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Old 10-13-2012, 04:07 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,234,347 times
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I just graduated Basic Training yesterday, at Fort Sill, OK. I'm actually sitting in the airport, headed to AIT as I type this... Feel free to ask me any Basic Training-related questions while it's still fresh in my mind. It was definitely an outstanding experience, and was nothing like what I expected.

I'll try to check this thread as often as I can. Not sure what to expect at AIT, but I've been told I'll be going on a 4-day pass, then sitting in reception until my cycle starts.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:35 AM
 
Location: The South
4,532 posts, read 3,166,825 times
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I took basic in 1957. Do you still have the General Orders for guard duty?
Now, some free advise, keep a diary of your Army experience. You and your family will one day appreciate it.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,133 posts, read 38,883,622 times
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Congratulations cab591! I completed Basic in 1968. My question, "If you were to do it again, what one thing would you do differently?"

And yes, a journal/diary is a good idea.


Rich
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,234,347 times
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Southern man -- The three general orders?

1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post, and quit my post only when properly relieved.
2. I will obey my special orders, and perform all my duties in a military manner.
3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.


Yup, still got those. We've also got the soldiers creed, and the Army Song to know.

I kept a sort of log of what we did in Basic. Definitely not a daily journal, but I can at least keep the days / weeks straight.



Poncho_NM -- If I were to do it again, and do it differently, I'd do more PT in my own time. Honestly, the Army most likely isn't like it was when you guys went through. We hardly did any PT in the mornings, because they couldn't risk people "getting injured". When "smoking" us, they could only do a certain number of repetitions of an exercise, as per regulation. I wish they would run us more, and have us do more push-ups.

Also, if I could do it again I would've put moleskin on my feet before the 16k. I didn't get a single blister all through Basic. Half way through the 16k (10 miles) road march, I was stepping on a blister the size of a quarter on the ball of my right foot. Wound up with large ones on the back of both heels as well. They all healed up in about a week, but still uncomfortable.

One thing I did fairly well, that I wish others would've done from the start, is sit down, shut up, and execute. If somebody asks you to do something, DO IT. Don't ask "Why?" or sit around seeing if someone else can do it. Most of the "details" you'll be put on are easy work, and keep you from sitting around bored. And, by being the first person to jump up every time the Drill Sergeant says "I need two soldiers", you're more likely to graduate as an honor grad, or get a promotion at the end of Basic.

Two things I wish I did:

- Got my bachelors degree before enlisting. First off, the pay is better as a Specialist. As well, the Army is making it harder to get promotions above lower level enlistment. You pretty much need a bachelors degree just to become an NCO now. Having a bachelors in-hand would make advancements quicker and easier. Instead, I've got to work on my degree while in the military now -- not impossible, just not as quick.

- Enlisted as Active Duty. For the reason above (going to college, finishing my bachelors), I decided to go Army Reserve. I fully plan on going Active when I get my degree, but after 2.5 months of living on a base, running on base-time, and having a fairly structured life, I've gotten pretty used to it. I'm sure I won't regret my Reserves decision once I have my degree and all, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for Active Duty now.



By the way, if someone wants to go the route I'm going, and do reserves while you finish college, ask your recruiter about "Simultaneous Membership Program", also known as SMP. Basically, it's a dual enlistment. You enlist in a Reserves unit, complete training (Basic and AIT), and go home to your duty station and drill weekends. Go to a college, and enlist in the ROTC program. This is considered a second enlistment. You instantly get promoted to Cadet, can't get deployed, and when you finish the ROTC program you become a 2nd Lieutenant. Best part? Normal ROTC programs are 4 years long, but because you'll have already gone through Basic training, you only have 2 years of ROTC. I'm already half way towards a bachelors degree, so in two 1/2 years (still have AIT, hence the 1/2 year) I'll be a 2LT. From there, you can do a conditional release (if your reserve unit will allow it) and switch to Active Duty.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: The South
4,532 posts, read 3,166,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Southern man -- The three general orders?

1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post, and quit my post only when properly relieved.
2. I will obey my special orders, and perform all my duties in a military manner.
3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.


.
I think when I was in, there were eleven. I can only remember the 7th. "To talk to no one except in the line of duty" The silent seventh.

Any kind of log you can keep will be good. I kept no notes and now I have been trying to reconstruct what I did for three years. My son only knows I was in the Army. What got me started was my Dad was in WW1 in France in 1918, in the Rainbow Div. and he never told me anything about it and I was too busy or dumb to ask.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,192 posts, read 4,234,611 times
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Congratulations!

I'm currently stationed at Sill for the Captains Career Course.

Saw a lot of your fellow graduates on Thursday and Friday in your ASU's.

My thought is that if you already have a 4 year degree completed, definitely try for OCS instead of enlisting.

Officer and enlisted have 2 very different jobs and roles.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Army_Guy, that would've been our group. We had family day on Thursday (wearing long sleeve ASUs, no jacket, however many of us grabbed our trench coats) and graduation on Friday (obviously, full ASUs). I was E 1/40th, our building was right inside the gate on the training side of post -- first Battalion you come to coming down Sheridan Rd.

And I would agree -- if you already have a degree, might as well try for OCS. There were a few Specialists in our Battery (someone who enlisted with a bachelors degree or higher, for people thinking of enlisting here)... The general opinion among them was that they wanted the experience of the enlisted side of the Army before applying for OCS. It's definitely a path to go down, but personally I would've just gone straight for OCS.



I'll throw this in real quick -- AIT is NOTHING like I expected, either. Today is my first full day here, and I'm shocked by all the freedoms. Everyone is complaining, though, because they just put a more restrictive policy in place last week here. As long as I have a battle buddy, I can go to the Shoppette, various places to eat, the gym, and more whenever I feel like it. Obviously weekdays are going to be a bit more restrictive. Today, there's even a "Bike and Bands" show going on right outside my barracks. A couple people on dirtbikes are jumping a ramp built in the middle of the street, and there's live music going. The grounds look more like a college campus than a military installation, and the "barracks" are just dorm rooms -- 2 soldiers to a room, and two rooms share 1 latrine. It's pretty nice. We even have cable TV and high speed internet in the rooms.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,192 posts, read 4,234,611 times
Reputation: 9431
Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
And I would agree -- if you already have a degree, might as well try for OCS. There were a few Specialists in our Battery (someone who enlisted with a bachelors degree or higher, for people thinking of enlisting here)... The general opinion among them was that they wanted the experience of the enlisted side of the Army before applying for OCS.
Well they're going to be in a world of hurt when they find out that the Army is only admitting 200 in service OCS slots for FY13.

That's not the way to do it because their unit has to approve them going to OCS. If they suck, they're not getting sent and if they're good, the unit doesn't want to lose a good NCO. The unit is also going to need time, think a couple years minimum, to evaluate them.

Where is AIT at?
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:26 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,569,558 times
Reputation: 2057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern man View Post
I think when I was in, there were eleven. I can only remember the 7th. "To talk to no one except in the line of duty" The silent seventh.

Any kind of log you can keep will be good. I kept no notes and now I have been trying to reconstruct what I did for three years. My son only knows I was in the Army. What got me started was my Dad was in WW1 in France in 1918, in the Rainbow Div. and he never told me anything about it and I was too busy or dumb to ask.
The Naval services still teach 11:
General Orders for Sentries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
The United States Army now uses a condensed form of orders, with three basic instructions. Previously it used the same Eleven General Orders as the Marines.
Then there is the unofficial 12th "Walk my post from flank to flank, and take no $#!+ from any rank"
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,234,347 times
Reputation: 1417
@Army_Guy: Yeah, that's why I'm doing SMP. Reserves + ROTC seemed like a better option. And, AIT is at Fort Huachuca (Military Intel guy, here). I'm stuck here till sometime next Spring.

@macjr82: Damn, 11? I'm glad I only had to learn 3... I could probably pull off 11, but there were plenty of people at my Basic who had problems with just the 3!
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