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Soldiers at Army basic training

Army Basic Training: What to Expect

Basic training is the first step in preparing you to be a soldier. It starts with basic combat training or Army boot camp. Then comes specialized training in your career field — or you may go to Officer Candidate School to master Army leadership skills.

In basic training, you’ll learn teamwork and discipline, and how to handle a weapon, rappel and march. The work is physically and mentally demanding. You’ll experience stress and you’ll test your limits. Know what to expect and arrive prepared.

Boot Camps & Officer Candidate Schools May Be Impacted By COVID-19

Contact your recruiter or commander for the most accurate, up-to-date information.

Basic combat training locations

The Army has five basic combat training locations:

  • Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Fort Jackson, South Carolina
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • Fort Knox, Kentucky

How your training location is determined:

  • Enlisted members: Your initial training will be followed with more specialized training at the same installation. This will determine your basic training location. For example, infantry and armor specialties complete basic and advanced training at Fort Benning. Military police and combat engineers complete both trainings at Fort Leonard Wood.
  • Female recruits: Your basic combat training location will be Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Sill or Fort Jackson. These installations have gender-integrated training.
  • Plan to become an officer? You’ll complete your basic training at Fort Benning, then go straight into Officer Candidate School.

Basic training schedule

This is the 10-week basic combat training schedule. It’s the same for the Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard:

Expect paperwork, physical exams, immunizations, haircut, uniforms — and your first physical fitness test. If you don’t pass this test, you’ll be placed in the fitness training company for additional training. Then you’ll have two chances per week to pass the test.

The civilian begins to become the solider. You’ll learn:

  • Fundamentals of soldiering
  • Core Army values
  • Army traditions and ethics
  • What it means to be a solider
  • You’ll also take the Army physical fitness test. Starting October 2020, this will be replaced by the Army Combat Fitness Test.

The focus is on:

  • Self-discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Combat skills
  • Night training
  • Hand-to-hand combat and weapons training
  • Basic rifle marksmanship
  • Physical fitness
  • Tip: The best way to make fitness training easier is to work harder.

You’ll cover:

  • Additional weapons training and rifle marksmanship
  • Overview of convoy operations
  • Military operations in urban terrain
  • Field training exercises
  • The final step of the Blue Phase: Pass all 212 tasks of the end-of-cycle test.

Celebrate. You officially graduate from basic combat training. You’ll get a day with your family.

Learn more about basic combat training on the Army website.

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