Straight from Basic Training, Ep. 1: Day 1

Trainees talk about their first days at Basic Combat Training, including meeting the Drill Sergeant for the first time and getting their first haircuts.

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I’m Private Harvey Degree Junior; I’m from Shelby, North Carolina and I just entered basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

I’m Private David Wilk; from Leavenworth, Kansas and I just entered basic training at Fort Knox.

Degree: When we first got off the bus it was a rush. We were a little intimidated. The first thing we saw was that infamous like ‘brown brim hat’ and were like ‘Oh this drill sergeant, we are gonna be in for it.’

Wilk: Getting off the bus it felt good at first and then after a while when you’re finally realize that you’re away from family you start feeling a little bit more away from everything but after a while it goes away you get used to being here.

Degree: When I was getting my first haircut, I felt uniform. I felt as a team, we were all the same, and we’re all going to start the same.

Wilk: My hair was short enough because I started getting the military cut before I came. But then they pretty much went all out, and I didn’t know my head was so white.

Degree: When we were first issued our uniforms and boots it felt really good. It made us feel more welcomed to the Army. It gave us a sense of Honor.

Wilk: To put our name and the U.S. Army and the flag on there, it felt pretty good putting it on. Because then the drill instructors could know who you are instead of just calling you by line number at first.

Degree: It really did feel good you were wearing a uniform. That many people are living for everyday; that live by the values. It more than just a linen.

Wilk: Drill and Ceremony is a lot harder than it looks. But my mom was in the Army, and she helped me before I left, so I had some stuff to go on, so it was easier for me to transition into what the instructors we telling us to do.

Degree: The hardest part about Drill and Ceremony is keeping everyone in line and straight and focused and keeping our feet the correct distances from each other. It has its ups and downs, I feel myself getting better. I feel the men working together, like working together more as a team.

Wilk: We got a whole bunch of different people (that) we’re gathering from all over the world, all over the United States. Just trying to get together.

Degree: All we have to do is follow the simple instructions and each day will go by, like a breeze. I’m just taking it one day at a time.