What you need to bring

Paperwork

You should have ID (driver's license, passport, etc.), insurance information, and the like. Be sure you have provided the academic transcripts and provided the medical information you were asked to provide. Visit the Admissions Web site for more information.

Clothing

The absolute authority on what to bring is the New Cadet Handbook. Here is an excerpt from the handbook:

HAIR 

Do not cut your hair to VMI standards prior to matriculation. Arriving with a conservative haircut, however, is encouraged. The VMI barbershop will take care of your first cadet haircut. Some new cadets donate their hair if it is at least 8 inches long to Locks of Love or other similar charities. Let your VMI barber know if you want to donate your hair.

PACKING 

Each cadet has the option of bringing one hard-sided trunk (approximate size 13" high x 17" wide x 31" long) or another piece of luggage of approximately the same size (all other luggage must fit inside). Limited storage space is available in the trunk room located in the Concourse area of the Barracks for this luggage after unpacking. It is recommended that the piece of luggage be lockable. Sensitive and expensive items should not be stored in the Barracks' trunk room. VMI does not have insurance to cover damage, loss, or theft.

Use the following information to pack for VMI. Some of the items must be purchased at VMI when you arrive. Most items should be brought from home, but some items may be purchased at the VMI Bookstore (540-464-7637), at the VMI Military Store [Quartermaster Department's (QMD's)] (540-464-7303). Items bought at the QMD must be paid for with cash, check, MasterCard, or Visa. 

The number of clothing items recommended is based on having to change clothes two or three times a day during the August heat. Laundry is sent out once a week.

MANDATORY AND OPTIONAL ITEMS

MANDATORY ITEMS  *May be purchased in the VMI bookstore

  • 18   Underwear (minimum number) - must be white
  • 14   Compression shorts (reduces chafing) - black – see page 12 of cadet handbook
  • 10   Women - Sports bras (5) (minimum) and regular bras (5) - must be white
  • 18   Men & Women White crew neck t-shirts only. V-neck or tank-top undershirts are not authorized
  • 18   Pairs (minimum) of plain white, ankle-length or crew length athletic socks with no visible logos; socks must show above the shoe
  • 18   Pairs (minimum) of plain black dress socks to be worn with low quarter shoes
  • 10   Pairs (minimum) of long (over the calf) black boot/hiking socks to be worn with combat boots – see page 12 of cadet handbook 
  • 2     Pairs of running shoes (Asics, Brooks, Nike, or Reebok are recommended), predominantly white or black (no fluorescent soles or laces)
  • 6     Plain white bath towels (minimum)
  • 6     Plain white wash cloths (minimum)
  • 1     Blanket, quilt or comforter (dark solid color), twin size, extra long
  • 6     Twin XL white flat sheets (no elastic)
  • 2     White pillow cases (twin or king)
  • 1     Small duffle bag for overnight Corps trips*
  • 1     White pillow (twin or king to fit pillow cases above)
  • 1     Swimsuit (conservative one piece)/traditional swim trunks (not jammers) - navy or black 
  • 1     Rubber thong sandals (for showering) – see page 12 of cadet handbook
  • 1     Mouth guard (for boxing class)*
  • 2     Sunscreen (tube or bottle)*
  • 1     Black hydration pack without external compartments (70 oz.; i.e., Camelbak, Blackhawk or equivalent)

OPTIONAL ITEMS  *May be purchased in the VMI bookstore

  • 5     Pairs of compression/support knee-high nylons (helps prevent blisters when worn under socks)
  • 1     Small fan 12”-16”* (since barracks rooms are not air conditioned)
  • 1     Study lamp* (black, goose neck 18” maximum height), fluorescent-style or traditional-style with compact fluorescent lamps
  • 1     Watch
  • 1     Alarm clock*
  • 1     Calculator* (scientific or graphing)
  • 1     Civilian clothes outfit for furlough (collared shirt/khakis)
  • 1     Iron and small ironing board (only one per room; should be purchased after cadre week)
  • 1     Lock box
  • 1     VMI book/computer bag; black fabric brief case style computer bag; not a backpack (optional)*
  • 1     Musical instrument (band members)

ITEMS THAT MUST BE PURCHASED AT VMI 

  • 1 VMI Academic/Computer Bag - black soft brief case style computer bag (optional)*

* Items available at the VMI Bookstore
**Items available at the QMD (as replacement items)

SUGGESTED PERSONAL ITEMS YOU SHOULD BRING*

  • Tooth Brush(es); Body / Foot powder/shoe spray
  • Toothpaste; Razor(s)
  • Chap stick; Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Small packages of tissues; Body soap
  • Medication (if required); Deodorant
  • Shaving Cream; Moleskin (type of bandage)
  • Band-aids; Tissues (Box)
  • Antibiotic Cream

SUGGESTED ACADEMIC SUPPLIES YOU SHOULD BRING

  • Pens; Notebooks
  • Pencils; Binders
  • Paper; Folders
  • Laptop Computer** (No Desktop Computers or Ipad)
  • Flashdrives

* All of these items are available at the VMI bookstore except the laptop computer.
** It is recommended that you bring a laptop computer as much important information is disseminated via email, and most papers must be typed. Cadet Computer Support (CCS) is a technical service provided by the VMI Information Technology Department. Desk top computers are not allowed. It is the goal of CCS to provide technical support and information to cadets allowing them to make the best use of their personal computer. CCS offers system and software recommendations, instructional documents, technical repairs, and troubleshooting. 

A complete list of approved laptops and software is available at http://www.vmi.edu/it.

PROHIBITED ITEMS - DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS - THEY WILL BE CONFISCATED 

  • Weapons of any type
  • Knives of any type
  • Electrical equipment and appliances (including microwave ovens, hot pots, heating elements, etc.)
  • Plants and pets
  • Flammable materials including candles, fireworks, incense, etc.
  • TVs, or any other type of entertainment media
  • Alcohol, illegal drugs or associated paraphernalia

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED FOR RATS UNTIL AFTER BREAKOUT:

  • Cell phones
  • Electric razors
  • Radios (to include alarm clock radios)
  • DVDs, CDs, computer games
  • Ipods or similar devices, & MP3 players
  • Speakers
  • Clothing with emblems/logos, to include socks, underwear, t-shirts, linens, and towels