Joining The Military: Army Basic Training And Infantry School

Recruits headed down range at Ft. Benning GA have a wonderful surprise waiting for them. Not only will they get the wonderful opportunity to complete their Army Basic Training, but, more than likely, they will be headed for One Station Unit Training, meaning they get a full 14 weeks with their Drill Sgts. If the thought of hot days, unpredictable winter weather and the glazed stare of an infantry instructor aren’t enough to bring the recruit back to reality, his/her first meeting with their training Cadre certainly will.

Ft. Benning is located an hour outside of Atlanta Ga, and is home of the United States Army Rangers, School of Infantry and Airborne training. The information provided by the Army at the time of enlistment provides ample explanations of what occurs during Basic Training and the expectations for successful completion, this article will address a few of the topics that aren’t covered but are on every recruits mind.

What Happened to My Drill Sergeant?

Welcome to Basic Training for the Infantry. Recruits are often shocked by the sudden change between the Drill Sgts at reception, whose job it is to insure recruits are prepared for training by having equipment, need to know lessons and not being injured while waiting, but the instructors who arrive early in the morning of the first day of Basic are not of the same mindset.

First, these new Sgts can’t hear. Recruits can yell, but it won’t do any good. These Sgts can’t hear a word, but they can see, and they will see everything. Every nose that is scratched, body weight shift in formation, or an improper overlapping of hands at the parade rest will be observed punished and corrected, but most recruits learn to adapt quickly to the new rules and regulations.

Why am I on a Cattle Truck?

The only answer is shock and maybe the personal enjoyment that recruits will have when looking back on their training. Other such fun events lye ahead for the recruit, from the first ruck march, to the morning they are allowed to fully eat to be followed by the gas chamber, to never understanding why recruits aren’t allowed the eat the candy in the MREs. The point of Basic Training is to train, and the United States does it better than anyone, but recruits learn early to just accept the fact that the pain is coming and one day they will understand the method.

I Knew There Was a Fire Guard, but Battalion, CQ Desk and Laundry Duty?

Fire guard isn’t the only cause for lack of sleep, and there is very little of the precious dream time to be had already. Squads may make it back to the bay by a reasonable hour, but after instruction, cleaning, personal hygiene and equipment prep, sleep is at a minimum.

Why do I hate My Battle Buddy?

Recruits don’t hate each other, but several weeks in, little arguments will arise. Eventually the tempo slows down and recruits are left with each other for longer periods. But with little sleep, high stress and the physical demands of training, conflicts that normally wouldn’t arise do, and only character, patience and learning will prevail. Older recruits should remember that for many, Basic is the first time other recruits have ever been away from home or on their own.

Senior Drill Sgt, Please Come Back

Perhaps the best and worst part of OSUT is the infantry training. While Recruits will find it exciting, they may not enjoy the new harsh discipline from the new instructor cadre, but should hold their heads up, Infantry is why they showed up in the first place.

Basic Training is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it is difficult regardless of physical conditioning. For many, it represents the first time they have ever been alone or on their own, but with a little military bearing and a whole lot of being singled out, recruits will leave Basic Combat training with a deep sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.