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What should I bring on a deployment?


Packing for Deployment

Luggage should be sturdy and locked. You should try and get by with one check-in bag and one carry-on. Do not pack more that you can carry by yourself (about 45 pounds) and keep one set of clothes and all professional equipment in your carry-on.

The following is a check-list which can be used upon deployment. It covers the basics and should be modified to meet individual needs. Keep in mind that you should be able to pack this in one carry-on and one check-in bag, both of which should be easily carried by you alone. Two good rules of thumb: 1) If you cannot afford to lose an item, leave it at home (including jewelry). 2) If you absolutely cannot do without it, take it with you (spouses/significant others not withstanding).

Common Sense Disclaimer: This list is not authoritative. It is provided to help you think of things you might not have considered. The actual requirements for any given deployment will vary.

Deployment Types:

  1. ALL means this item is recommended or required for all types of deployments.
  2. Norm means normal deployments (non field, non Military)
  3. Field means deployments to the field or in austere conditions (e.g. Haiti)
  4. XUS means deployments outside the continental United States (OCONUS)
  5. MIL means deployments with a military unit.

Suggestion: Print out this list and use it during shopping, packing, and as a finally check  just before you depart.

Required Items

Deployment Type->

ALL Norm Field XUS MIL
Category Item          
Clothing/Uniform Civilian/professional   Y   Y  
  BDUs     Y   Y
  Khakis   Y   Y  
  Swim suit Y        
  Shoelaces, extra Y        
  Shoe shine kit     Y   Y
Administrative Orders Y        
  USPHS ID card (green card) Y        
  NDMS Id card (if issued one) Y        
  Passports       Y  
  Dog Tags         Y
  drivers licenses personal/military Y        
Toiletries   ALL Norm Field XUS MIL
  Soap, in plastic container Y        
  Shampoo, unscented Y        
  Shaving Kit Y        
  Deodorant, unscented Y        
  Scissors Y        
  Sewing Kit     Y Y  
  Insect Repellent     Y    
  Sun Screen     Y    
  Shower shoes/flip flops Y        
  Comb/Hairbrush Y        
  Foot powder Y   Y    
  Hand cream Y   Y    
  Handkerchiefs Y        
  Lip balm   Y      
  Tissues (several small packs) Y        
  Toilet paper Y        
  Toothpaste/brush/dental floss Y        
  Baby wipes or alcohol rubbing pads Y        
Money   ALL Norm Field XUS MIL
  money/travelers checks Y        
  Credit Card Y        
  Phone Card Y        
  Lots of quarters Y        
Equipment Leatherman/ multi-use knife Y        
  Sunglasses, military type Y        
  Flashlight (black or green)     Y    
  Extra New Batteries     Y    
  1 day's rations/food Y        
Medical 2 weeks prescription meds Y        
  Extra glasses Y        
  aspirin/Tylenol Y        
  antihistamines Y        
  Imodium (anti-diarrheal) Y        
  Antacids Y        
Misc. Zip loc bags Y        
  Notebook/pen/pencil Y        
Field Gear   ALL Norm Field XUS MIL
  Bed sheet     Y    
  Belt, Web Pistol     Y    
  Blanket (OD/green)     Y    
  Boots, Black combat     Y    
  Boot inserts     Y    
  Canteen, Filled Prior to Leaving Home     Y    
  Canteen Cup     Y    
  Canteen Cover     Y    
  Clothes line/or small rope (25ft)     Y    
  Clothes pins     Y    
  Compass     Y    
  Cup (pocket size, collapsible)     Y    
  Duffel Bag     Y    
  Duffel Bag Liner     Y    
  First Aid Kit (personal)     Y    
  Insect repellent (pump type)     Y Y  
  Laundry bag     Y    
  Lock for duffel bag     Y   Y
  Mirror (unbreakable)     Y    
  Mosquito netting     Y    
  Poncho, Rain     Y    
  Watch (black/water-proof)     Y    
  Sleeping Bag     Y    
  Towel large and small (OD/Green)     Y    
PROHIBITED! Do not bring any of the following:          
  Alcoholic Beverages          
  Cappuccino Makers          
  Electrical Appliances          
  Illegal Drugs          
  Large Sums of Money          
  Picnic Coolers          
  Purses (with BDUs)     Y    
  Rambo Knives          
  Sterno Heaters          
  Suitcases     Y    


  • Clothing
    • Enough work clothes to last for 10 days.
    • It should be appropriate for the job you are sent to do, i.e. professional clothing if you will be working in a clinic.
    • Check to see if uniforms are appropriate for this mission.
    • Shoes should be comfortable and broken in.
    • Have a light rain jacket
    • Bring cold weather clothing as appropriate.
    • Exercise clothes/shoes
  • Sewing kit --to fix those unpredictable clothing problems
    • Insect repellent--as needed
    • Sun screen--as needed
    • Shower shoes
  • FOOD:One day’s worth of emergency food  (carry-on), because you never know when you will be stranded before/after a flight or how long you will have to wait. This should go in your carry-on bag(s).
    • MRE’s/dehydrated food
    • Cliff Bars, Power Bars, or other concentrated sustenance
    • One day’s worth of bottled water
  • Zip Loc Bags are great for keeping items dry in the event that your luggage does not. Try packing items in zip locs and then packing them in your luggage.

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This page was last modified: 11/17/2011 02:31 PM