Headphones in Basic Training: Why You Should Take Them

Working with or in the military is usually a tough decision to make. There are a lot of rules, and breaking any rules frequently equals punishment. This means that there is no forgiveness in the military; “you must atone for your sins.” it is common to see a young trainee in basic training listening to music with headphones, which was never allowed past. 

You don’t just carry what you want, and sometimes what is allowed might not be a general rule but at the commander’s discretion. As stated by the 2016 law signed by the acting secretary of the army, the honorable Patrick Murphy, the commander in charge of a unit, can suspend the law.

One of such gadgets that can be permitted by this law is headphones. But why should you take headphones in basic training?

The first fact to establish here is that headphones are allowed in basic training. However, you are not permitted to wear them anywhere anytime. You can wear them during your training or at the gym, but this gadget is not to be seen anywhere around a trainee during training.

On the other hand, soldiers are not permitted to wear headphones outside of the authorized area, including around their necks or attached to their uniforms. 

The law on headphones is just like any other law; if broken, the culprit is punished. But is there a need to carry headphones in training? 

Continue reading the article to learn more about what to take for basic training.

woman working out hard in army gear - can you take headphones to basic training

Can headphones be worn while wearing an Army Uniform?

Soldiers’ uniforms are considered to be sacred. So you will wonder whether AR 670-1 rules or regulations will allow soldiers to wear headphones while wearing their uniforms. 

Yes, these rules would apply because they must only wear headphones in some areas or during private workouts. Also, the headphones must be kept on their ears and shouldn’t be seen hanging on their uniforms.

Are headphones allowed during the Army PT Test?

During the Army Physical Fitness Test, every soldier must do a series of sit-ups and push-ups and a two-mile run if they wish to pass.

Even Though music will motivate most soldiers to get pumped up. But sorry, during this time, AR670-1 says that soldiers should not wear headphones or any electronic device while taking the Army Physical Fitness Test.

This restriction against headphones during the APFT is for soldiers to listen and stick to instructions.

Can a soldier wear headphones during an individual PT?

Regarding the Army Directive, according to Army regulations of AR 670-1, it states that, unless the installation commander prohibits the wearing of headphones, soldiers can wear headphones in uniform. 

Also, they can wear it while working out during individual physical training at indoor gyms and fitness centers.

Again, some uniform regulations regarding headphones apply to Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers, which state as follows:

Also, the headphones should be conservative and discreet, and the diameter of the iPad should not exceed 1.5 inches at the widest point.

Furthermore, portable music players or cellphones must only be worn in a solid black armband, and it is not allowed to be worn outside the gym.

Moreover, it would be best if you did not use headphones outside the gym, and they should not be worn around your neck or attached to your uniform.

Can sailors and Airmen wear headphones during PT-test?

The answer is Yes. Sailors and airmen are allowed to enjoy their playlists for their PT-test cardio events.

Also, studies have proven that 90% of headphones owners would be less active without music to be motivated, while 10% will stop their workout completely if they aren’t allowed to use their headphones.

Headphones aren’t the only case to discuss regarding basic training. There are other regulations worth looking at.

What are the things to take to basic training?

When going to basic training, you will need to pack along some important and necessary items to use there. Also, you should pack these items in a gym bag or a small suitcase. 


You should take one-day casual, comfortable clothing, three sets of white underwear, and a pair of comfortable shoes—also, one pair of white, calf-length athletic socks and a simple pair of eyeglasses.


Even during the training, you might run short of toiletries, but you must get some basics that can take you for some weeks before you start buying them at the PX.

So it would be best if you took soap and soap cases, antiperspirants, hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, shaving cream, disposable/safety razor blades, shampoos, shower shoes, and one washed cloth and tower.


To secure your belongings, you will need a lock to lock up your belongings in a locker, or you will lose a lot of things during the training.

Documents needed.

There are some important documents you need to pack for the basic training. You present these documents at reception. So it is advisable you pack all of them and put them in an envelope.

Some of these documents are social security card, a certified copy of your marriage certificate; for married soldiers, a valid driver’s license, proof of citizenship, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate for children less than 18yrs, and many others.


In addition, you need money that is cash in hand and an Eagle cash card, which will be checked at the reception, and that’s where the money you’ll earn during the training will be put inside. 

Also, it will depend on when you start the training, so you might not be paid for some weeks, so the cash in hand will eventually help you out until you receive your pay.

What are the things you should not take to basic training?

Some expensive personal items like jewelry, cellphones, cameras, and electronics are difficult to safeguard, and some are forbidden during training. You have included it in the list.

  • Cigarette
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Pets
  • Razor blades
  • Family
  • Steel hair picks
  • Private owned vehicle
  • Batteries
  • Playing cards
  • Dangerous weapons, including pocket knives
  • Non-prescription drug.


Headphones are permitted by Army Regulation 670-1 to be worn in uniforms by soldiers. However, this can only be done in an indoor training or fitness area, but it will depend if it is accepted by the commander. 

Also, it would help if you were mindful of what you take to the basic training as some will implicate you, thus bringing some sanctions to you.

Again keep in mind that the care packages you send to your soldier should be small.

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