What to expect from basic training in the military?
Congratulations! You’ve signed on the dotted line and devoted yourself to serving your country. That’s no small feat. Joining the U.S. military is one of this nation’s most notable acts of service. It’s a life-changing experience that will shape the rest of your life. But before you embark on your military career, you must undergo basic training. It is here that you will learn all the traditions, tactics, and methods of becoming a soldier. However, before you go out and grab yourself a 27/p flight suit, it’s worth noting that not everything is sunshine and rainbows.
Basic training is emotionally, physically, and mentally demanding. So, it helps to know what to expect. The U.S. military has six branches of service: the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force. Each branch of service has its own training program, tailoring the curriculum to the specialized nature of each role in the military. However, there are certain aspects you can expect regardless of the branch you choose. Here’s what basic training in the military looks like.
Timeframe of basic training
Regardless of the branch of service, basic training generally takes a couple of weeks. Each branch has its own schedule and takes a different amount of time. According to military.com, military boot camps take:
- Army basic combat training – 10 weeks.
- Marine corps recruit training – 12 weeks.
- Navy boot camp – 7 – 9 weeks.
- Air Force basic military training – 8.5 weeks.
- Coast Guard recruit training – 8 weeks.
How to prepare
As you prepare to leave for basic training, you are probably wondering what items you should take and what you ought to leave behind. The choice is entirely up to you, though your recruiter will advise you on what you need and what is inappropriate. Nevertheless, there are certain items you can’t do without. For one, you will appreciate some foot powder since your feet will be spending quite a lot of time in combat boots. Bring a couple of pictures of your loved ones to ease the homesickness. A cheap watch can also make for an excellent personal alarm clock.
Physical demands are daunting.
Before joining the military, you will be required to pass a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) that is specific to each service. However, that doesn’t make the journey any less brutal, especially during the first few days. In the upcoming days of the bootcamp, try to either improve or at least maintain your fitness levels. Hold regular workout sessions to stay in shape, eat right to maintain a healthy weight, and drink plenty of water to replace the fluids you lose through sweating. This will be critical to your success during training.
Homesickness is unavoidable
Basic military training is unlike anything you have ever experienced. You will have to adhere to a strict routine, and you’re training, and drill instructors will have absolute control over every aspect of your life. It’s by design, really – a way of separating the wheat from the chaff. For this reason, you will likely feel homesick and wish that you were with your loved ones back at home. But remember, basic training is only a couple of weeks, and the benefits will make the experience so worth it.
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