Basic Combat Training requires a lot of physical and mental exercises that instill the Army‘s values in every soldier. Once recruits get to basic training, their days are very regimented. Before arriving, though, many recruits don’t know how to prepare for the experience.
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What Recruits Should Bring to Basic Combat Training
The US Army will provide some supplies during Basic Training. They don’t need to worry about food and basic toiletries. Soldiers, however, should expect to bring personal items that will help them get through this grueling period.
Some of the personal items soldiers should bring include
- Black shower shoes. Yes, some drill sergeants will really insist that your shower shoes are black.
- Foot powder. You have to keep your feet as dry as possible to avoid infections and fungi.
- Toothpaste. The chow at Basic Training isn’t all that delicious. A sweet toothpaste might be the only flavor you honestly enjoy during your stay.
- Stamps. You can’t have enough stamps. Even if you don’t use them all to send letters, you can trade them like currency for ill-prepared recruits who didn’t think ahead.
Start Waking Up Early
Soldiers wake up at 5 AM during Basic Training. Half an hour later, they’re outside undergoing intense physical training. If you’re not accustomed to waking up early, you might as well start now.
Waking up at 5 AM several weeks before you go into training will help your body adjust. Just getting up early, however, isn’t going to prepare you. You can’t just sit around the kitchen eating breakfast and watching TV. Head outside for a run or do some intense calisthenics.
Get Your Hair Cut Before Basic Training
New recruits are going to have incredibly short hair during Basic Training. Those who hold onto their civilian locks as long as possible, though, will probably get the worst haircuts of their lives. The Army’s barbers aren’t interested in making soldiers look good. If you even have the smallest shred of vanity, get your hair cut before you go into the service.
Visit Your Doctor
Your doctor’s orders don’t mean much once you enter the Army. When you enter Basic Training, you immediately fall under the care of Army physicians. Even if you walk in with basic prescription medication, the Army doctors will take it away and give you a new prescription (if they deem it necessary).
So, why should you visit your doctor? To make sure you’re up-to-date on your shots. When it comes to getting an injection from a family doctor who has known you for years and an Army doctor who sticks 100 guys a day, you want the family doctor.
Should You Get in Shape?
You can spend months getting in shape before Basic Combat Training. Dropping a few pounds and building endurance will definitely help. Nothing, however, will really prepare you for this level of training. You’ll come out of Basic Combat Training as a completely new physical specimen no matter how much time you spend in the gym before entering the service.
Basic Training is tough. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare, however, can make your ten weeks much easier to endure.