Skip to comments.Son in the Army now.
Posted on 06/28/2010 1:24:01 AM PDT by ScubieNuc
My oldest son left last week for the Army. He is currently at Fort Benning waiting in the "receiving" barracks. His Boot Camp Company (I'm not sure if that's what the Army calls it...I'm exNavy) forms up and starts actual Basic this next Friday.
We've gotten a call from him the other night. Other than being tired and anxious for actual training to start, he sounded like he was doing fine. This is new territory for me and my wife. I don't feel old enough to have a child in the military.
We are planning on going out to his "Turning Blue" Ceremony and his graduation in October. I'm pretty excited, but I have a number of questions that I'm hoping some FReepers can help me with. I know that in a couple of weeks we are supposed to get a package in the mail detailing his graduation date and stuff, but I'm interested in other things. Things like....
Should I fly into Atlanta or Columbus?
What are the best places to stay in Columbus?
What are some good things to do or see in Columbus or the surrounding area?
Thank you for any input.
The Army is weird. I’m Navy, like you, and Boot Camp began day I arrived.
I wonder what they have those people doing over weekends.
I can't believe I'm old enough for this, LOL.
Sounds like they get shuffled to payroll to make sure that’s all set up. Then they got some of their shots. Then they got a hair cut and got some uniforms. But I hear you, I was in “recieving” for like 3 days, but he’ll be in his for 10 days. I guess they have preordained schedules they stick to or something.
One of the things I stumbled upon, while trying to study up on what all his Basic will entail, is the upgrades that the Navy has done to Great Lakes. All I can say is......WOW! I’m jealous. Google “Battlestations 21 Trayer” and you’ll see what I mean.
Great to hear your son chose the best. What AIT will he take after basic?
Had a tour (2 years) an instructor in basic.
24 years in the Army.
I was in the AF and even though we arrived at Lackland AFB at abou 3 AM we began basic that very morning.
Well, he chose to be Infantry and now they do something called One Station Unit Training (OSUT), which basically combines BCT (Basic Combat Training) with Infantry AIT (Advanced Individual Training). So his “Boot Camp” is 14 weeks long.
He also wanted to jump out of perfectly working airplanes, so he got Jump school in his contract. So right after Boot graduation, he’ll stay in Benning to do his paratrooper training. After that, he wants to be a Ranger. So if he does that, then he’ll have an 8 week Ranger Indoctrination class he’ll have to pass ( I think it’s abbreviated RASP).
If he passes that, he’ll be assigned to a Ranger Battalion.
I know what you mean. My oldest son is currently in Iraq as a 68W (Combat Medic). My youngest son is taking his induction physical tomorrow. Both Army (as I was - helicopter crew chief ‘66 - ‘67 - you know where I was sent!).
I thought my oldest son was crazy, now I know it! He is the only person I ever heard of that LIKED basic training.
Congratulations to you and your son. Stand proud!
All recruits for all services arrive at Boot Camp late at night. It’s more disorientating and they keep everyone up late so they can start the next day tired.
My son said that he was running on 4 hours of sleep for the first couple of days, but this weekend he got to catch up a bit. They have apparently been getting them up at 4:45 am every morning to start their day.
I went into Navy boot camp in Orlando in 1969 and “played” around for 3 or 4 days waiting on others to get there to form the training group. We had 4 companies....205, 206, 207 and 208. I was in 205 so we were there the longest. Some E2 who had graduated from boot camp but hadn’t gotten orders yet was put in charge of us and taught us some basic marching and the 96 counts of physical drill.
Columbus is a pretty good drive from Atlanta. And the one night I spent in Columbus a few years ago....didn’t seem like much to do there.
Thanks for your service.
I am very proud of him. I made sure he had all the information available to him so he wouldn’t be going in blind. While no 18 year old really ‘knows’ what they are getting themselves into, he really, really wanted to start out in the infantry.
I don’t really understand that, but at the same time I know that America needs people who want to do that stuff. He is apparently one of those people.
You wake up in the morning, brush the snow off and go to SSS. The water is so cold that is actually painful to put on you face.
People don't die like in movies. They fall and gasp. Two to the body and one to the head. Fort Benning is fine. But tell him to go Airborne. Screaming Eagles 101 Ft. Bragg.
It is messed up. Really way out there. But I wouldn't change a thing.
Thanks for the input.
I was in Orlando in 1984 for Nuke school. I’m sure it was very different from when you were there. I know that even then, the boot camp was VERY different from what I experienced in Great Lakes. One of my class mates was sent over to RTC while my Nuke class was classing up and he was assigned to help the MAA in the Chow hall. Well, he starts telling these boots (remember half of these boots are women) “nut to butt” and he gets pulled to the side and told you can’t do that here.
Where in Great Lakes, we had what was called “pass in review” (meals that lasted only until the last person in the company sat down), in Orlando, they were guarenteed 15 minutes for all meals. They also got a break half way through to go to Disney World. They also had a little sandy rec center where I saw recruits playing volleyball and chilling out. Very different from my Boot experience in Great Lakes in 1983!
When I entered basic they got us there a week prior. The first night was an all nighter forcing us to watch crappy movies as the rest of the recruits showed up. If you nodded off they woke you up and made you do push ups or jumping jacks. But basicly they got us there the first week for indoctrination and receiving our gear, vaccinations and other fun stuff. Basic as far as I know in the Army has really always been 8 Weeks +1 week.
I went to Navy Boot Camp at NRTC, Great Lakes.
It was February. There was snow up to the treetops, and more was falling. It was so cold, snot-sickles formed on contact with the air. There were some holes in the snow, steam grates from Hell, I guessed, where somewhere below the frozen gulag, earlier recruits were being boiled and skinned alive.
Soon as the bus stopped, some ugly mean scary dude stepped aboard, and started yelling, "You F'n Maggots ...". And so it went, just like that, for the next ten or twelve weeks.
Fly into Birmingham. Easier than Atlanta and closer/less traffic. Columbus is a “puddle jumper” airport.
There is absolutely nothing to see/do in Columbus.
Stay whereever it is the cheapest. Your son will appreciate a hearty, non-mlitary meal after graduation from Basic Training.
Thanks for the info.
Thank your son for his service for me.
When I went to AIT at Ft. Sam Houston, we had two weeks of mowing lawns etc..apparently we were waiting for a company to graduate (from Ft. Lost in the Woods, Misery..) in order to fill out out company. From what I have heard, OSUT sucks because you carry the same Drill Sgts over with you.. Tell him to hang in there, its over before you realize it.
Great to hear...soon he will be hunting and killing Muslim terrorists.
If obummer lets him....
Orlando RTC ‘86—no Disneyworld, no sandy volleyball. I DID get to be the Division Yeoman during Hell Week, so I missed out on KP duty...but got sicker than a dog from the yellow fever shots. Stayed at NPS Orlando..now all of it is gone.
Thanks for your 24 years of service. I was Navy, but my son is Army. He just submitted his Drill Instructor package. He wants to be a DI.
I had to medevac one of you guys once...Guy tried to bite the head off of a water moccasin...He lost. That wasnt you was it?
Our youngest started two weeks before yours. So far here is what has/will happened.
9 June - shipped out, MEPS, tranfer to Ft Benning
10-17 June - Reception, shots, uniforms, adjustment to Army, 2 phone calls
18 June - transfer to Basic company, short phone call
25 June - received letter from son and his commander, sent 20 June
20 Aug - Family Day, son has pass starting noon Friday ‘til 1600 Sun
23 Sep - Turning Blue, parents pin on Blue Cord
24 Sep - Graduation
Like your son, ours wants Ranger, he should find out at end of Basic whether seleced for Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), if so, 3 weeks of Airborne, then 3 weeks of RIP, then who knows, needs of the Army and all
His mother and I were USAF (retired)
Made reservations @ Candlewood Suites, can’t make on post reservations ‘til 30 days in advance, she couldn’t wait
No advice, but thanks for your family’s service. Your son is one of the good guys in the world.
My son went to Navy boot camp in Illinois...but he played the trombone all through High School, he went into the Basic training Navel band and spend most of this time in parades playing his trombone...easy basic training...he never did shoot a gun, but said no one trust a navy man with a gun anyway unless they are attacked to sides of ships....Thats why they have marines on ships...
Wow! Thanks for the information. I didn’t realize Family day was 4 days before graduation.
My son is supposed to graduate in October and my two other kids want to go, but my other son is in High School and he’s debating about missing too much school. Hopefully his teachers can give him enough of his assignments so that he won’t miss much.
Like you guys, we’re anxious to go see him again, even though it’s only been a week since he’s been gone. Summer is going to go slow this year, I think.
Not 4 days, 5 weeks
Since you were in the Navy, you might enjoy the Confederate Naval Museum in Columbus. The Confederate Navy used a fair number of river gunboats, and they have salvaged one from the Chattahoochee River. It’s a small museum, but well worth seeing.
About 30 minutes south of Columbus is Providence Canyon State Park, erroneously called by locals the “little Grand Canyon”. It’s nothing like the Grand Canyon because in the south there’s so many trees and plants, but it’s worth seeing. Put on your hiking boots. I went this year and referred to it as the “poor man’s stress test”. Of course, because the State of Georgia is crying poverty, there’s probably not going to be any staff available.
Thanks to your son for serving our country.
Oh, Ok. My bad. So Family day is half way through? Hmmm. I don’t think I can fly out to Georgia twice though. Would be neat though.
Thank you for the input. I’ll check ‘em out on line.
Since you have recieved your packet, does it have any travel restriction on it for after his graduation?
The reason I ask is because the Gulf Coast is only about 4 hours away by car, and I would like to see it again (unless the oil spill has totally ruined that).
Family Day comes a few days before your son’s graduation from the BCT portion of his training. There is no family day event before AIT graduation, because soldiers are granted leave after AIT. Hope that helps.
The worst kind of crap details they can think of :)
So you are saying that Family day marks the end of BCT. Ok.
His recruiter told us that if we go out and see him, the best time is at the end of OSUT. That’s because of the Turning Blue ceremony, the pomp and demonstration at graduation and the time off he’ll have.
Thanks for your input.
Yup. Family day is at the end of BCT. In “normal” training cycles, they have family day then because it gives families a chance to see their soldiers before they leave for AIT. With OSUT, there really is only a weekend off and then it is back into training mode. I would go out at the end of OSUT and he will probably be able to fly back home with you, depending on when Jump school starts.
No restrictions. When I was in, pass meant to be within one day’s drive, 400 miles. Could go further if you had round trip air fare.
RIP is now RASP.
Well, Reveille is at 5 AM each morning, at least it was back in the early 60’s.
Not true about all recruits arriving late at night. Many times while we were out on the parade grounds either doing calisthenics or marching we would see buses pull up to the receiving area where new recruits first were dropped. Since due to the extreme heat in Texas in the afternoon (I was there from August through Sept), we were out on the parade grounds at about 6 AM, right after breakfast.
We would also see the new troop buses loaded with kids in civvies dump their confused cargo at other times during the day. Perhaps the AF did it different since being tough wasn’t really apart of what the AF is all about, at least not back then.
When I was in the UK we used to have TDY Army troops drop in from time to time and they were always amazed at the on base housing and chow hall we had compared to what they had to endure. The likened it to being on permanent leave.
We told them we were treated this way because we were the brains of the military.
Thanks, I always enjoyed the acronyms in the military. usually some Col would get his kicks/promtions based on new acronyms/programs. :)
Yeah, I may have “misspoke”. ( ;
Of course I don’t know how ALL services do it. I know that all the Navy people I’ve talked to, they were delivered to Boot camp at night and kept up until around 4am, then promptly gotten back up around 5-5:30.
My son’s recruiter also indicated that that is also how the Army does it. Like you said, the Air Force may have done things differently.
Yeah, but it’s also the pressure for commanders to be able to put on their resume what they found and how they “fixed” it. That means that things are always in some kind of constant flux. I guess in the overall scheme of things, this is probably good. It keeps things from getting old.
Try to fly in to Columbus if possible, if you’re planning on hanging around there and not planning to go to Atlanta.
Stay anywhere north of Exit 7. The closer you get to Benning, the more ghetto it gets.
I think there’s a riverwalk over there, but I’m not sure. Sights to see at Benning: go to main post and check out the Airborne school jump towers, the Ranger/SF memorial at BLDG 4, Doughboy Stadium (Eisenhower played football there, and it’s where Mel Gibson gave his deployment speech in “We Were Soldiers”)...stuff like that. Columbus is overall a fairly boring town. Lots of good restaurants in the Exit 7-Exit 10 area, too.
There’s more to do in Atlanta, however. I’ve been to the Coca-Cola Museum and did the CNN tour, and there’s a big aquarium there but it was too expensive for us at the time.
Hope this helps!
Yeah, every bit of information helps. Thanks.
My son is at Fort Benning now too! He is in Blue Phase and is set to graduate OSUT on Aug. 13th.
While it has not been a cake walk, my son has been positive about the experience. Red Phase is horrible, but after that, they get to do the cool stuff, LOL!
Freep mail me any questions. Also there is a Fort Benning Face book page, your son’s Co. will have a topic and you can keep up with other parents, wives etc. share information and also see pictures from time to time. My son had his pics done because Robert Gates came to visit while they were doing the Eagle Tower. There is also a page I can give you to order his official Army Picture.
I also live in GA, fly into Atlanta and drive to Columbus.
An odd bit of good advice that almost sounds silly but truly matters is that every night, before sack time, inspect your feet. If there is a problem, deal with it before you go to sleep.
Most people try to tough it out, be it blisters, ingrown toenails, cuts, and at airborne school, suspected broken toes. They always lose. Foot problems that are ignored will put you out of action.
Sounds silly all right.
Yo ScubieNuc—I know exactly how you feel. I’m USA ret’d and my second son has been in the army for over 18 years. He’s a Command Sergeant Major of an MP batallion in Hawaii. The day he went off to basic training I, too, thought I was way too young for this to be happening. He’s been deployed into harm’s way four times. Unless something changes he will be deployed for the fifth time within the next 12 months.
God speed to your son and thank you both for your service.