United States Army Basic Training
United States Army Basic Training (also known as Initial Entry Training, IET) is the
Carried out at several different Army posts around the United States, Basic Training is designed to be highly intense and challenging. The challenge comes as much from the difficulty of physical training as it does from the psychological adjustment to an unfamiliar way of life. Basic Training is divided into two parts: Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT). BCT consists of the first ten weeks of the total Basic Training cycle and is identical for all Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard recruits.
AIT instead consists of the remainder of the total Basic Training period and is where recruits train in the specifics of their chosen fields. As such, AIT is different for each available Army career path, or
A typical day in Basic Training generally follows this schedule. Times can change depending on location, commanding officers or when drill sergeants see a need for variation.
|4:30 a.m.||First Call||Wake up and perform personal morning tasks. For males, shaving is mandatory every morning.|
|5:00 a.m.||Physical Training (PT)||Line up in company area, perform morning physical training (|
|6:30 a.m.||Training||Begin the day's scheduled training exercises.|
|12:30 p.m.||Training||Continue the day's scheduled training exercises.|
|5:30 p.m.||Drill sergeant time||Time for drill sergeants to talk to the recruits about any subject they may think requires attention.|
Mail call is also performed during this time.
|8:00 p.m.||Personal time||Time for recruits to engage in personal activities, such as writing letters, doing laundry, showering, or simply relaxing.|
Recruits may also catch up on platoon duties during this time, such as barracks cleaning or wall locker organization.
Every night, at least two recruits from the platoon must be awake at any given time, patrolling their barracks area, watching for fires, cleaning the barracks and watching for recruits attempting to leave the barracks area. They wake the next pair of recruits at the end of their one-hour shift. This duty is called fire guard.
Fire guard stems back to the days of wooden barracks and wood-burning stoves. The fire guard would watch the stoves to make sure that the barracks would not catch fire. Since open flames are not generally used to heat sleeping areas any longer, present-day fire guard during Basic Training is more an exercise in discipline than a practical necessity, although if the weather gets cold enough, some groups conducting overnight outdoor training will still use a
For many hands-on instructional sessions, recruits are transported to other locations on-post that specialize in the given subject. For instance, a class on the use of the
The Split Training Option (also known as STO or Split-Op) is an enlistment option available for