Having Realistic Expectations for Military Basic Training

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Long before you raise your right hand to swear in your all-important years away in the military, you need to first do your military recruiting homework and have realistic expectations for military basic training.

You’ve been through the recruiting process or you’re considering going into the military, now it’s time to prepare for basic training. One of the first steps every recruit should take is setting realistic expectations for basic training. While you may have seen it in the movies or on TV, you really don’t have any idea what you’re getting into, if this is what you base your understanding of basic training on.

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Knowing what to expect means you will be better prepared for the mental and physical tests ahead. Now is not the time to be lazy and kick back. Instead, it’s the time to get ready for one of the most grueling challenges of your life.

You wouldn’t go into battle or go play a championship game in sports without proper preparation. Basic training is your preparation for combat, but you need to prepare for this intense training. Here are some of the expectations you should start with.

Sleep is a luxury

If you think you’re going to get a full eight hours of sleep every night or you’ll only have to adjust your normal noonish wake up time to 8am, you’re crazy. Basic training will have you dreaming of sleeping in and wishing you could go back to your warm bed in mom and dad’s house.

Expect to get up early and become a morning person. Expect to perform drills and training on very little sleep. This training is preparing you for battle and you never know when the enemy may strike. You have to be prepared at all times and expect your wake up time to be closer to 4am than 8am on most days.

Yelling is normal speaking


Your Drill Instructors will yell and they will expect you to yell. While you cannot really train for this unless you lock yourself in a room and scream all day, you should know what to expect. Everything will be loud and you can expect it to feel more dramatic because of all the yelling.

Your Body will be pushed physically

Sure, you know basic training is supposed to be hard, but it’s not something you could ever expect, if you don’t take the time to prepare. Get yourself in the absolute best shape of your life. Start running miles upon miles now and you’ll be better off.

Expect to do a ton of push-ups, plenty of sit ups (crunches) and all kinds of running. If you’re overweight, even by a few pounds now, expect to come out on the bottom of the scale for a healthy weight for your size.

Your Mind will be tested

While the physical aspects of basic training are difficult, the mental side of it is even worse. You will be pushed to your emotional limits and you will probably break down at some point. Start preparing now by sharpening your focus on today and not looking too far ahead.

Basic training is something you need to be prepared for. There are tons of resources to help you understand what to expect and how to prepare. If you go into it in great physical condition, it will help, but you should also open up your mind and read about what to expect outside of the physical.

Read more about US Army military recruiting and training here.

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