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United States Army
Basic Training Operating Instructions

Family Day

1.  Reference:  TRADOC REG 350-6; 2-46 IN SOP

2.  Soldiers will graduate on Thursday morning or afternoon depending on the availability of the band.

                a.  If graduation is on Thursday morning then normally it begins at 0900.  Family Day will be conducted the day before graduation (Wednesday) and be followed by an on-post pass.

                b.  If graduation is on Thursday afternoon, then it normally begins at 1300 and Family Day will take place on Wednesday morning.

                                 (1)  The Family Day presentation will be composed of funny skits (morning wake up, pugil), a humorous display of PT (at the beginning and end of Basic Training), and bayonet skills, and a drill demonstration by the winning platoon of the March Off.  There may be static displays of weapons, NBC and MREs.  The company will coordinate for Otto Gym and use its own wireless PA system.  Family members show up early, so consider seting up a VCR and TVs to show the cycle tape or, if it is not available, values training videos.  The presentation will close with a safety briefing, explaination of guidelines for soldiers on pass and suggested activities.  Provide post maps from MWR.  Family Day will last no more than one hour.

                                (2)  After the presentation, the soldiers will return to the company, change, pick up a sack lunch, and sign out of platoon for an on post pass.  Uniform for on and off post pass is Class A or B (seasonal).

 3.  During the summer months, graduation will be at Victory Field and in the winter months, it will be at Otto Gym or Sadowski Field House.  Lay these facilities on as inclement weather sites.

                a.  For large fills, Sadowski Field House will be used instead of Otto Gym.

                b.  Key leader rehearsals will occur on Monday and Tuesday.  The entire company will rehearse on Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.

4.  If it is a two company graduation, one company will be identified as in charge of the graduation and will arrange for all details including set up and providing the guest speaker.

5.  After graduation, soldiers will march back to the company to change and sign out on pass.

                a.  Only immediate families may sign out for their soldiers for an off post pass immediately following graduation from their drill sergeants.  Fiancees, girlfriends, friends are NOT authorized to sign for their soldier -  ONLY immediate family.

                                (1)  Drill sergeants will give a safety briefing to all soldiers prior to going out on pass; the commander will give a safety briefing to family members prior to leaving.

                                (2)  Recall formation for those soldiers going off post is at 0400 on Thursday to complete outprocessing and ship (depends on shipping time).

                b.  Unescorted on post passes are authorized for all other soldiers; their recall time is 2100.

6.  Memorabilia Sales.

                a.  As a courtesy, the company conducts memorabilia sales to soldiers’ families.

                b.  No drill sergeant or cadre may sell these items to prevent the appearance of inappropriate pressure on the soldier to buy them.

                c.  Company family members and cadre from other companies, in civilian clothing, may sell to the soldiers’ families.

                d.  Soldiers are not authorized to buy items but may get someone else to buy something for them, such as another soldier’s family members.

                e.  The Supply Sergeant will coordinate with the battalion S-4 to obtain these memorabilia items and the cash box.  The Supply Sergeant will also return the cash box and remaining items back to the S-4.

7.  The first sergeant will coordinate with other units for assistance in providing soldiers as ushers and awards bearers.  The goal is for all graduating privates to participate in the ceremony.  If not possible, graduates may be used as ushers and awards bearers but will be on the field and not separate (i.e., roadguards).

8.  Get a list from the privates of any special guests (a family member who is an O-5 or an E-8 or above, either currently on active duty or retired, or a civilian of similar position in federal service).  These guests are invited to sit in the reserved seating area.  Also, soldiers receiving awards should have their families in reserved seating as well.

9.  The battalion S-3 shop provides the sound system for graduation.  The company uses its wireless sound system for Family Day and Awards Supper.

10.  The IET Family Dinner is held at the Fort Knox Leader Club on Wednesday night (Family Day).  Invitations are sent directly to family members.  This is a nice meal, and the only on post alternative to Burger King or the PX Food Court.  It is a full buffet and the cost is around $5.00 for the soldier and $10.00 for each family member.  Because invitations are sent directly to family members, the soldiers often do not know about it.  The Family Dinner is a unit event, and the Commander is the host.  The Commander will attend the dinner to greet family members and ensure the buffet line is well stocked.  Cadre members can attend; price for cadre is the same as for soldiers.  Uniform for cadre is Class A.

11.  All soldiers return to the barracks after Family Day by 2100 hours.

12.  After graduation, soldiers may again sign out for an off post pass (if family come to graduation).  They must return no later than 0400 Friday morning to ship to AIT.  If the soldiers are going to AIT on Fort Knox, they may get a weekend pass that weekend.  Call the AIT commander or first sergeant to confirm this before making any promises.  Soldiers shipping to AIT on another post (i.e., Aberdeen Proving Ground) usually do not get a weekend pass until their fourth week of AIT.

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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.

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