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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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army boot camp questions

how hard is it. iv visited goarmy.com and watched the videos but come on they would never publicise the negetive stuff.

so i would like to hear from people that have been there. what is it like.

what percentage of your "class" graduated?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 02:02 PM
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I went through in '96. It sucked. I hear its a lot easier now. The Drill Sergeants aren't as hard on trainees as they used to be.

As far as percentage graduated, most of them did. Only the ones that got hurt had to drop back with another class. I think I saw 2 trainees get kicked out.

What other specific questions do you have?

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 02:31 PM
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Jeez, what would I know about this? The standards for graduation haven't really changed in years, but the methods to get there have.

The biggest change that recruits have the most problems getting used to is the fact that they HAVE to do what they are told, when they are told to do it. Going from a situation where they pretty much ran everything to having no say in anything in they do. Rich suburbanite teens had the hardest time getting used to the fact that they didn't run the show. Older people (21+) seem to fare better because real life has strengthened their discipline. And you will never get used to living with 55 other stinky, smelly, tired people.

All of the tasks you will be required to do have been done by thousands before you. Everything is the same, time after time, cycle after cycle, year after year. Basic training changes every couple years to reflect changes needed by Army goals. A lot more field/weapons training is being implemented, especially at AIT,where the majority of people, who qualified 2 months before, can't do the same thing.

The biggest thing you need to do is be physically fit. If you do that, the drills don't harp on you, you probably won't get hurt or sick. Some parts suck (living with 60 people, early hours) some parts are great (WEAPONS..where else can you legally through a couple hand grenades).

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grover
Jeez, what would I know about this?

I don't know. What do you learn doing it one weekend a month?

I'm just messing with you, Chris

Optimus, Basic sucks, but its not long. Marine Boot Camp is almost a month longer. And if you are a reservist or guardsman you get to go home after AIT, instead of devoting your life 24/7 to the army.

I started out in the reserves, but went active duty for almost 6 years. I don't want to offend any part timers on this board, but there's a big difference between a reservist soldier and an active duty soldier. You'll learn a lot more doing it full time, being a soldier every hour of your life for a few years, than you would throwing the uniform on 1 weekend a month.

What kind of MOS are you looking at and what branch of the Army are you considering? I've been Signal, Armor, and Aviation so I can give you an idea what its like.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chills
I don't know. What do you learn doing it one weekend a month?

I'm just messing with you, Chris

Oh, but I teach drill sergeant school on the reserve side of the house and did the drill sergeant role a couple times (and may go do it again). Keep in mind, they are under serious pressure to perform. Keeping track of where 60 soldiers are gets hairy when KP, sick call, hospital all come into play. Any failure on the recruits' part is seen as a failure of the drill. They get up before the recruits, go to bed later and are NEVER sick, even if they are damn near dead from some goofy bug the recruits brought in. A lot of the stress from drills comes from the emphasis that their command chain put on them.

Active duty is, however, way different than reserve side. A lot of problems overseas stem from reservists who shammed on training. Command folks have noticed this and started changes a lot of people (shammers) won't like.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 03:23 PM
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My MOS was 54B and it was combined Basic/AIT! I lived in Ft. McClellan for 6 months, SAME drill sargents the whole time!

It was great in hindsight. Those drill sargents were the MOST dedicated and BEST at what they did, very influential to me.

The hardest thing about basic was the physical aspects. I liked the obstacle courses. Some obstacles were deigned for the groups to fail. Weapons was cool. "Camping" sucked! Food sucked! Waking up early sucked!

The hardest thing about AIT was staying awake!

In my Company there were like 4 people that didn't make it, out of about 130. One I know of for having a warrant out for his arrest. The others I think just failed some of the tests.

Did 3 years; 0.5 Baisc/AIT, 1 year Korea, and 1.5 Ft. Leonard Wood. Got the f*uck out and went back to school to NEVER do anything like what I did in the Army ever again!!

It was a great time though, I'd do it all over again. Got some partying and acting stupid out of the way.

It was the first time I had grits too!

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SPINE
My MOS was 54B and it was combined Basic/AIT! I lived in Ft. McClellan.
I was there in August '93. We got there on a Friday night and had to spend the whole weekend in Reception Station. That had me thinking "Man, Army life is easy!". Monday morning, loaded up on a bus. Drill sergeant got on the bus stating that we need to have safety 1st, 2nd and last and then told us that we had 30 seconds to get off his daggone bus. I was so rattled that I was holding my ID card upside down in Parade rest. The Drill Sergeant looked at my card then turned her head, looked at my card again and then turned her head again. I looked at the card and fixed it. She then said, "I didn't tell you to fix it!". I put it upside down again and she said "I didn't tell you to unfix it". She then had me pushing until she got tired.

I would do boot camp all over again if I had to.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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is it relativly easy to goto one of the specialty schools (ie: airborn school) once you finish your AIT? as in how easy is the process. is there a limit to how many schools you can attend in "X" span of time?

this is my plan provided i pass the physical tonight then boot camp (and im not barred for a handful of other offenses i have).

BCT - AIT (infantry) - airborn school -> defensive language -> pathfinder school - PLDC (if i have accumulated the required rank) - ranger school

Willard: When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:37 AM
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You can get Airborne right after AIT in your contract. If you don't then there's not a good chance you'll go unless you get stationed with the 82nd, especially being infantry.

Also, I highly doubt you'll go to language school after you complete Infantry school. The only way to switch MOS's after you have enlisted is to serve your initial enlistment and then re-enlist for another MOS. Again, if its not in your contract when you sign up you probably won't go.

Pathfinder school is very hard to get into. I was in a Pathfinder Platoon with the 101st and only a couple of us were able to attend the school per fiscal year. Unless you are in a Pathfinder unit there's little chance you'll go. If you can get it in your contract when you sign up, cool. If not, don't count on it.

PLDC is what you'll be sent to automatically when you are promotable to E-5 or have just made the cut off points to E-5. The PLDC you attend will depend on where you are stationed at that time. I went to the one at Ft. Benning.

Ranger School. You can apply for RIP while Infantry. That's probably the easiest MOS to have if you want to become a Ranger. Once you become a Ranger you'll go to Airborne and Air Assualt. There's also a better chance you'll go to Pathfinder school if you become a Ranger.

There are lots of other great schools out there. Air Assualt was awesome. 95% of the soldiers in the 101st go through that school. I did and I loved it. It was hard as hell, harder than Airborne. Plus, there's HALO school. That would be kick ass to go through that. Or Scuba School, or Repel Master School.

Bottom line: if you don't get these schools in your initial contract the don't expect to get to go. It costs your unit money to send you and units are tight with dollars.

I've enlisted 3 times, been a Warrant Officer Candidate, and was also accepted to OCS. I hold 5 MOS's. I've been Active, Reserve, and National Guard. If you'd like to get together so I can answer any questions you have just LMK. I live in Naperville.

Good luck.

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Last edited by Chills; 08-18-2004 at 08:41 AM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:57 AM
 
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Okay, I was in the Marines in '96 and my platoon started with 68 women, when I was dropped for a stress fracture after the crucible there were 37. I loved Boot Camp, it was the most challenging thing I have gone through in my life and would do it again in a minute. Marine Corps boot camp is 13 weeks long. I'm not knocking any other service becuase they are all honorable, but the USMC puts you through some shit! Grover is right about his DS, my Senior Drill Instructor went through surgery for breast cancer and didn't take time off. They are so mean, but have the best interest of everyone first. I to had to push on the quarterdeck as well as play the 6 inches game in the "Pit" (large sand box they put the whole platoon in if you really, really F-up), but I learned some really good values that I apply everyday.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Optimus_P
is it relativly easy to goto one of the specialty schools (ie: airborn school) once you finish your AIT? as in how easy is the process. is there a limit to how many schools you can attend in "X" span of time?

BCT - AIT (infantry) - airborn school -> defensive language -> pathfinder school - PLDC (if i have accumulated the required rank) - ranger school
Chris is right. Depending on your test scores/length of contract, you could get airborne written in. could you get air assault written in to (or instead of)? Language schooling is tough to get into. My brother tried to do that (in effect, it's an MOS change) but couldn't pass the test (and he got 98 on the ASVAB and tons of college prep HS stuff, and some college). If you want to get into the language stuff, talk to your recruiter about getting that MOS first. But they aren't likely to let you change after that, that language school can be long.

Good luck Mike, you should do good there.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 09:28 AM
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Went through in 91 as 19K (M1 Tanker), did ROTC and then National Guard through college.

19K school is Combo Basic and AIT so again you have the same DS the whole 19 weeks, which is both good and bad.

We had some stress fractures fail out. Tankers seem to be prone to this being that they are fat, short, and less into foot driven excersise (running, track, hicking, etc).

However, most of our injuries were from tank accidents like falling, droping hatches on your hand/head, etc.

So out of 125 candidates we graduated 105. Most of the 20 that dropped out were recycled into later classes but still graduated. Even the guy who closed the commanders hatch on his head graduated.

So graduating isn't a problem. Being a leader and proving to others that you are a stand up guy is more difficult.

PLDC is no problem. Although you can really separate the idiots who can't lead people from the guys who really can.

Good luck, shouldn't be a problem as long as you aren't a pussy.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 06:30 PM
 
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i'm going to get si4dr97 (CJ) in here because he just came back from boot camp for the army last Friday. He graduated out of Missouri (MP).
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 10:21 PM
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i could go on and on about basic training......i just got back from it.....its was alright, heres my number man, my experiances are just to much to type, im more than welcome to answer any of your questions....give me a call if you want....847-875-2512
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 11:03 PM
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I went through it in 1974 , i'm sure it's a whole different world now.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 08:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Optimus_P
is it relativly easy to goto one of the specialty schools (ie: airborn school) once you finish your AIT? as in how easy is the process. is there a limit to how many schools you can attend in "X" span of time?

this is my plan provided i pass the physical tonight then boot camp (and im not barred for a handful of other offenses i have).

BCT - AIT (infantry) - airborn school -> defensive language -> pathfinder school - PLDC (if i have accumulated the required rank) - ranger school
Do you have a guaranteed duty station/unit? I went through 11B (Infantry) BCT/AIT in '98. It sucked, but it was a lot of fun. Physically it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, we got smoked A LOT, I just expected much worse.

I had no problems getting a jump school slot because my National Guard unit was a Long Range Surveillance unit, EVERYONE in the unit HAD to go to jump school. That's right, cooks, mechanics, clerks, every swinging dick. Pathfinder is another good school (you always need at least one Pathfinder on the DZ), as is Jumpmaster. If you are going Infantry, you'll have a tough time getting to DLI, unless you are in some special operations unit that has a need for a foreign language (like my good buddy from jump school who was a Marine with radio recon out of Hawaii, he came to jump school straight from DLI).

Same thing with Ranger school, if you're coming from a regular infantry outfit, the slots for Ranger school will be few and far between, but not impossible. It all depends on the MTO&E for your unit. Your best bet to get to Airborne, Pathfinder and Ranger school would be to try to get a duty assignment to one of the Ranger Batts (there are 2 at Benning, 1 at Ft. Stewart in Savannah, GA and 1 in Ft. Lewis, WA). DLI will be a tough slot to get no matter what (unless you don't go Infantry).

Have you already signed your initial enlistment contract?
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 09:04 AM
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One thing about Ranger school is you have to do RIP first.

Ranger Indoctrination Program.

My friend was in that but didn't make is because he couldn't swim with all that gear and his M16.

He said it was just physically demanding.

He made it sound real hard.

I guess that's what weeds out the weak from the strong.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 09:36 AM
 
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Yes, you have to go through RIP first, it's really just zero week of Ranger school. The Combat Water Survival Test is tough, but if you practice you won't have any problems. If you're coming from one of the Ranger Batts, they'll make sure you're ready.

Optimus, give us some more info about what stage of the enlistment process you're in, and what some of the specifics of your contract are. We'll be able to give you much more relevant answers at that point...
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 12:08 PM
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I think one of the main reasons why I didn't wanna join the service is the inflexibility of changing "jobs" if you find out the one you're in isn't what you want. If there wasn't the possibility I wouldn't be stuck for 3 years doing something I don't like, then I might think twice about it. I can't even hang onto the same bike for longer than 3 months
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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i havent had the chance to talk with a army counsler yet. so far iv taken the ASVAB and the physical. I am waiting for some paperwork to come back befor we can put my packet together and send it away for the "OK" so i can talk with a counsler and sign a contract.

I would say im 45-50% done with everything so far. Now it is just the paperwork.

thanks for alot of the information guys its deffinetly been very helpful.

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 09:10 AM
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If things get too tough, just whip out your "Stress Card".

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:24 AM
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If things get too tough, just whip out your "Stress Card".
That's a myth. While they do (at least, last I heard) hand those out, it does not entitle you to any break (at least, in any battalion I worked under). The idea was to show the recruits that mental stress has a physical reaction (hot, sweaty, pulse racing). I've never actually seen them.

Maybe they do that at one of those pansy BCT places like Jackson or Sam Houston. You are not getting that stuff at Binning. Actually, one of my DS buddies was told to calm down at Binning, she was too rough on them. She went to Leonard Wood and had to kick it up a notch.

Please, if this thread keeps going I might just offer myself up to my old unit and hit the trail for a couple weeks

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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:40 AM
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Chris, the post is Fort BENNING...

And I've heard stories of stress cards but I've never seen one. Maybe just another myth.

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Last edited by Chills; 08-20-2004 at 10:42 AM.
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2007, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPINE View Post
One thing about Ranger school is you have to do RIP first.

Ranger Indoctrination Program.

My friend was in that but didn't make is because he couldn't swim with all that gear and his M16.

He said it was just physically demanding.

He made it sound real hard.

I guess that's what weeds out the weak from the strong.
bring this thread back from the dead, but, just got out of ranger school. RIP was Joke. got my Ranger Tab! going to selections( Special Forces try outs) after this next deployment! lol,ok, just thought ide share
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