United States Army
Basic Training Operating Instructions
NOTE: Completion of both courses is mandatory. The Obstacle course is a graded event, and 70% of the core obstacles must be completed. It occurs twice during the cycle, and must be completed once. Every portion of the Confidence Course must be attempted.
1. References: BCT POI 21-114, Annex U and V; FM 21-20; 1ATB memorandum 1 JAN 99.
2. Uniform for these events is soft cap/campaign hat. Privates will ground gear, empty their pockets, and remove any jewelry and belts prior to negotiating the course.
3. All soldiers will stretch prior to and after concluding negotiating the course.
4. A member of the company level of command will walk the course and check the serviceability of all obstacles prior to the beginning of the course. Check landline to Range Control and inspect the latrine.
5. Obstacle Course Execution.
a. Drill Sergeants will bring their platoon through the course, with cadre demonstrating the proper technique to negotiate each obstacle.
b. After demonstration, the platoon sergeant will:
(1) Bring their platoon members to the start point.
(2) Position drill sergeants throughout the course to monitor proper execution.
(3) Send soldiers through the course in 3-4 man teams, executing the course properly and at combat speed.
c. After all platoons have gone through the course, each platoon will select ten of their soldiers to compete in the obstacle competition.
d. The order of the platoons will be based on their order of completing their practice. The first platoon to finish their practice will be the first one to negotiate the course for the competition.
e. Prior to the competition all cadre will be briefed on their position as the line judge, rules and penalties.
(1) The line judge positions are: Rope, Wall, Hurdle, Zig Zag, Tunnel/Low Rail, Fence and Cargo Net Climb, Cargo Net Descent and Parallel Bars.
(2) The rope must be climbed without assistance by the platform (incidental contact is not a penalty) and the top of the pole must be touched by the climber.
(3) All three walls may be used for the competition.
(4) Climb up and down the cargo net. No flips or jumps are allowed.
(5) Every bar must be touched on the parallel bars.
f. A member of the company level command will be the official timekeeper. An alternate timekeeper will also be designated.
g. All line judges will post prior to the competition. The competition begins when the timekeeper says GO and ends when the last man breaks the plane above the last sandbag line.
h. This time will be adjusted based on the penalties assessed; the line judges decision is final.
i. Each soldier must attempt to properly negotiate the obstacle twice. If unable to negotiate the obstacle correctly then the line judge will assess a 10 second penalty.
j. After all platoons have finished and the times adjusted by the penalties then the timekeeper will announce the winner. The Company Commander will bring the streamer and award it to the winning platoon before they march back to the company.
6. Confidence Course.
a. Mats will be placed on the following obstacles: Inverted Rope Descent, Wall Hanger, Skyscraper, and Confidence Climb.
b. Mats are inside the locked shack at the beginning of the Confidence Course.
c. Range Control will open and lock the shack; call on the landline attached to the shack. Check the latrine for cleanliness and serviceability.
d. A member of the company level command will walk the course prior to execution and brief the drill sergeants which obstacles to use.
e. Drill Sergeants will post themselves at or on each obstacle to serve as demonstrator and safety.
f. Soldiers leaders will stretch their soldiers prior to execution and lead their soldiers from obstacle to obstacle in a pre-established pattern set by the cadre.
g. There is no competition during the Confidence Course.
Note: These Operating Instructions were derived from a set of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for a United States Army Infantry Basic Training Battalion. While SOPs might differ somewhat from batallion to batallion, it should give a basic idea of the instructions that Drill Sergeants and basic training staff members operate under.