or sisterhood with their unit/battalion. Battalions will have had the opportunity to compete against each other through different events to help boost morale, build camaraderie, and a sense of pride. At graduation, there will be an opportunity to purchase memorabilia specific to each battalion. Basic training will be a time of their life they will remember forever. They sell a wide variety of items that your loved one can pick out for themselves after graduation. You can even purchase some memorabilia for yourself, it’s a win-win.

Running Shoes

PT doesn’t end after boot camp, as they will still run a lot. Depending on where they are based they will run on a wide range of terrain. Investing in a good pair of running shoes is a great basic training graduation gift.





Although it’s not a very exciting gift, a good pair of socks is just what your new service members will need! It’s important to keep your feet in good health while in the military, having a good quality pair of socks will help ensure that your service member’s feet stay blister free. Below are our recommendations for tactical socks perfect for your service member.

Fox River

Farm To Feet Socks

Darn Tough

Field Book

One will go through dozens if not hundreds of field books throughout their military career. Field books are the same thing as a notebook and are important for jotting down notes and orders. Rite in the Rain is a commonly used brand in the military as they are built for critical ops. Getting your service member a few field books and a pen to go with makes an easy and great gift!

Razor/Grooming Supplies

Depending on what branch, and some additional acceptions, service members are required to be clean-shaved a majority of the time. Since shaving will soon become a part of their weekly, if not daily, routine there’s no greater gift than that of a good razor. With subscription services becoming so popular these days you can even gift a razor subscription so that your service member will receive a new blade every so often. Some popular razor brands are:

Dollar Shave Club


Photo Album

A picture is worth a thousand words, and even though we live in a world filled with smartphones, photo albums are a great alternative for those who won’t always have their phones with them. It’s also never a bad idea to slip in a few photographs you may want them to have as well.

REMEMBER. Purchasing a basic training graduation gift is not required or expected. What’s important is letting your loved one know how extremely proud you are and that you are ready to support them throughout the rest of their military career.

Now that you have an idea for what you might want to get your Graduate it’s time to start thinking about Graduation. Read about what to expect at Graduation and how to plan the most memorable trip!

Marine Corps Boot Camp Graduation
Marine Corps Boot Camp Graduation: MCRD San Diego
Marine Corps Boot Camp Graduation: MCRD Parris Island

Navy Boot Camp Graduation
Navy Boot Camp Graduation: Great Lakes

Air Force Basic Training Graduation
Lackland Air Force Basic Training Graduation

Army Basic Training Graduation
Fort Jackson Graduation
Fort Benning Graduation
Fort Sill Graduation
Fort Leonard Wood Graduation

Coast Guard Graduation
Coast Guard Graduation


  1. My brother’s birthday is coming up, he’s also in the military and I came across maybe having them do an engraved bag tag to go along with a bag since he travels so much. Maybe I should put a pair of running shoes inside the bag too like you mentioned. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Hi Joanne:
      Don’t worry if you can’t open the pass. Just make sure everyone attending has their photo ID. Also, make sure you go to the Fort Jackson gate located at 6271 Boyden Arbor Road…they are set up for all the family day and graduation guests at that gate.

  2. I’m stumped! I’m trying to figure out how to order the nexcom card for my SR, but can’t find it on the sandboxx app or website. Help??

  3. How often are graduation dates posted? My daughter’s ship date is 3/26/19. I’m asking because I need to give my job needs plenty of notice of my taking off, and I would like to book a flight early.

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