Today, I want to share five tips on how to survive Army Basic Training. Although I went through Basic Training 17 years ago (January 1996), I feel I can still offer you some tips to help you survive Army Basic Training. Listed below are my top 5 tips. I would love if you would chime in and leave a few comments of your own.
# 1 Get in Shape
My first tip to survive Army Basic Training is to get in shape. It sounds like common sense, but a lot of new recruits don’t exercise much before Basic Training. I think that’s a big mistake. Even if your weight is well within standards, that does not mean you are in shape. At a minimum, do some running, jogging, circuit drills, long walks, push-ups and sit-ups before you ship out. I suggest you start exercising at least 90 days prior and preferably 180 days prior to your ship date. If you arrive at Basic Training already in shape, you are doing yourself a great favor.
# 2 Check Your Attitude at Home
If you have an attitude, leave it at home. Regardless of your upbringing, your social surroundings, your baggage, or friends and family, Basic Training is no place for an attitude. So get that chip off your shoulder and learn something called RESPECT. I’ve seen people with attitudes at Basic Training and nothing good ever happens because of it. If you have an attitude at Basic Training two things will happen (1) your Drill Sergeants will have a field day with you and (2) life will be much more difficult than it needs to be. Humble yourself and don’t act like (or think) that you are better than anyone else.
# 3 Know What to Expect
Educate yourself about what to expect in Army Basic Training. Watch some YouTube videos, read articles like this one, and talk with recent graduates. Make a list of questions and get the answers. Learn everything you can about Basic Training ahead of time so you can be prepared. And remember this, the purpose of Basic Training is to break you down as a civilian and then to rebuild you into a Soldier. Basic Training is 90% mental (my opinion) and 10% physical. So just realize this ahead of time and life will be a lot easier for you. You will get yelled at daily and do lots of push-ups!
# 4 Practice the APFT and Exercises
This goes hand in hand with getting in shape. Practice the APFT. Have your recruiter give you a diagnostic APFT several times before you leave. Practice doing push-ups, sit-ups and the 2-mile run. When you get to Basic Training you don’t want to be the weakest link. Get in shape ahead of time and get good at the APFT events.
# 5 Be a Team Player
Please realize that there is no “I” in team. For some people, Basic Training is the first time they have ever been part of a team. If you don’t have experienced playing in team sports or participating in a team, this can be difficult. Just realize that when you ship out, it’s no longer about you! Learn how to help your buddy when they are in need. Learn how to help the team succeed! Don’t go to Basic Training thinking that YOU are the only thing that matters. Simply put, be a team player.
These are my top 5 tips on how to survive Army Basic Training. Do these five things before you ship out and you will have a much better experience at Basic Training. What are your thoughts on how to survive Army Basic Training? Leave a comment and let us know.