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Things to Consider When Choosing to Join the Army

Basic Training


Men Become Marines at Parris Island
Scott Olson / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Army basic training used to be nine weeks, but was changed to ten weeks, effective October 1, 2008. This doesn't count the time you will spend in-processing in "Reception," which can last from one to three weeks. Army basic training has undergone drastic changes in the past few years to better equip new Soldiers with skills they will need for deployment to Iraq and/or Afghanistan. There are several Army basic training locations, including Fort Jackson SC, Fort Knox, KY, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Fort Still, OK, and Fort Benning, GA. Where you attend is primarily dependent upon the location of your follow-on, Advanced Individual Training (Job Training). In fact, for certain MOS's (jobs), the Army combines basic training and AIT into one single course, called One Station Unit Training, or OSUT.

When you first arrive at Army basic training, you're assigned to a Reception Battalion for initial in-processing (paperwork, shots, uniform issue, initial testing, ect.). Before you leave reception, you are required to pass an initial fitness test. Those who fail this test are assigned to a "fat camp," until they can meet the minimum standards required to begin the actual basic training program. The initial fitness standards, regardless of age, are:


Push-ups: 13
Sit-ups: 17
1 mile run: 8:30


Push-ups: 3
Sit-ups: 17
1 mile run: 10:30

In order to graduate from Army Basic Training, you'll need to score at least 50 points in each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Before you can graduate from AIT (job school), you'll have to score at least 60 points in each event. Requirements depend on sex and age-group. For the age-group of 17-21, the basic training graduation standards (50 points) are:


Push-ups (2 min): 35
Sit-ups (2 min): 47
2 mile run: 16:36


Push-ups (2 min): 13
Sit-ups (2 min): 47
2 mile run: 19:32

The Army normally does not grant your first leave (vacation) until you complete both basic training and initial job training. Then a short period of leave is usually authorized before you report to your first duty station. However, if you are in basic training or initial job training school during the Christmas period, you will normally be granted 10 days of leave, as Army basic training and training schools usually close down during this period.

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