Skip to comments.My Son Is Going To Basic Training - Any Good Advice?
Posted on 01/09/2011 3:13:21 PM PST by ExpatCanuck
Number one son has always been interested in the military. He started the first ROTC cluib in his high school's 105 year history, and eventually wants to get into Special Forces or Army Intel work. He completed a year of university at Embry Riddle after high school, then joined the Army National Guard. He's off to basic training in Missouri tomorrow (it's lovely there in January, I hear). He originally picked Medic as his AIT but was told by the recruiter (who is himself a medic) that he would very likely get deployed within 48 hours of completing his training. He wants to finish university and has already been accepted back at Riddle as well as several other schools, so he selected Engineering instead. Any tips, suggestions, advice, that my fellow freepers can offer would be greatly appreciated and will be graciously accepted. Any advice from mom's would also be appreciated - his mom is scared to death that he will be deployed and it is a source of friction between us because she blames me for letting him do this :-).
Best thing is don’t speak unless spoken to, and, it’s” Yessir, No sir, Me sir? No Sir, Him sir” (said all at once in a sentence).
This is his last night home before training and we’re going out for dinner, so please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to any posts right away. :-)
Never volunteer for ANYTHING! :-)
I wouldn’t go, I hate Obama!
Dont bend over for the Obama soap.
Travel light to Basic. Bring only what he *needs*. It’s all going to be searched and then civilian clothing will be locked away...
Never say YOU!
Tell him to go to Embry Riddle or Florida Tech for four years and the re-evaluate his life. Much will change. He needs a quality education. (I’m a Fl Tech grad student).
If he is enrolled in an ROTC program, he will be able to defer any deployment.
If he wants to end up in either of those fields, he needs outstanding grades. Intelligence will require above-average fitness. SF requires superhuman fitness.
I served in the Air Force 150 years ago (or it seems) so can’t offer advice about Army Basic.
But can say Thank You for raising such a great kid. I wish him success and safety. We need more like him (and you).
He does too, but, he loves his adopted country (he was born in Canada and we came here when he was 4 years old), and the country, God willing, will be here long after Obama is gone.
I attended Embry-Riddle.. why didn’t he join the USAF? As far as basic training, keep your mouth shut, do as your told without questions, and don’t volunteer for anything!
Do not volunteer for anything.
Don’t ask don’t tell...oh wait, nevermind.
I’d suggest against calling an army Drill “Sir”...
He might be sleeping in a tent....
The most important this is not to believe anything a recuriter tells you. Opps.. ;-)
Tell him to be careful.
More people are hurt or killed in the military by being careless than for any other reason. Always stay keenly alert to what is happening around you.
I lost a fellow sailor to carelessness. Driving, he swerved to avoid hitting someone in the street, hit the curb, and because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt was thrown out the windshield over the hood of the car and killed when his car rolled over him. He was driving about 25 mph.
Knew a Marine who was attacked by a very large tire she was rolling too fast. It became unbalanced and she was trapped under it. One of her feet was crushed. Today she is a nurse and doing fine but her injured foot still bothers her and perhaps always will.
Tell him to stay vigilant, stay careful, follow safety regs and he’ll come home OK. I and many others have in the past.
The food will suck the first week but from then on it will be OK. Toward the end of basic he will be asking others “are you going to eat that?” and if not, he will be grabbing it off their tray!
At least you guys got three-banded Springfield muskets.
I called for CAS once, and a pterodactyl with dysentery showed up overhead.
I know and I love your son for it, but remember he'll be working for people who don't. And they could care less if he dies on the battlefield or why.
My nephew just finished One Station Unit Training (OSUT) for infantry and is now in airborne school. He dropped out of college because he decided that it wasn’t right for him right now. This almost put his mother into cardiac arrest and sent ripples through her left wing family. He comes from a well to do, politically connected family from Chevy Chase, MD. All of the kids in the neighborhood go to tony private boarding schools and then to the Ivy League. He did the first, but not the second. He went to Ft. Benning.
His mother is now a rabid supporter of the U.S. Army, Ft. Benning, the Infantry, and the Brotherhood of the Airborne. She fully understands that when he finishes his training he is headed to Afghanistan. She will rip the heart out of anyone who criticizes any of this. Why the change in attitude and behavior? I attribute it to Facebook. Ft. Benning (and I’m sure Ft. Leonard Wood) has a facebook page for each training company where the wives, mothers and friends of trainees can see what’s going on in training, talk to other family members, and understand what the Army is doing. She is a changed woman.
I went to graduation with them and was the only veteran in our mini-family reunion. Their eyes were opened when they saw first hand how good these soldiers are, how good an organization their sons have joined, and how important this all is for our country. Sweet.
Fort Lost-in-the-Woods is charming this time of year ;-).
When my daughter was in Coast Guard boot camp, about a year and a half ago, I tried to send her a note every day, so she’d get something in the mail, even if it was just a few lines about the pets. Later she asked for reading material, when she was in the Rehab Unit with a foot injury, so I cut magazines (Field and Stream, Auto Week, American Cowboy) into small sections and mailed them. All the kids in rehab were really bored, which you don’t have time for during regular Basic.
In today’s “modern””Military” “Don’t drop the soap”!
Oh, one thing I learned. Use spray deodorant and liquid soap. I saw many people get dinged for hair on a bar of soap or on deodorant sticks. A minor thing yes, but would be a couple less things to worry about during inspections.
Your son will do just fine. Do not worry about him (too much) and try not to contact him a lot-he will have time to so, in good time.
I live near Fort Wood (retired Army Combat Engineer officer) and work on the installation (local university). I would be glad to follow up with him for you-but only after a few weeks, he will be well cared for by his Drill Sergeants.
Army BCT (basic combat training) is nine weeks long, but he will spend a week or so in a transient unit called “replacement”, that is where he will get a medical exam, shots, tests and then be issued uniforms etc. He must pass a minimum physical aptitude test before he can go to BCT.
After BCT is completed, he will seamlessly transition to 21B combat engineer advanced indivuual training (AIT), this one-station event is called OSUT (one-station unit training). He will have the same Drill Sergeants throughout, but in AIT he will spend most of his time with technical instructors (NCOs and civilians) rather than his Drills. Life gets better in the AIT phase. This phase lasts another 8-10 weeks if things have not changed recently....
Thanks for your support of him. Momma will come around when she sees her boy turn into a man....
In this contingency of GWOT, all warriors can expect to deploy sooner than later-combat engineers are not one of the soft jobs, we deploy as much as anyone else, more than others, less than some. He will thrive if he likes to learn, be challenged (and rise to the occasion).
Again, let me know via PM if you want more info or personal follow up.
Major, USA (ret)
Corps of Engineers
His grades are average unfortunately, but he is learning arabic, and he has been training over the last 6 months using the SF regimen - he is among the fittest in his National Guard unit. We are of Indian origin (me and his mom were born in India - Sikh families, but without the turbans or beards - and he and his brother were born in Canada), and his dark good looks notwithstanding (he got them from his mom, of course), he could easily blend into most cultures in the developing world.
You didn’t LET him do anything. HE is going because he wants to do this.
this is HIS decision—you are just being supportive.
One of my nephews is 18 and joined the NJ National Guard. He completes Army basic training on Jan. 20th. Then off to Missouri for the Army school he chose. Then, to college courtesy of the Army.
He absolutely loves it. His older brother is a third year cadet in a great school, under a full four year Army scholarship. He will become a commissioned officer upon graduation in 2012.
Both are Eagle Scouts.
And they love doing what they do. And they both are doing this to pay for their college education.
Your son will learn so much in the service, and what he learns and the confidence he gains will serve him well through his whole life.
1. Get everything the recruiter says IN WRITING, especially your son’s MOS. No verbal promises. They don’t count.
2. Learn how to salute—PROPERLY. There is a proper way.
3. Never, ever leave your rifle. Anywhere. Anytime. You will pay dearly for that infraction.
4. Tell yourself each day—this WILL be worth it. Each night, you are one day closer to graduation for basic training.
5. No matter how menial or dumb you think the task is, do whatever the drill sgt. says to do with the utmost of your ability
And tell your boy thanks, for protecting my freedom. you raised him right.
(Don’t worry—moms are all overprotective of their children. You can’t change that—just help her through this)
Hey, chieftain..Any advice since you sent TWO to boot camp Marines at one time!
Good, sound, advice! I presume he will train at Ft Leonard Wood. The mud down there is legend. It adheres to your boots as you march so that your tread size keeps increasing and your boots rapidly gain weight. Nothing for it but to keep on keeping on. Six weeks is not an eternity although it can seem like one.
Have her sign up here:
and she should be proud of her son’s decision here!
Tell him if he gets out of basic and the drill instructor never knew his name, he was successful.
Keep a low profile. Do not draw attention to yourself. Don’t “brag” about any past military affiliation.
Are you trying to get the lad's ass kicked? Never, I say again, never refer to an Army NCO as "sir".
Too late not to do it so don’t ever, ever, ever encourage looking back. Rip off the rear view mirror and play to win.
This is his time to become a man. The timing is his choice and it is done now. Be there when he asks for a shoulder to lean on but do not extend a hand that is not asked for.
Look him squarely in the eye, tell him you have done your best these last years to help him become what he is and that if you have not done the right things to prepare him it is probably too late. Tell him you expect him to do his best and that he will succeed at what he wants to do. Shake his hand firmly, hug him and tell him to always choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Then tell him you love him and you pray that God goes with him.
When he gets done and you see him ask him what he has learned and be prepared to be proud of him.
If he is Nat Guard and has an education deferment and he has the aptitude, get an engineering degree. Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Chemical or even Aeronautical though the Army doesn’t think much of the latter in most cases. They like Civil Engineers because they are close to Military Engineers if he wants to stay in.
Going to Embry-Riddle I’m surprised he didn’t think it would be better to be a 22 year old officer flying an F-16 than an 18 year old shooting an M-16.
My son went though infantry OSUT at Benning. Was shipped to Iraq two months after graduation. Did three tours there and is packing his bags for Afganistan in a few weeks. He LOVES being deployed.
Glad we have men like your son!
How do I fit in this?
I love Marines, but aren’t one, fought with them (both as friend and as foe), but wouldn’t want to be one (don’t like ships).
Army does the heavy lifting, just a fact.
(stirring the pot)
In all seriousness, my best unit over 24 years enlisted and commissioned, was commanded by a Marine LTC, senior NCO was a Sailor (Master Chief, SEAL) and the best support staff officer was an USAF F16 driver. I was the XO.
My daughter’s boyfriend just completed basic training for the marine corps and emphasized a need for the 3 “C”s. Cardio, Calories, Canteen. Your son needs to ingest as many calories as he can get his hands on because he’ll be burning a ton during training. He needs to keep hydrated so he doesn’t cramp up. And he needs to make sure his cardio is as good as possible because there will be many opportunities when recruits will need to assist each other and he’s better off being the one who helps rather than the one needing assistance. The other guys always remember who was in which position.
Best of luck to him.
Communication, other than writing, is cut off. They’re allowed one call after they arrive at the training facility, then no calls till close to graduation.
They have a bit of time periodically to write .. but they do love to receive mail. Once you get his address, write as often as you can. Don’t look to an ‘exchange’ of letters .. look to its being 7:1, and be happy for the 1. When you get his address, send him writing paper and stamps, with preprinted mailing labels for both of you, so all he has to do is peel them off and onto the envelope.
They are allowed to receive certain limited reading materials. Gather those that might be of interest to him. News from home is always welcome .. local paper clips, church bulletins if he was active in a youth group, that sort of thing.
Before our Protestant son left for basic, a close family friend (Catholic) gave him a St. George medallion that he wore throughout. St. George is the patron saint of soldiers and scouts. Oh, and expect to hear that he’s attending Jewish services on Friday nights because it is the only opportunity for anything at all sweet to eat. My son said EVERYBODY at Basic is Jewish. It’s all very ecumenical ;)
He will do well, meeting fellow recruits from across the country, whose backgrounds and experiences are so different from his, no matter what the respective backgrounds. In short order they will become his best friends on earth!
Plan now for your family to attend the graduation if at all possible. It will mean the world to your son for you and your family to attend. And it will mean the world to you, too. You will be greeting an entirely different person than the one leaving tomorrow.
Read the thread and I will commend your son for his desire to serve his adopted country and you for instilling such values in him.
My son’s Marine recruiter told him one way to look at boot camp is from chow to chow. “I can get through this because in xx hours, I get chow.”
My son told me that even in the Marines there were recruits who were obviously trying to get through doing the bare minimum. He vowed to himself not to be one of those and graduated as squad leader, which got him a promotion.
For Mom and Dad - a couple of things. I tried to mail a letter every day. Sometimes it was hard to have much of anything to say. But, I sent comic strips, jokes, clippings from the local paper.
Also, I found an internet forum at leatherneck.com for Marine parents. I started a thread that went on for the duration of his training and even longer. Marines were quick to answer all my questions. There must be similar things for Army.
One last thing - I got a copy of the training matrix - a calendar of what he was doing each day. Kept one on the refrigerator and one at my desk at work.
MD, I’m glad we have men like YOUR son.
God bless him, and you.
Shame on you.
Hmm, don’t understand your post, is it me or you?
Follow orders, and it will be easy.
Any other course will lead to a miserable 8 weeks (if that is what Basic is these days.)
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