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Basic Training - What's it Like? PDF Print E-mail

Basic Combat Training (BCT) consist of nine weeks of intense training designed to hone your skills, teach you new skills, optimize your physical and mental performance. It will prepare you mentally, physically, and emotionally to be the best that you can be.

New recruits attend Boot Camp/Basic Training in one of several places. These include: Fort Benning, Ft. Benning, GA; Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina; Fort Knox, Louisville, Kentucky; Fort Leonard Wood, Waynesville, Missouri; Fort McClellan, Anniston, Alabama; or Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma. Where you attend is relative to the location of the Advanced Individual Training (Job Training) you will attend after Basic Training.

If you enlist in one of the Combat Arms MOS's, you may attend Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at one location: Fort Benning for infantry; Fort Knox for armor; Fort Leonard Wood for combat engineers, military police, and chemical.

Visit these pages to find out more about What to learn, What to bring, and What not to bring.

Week 1
As you adjust to Army life, you begin to learn the importance of Army Values and learn how they shape you as a Soldier. You will take your first diagnostic Army Physical Fitness Test, learn how to march and prepare your barracks for inspection. You will practice Drill and Ceremony, learn your Special and General Orders and the Military Justice System. You will also learn how to disassemble, reassemble, clean and sight your M-16A rifle. This knowledge provides you the foundation for good soldiering.

Week 2
You'll be taught unarmed combat skills, learn first aid, map reading and land navigation. Your confidence will be put to the test at Victory Tower - where you'll rappel from a 30-foot platform. You'll learn the Army value of Loyalty and the importance of teamwork.

Week 3
You will be introduced to the bayonet and basic bayonet movements. You'll become even more familiar with your M-16A2 rifle as you practice basic rifle marksmanship fundamentals. You'll learn how to defend yourself from chemical attack and continue to improve your fitness through Physical Training. Through examples of the Army's history, you will learn another Army value - Duty.

Week 4
This week emphasizes the Army value of Respect. You respect your fellow Soldiers and your accomplishments as a team. You continue to practice basic rifle marksmanship fundamentals and learn multiple target detection. Your physical strength is put to the test as you take your second diagnostic Army Physical Fitness Test, demonstrating how much better you have become.

Week 5
It's time for you to qualify on your M-16A2 rifle, and when you successfully complete the exercise, you'll be awarded a badge of Marksman, Sharpshooter or Expert. You'll learn the Army value of Selfless Service and how Soldiers have continuously given of themselves throughout the U.S. Army's history.

Week 6
You'll take your third Army Physical Fitness Test and become familiar with a variety of U.S. weapons. You'll learn tactical movement techniques, and as a member of a team, you'll participate in a defensive live-fire exercise. You'll also learn the meaning of the Army value of Honor.

Week 7
Your physical training will pay off as you take your final Army Physical Fitness Test. You're in the best shape of your life and passing the test is no problem. You'll learn another Army value - Integrity - and know the Army Values that have been instilled in you to this point will help you overcome the challenges of the Confidence Course.

Week 8
You'll learn the meaning of Personal Courage, the final Army value. Your soldiering skills are tested during the Warrior Field Training Exercise. All your training comes into focus and you perform each task flawlessly. You're almost finished with training, and you're gaining more confidence and skill every day.

Week 9
You have been empowered by your training, and you are ready to contribute your skills to the team - the U.S. Army. You prepare for graduation with a new sense of purpose. The seven core Army Values are now an integral part of your life. On graduation day, you feel a sense of pride you have never felt before. Your parents, relatives and friends will feel it too. You are a Soldier in the Army of One.

Graduation Dates:

Fort Benning, GA
Fort Jackson, SC

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