So, you’ve enlisted in a military service and now you’re wondering what Boot Camp is all about and how to prepare. Well, Boot Camp (usually called Basic Training) is intense as you are transforming from a raw recruit into a knowledgeable, productive member of your service.
Upon graduation, you’ll have the mental and physical preparation making you ready for duty. While it’s intense, many have gone before you, and you can do it as well.
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Basic Training for enlisted active duty service differs in length by service and carries slightly different names.
Air Force 6 1/2 weeks Basic Military Training
Army 9 weeks Basic Combat Training
Coast Guard 8 weeks Basic Training
Marine Corps 13 weeks Recruit Training
Navy 8 weeks Boot Camp
Shorter is not necessarily better. If you have any medical or dental problem requiring remedy, it must be resolved before you can graduate and enter service. (Please note that training for Officers and Reservists may be different than above. Your recruiter can clarify.)
The one person with the overall mission of building and shaping you and your classmates is your drill instructor (the DI). It’s a big responsibility, and you will quickly notice that they are serious.
So, how can you get ready for this experience.
– Understand Clearly When And Where To Report. You will receive notification and your recruiter can clarify any questions. Get off on the right foot. Do not be late.
– Get In Shape. Physical Fitness is a key part of your basic training, and you will be required to meet minimum standards before you can graduate. At graduation, you’ll be in the best shape of your life. Get a head start with a serious running/push up regimen right now. You will be glad that you did.
– Have The Right Attitude. Prepare to replace a free spirit with a focused, disciplined way of thinking. Your Drill Instructor is preparing you to function both individually and as a team in potentially difficult situations. It could be a lifesaving lesson learned.
Aside from the physical challenges, the other icon of Basic Training is the Drill Instructor (DI). Your DI has the mission to instill a military discipline and to prepare you to survive difficult situations. It’s a big responsibility, and you will quickly notice that they are serious. You have absolutely nothing to gain and plenty to lose by showing off or by challenging their authority.
– Do Not Question The Logic Of Your Training. You won’t understand the purpose of everything in your training, and you may want to question things. Keep the faith that you are being properly prepared and go with the flow.
– What Can You Bring. You can only bring the necessities and the required paperwork. Each service differs slightly in the list of items, and you must get that list from your recruiter. The lists are available online at the sites of each basic training facility.
– Read up. From either your recruiter or the basic training websites, you can access recruit guidebooks that will provide information such as training missions, belongings to bring, typical daily itineraries, physical standards for graduation, glossary of terms and phonetic alphabets, and keys to success. It is essential information and required reading.
Good luck. You can do it.