Believe it or not theft can be a problem in the barracks at Fort Leonard Wood as well as at other army bases around the United States. It’s sad to think that the very soldiers our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends, sisters and brothers must depend on the most in the field may very well be the ones committing petty theft against them in the barracks, but it’s the truth.
There have been unconfirmed reports of personal clothing, ACU’s, credit cards, identification cards, electronics, safety glasses and a plethora of other items having been stolen out of the barracks.
Theft is a problem especially at Basic Training and during AIT. Actually, if you give it a few moments thought, it will still feel as wrong as it did a moment ago, but it might not be as surprising as it was. Depending on their age and life experience when they enter the army, soldiers at Basic and AIT may very well be earning more money than they've ever personally laid eyes on while they’re away.
At the same time, they’re given an opportunity to unload a bit of that cash at the PX, often on new iPod’s, Laptop’s, Tablet’s, high-end music equipment, headphones and, a new mini-wardrobe.
That’s a lot of temptation for some; and a pretty good reason to ensure any big-ticket items for most. After all, the average renters insurance policy doesn't even amount to $20 per month, at Fort Leonard Wood, soldiers in AIT are paying as much as $40 just for internet access.
Avoiding Theft in the Barracks
Label Your Belongings
There are of course things that trainees at Fort Leonard Wood can do to protect themselves against theft in the barracks. Soldiers should write their names on any item that doesn't have to be returned when they leave Basic Training or AIT. That means anything that they brought with them, and their ACU’s. Soldiers buy their own ACU’s at Fort Leonard Wood, and they have to replace what goes missing.
Secure your Belongings Against Theft
The packing list for Fort Leonard Wood includes three combination locks. Soldiers need to be using these locks and securing their belongings. Nobody is going to take responsibility for anything that comes up missing. Therefore, all belongings, especially those that have to be checked back in at the end of Basic or AIT, should be secured whenever they’re not being used.
Purchase Renters Insurance
I had no idea that renters insurance was an option in the barracks until I read it in a Facebook Group. Soldiers are able to insure their belongings while they’re on base which will minimize losses in the case of a theft. This isn't to say that insured items shouldn't be labeled and secured to the best of the soldier’s ability, because filling out insurance forms and paying deductibles can be a pain, but... it is another layer of security.