Since I've deployed to Iraq before, a lot of young privates keep asking me what they should get before going to Afghanistan... I've tried to come up with a quick list. I'm curious what changes y'all would make. Essentials - get MOST/ALL of this: Laptop computer USB Memory Stick Travel-size Memory Foam pillow Travel-size fleece blanket One set of sheets Extra socks, underwear, undershirts Extra ballistic glasses (UVEX XC are cheap - $8 each) Good flashlight or 2 (I recommend the $20 Inova X1) Digital camera w/case One set of civilian clothes Alarm clock Not essential, but you might want to consider SOME of this: MP3 player Portable DVD player External Harddrive Computer gamepad controllers Wireless Router Gameboy or other portable game device 12v or 24v Vehicle power inverter (depending on your vehicle type) 220/110 power converter Laptop cablelock Blank DVDs Small reading light Multitool (if you don't like the issued Gerber) Pocket Knife Prescription Ballistic Glasses ($$$ - Oakley M-frame is $200, other brands are $100+) Power Strip Army Gear (you don't NEED to spend money on anything, but if you're unsatisfied with certain gear, there are nice civilian alternatives - I have a list of good slings, scopes, etc. elsewhere) Plus, you need to do the following before deployment: Will (the army will help - include who should take care of your dependents, etc.) Life Insurance (the army will set it up) Limited Power of Attorney (to someone you trust) Lease Agreement or Mortgage (notarized) Pay off debts or make arrangements to reduce interest rates Cancel or suspend cellphone contract and other bills Document all personal items you bring with you (photos and serials) in case they get destroyed Record all contact info for friends/family in at least 2 places Arrange pet care Ensure proper storage of valuables (guns, jewelry, etc) Sell your car (it'll probably need repairs if you store it) Dental Care (the army will try to just pull your teeth instead of fill cavities) Ensure everything you bring (laptop, etc.) is in working order Plan how you'll invest your money and set it up in advance I don't have a family, so I can't say for sure what else you'd need to do for them.