Your sailor will be issued a computer when she arrives. I know someone who uses a personal computer for personal business (Skype, email, chat, etc.) but they do have wifi. The hard drive for movies is an interesting idea, but not necessary. They have a rack where they can store things and as long as things are tidy they are usually fine. They get a free bus pass so are able to get around town really easily. Once they phase up they are allowed to personalize their bedding (to a certain extent). The weather out there is nice, but it does get cool/cold in the evenings. A nice lightweight jacket or blanket that isn't too heavy would be nice additions to the room. Internet is $50 per month and is deducted from payroll (if they sign up for that). Things I've heard other sailors want (or purchase on their own) are TVs, gaming systems, and things like that. Once they phase up they can leave base during evenings and weekends, so gift cards to local things (movies, Uber, Target, etc.). There is lots of hiking and attractions around the area as well so maybe hiking boots or things like that. Hope this helps.
We are issued computers for school, however having a personal computer is nice. I wouldn't recommend a hard drive, since we have internet access. After being here for 2 weeks, we are allowed to wear civilian clothes, so I would recommend going shopping one last time before boot camp and then shipping them to her so that when she gets Phase II, she doesn't have to go to the mall. I am a student here now, so if you want any more information about being here, feel free to message me!
Hi there! Our CTI graduated this Fall and we visited twice so we can share some pretty current info. They get issued laptops and iPad but internet connectivity, even paid out-of-pocket is awful. It's optional for $30/month and constant connectivity issues. They have VERY limited desk space so it may be better to hang on the computer at home- however, they will need it once they get to their first duty station AFTER DLI. Our CTI bought a new one once there as they become obsolete so fast anyhow.
Three things your CTI2B will likely really, really appreciate are: 1) a collapsible luggage dolly- I kid you not. They move the students a LOT during the year and there are NO elevators in the buildings, LOTS of steps outside to the street and LOTS of hills. 2) Paying the $30/month for their internet service and /or 3) Paying their cell phone bill until they graduate. As E1-E3's, those little paychecks do NOT go far in the Monterey area and having that little gift for a year is HUGE. Also, I cannot emphasize enough- they do NOT have a lot of room, and what little shelf space they have is taken up by academic/military stuff. Don't get them hot plates, either. Their favorite blanket and pillow from home, some clothes, letters, photos, care packages and some $$$ are what they need the most. We got to know some CTI2Bs junior to ours and they are just graduating so we have pretty current info. Will be happy to answer any questions during your CTI2B's year!
Also, I strongly encourage your CTI2B to take advantage of three things to alleviate stress: 1) Volunteer 2) Take advantage of MWR 1-2 day trips once a quarter or on government holidays when possible. Monterey is in an incredible location; ours went to Yosemite one long weekend, went to Lake Tahoe snowboarding, Big Sur for the day, San Francisco, etc. Academics is #1 but sanity is required to be successful academically. Don't be a bunk bed rat and just watch movies or game all freaking day get out get a life, enjoy the Hobson, the gorgeous weather. And 3), participate in BOSS (Base Opportunities for Single Service members and sponsored by MWR). At times, 1/3rd of the students are often over 21 and about 1/4 of all of them are married. BOSS is fun because it brings together the various branches to watch movies together, go on MWR trips together, going out to dinner, and other fun things especially for those who are under 21 in a supportive, non-dating mode. It's not nerdy at all, not religious and very fun, It really helped our CTI2B stay motivated around much more positive "cup is half full" students vs. the video junkies who just stay stuck to their video devices all day. During two really tough times for our CTI2B, the BOSS bunch really pumped-up our CTI2B and prevailed each time- gave a lot of support. Was wonderful and was super great to meet many of the BOSS bunch at graduation. These are the kind of students/kids who make the Armed Services look awesome. BOSS is run by the students plus there are BOSS groups at most bases your CTI will be based at. Real leadership/can do/helpful/role model kids- Restores your faith in the future!