Do you want to join the US army? If yes, then you may want to know what a boot camp is, and what you can expect at such a training program.
The army basic training also known as an army boot camp is a training program that tests the endurance levels of future recruits with rigorous programs. Only if, the soldiers pass these tests, they can become a soldier in the US army. These programs are intense and very challenging, designed to push the recruits to their limits and to get them used to a way of life that they are pretty protected from. A quick jump into this kind of living, forces them to adjust themselves quickly to the situation at hand. In this CareerStint article we discuss these boot camps, and what you will be expected to do.
One of the most basic requirements of an army camp is that, the soldiers have to pass a physical test that is given at the Reception Battalion, which is just an introduction to the workout. For male cadets, this means that they have to do 13 push-ups, 17 sit-ups, and run a distance of 1 mile in less than eight and half minutes. All recruits need to pass this test, which is just a fraction of the kind of training workouts they will have to do once they are in. For active army services, you need to be at least 18 years old. If you have parental consent, then you are allowed to recruit at the age of 17. The maximum age limit is 42 years. Medical requirements specify that, you need to be in good health and of a condition that does not hinder any services that you may be required for. As of 2010, your sexual orientation may still be the grounds for refusal of enlistment, but the Army does not inquire about your orientation. The educational requirements to get into the army, is a high school diploma. The minimal education levels though, depend on what post you’re applying for. Other requirements include, not being a single parent, not having more than two children, passing the armed forces qualifying test, and undergoing a financial assessment. You will also be given a list of things of what to bring with you for the camp.
If you are training in a camp for the U.S. army, there are five military boot camp locations, which you could be sent to, for your Basic Combat Training (BCT) or your Advanced Individual Training (AIT). These locations are Fort Benning in Ohio, Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Fort Knox in Kentucky, and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Fort Jackson is the largest training center for initial entry to the United States Army. Of all its soldiers, this center alone provides training to 50% of the male soldiers and 80% of the women soldiers.
Boot camps can be divided into three phases; phase I, which is the red phase or the Patriot phase, phase II, which is the white phase or the Gunfighter phase, and the phase III, which is the blue phase or Warrior phase. The basic training lasts for nine weeks. In phase I, recruits are constantly monitored by drill sergeants. They are hauled up for the slightest fault, to ensure that an attention-to-detail trait is drilled into them. Training consists of an intensive workout that has several sessions of different exercises. These workouts are very hard, and tend to push you to your limits, as they try to test how much can you exert yourselves. Hand to hand combat training is an important part of this phase. In phase II, soldiers start weapon training and target practice. They are familiarized with bayonets, tanks, and other heavy weapons. Before moving on to the third phase, soldiers are tested for their proficiency with various weapons. Phase III is widely considered to be the most difficult of the three phases with soldiers expected to pass nighttime operations and other taxing physical exercises.
Given below is the general daily schedule at such a camp. Most camps around the world including navy and air force boot camps follow a schedule that is more or less similar to the schedule given here, with a few alterations depending on the needs of the training program and other conditions.
|Daily Schedule at Army Boot Camp|
|1800||Drill Sergeant Time|
There is a list of activities, in which, if the soldier indulges, can be hauled up and punished according to what is considered suitable. The offenses that are punishable when you are at the camp training are given below. This is just an indicative list and not an exhaustive list. It is possible that there are many other activities that may be considered punishable.
- Use of any product made of tobacco.
- Consuming food at any other time than the hours specified or at any other place than the designated area.
- Contraband possession
- Insubordination of any form towards a senior officer.
- Failing in the line of duty.
- Absenteeism without taking leave.
If found guilty of being involved in any of the specified punishable activities, then the drill sergeant in charge, may give the soldier non-judicial punishment which could include, restriction in terms of place of work, recreation, pay cuts, reduction of rank or demotion, reprimand in either oral or written form, etc. All these punishments could be in addition to an increase in the number of exercises that the soldier needs to perform. In worst case scenario, it is possible that a soldier may be dishonorably discharged from the forces.
Once you finish the different phases, as a soldier of the US army, it would be your duty to protect the interests of the residents of America. Now that you know what to expect from such a camp, you can register yourself, if you think that a career in the military is for you.