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Basic combat training

October 17, 2013

Basic Combat Training, or BCT, is a ten-week training period that teaches identical skills for all MOSs (Military Occupational Specialties). This is because the Army believes that no matter the soldier's specialty, they should all be taught the same basic procedures and skill set so they are ready to properly work together and defend themselves, as well as their fellow soldiers, when necessary.

BCT is divided into three phases. The three phases are each represented by a color: red, white, and blue, for Phase I, II, and III, respectively. BCT trainees are progressively allowed more responsibility, privileges, and independence each time they achieve a new phase of training. Whereas trainees in Phase I are constantly monitored and led around by their drill sergeants, Phase III trainees are largely responsible for making sure tasks are completed correctly and on-time, and keeping themselves on-schedule.

At some Basic Training stations, the current phase is denoted by the color of guidon, a flag carried by the platoon. Following the recruits' successful completion of the Field Training Exercise (a final exercise just before graduation), the Phase III blue guidon is sometimes traded for a tri-color red, white, and blue guidon that symbolizes successful completion of all three BCT phases.

During basic training the main objective is to train and install discipline as well as team work. Even though drill sergeants are there to to teach you how to survive in the military they will try to break you down and build you back up so that you are ready for what ever the military has to throw at you. My advice is to keep your head held high and keep moving forward. Basic training is hard but it is well worth the physical and mental pain that you go through. At the end of all the pain you will get to see your families and graduate as a United States soldier.

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