Your First Steps To Becoming A Soldier
Basic Combat Training, often known as boot camp, is your introduction to Army service, and where you will learn the traditions, tactics and methods of becoming a Soldier. During Basic, youll learn how to work as a member of a team to accomplish tasks. Youll learn discipline, including proper dress, marching, and grooming standards. Most importantly, youll be instilled with the Seven Core Army Values and the Soldier Creed. Basic Combat Training comes in three phases and lasts about ten weeks, depending on your military occupational specialty . After you graduate from basic training, you will undergo two additional phases of training, known as Advanced Individual Training, where you will learn the job skills required of your MOS.
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.
How To Prepare For Army Basic Training
Get in shape! Make sure you show up to Boot Camp in excellent shape make sure you can pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and are able to run several miles at a good pace. Dont stick out when you arrive at Boot Camp dont shave your head, dont wear obnoxious military surplus clothing or fatigues, skip the combat boots, shave your face and make sure your hair is neat and combed when you arrive. Sticking out of the crowd will buy you some immediate extra attention from the Drill Sergeants!Prepare yourself for the mental and emotional challenges some of your company-mates will be away from their families for the first time ever.
If you have the time, try to memorize your three General Orders prior to arriving at Basic Training:
General Order Number 1I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.General Order Number 2I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.General Order Number 3I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.
Lastly, you can prepare by reading the best Basic Training guidebooks available:
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Army Basic Training White Phase
White phase, which is also 3 weeks long, comes after the completion of Red Phase and focuses almost entirely on rifling and weapons training.
You will be expected to qualify and become a marksman of the M4 carbine as it is the standard weapon of the US Army soldier, as well as the M249 squad automatic weapon, the M240B crewserve machine gun, the M2 mounted machine gun, and the M67 fragmentation grenade.
The weapon systems are imposing but after weeks of continuous training on them you will become not only comfortable with them, but proficient.
Programs For Indigenous Peoples
Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year
A one-year educational program offered to Indigenous peoples through the Royal Military College of Canada
Summer training programs
Summer Indigenous programs provide an opportunity to discover Military culture and training.
Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program
A special three-week program for Indigenous peoples who are considering a career in the CAF.
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What Are The Phases Of Army Basic Training
There are three phases of Army Basic Training. Incidentally enough, they are named phase red, white, and blue .
Each phase is a single block of multiple weeks. Lets take a brief look at each of them:
Red Phase: This will occur in the first three weeks of basic training.
White Phase: Starts at week four and concludes at the end of week five.
Blue Phase: The final phase. Begins at week six and ends at week nine.
Well be doing in-depth with what happens during these phases.
The reason why these phases exist is because it will allow soldiers to move onto the next one when they have successfully passed their test.
Towards the end of each phase, trainees will be tested on what theyve learned so far in training.
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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.
A Day In The Life Of A Basic Training Private
Your days in Basic Training are very repetitive. You begin bright and early at around 0500 and quickly make your bed, tidy up your personal area, brush your teeth, shave, and other personal hygiene. Following that, you meet with the rest of your squad and divide the cleaning duties and other tasks given to you. Then you are off to your first formation of the day with your rifle in hand. Your Drill Sergeant calls roll at formation and your platoon marches out to do morning physical training .
You will normally start off by running some warm up laps followed by stretches and calesthentics led by your Drill Sergeant. Next, you will return to your barracks and change into the approved uniform of the day. Save time by squaring away your uniforms ahead of time and have them ready to be thrown on at a moments notice your Drill Sergeant will likely give you but a few minutes to change into a new uniform. Oh, by the way, dont leave the barracks a mess tidy up as you go.
Back in formation, you will march as a platoon to the mess hall for breakfast. You will be under tight time constraints to get your entire company into the mess hall and fed, then back out again. It may result in only about 7-8 minutes per platoon to eat. Its all about time management even while you are eating.
Back to the CQ you march after you are done eating. Your Drill Sergeant will now brief you on the rest of the days activities.
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Submit Your Application 4medical Exam
You will then take a two part medical exam: First there is a questionnaire on your medical history including specific information on your medication. Then the medical staff will conduct a physical exam to measure your height, weight, evaluate your vision, colour perception and hearing. The second step is a medical file review to determine any limitations that will affect your training and career.
Army Basic Training: What To Expect
Basic training is the first step in preparing you to be a soldier. It starts with basic combat training or Army boot camp. Then comes specialized training in your career field or you may go to Officer Candidate School to master Army leadership skills.
In basic training, youll learn teamwork and discipline, and how to handle a weapon, rappel and march. The work is physically and mentally demanding. Youll experience stress and youll test your limits. Know what to expect and arrive prepared.
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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.
Army Basic Training Basics
Unlike the Air Force, which has a single training base for its basic trainees, the United States Army has five basic training or boot camp locations. They are:
- Fort Knox, Kentucky
- Fort Benning, Georgia
It would be tempting to assume that these training locations are selected for an individual trainee depending on where they entered military service, but Army literature informs that where you spend boot camp depends greatly on your Army job following boot camp and advanced training.
Those who are joining the Army as officers will attend basic combat training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Those who are joining as Infantry also train at Fort Benning. Military combat engineers train at Fort Leonard Wood. There are many other scenarios, these are just examples.
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Be Ready For The Physical Demands
Look up the physical fitness requirements for the Service that interests you. During Basic Training, every service member must pass a Physical Fitness Test that is specific to each Service:
- Army PFT: A timed two-mile run, two minutes of sit-ups and two minutes of push-ups.
- Navy PRT : A timed 1.5-mile run, two minutes of curl-ups and two minutes of push-ups. Alternate cardio is permitted at the discretion of your commanding officer.
- A timed three-mile run, two minutes of abdominal crunches and pull-ups or pushups. In addition, all Marines must pass a Combat Fitness Test . Intended to keep Marines ready for the physical rigors of contemporary combat operations, the CFT consists of a timed 880-yard sprint, counted 30-pound ammo can lifts and a 300-yard maneuver-under-fire event.
- Air Force PFT: Timed 1.5-mile run, 2 minutes to complete as many correct repetitions of pushups, 2 minutes to complete as many correct repetitions of situps.
- Coast Guard PFT: Timed 1.5-mile run, 1 minute of pushups, 1 minute of situps, Sit-and-reach flexibility test, 5-minute water tread, and a 6-foot platform jump into a 100-meter swim
Visit your doctor before you start training. Even if you’ve had a physical at the Military Entrance Processing Station , you should consult your doctor and discuss your workout plan. Your doctor can offer helpful information that may decrease the chances of injury.
Getting Fit With Fitt
As a rule of thumb, ease into your activities, gradually increase each element of FITT, and end each session with a cool-down. For example:
- Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up. Walking, biking or a slow jog will increase blood flow to the muscles and lightly increase your heart rate. Follow up with some light stretching of the muscles you will be using in your workout.
- Improving your overall fitness is most effectively done through a combination of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength exercises. The two sample fitness sessions below are based on Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology guidelines.
- A 5- to 10-minute cool-down helps return your body to its normal, pre-exercise condition. Suddenly stopping an intense workout can make you dizzy, nauseated or even faint. Walking, biking or a slow jog will gradually bring down your heart rate and relieve muscle soreness.
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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.
Army Basic Training Blue Phase
Finally comes the Blue Phase, which is where all your training culminates into a series of field training exercises that simulate deployment conditions and tasks.
Operating out of forward operating bases you will training clearing rooms in prop towns, conducting land navigation lanes, moving as a platoon and squad across terrain, moving while under live fire, convoy operations, and much more.
This is where most recruits have the most fun as you are finally doing what they do in the commercials.
Upon completion of Blue Phase you will officially be a soldier in the US Army after the initiation ceremony conducted by your training company.
The final days of Army basic training are spent turning in your training gear, prepping for your next training cycle at Advanced Individual Training, and spending time with family that has been invited for the graduation ceremony and a tour of the training you endured.
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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
Preparing For Basic Training
Army basic training is physically intense. If you are not physically active, youll want to start preparing yourself. Your arms will thank you if you take some time before shipping out to memorize the Army officer and enlisted ranks, phonetic alphabet, Army General Orders, Soldiers Creed, and Army Values.
The typical day in BCT start 0500 hours and lights out at 2100 hours.
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How Long Is Marine Corps Basic Training
The longest and most challenging of all military boot camps, Marine Corps basic training is 13 weeks long and is broken into four phases. Training happens at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island in South Carolina and . The four phases feature:
Phase Onein-processing, strength testing, initial issue and initial training.Phase TwoCombat water survival, martial arts, combat conditioning, classroom work.Phase ThreeMarksmanship, more combat training, field training, etc.Phase Four-Final physical and academic testing, graduation prep, etc.
Fort Benning Visitor Center
The Visitor Center processes visitors who have been pre-sponsored by post personnel. Those who havent been pre-sponsored should expect lengthy delays or should arrange to have their sponsor meet them at the gate. The Lindsey Creek Visitor Control Center is open 24/7, including holidays, and is on Lindsey Creek Parkway. The Contractor Visitor Control Center is on 8th Division Road in Harmony Church and is open 0600 to 1400 Monday through Friday. The CVCC is closed nights, weekends, and holidays. If you have any specific questions about visiting, you can reach the MP Desk at 1 545-5223 or Contractor Badge Office at 1 545-3215.
Fort Benning Visitor CenterPhone: 1 544-1033
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Combat Infantrymans Course: Line Infantry
The Combat Infantrymans Course: Line Infantry builds up recruits skills and fitness through a progressive training programme. In simple terms, this involves learning individual skills first, followed by team/section skills and then platoon skills, ending with an assessment. During training, recruits are taught the importance of discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others. They learn that being a soldier is about putting others first and having the courage to do the right thing in any given situation.
Table 9 provides an outline of the training regimen at ITC Catterick.
Table 9: Outline of Line Infantry training at ITC Catterick
Combat Infantrymans Course: Life Guards
The Combat Infantrymans Course: Foot Guards builds up skills and fitness at a gradual pace. This involves learning individual skills first, followed by Section and then Platoon skills, ending with an assessment.
During training, recruits are taught the importance of discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others. They learn that being a soldier is about putting others first and having the courage to know the right thing to do in any given situation.
This version of the Combat Infantrymans Course is two weeks longer than the Line Infantry version. Drill is covered in greater detail, bearing in mind the importance of the Ceremonial Duties undertaken by the Household Division. In general terms, the Life Guards training regimen is the same as the Line Infantry except for the Pass Out Parade. The Passing Out Parade at the end of training is a public demonstration of these skills. The Parade is based on a mini Queens Birthday Parade that is conducted yearly in June at Horse Guards Parade in London in front of HM Queen Elizabeth II. A week by week overview of the Life Guards CIC is given below.
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