Recruits line up for inspection during the first phase of Basic Combat Training

 
BASIC COMBAT TRAINING

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, you’ll learn how to work as a member of a team to accomplish tasks. You’ll learn discipline, including proper dress, marching, and grooming standards. Most importantly, you’ll 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 (MOS). 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.

The Phases of Basic Combat Training

YOUR FIRST TEN WEEKS AS A RECRUIT

Recruits line up during Red Phase, the orientation phase of Basic Combat Training

RED PHASE

DISCIPLINE, VALUES, TEAMWORK

This is the first true phase of your process of becoming a Soldier and adapting to life in the Army. During this phase, you will receive your general orientation and receive your army uniform, along with an army-issued haircut.
 
You will also learn how to comport yourself as a Soldier, and be expected to recite the Warrior Ethos and Soldier’s Creed. You will receive briefings on basic first aid and sexual harassment and sexual assault awareness and prevention programs.
 
This phase also includes physical readiness training, road marches, confidence building, and formation marching. You will also receive an introduction into Chemical Radioactive Biological and Nuclear (CBRN) readiness, which will include the proper usage of breathing masks. At the end of this phase, you will receive an Army Unit Patch to be worn on the left shoulder of your uniform.

Recruit navigates an obstacle course during the second phase of basic combat training.

WHITE PHASE

Learning the basic skills of a Soldier

Welcome to the rifle range. During this phase of Basic, you will begin training on your assigned primary weapon, learning the basics of rifle marksmanship, maintenance, and engaging targets at varying distances. During this phase, you’ll also learn hand-to-hand training and how to prioritize multiple targets simultaneously.
 
In addition to marksmanship training, you’ll also continue your physical fitness training, and be expected to navigate obstacle courses and rappel from a 50-foot structure, known as the Warrior Tower.
 
White phase will also be your first introduction to Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, which we’ll talk about later on this page.

Recruits take part in a field training exercise.

BLUE PHASE

Overcoming your final challenges

The final phase of Basic Combat Training builds on everything you have learned so far, and will serve as your final rite of passage from civilian to Soldier.
 
During this phase, you’ll continue learning advanced marksmanship and maneuvering techniques, including engaging targets as part of a team, convoy operations, and identifying and disabling improvised explosive devices. You will train on advanced weapons, like machine guns and learn how to throw live grenades.
 
As part of your final challenges, you’ll embark on a multiple-day land navigation course to test your survival, fitness, and Soldier skills.
 
At the end of the phase, and after you have passed all of your challenges, you will be qualified to wear the Army Black Beret as a fully qualified Army Soldier.

CONNECT WITH AN ARMY REPRESENTATIVE.

We understand that you probably have a million questions. Don’t worry, we’ve been there too. We’ll make sure you get all the answers you need.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

Who will reach out to me?

One of our ROTC recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

What is the time commitment for part-time service?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How do I apply for ROTC scholarships?

How do I join ROTC at the college I want to attend?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out, .

We admire you for considering such a big career decision at your age. Unfortunately, we're unable to directly reach out to you until you are at least sixteen years old and a junior in high school. However, the following ROTC info is something that may interest you now.

Questions you may have right now

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army full-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be 18 years old and a college graduate. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you

How do I apply for ROTC Scholarships?

Army ROTC has several scholarships available for college-bound high school students. Review your options at ROTC Scholarships, or immediately apply by creating an account at mygoarmy.com to get started.

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army part-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be 18 years old and a college graduate. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements

What are the ways to serve part-time?

You can serve part-time as a Soldier in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. By serving part-time, you are able to continue your college education or work a civilian job, while earning an extra paycheck and maintaining many of the benefits of military service.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

How do I become a health care provider in the Army?

You can serve part-time or full-time as you train in our health care program. Upon graduation of the program, you will enter the Army health care team as a Commissioned Officer.

What types of medical careers are available in the Army?

There are numerous health care careers available through the Army Medical Education Deparment (AMEDD), including physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and many more. View your career options.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

What are the benefits of joining ROTC?

ROTC makes it possible to achieve your ambitions. Become a leader and serve your country in one of the nation's top leadership training programs. You can do this while maintaining your college curriculum and earning up to 100% tuition coverage. Upon graduation, you're guaranteed a career as an Army Officer.

How do I prepare to join ROTC?

When you're at least 16 years old and at least a high school junior, you can reach out to us, or even talk to your high school counselor. Together, we'll talk options and decide if ROTC is the right path for you.

Will I become an Officer if I complete ROTC?

Yes. After graduation, you are commissioned as a highly respected second lieutenant in the Army, entrusted with leading other Soldiers.

Select the ROTC school you're most interested in.

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    Privacy Act Notice: The above disclosure is voluntary. All information will be used strictly for recruiting purposes. The authority for the collection of this information is Title 10, United States Code, Sections 503, 505, 508, and 12102, and EO 9397. For more information, please review our Privacy & Security Notice.

    Basic Training Videos

    WHAT YOU WILL LEARN DURING BASIC

    Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills

    During your Basic Combat Training, you’ll be introduced to the various tactical proficiencies you’ll 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.

     
    SHOOT

    This Warrior Task requires that you become qualified and proficient on your assigned weapon, which is determined through your chosen Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). You will learn how to properly engage targets, maintain your weapon, and use periphery technology, including night vision and laser sighting.

    You’ll also be required to engage targets using the Army’s array of machine guns, including the M240B, the M249 and the MK19.


    Finally, you must safely and accurately throw live hand grenades and set and recover mines.

     
    MOVE

    As a Soldier, movement relates to your ability to determine your location on the ground and navigate from one point to another while avoiding obstacles.
     
    This skill also requires that you know how to properly prepare a vehicle for a convoy.

     
    COMMUNICATE

    In a combat situation, communication is crucial, both verbally and non-verbally. With this Warrior Task, you must be able to execute a situation report, known as a “sitrep”, call for fire support at the proper coordinates, and order a medevac. You must also know proper hand signaling during low profile operations.

     
    SURVIVE

    The survival skill relates to your ability to deal with danger situations. You must know how to move and react to direct and indirect fire, engage in hand-to-hand combat, disarm and avoid explosive devices, and perform first aid

     
    BATTLE DRILLS

    Battle Drills are team-based exercises that hone your ability to work with the other members of your unit. Some battle drills include:
     

    • - Reacting to enemy contact
    • - Dismounting a vehicle during combat
    • - Evacuating injured personnel during combat
    • - Dealing with chemical and biological attacks

    Video

    Recruits taking part in a graduation ceremony.

    GRADUATION

    If you advance past the final phase of Basic, you’ll be eligible to wear the Black Beret as a full Army Soldier.  
    As part of your final requirements, you must be able to demonstrate the following:

    Final Requirements to Pass Basic Combat Training

    - Complete an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), scoring at least 50 points in each event.
    - Safely handle and maintain your primary assigned weapon
    - Pass the chemical training confidence exercises, demonstrating the ability to properly use your protective mask
    - Demonstrate your proficiency in all Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills
    - Demonstrate proficiency in First Aid
    - Negotiate the obstacle course
    - Complete hand-to-hand combat (combative) training
    - Pass the hand grenade qualification course
    - Complete a 16K tactical foot march
    - Pass a small-team land navigation course
    - Complete any other tactical field training or situation training exercises

    The Next Steps: