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.
Meet Your Drill Sergeant
Your first introduction to the Army experience will come from your Drill Sergeants. The drill sergeant is a symbol of discipline and excellence, and he or she will spend the next ten weeks transforming you into a Soldier capable of defending your country and upholding freedom.
“YES DRILL SERGEANT!”
As your moral guide to Army customs and values, one of your Drill Sergeant’s tasks will be to demand that you properly address your superiors. Follow up any command or question with a hearty “Yes Drill Sergeant” , or “No Drill Sergeant”, or be prepared to do one or two pushups.
THIS WE’LL DEFEND
Your Drill Sergeant’s job is to insist that each Soldier meets the Army’s standards of military courtesy. The Drill Sergeant’s insignia and slogan “This We’ll Defend” represents the constant readiness of the American Soldier.
The Phases of Basic Combat Training
YOUR FIRST TEN WEEKS AS A RECRUIT
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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