Comparing Basic Training For The 5 Branches Of Us Military Service
Members of each branch of service typically consider their own basic training to be the most challenging and toughest of all the branches its a debate of hard-knock stories and amazing feats of endurance and learning. The reality is that all recruit training for U.S. military service is strenuous, mentally and physically, and all who find the intestinal fortitude to complete them should be respected and commended.
A common question may be “How long is military boot camp?” On average training can last anywhere from 8-12 weeks. While each service has different training schedules and requirements, orientation week is basically the same across all five branches. During this time, new recruits:
- Turn in enlistment paperwork
- Receive dental and medical exams, as well as immunizations
- Receive uniforms and training gear
- Receive required haircuts
- Create direct-deposit accounts for paychecks
Though Week Zero may be considered intake, actual training does begin at orientation, with many services beginning physical training within the first few days. This varies from branch to branch, but overall training typically lasts between eight and 12 weeks, culminating in graduation.
Weapons And Combat Training Time
During the weeks 4-6, you will spend most of your time on various ranges. You will start with basic M4 shooting , and move on to farther targets, pop-up targets, grenades, grenade launchers, and more. You will be surprised at how many different ranges one Army post has.
During the 5th week, you will get practice using bayonets and an introduction to anti-tank weapons and other heavy weapons. Also, you will get practice negotiating the obstacle course. You will also get to run the obstacle course carrying your new friend . You and your Battle Buddy will also be expected to work as a “team.”
Sometime during the 6th week, you will notice that the Drill Sergeants aren’t yelling as much as they used to. In fact, at times, they seem almost human. You will continue daily PT, as well as practice basic drill and ceremonies. By now, you should be able to shoot straight and navigate basic combat obstacles.
Weeks Six Through Nine
This is the Blue Phase, and by now many trainees have settled well into the routine. And the training in this phase is a reflection of thatthere are additional opportunities to take additional weapons training plus more marksmanship training.
There will be field training exercises designed to test what you have learned to date, and there are more specialized scenarios such as military operations in urban terrain as well as training on Army convoy ops.
There is also a requirement to pass a test involving more than 200 tasks in the so-called end-of-cycle test. The end of Blue Phase testing requirements includes, according to the Army Recruiting official site, a multiple-day land navigation course to test your survival, fitness, and Soldier skills.
At the end of Blue Phase, those who successfully pass all the tests and meet all challenges are sent on to Graduation as fully qualified soldiers ready for the next phase of training before being assigned to a first duty stationAdvanced Individual Training or AIT.
This is an environment that is not as strict as Basic Combat Training but still requires a regimented lifestyle in a training-type environment. AIT is not part of Basic Combat Training, it is the next step in a Soldiers new career.
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Army Basic Training Phase : Red Phase
Shakedown: When you get off the bus from Reception Battalion, you’ll be told to line up your bag in a certain way to see whether you can follow instructions. Then you’ll be ordered to empty your bag. If any contraband falls out, it will be your first opportunity to see a drill sergeant go ballistic.
Training: The goal of your Phase 1 training is to begin your transformation from a confused volunteer to a confident soldier. During Red Phase , you’ll learn the fundamentals of soldiering, including Army heritage and the seven core Army values. Most of your classroom training will occur during this time. You’ll also undergo the Army Physical Fitness Test to assess your physical abilities. You’ll have several of these tests along the way to be sure you’re getting in the best possible shape.
During these first three weeks, you’ll get a thorough introduction to the following:
- The Army‘s core values, traditions and ethics
- Assembling, disassembling and caring for your M16
- The Nuclear-Biological-Chemical chamber
- Security and crowd dispersion discipline
- Combatives: hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla exercises
- Barracks inspections
- Running, tactical daylight marches and fitness training
Obviously, this is an intense training schedule, geared toward reinforcing the principles of discipline and teamwork. From here, you’ll look forward to moving toward the rifle range to learn some exciting — and very useful — skills.
How Long Is Navy Basic Training
Navy literature describes Navy boot camp, held at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command in Illinois, as being approximately seven weeks long, but you may be subject to what are called P days which are not part of the training program and basically involve in-processing, screening , and other admin functions. Recruits on P days may stand watch and receive some training before the official boot camp starts.
The Navy recruiting official site breaks down the technical training into subject matter groups. During the seven weeks recruits can expect:
- Basic Seamanship
- Water Survival
- Weapons Training
All sailors are expected to learn all areas including firefighting, swimming, etc. Passing these sections is a requirement for graduation.
Navy Reserve Basic Training
The Navy Reserve recruiting site describes its basic training program as being seven to nine weeks long.
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Can You Take Time Off After Ait
Prior to the end of your training at AIT, you can file the necessary paperwork to take leave after AIT.
During your training, you will earn paid time off at the rate of 2.5 days a month.
You can use your earned time to take leave prior to reporting to your first duty station.
This has to be approved, and the most common length is 10 days.
The Army also has a program called Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program .
After completing AIT, soldiers will go to their hometown recruiting location for up to 14 days to share their experiences throughout the community.
This program allows individuals to spend time at home after AIT without using their paid time off.
Not all individuals will qualify for the program, so if this is something you would like to consider and you meet the requirements, performing well during Basic Training/AIT will help your chances.
You can find the details here.
Prohibited Items During Basic Training
1. Weapons of Any Type
This includes pocket knives, firearms, fireworks, clubs, batons, brass knuckles, etc.
2. Tobacco products and lighters
If you bring cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc., they will be confiscated.
3. Alcohol-based Products
This includes beverages or health products.
4. Food items
This includes gum, candy and chips.
5. Obscene or Pornographic Materials.
6. Nonprescription Drugs
Medications not prescribed to you by the military, including items such as foot powders, antihistamines, sleep aides, acne medication, etc., are not allowed while in basic training.
7. Narcotics, Illegal Drugs or Any Paraphernalia
All of these are prohibited from basic training and military service in general.
8. Expensive Personal Items
Such as cameras, tablets, fancy jewelry, etc. Youre allowed to bring your cell phone to use while traveling, but it may be locked away for safekeeping after you arrive.
9. Gambling Items and External Reading Materials
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What Is Advanced Individual Training
When soldiers meet with a recruiter, they will gauge what interests you may have and let you know which jobs you qualify for based on criteria such as your ASVAB scores.
The job that you sign up for is called a Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS.
The instruction type you receive at AIT, where you attend AIT, and the length of AIT will all be determined based on your MOS.
There are over 150 jobs in the Army and quite a few have civilian equivalents.
How Long Is Air Force Basic Training
Air Force Basic Training is approximately eight and a half weeks at Joint-Base San Antonio Lackland and begins with an in-processing week called Week Zero. Each week is broken down into specific activities with the successive weeks building on what was taught in the prior weeks.
Those who attended Air Force Basic in the 20th century will remember that in times past, AF basic was only six weeks long. But the addition of a warrior-week type Week Seven makes the 7th week of training one of the most physically challenging of the services training scheduleAirmen must complete field training exercises and combat training challenges to pass week seven and make it to Graduation Week which features final drill and ceremony practices for graduation, an open house for graduates and their families, plus an Air Force coin ceremony.
Air Force Reserve Basic Training
There is an identical requirement for Air Force Reservists to train for eight and a half weeks before starting career field training and/or Reserve duty.
Air National Guard Basic Training
Air National Guard training requirements are similar to AF Reserve requirements. Expect to spend approximately 8.5 weeks in Air Guard boot camp.
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What Happens After Army Boot Camp
After completing the Army boot camp, there will be a graduation ceremony to celebrate the success of each individual. You will get to see your family before you head out to Advanced Individual Training . This next training step will be more of a hands-on approach, teaching the skills needed to perform a range of specific jobs in the Army. Work ethic and discipline will also be emphasized in this stage of training.
How Long Is Marine Boot Camp
Recruits are expected to hit the ground running and you will start training the moment you step onto the yellow footprints. Many Marines say that boot camp was the most challenging experience of their entire lives. Its a culture shock and you will be cut off from the outside world and completely immersed in Marine Corps Terminology, history, and customs & courtesies.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the Marine Boot Camp schedule for 2022 and beyond.
NOTE: COVID-19 has impacted recruit training significantly! If you are heading to boot camp or have family there, its important to check on .
The transformation into a United States Marine begins immediately upon arrival to or Parris Island.
Youll be rushed off the bus onto the famous yellow footprints, literally standing in the same place more than a million Marines have gone before.
Including Medal of Honor winners.
Once you step onto the yellow footprints, your education as a USMC recruit will begin. You will learn three articles from the Uniform Code of Military Justice which you must follow.
Article 86 prohibits absence without leave . Article 91 prohibits you from disobeying a lawful order, and Article 93 prohibits disrespect of a commanding officer.
The recruit training schedule is broken into four distinct phases. San Diegos and Parris Islands schedules differ slightly, but the outcome is the same.
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Army Basic Training Video
The mission of the Training Brigade is to conduct Basic Combat Training to Training and Doctrine Command standards for initial entry training Army soldiers who are then prepared for advanced individual training. This is done by training the soldiers in many basic combat skills. These skills include basic rifle marksmanship, hand grenade qualification, physical training, training in a field environment, and a variety of common task skills.
The Training Brigade primarily trains combat service support military occupational specialties. Some of these are medical, military intelligence, communications, transportation and supply specialties.
The rigors of Basic Training include intense competition between different companies in the BCT on all manners of topics including bayonet course, obstacle course, and APFT scores. By winning certain events or scoring top times, your company will earn streamers to hang from its guidon.
Your days will be dominated by physical events such as road marches with heavily laden packs, intense calisthenics exercise periods , and a whole lot of running. Your training will continue to progress to include topics such as military chain of command, the use of military radios, combat life saver , and marksmanship. To further your infantryman core skill sets, you will spend a lot of time perfecting your land navigation skills this means navigating a land route using nothing more than a compass, a map, and timing.
Do Soldiers Get Leave/vacation After Army Boot Camp
The ability for soldiers to receive leave or vacation after Army Boot Camp depends on their MOS and next training location.
For those who will be completing AIT at the same location they attended Boot Camp, or for those in OSUT , leave time is generally not permitted.
For those who will be traveling to another location, there is a short break between boot camp and AIT.
This leave time is not considered a vacation and is generally only long enough to provide adequate travel time to your AIT training location.
Most of the time the travel time ranges from 1-3 days.
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Phase Three Of Marine Corps Boot Camp
During phase three recruits will learn survival combat skills through Basic Warrior Training, Learning how to maneuver under fire, navigate through the outdoors, and handle their rifles properly.
Recruits will be tested on everything they have learned during Marine Corps boot camp in order to prepare them for the last few battles they will face before they can claim the title of United States Marine.
Weeks 8-10 will be the hardest part of training as recruits will have to give everything they have and more to keep pushing forward. At the end of phase three recruits will go through The Crucible, the final event of training that will test them on everything.
The crucible is a 54-hour field event where recruits will have to complete a series of mini events. Each event will test their knowledge, perseverance, leadership, honor, courage, and commitment. This is their defining moment.
Upon successfully completing The Crucible, recruits will march their last hike as recruits as they head to the Eagle Globe and Anchor Ceremony where they are given the title of a United States Marine and take their oath.
Military Instructor And Trainer Qualifications
All military instructors at Phase 1 training establishments are required to successfully complete two mandatory courses and encouraged to gain other optional qualifications .
Army Skills Instructors at the RMAS are required to successfully complete a considerable number of courses prior to attending the 5-week RMAS Instructors Cadre course, as highlighted in Table 11 below. Every year approximately 30 Colour Sergeants/Staff Sergeants are selected to train the next generation of officers. RMAS Instructor Cadre hopefuls are tested in all areas to assess their suitability to work with Officer Cadets, from physical fitness to instructor capabilities. Completion of all the required courses takes approximately 2-3 years of hard work.
Table 11: Mandatory and optional courses for Phase 1 initial training instructors
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One Station Unit Training
With some MOSs, both the BCT and AIT phases of training are accomplished back-to-back at the same location, with the same instructors, as well as with the same fellow recruits. This is called One Station Unit Training, or OSUT. For example, the Infantry MOS consists of BCT followed by 12 weeks of Infantry training, all within the same location. A similar program is followed for cavalry scouts, tank crewmen, military police, and some engineer MOSs.
An Overview Of The British Armys Phase 1 Initial Military Training Landscape
With regards to training establishments, the British Armys initial military training landscape has undergone a number of changes over the past 20 years. Figure 1, below, presents the current British Army Phase 1 initial military training landscape. Figure 2, below, presents the British Armys Phase 1 initial military training by age, entry type and location.
Figure 1Figure 2
As Figures 1 and 2 demonstrate, initial soldier training is conducted at a number of training centres corporately termed Defence Training Establishments around the country, and where an individual conducts their initial soldier Phase 1 training will depend on how old they are and which job they will be doing.
Basic recruit or Phase 1 initial training comprises the Combat Infantrymans Course for the Infantry and the Common Military Syllabus ) for all other British Army regiments and corps.
Soldiers who are between 16 years and 17 years 5 months will be classified as Junior Entry and attend the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.
All officers, regardless of role, will complete their initial training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Camberley.
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What You Will Learn During Basic
Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills
During your Basic Combat Training, youll be introduced to the various tactical proficiencies youll be required to retain as a Soldier. These are called Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, and will serve as a foundation of your Soldier skills. Warrior Tasks come in four forms, and involve mastering individual Soldier skills, while Battle Drills are team-based tactical skills.