1. Careers

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

United States Army
Basic Training Operating Instructions

Field Training Exercise

1.  Reference:  TRADOC REG 350-6; BCT POI 21-114, Annex Z, Presentation FTX_BRF3.PPT and STAND_TO.PPT for additional detail.

2.  The FTX takes place the week before graduation.

                a.  Collect construction material to build at least one fighting position per platoon to standard.

                b.  Request 3 MRE meals per day per soldier.  Ration sequence is M-M-M.

                c.  Platoon sergeants must maintain an inventory of all their sensitive items and provide a copy to the Supply Sergeant who will keep a master inventory of all sensitive items.  A Sensitive Items Report will be reported by the platoon sergeant to the commander after stand to and prior to lights out; usually around 0600 and 2200.

3.  The FTX is a three phase operation that is normally from Monday to Thursday.

4.  Phase I - Preparation

                                a.  Confirm location of the FTX on the 129 form.

                b.  The cadre will conduct a leader's recon NLT 3 weeks prior to the FTX and mark their platoon areas.  The cadre will conduct another leader's recon with any new ECC cadre.

                                (1)  The commander will explain the concept of operation and assign platoon responsibilities.

                                (2)  The platoon sergeants will backbrief their plan to the commander for their assigned FTX responsibilities.

                                (3)  The company commander will brief the battalion commander on the FTX plan NLT 2 weeks prior to the FTX, and complete the OPORD with distribution to the battalion S-3 and the commander.

                                (4)  3 weeks out:  Training NCO coordinates porta potties with the S-4, provides dates, location, and grid.  Coordinates permission from Range Control to erect a road barrier and ASP, dig fighting positions, and erect wire; provide dates, location and grid.  Coordinates medic support from MEDDAC and a religious service from the chaplain; provides dates, location and grid.  Request AN/PVS-7s from Holder Complex and test them before going to the field.

c.  Prior to the FTX the drill sergeants will reinforce the following skills:

                                (1)  Set up of shelter half including a practical exercise.

                                (2)  Battle Drills including:  Reaction to Ambush;  Reaction to Indirect Fire;  Reaction to Enemy Contact.

                                (3)  Patrolling Techniques including:  Patrol base fundamentals; Movement techniques (wedge, Ranger file);  Hand and Arm Signals (Go, Halt, Enemy Direction, Wedge, File, Pace Count, Head Count, etc.);  Light and Noise Discipline;  POW search and Aid & Litter teams;  Stand to.

                (4)  Principles of Defense:  Priorities of work;  Standards for a two man fighting position and for a hasty one man fighting position;  SALUTE and ACE reports.

                                (5)  Fieldcraft including:  Personal hygiene;  Compass skill reinforcement

                                (6)  Build the soldiers’ ability to don MOPP4 for four hours by gradually increasing their tolerance throughout the cycle.

                d.  The Saturday or Sunday before the FTX, the commander will brief the privates about the FTX, sequence of events and task, conditions, and standards (use presentation FTX_BRF3.PPT).  Consider dressing one of the cadre in an OPFOR uniform with dummy Threat weapons (coordinate with TSC Training Aids 1 week out) for a Threat briefing.  The focus of discussion should be to reinforce discipline in the field:  The American Soldier as his own worse enemy.

                e.  Sunday, the drill sergeants will conduct a Pre-Combat Inspection ensuring that the soldiers are appropriately packed and that their clothing is properly water-proofed.  Platoon sergeants will maintain a serial number inventory of all sensitive items including MILES and provide a copy to the Supply Sergeant.  Supply will maintain a Master Sensitive Items Inventory.

5.  Phase II - Deployment  (Suggested Course of Action)

                a.  Day 1. 

                                (1)  Training Areas (TA) and Hunting Areas (HA) are indicated by the USAARMC 129.  The duty platoon will serve as the quartering party and set up the company area prior to the main body’s arrival.  Utilize privates who cannot footmarch out to the site.  Position someone to spot and sign for porta-potties.  Receive the ammunition and set up the barrier with guard.  Send an opening report to Range Control and the battalion S3 Shop.

                                (2).  The company will footmarch 10K to the bivouac site.

                                (3)  No one does any setting up of tents/digging until the commander or 1SG verifies the perimeter.

                                (3)  The duty platoon must ensure that the ASP has dunnage (wooden pallets), concertina wire, a fire extinguisher, a radio, and a tarp to cover the ammunition.

                                (4)  Rotate guards regularly throughout the FTX.  Like KP, guard duty is a part of the basic training experience.

                                (5)  Never allow privates to use or touch simulators, flares, or smoke grenades!  Cadre will be briefed and follow all USAARMC guidelines.  Use ground flares for demonstration only.

                                (6)  After the company has arrived and the company admin site is established, break down into platoons for the rest of the first day.  Drill sergeants will continue to teach and reinforce skills and battle drills, and platoons will establish their own perimeters.  Report sensitive items report to the battalion S3 Shop.  Before dark, conduct a tick check.  The first night, platoons will conduct NVD familiarization and conduct a terrain walk after dark.  Once training is complete, the platoons will bed down, except for a platoon roving guard, and the ASP/Radio and gate guard.  Report “Guard status” to Range Control.  At least two drill sergeants will remain with the company all night.

                b.  Day 2. 

                (1)  Contact Range Control and report “Training status.”  Gain accountability of personnel and equipment.  Bring the medic out and conduct sick call at the FTX site.

                                (2)  Eat breakfast, conduct hygiene and camouflage self and equipment.

                                (3)  Prepare Hasty Fighting Positions around platoon perimeters.

                                (4)  Eat lunch and conduct 4 hours in MOPP4.  Construct and camouflage shelter halves.  Conduct classes.

                                (5)  After "All Clear", eat dinner and begin to construct a two man fighting position to standard.

                                (6)  Drill sergeants will continue to reinforce training, reviewing patrolling, battle drills, first aid, and compass skills.  Conduct tick check.  Maintain 50% security throughout the night and ensure sufficient drill sergeant supervision.

                c.  Day 3. 

(1)  Conduct stand to (see FTX-BRF3.PPT presentation).

                                (2)  After stand to, conduct personal hygiene, sick call, eat breakfast and recamouflage.

                                (3)  Conduct classes and lane training in the morning:  Move as a member of a fire team; React to indirect fire; React to contact; Aid & Litter team; Administer buddy aid.

                                (4)  Issue a platoon OPORD.

                                (5)  Conduct STX lanes.  Reinforce land navigation skills with legs approximately 300m in length.  The drill sergeant will act as the squad leader and evaluator.

                                (a)  Soldier leaders will serve as fire team leaders with the emphasis on buddy team and fire team operations within squads.

                (b)  Drill sergeants will conduct AARs after each lane focusing on encouraging privates to be the primary speakers to draw out lessons learned.

                (c)  Rotate compass and pace man.

                                (6)  If a separate compass course is desired, lay out the course and have drill sergeants proof the lanes.  Develop a self-correcting course with short legs (less than 400 meters).  Drill sergeants will review safety, start points, confirm pace count, and review panic azimuth, and a NLT return time with the soldiers prior to their departure.  No solitary soldiers will execute the course for safety reasons.  Do not plan point across, near or along hardball roads.  Soldiers will stay off hardball roads throughout the course.

                                (7)  Have privates fill in all holes, take down shelters, pack and police the area.  Collect as much expended brass as possible throughout the FTX:  failure to collect 70% of expended brass will require a loss statement signed by the battalion commander.  Ensure all sensitive items and equipment are properly accounted.  Conduct tick check.

                                (8)  Issue a platoon movement order for a 1900 hour SP for Poorman Range (Night Infiltration Course).  Movement by foot to the range counts as part of the 15k return footmarch.  Ensure that a safety briefing is conducted and that the overlay is called into Range Control.  Drill sergeants will check to ensure all soldiers have full canteens prior to marching.  The company will conduct a shakedown for ammunition and conduct inspection arms prior to beginning the roadmarch.  Contact Range Control to close the training area.

                                (9)  Conduct Poorman Range.  Drill sergeants serve as AIs during the practice (daylight) phase and at least one drill sergeant leads by example.

                                (10)  After Poorman Range, complete the 15k footmarch.  Coordinate with the S3 Shop to conduct the Rite of Passage ceremony (see Annex AT).  Plan to present privates with their US brass and provide them with a large “Victory Breakfast.”

6.  Phase III - Recovery.

                a.  Recovery will commence as soon as the 15K is over.  Drill sergeant supervision is crucial.

                b.  Recovery and preparation for Inspection 4B are outlined in Appendix 1.

                c.  The company has until the following Monday to close out the 5811R.  All brass, however, must be turned in before leaving the site.

Return to Menu

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.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.