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Basic Training In The Army

Army Basic Training Phase : Blue Phase

A Typical Day in Army Basic Training

The final phase of BCT — the Blue, or Warrior, Phase — will build your individual tactical training, increase your leadership skills and self-discipline, and improve your understanding of teamwork. It also will include challenges and tests you’ll have to pass in order to graduate from BCT. It’s time to dig deep.

These three weeks are spent on the following:

  • Advanced rifle marksmanship
  • Maneuvering and engaging targets as part of a team
  • Guard ethics and standards, with continued study of Army values
  • Convoy operations
  • Additional weapons training: machine guns, grenade launchers and mines
  • Defeating improvised explosive devices/mines

Army Basic Training: How Long It Is And Requirements

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People often join the U.S. Army for the skills training, honor, pay and benefits it offers. The first step to becoming a soldier is to complete a basic training course. This period of time teaches you the tactical and physical skills needed to serve in the Army.

In this article, we discuss what Army basic training is, how long the experience lasts and what to expect.

Army Basic Training Graduation

Most of this week will include inspections, out-processing, personal time, haircuts, family day and the graduation ceremony itself.

With your biggest challenges behind you, you can breathe a little easier, at least for now. Friends and family will be able to attend your graduation in person , and congratulate you on your accomplishment and joining the honorable legacy of a career in the Army.

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Requirements To Enter Army Basic Training

To qualify to join the Army and enter basic training, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or resident alien

  • Be 17 to 34 years old

  • Have graduated from high school

  • Have fewer than two people who depend on you for income

  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test

  • Pass a Military Entrance Processing Station medical exam

The Us Army Is Reinventing Basic Training To Appeal To Gen Z

Basic Training Diaries: Week 5
  • The US Army is changing out boot camp instructors interact with recruits.
  • It wants to move away from confrontation in order to built trust and better train new soldiers.
  • The revamp is driven partly by the Army’s need to appeal to Gen Z, who are reaching enlistment age.

Army drill sergeants who model themselves on R. Lee Ermey’s ruthless drill instructor in “Full Metal Jacket” are on their way out the door.

Those noncommissioned officers have for generations been a new recruit’s first real introduction to the Army, and they have famously been known to scream, curse and physically punish trainees. But Army planners are hoping that instead of the stereotypical screaming drill sergeants in round brown hats, the new crop of NCOs will act more like strict football coaches.

“They’re not trying to make the walls sweat, they’re not throwing trash cans,” Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson, the top enlisted leader at the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training, or CIMT, told Military.com in an interview during an Army conference in Washington, DC. “All that stuff is slowly going away.”

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The shift follows substantial changes in the Army’s physical training. While recruits may have to endure less screaming at boot camp, the new training has effectively made the fitness and marksmanship requirements for recruits more demanding.

In 2020, the Army got rid of the so-called “shark attack.”

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Platoon Guides Get The Most Difficult Job

The drill sergeants pick a platoon guide early on. This position is filled by some doomed private who is in charge of the unit when the drill sergeants leave the barracks along with many other responsibilities. This meant I was even more in the spotlight and a subject of much attention from the drills and other trainees. I couldnt do anything right and got blamed when things went wrong in the platoon.

Where Will I Train

The training centre you’ll go to depends on the Corps that you join:

Catterick, Yorkshire: Infantry

Pirbright, Surrey: Army Air Corps, Royal Artillery, Royal Signals, Adjutant Generals Corps, Army Medical Services and Intelligence Corps.

Winchester, Hampshire: Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Harrogate, Yorkshire: If youre joining as a junior soldier youll start your Army life at Harrogate. Here youll learn about the Army and soldering skills, but also learn from civilians in subjects like ICT, maths and English, if you need it.

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Basic Combat Training Locations

The Army has five basic combat training locations:

  • Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Fort Knox, Kentucky

How your training location is determined:

  • Enlisted members: Your initial training will be followed with more specialized training at the same installation. This will determine your basic training location. For example, infantry and armor specialties complete basic and advanced training at Fort Benning. Military police and combat engineers complete both trainings at Fort Leonard Wood.
  • Female recruits: Your basic combat training location will be Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Sill or Fort Jackson. These installations have gender-integrated training.
  • Plan to become an officer? Youll complete your basic training at Fort Benning, then go straight into Officer Candidate School.

Stress Less Sleep And Physical Training

Army Basic Training: ‘Typical Day in Basic Training’ (Episode 3)

You are expected to memorize and recite the general orders, plus other important creeds for new soldiers. The toughest part of this first three-week phase is the physical training with a lot less sleep than you are used to. Be ready to get down in the push-up position and stay there for long periods. The physical training prepares you to excel at the Army Combat Fitness Test.

This used to be comprised of only pushups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run. However, the Army changed it to become more realistic and to measure the strength and agility you need in combat. So now trainees still do sit-ups and a two-mile run, but they also do dead-lifts, sprints and carries, power throws, and leg tucks.

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Army Basic Training Red Phase

Red phase is the starting phase and is typically considered the hardest part of training.

The entire phase, which is 3 weeks long, is devoted to constant calisthenic exercise and you will be spending much of your time in the push-up position.

The drill sergeants will train you how to march and be a part of a formation, the importance of teamwork, run you through obstacle courses and team challenges, and you will do the intense events like rappelling and zip-lining.

Theres also gas chamber training, which is about as fun as it sounds.

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 ACFT : Three repetitions of Maximum Deadlift, Standing Power Throw , Hand release push-up , Sprint-drag-carry , Plank , and a 2-mile timed run. Aerobic alternatives for soldiers with permanent restrictions include a 5,000-meter row, a 12,000-meter stationary bike, a 1,000-meter swim, or a 2.5-mile walk.
  • 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

Time yourself. Whether you use a stopwatch or your smartphone, timing yourself is a good way to track your improvement.

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How Long Is Army Basic Training

The complete Army basic training cycle is about 10 weeks, divided into three phases: Red, White and Blue, which last about three weeks each. After passing the final tests of the Blue Phase, your next step is the graduation ceremony, where youll get to celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family.

Training The American Gi

Fundamentals are key for Soldiers in Basic Combat Training at Fort ...

As the United States prepared for war, military leaders had a long list of needsguns, tanks, ships, and equipment of every kind. One of the things they needed most of all, however, was people.

Primary Image:

As the United States prepared for war, military leaders had a long list of needsguns, tanks, ships, and equipment of every kind. One of the things they needed most of all, however, was people. In 1939, the US Army only had 174,000 soldiers, including the Army Air Forces. At its peak during the war, the Army grew to over 8 million men and women in uniform, joined by an additional 3.4 million in the Navy. The new additions were mostly young Americans who would normally have been pursuing jobs, schooling, and family life, but instead were answering the nations call to arms. Many of them had never even traveled outside their home state, let alone Europe, Asia, or the Pacific Islands. Preparing these millions of civilians for war would be one of the militarys most daunting challenges.

Soldiers tackle part of an obstacle course at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, 1942.

“It was true we were all volunteers and all of them were young men18, 19 years oldand all of them wanted to prove that they were men and that they were part of the best and that they were the best. That was true. We were.”

T. Moffatt Burris, 504th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

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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.

Army Expands Prep Course For Low

The Army is doubling down on an ambitious accessions experiment thats allowing hopeful soldiers with poor fitness or low aptitude test scores to attend a pre-basic training course to get them up to service entry standards, officials announced Monday.

The service first launched its Future Soldier Preparatory Course in August 2022 amid a dismal recruiting year, which saw the Army land around 20,000 soldiers short of its authorized end strength. The course is aimed to reduce the recruiting shortfall by offering applicants 90 days to reduce their body fat or improve their scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Those who succeed renegotiate their contracts and proceed to basic training, and those who dont are discharged.

The course will add two additional academic track training companies at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and establish a company-sized version of the academic track at Fort Benning, Georgia. The fitness improvement training track, according to Army release.

Army Times first reported the services plan to establish the course, and an Army Times reporter embedded at the course for two days in August. Officials there said the course was about investing time, money and care in young Americans who want to serve but need help meeting entry standards.


Students in the Future Soldier Prep Course attend a class with Army-issued tablets loaded with course materials in August 2022 at Fort Jackson, S.C.

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Army Basic Training: Everything You Need To Know

Congratulations! Youve signed on the dotted line, taken the oath and dedicated yourself to becoming Army strong. Being a soldier in the U.S. armed forces is one of the most noble acts of service in our nation, one that will shape your mind, body and spirit for the rest of your life.

But in order to tell your warrior story, youve got to start at the beginning: Army Basic Combat Training, aka Army boot camp. Its here that youll build the foundation for your Army career, learning skills such as how to march, repel and handle weapons, proper dress and grooming standards as well as the real-world meanings of discipline, teamwork and the Armys core values.

Army Basic Training is both physically and mentally demanding, but knowing what to expect before you get there will help you start off on the right foot for your Army journey. And at some point during basic, youll be grateful for any leg up you can get.

Know what you are looking for? Click the section to jump right to some of the most frequently asked questions and information!

8. Family Resources

Get Ready For The Toughest Lock

Basic Training in the Army National Guard

I went through Army Basic Training in 1999 at Fort Knox and you are locked down there like a bar of gold. But certainly not treated like gold. I got the famous buzz-cut hairdo from a bored barber and then I didnt see any more civilians the rest of the cycle, except the workers at the chow hall.

The most difficult part for me was Day 1. This is called pick up day and it is the first time you are introduced to drill sergeants. They came out of the sun, ran down a hill with their smokey the bear hats and sunglasses, and unleashed verbal terror on many of the recruits. It was extremely stressful. They often pick a project private to harass and I got picked on early as a project. Its better to blend in as much as possible, but I stuck out due to some early incompetence.

Drill sergeants are not supposed to curse, but at Fort Knox, there was definitely colorful language. Some of the verbosity is downright humorous, but dont laugh, or you get singled out even more.

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Army Basic Training Requirements

You wouldnt show up for your drivers license test without being able to parallel park, right? Then hopefully you figured out that building up your physical strength before you step into formation for the first time is probably a wise move. You can expect those standards to be tested during Week Zero, also known as Reception Battalion. If you dont pass this initial test, youll be placed in the fitness training company for additional instruction. Youll have two chances per week to pass the test.

The official Army website offers a guide to help recruits and soldiers train for the physical fitness tests theyll face in basic and throughout their careers. You can also download the Armys Pocket Physical Training Guide online for tips on clothing, how to avoid injuries, conditioning drills and more.

Youll be tested in other physical ways during your reception week too, but there isnt a lot of studying you can do for vision, hearing and blood exams, among others. However, being in the best physical shape you can before basic even starts will be an advantage youll appreciate from Day 1.

So you think you have what it takes to pass? Put your endurance to the test and explore the Armys fitness requirements in our latest blog!

Week Zero And Week One

This is where it all begins. Zero Week is what happens prior to the beginning of the red phase.

At this point, you will be given immunizations, physical exams, complete necessary paperwork for the enlisting process, and other in-processing tasks.

You will likely undergo a drug test to ensure that you are free of any drugs or illicit substances.

A positive test will be grounds for discharge from the United States Army.

After your processing is complete, the beginning of the Red Phase starts in week one.

Here, you will learn of the Armys Core Values, traditions, and ethics.

And youll also be issued an M16, which will be your best friend throughout the training .

You will learn how to properly disassemble, maintain, and assemble your rifle.

A good soldier is someone who knows their rifle like the back of their hand. You will also take part in the first of a handful of regular PT sessions.

These PT evaluations will see where you stand in terms of physical fitness.

Remember, you will be evaluated on a regular basis up until your final evaluation towards graduation.

On the third day of week one, youll learn basic drills and marching.

Aside from your fitness evaluations, you will often be tested on your knowledge of basic drills and marches.

For the last three days of the week, it will mostly be classroom time where youll learn everything from the Armys Core Values, ethics, and more.

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