Boot camp can be a scary experience. Here's how to make that once-in-a-lifetime experience a little easier:
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- Start getting into shape before you leave. Boot camp is physically intensive. Work especially on running and pushups.
- If you know someone who's been in the military, ask him/her to teach you some simple marching and facing movements.
- Memorize your particular service's rank structure (both officer and enlisted) before you leave.
- Inform your family and friends that it's very important that they write often. Boot camp can be very lonely.
- Practice making your bed with "hospital corners."
- Don't arrive "standing out in the crowd." Cut your hair short, and wear conservative clothes. You don't want the D.I.s to remember you.
- Bring ONLY what is on the list. Anything extra will be confiscated and will give the D.I. an excuse to chew you out.
- Go in with the right attitude. Remember, EVERYONE messes up in boot camp, and EVERYONE gets chewed out. The "real military" won't be this way.
- Never, ever, make excuses.
- Do exactly what you're told to do, when you're told to do it, and how you're told to do it. Don't be inventive.
- When speaking to a D.I., always stand at rigid attention, eyes locked forward.
- Don't volunteer. You're much better off in boot camp if the D.I. hardly remembers your name. Those who are "remembered" often get "special attention."
- If you're "on time," then you're late. Always be where you're supposed to be five minutes early.
- Remember, boot camp is mostly a mind-game. It's designed to tear-down your civilian self and replace it witha military soldier (sailor, marine, airman).
- Read everything you can about the military service you're going into. The more you learn before-hand, the less you'll have to learn in boot camp (where you'll be tested).