Gifts for Graduation From Basic Training

by William McCoy

After weeks of early mornings and long, grueling days, graduating from basic training is a gift in itself. While your military-minded family member or friend might have her sights set on the future, take a moment to celebrate her accomplishment with a thoughtful present. Your gift can have an entertaining nature, be personal, help with everyday life or give some enjoying during a future period of leave.

Entertainment Ideas

Any recent basic training graduate will appreciate a gift that he can use to keep entertained on his downtime while serving. A tablet or a laptop computer provides several hours of entertainment, especially if the new grad is away from family and friends. Electronic items such as an MP3 player and digital e-reader are also worthy gifts. Instead of just giving the gift itself, include a gift card to allow the new grad to buy music, books or movies for the new device.

A Personal Touch

If you have a close relationship with the recent basic training grad, a personal gift is often in order. For someone religious, buy a holy book related to the grad's religion. Some products, such as "The Soldier's Bible," specifically combine religion and the military. Other ideas include a pendant featuring the initials of a loved one, such as a spouse or child, a good luck charm the solider can carry in her possessions or a handwritten letter expressing your pride with the recipient's graduation and future deployment.

Everyday Items

Engraving an everyday item makes for a gift with a dual purpose. Not only can the basic training grad use what you give him, but he can also think of you when he sees the gift and your message. A watch -- especially one that can stand up the rigors of the military -- is a simple item that he'll use, as is an engraved razor. An engraved lighter can come in handy for several applications, including enjoying the odd cigar.

To Use on Leave

Think creatively to find a gift that relates to where the basic training grad will be stationed, and then consider her interests to find a gift that she can anticipate enjoying on leave. If she's located near a pro sports team, buy a couple tickets to a game. Cultural gift ideas, such as gift cards for museums, galleries and entertainment venues, are also suitable if the grad is interested in these areas. The grad can also put a gift card to a notable restaurant or shopping center to use on her leave.

Photo Credits

  • Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.