One of the most frequently asked questions about basic training is whether or not soldiers can use their cell phones during bct at Fort Leoanard Wood. Families aren’t sure whether or not to send them, and then they’re not sure how to ship them if they want to send them later.
Most of the time soldiers are told not to bring their cell phones with them before they leave home. Well that’s bad advice in most cases.
Soldiers will not have their phones with them most of the time, however, it’s a pretty common occurrence in SOME units for phones to be handed out to soldiers for a VERY short period of time once a week, often on Sunday.
My own daughter was able to call home almost every Sunday, usually for 10 minutes which she split between her boyfriend and her family.
Now in the time I’ve been running this website, and the companion Facebook Pages I’ve learned that this doesn’t stand true for everyone. Not everyone gets phone calls every week, some soldiers don’t seem to be allowed calls home for a month or more at a time.
When they do call however, most soldiers use their own cell phones. Sometimes they borrow each others cell phones, and other times they do use phones that are located on base.
MALES: Don’t even worry about it, it’s gone. Shortly after you arrive at Fort Leonard Wood, your head will be getting shaved.
From that point forward, once every two weeks or so, a Drill Sergeant will rally the males, making sure each has 7 bucks in their pockets (or enough for hair cut) and then they are marched down to the local troop store for a quick snip. Which they pay for themselves out of their paychecks.
FEMALES: Ladies may wear their hair in a variety of styles so long as it is in accordance with 670-1. Hairstyles range from pixie’s to bobs or hair can be worn up in a neat bun, military bun or otherwise, so long as there are no wisps, stray strands, or fly-a-ways.
If you do get a short haircut, your hair has to look neat and professional without touching your collar.
Can I bring Gel to Basic Training
There are a few variables to take into consideration when answering this question. The first obstacle when it comes to bringing hair gel with you to basic training is airport security. Remember that there are size restrictions when it comes to bringing liquid products onto airplanes. If your hair gel is in to big of a container, it’s going to get tossed at the airport.
If you do make it past airport security, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to get to have hair gel with you at Basic Training, and you’re going to be very popular among all the girls that didn’t read this article. There is however still a chance that your hair gel will get thrown away.
There are ways to cut-down on the possibility that your gel/hair-spray/mouse and other hair products will get thrown out though. First, remember, nothing aerosol is allowed, that’ll get tossed right away, in fact, it probably gets tossed at the airport, before you ever make it on base.
Now assuming all your lotion’s, gels, and other hair and skin potions are all aerosol free, and made it through airport scrutiny, when you dump those black and green bags out for inspection, there’s still a chance things are headed for the trash bin.
To up the ante in your favor, avoid bright colors. If your gel comes in a bright yellow canister like Gorilla Snot Gel does, then scoop it into a plain looking container before packing. Most companies don’t mind if you have it, but they don’t like ‘inappropriate’ and ‘loud’ colored packaging.
If it does get thrown out, oh well, then you don’t get to have it, but .. believe me, it’s worth the few bucks you’ll be throwing away to take the gamble. If you find out you could have had it, and you opt to leave it, you’ll sure wish you hadn’t.
If you opt for the military bun, a GOOD strong hair gel is recommended, however, not during PT. During PT your hair is going to get messed up anyway, so put it up as best you can, use bobby pins that are the same color as your hair to secure it, and get-er-done. If you gob gel into your hair during physical training, you’re literally going to be in tears as that gel mixes with sweat, and rain, and drips into your eyes.
The rest of the time, ladies with longer hair will wear their hair in a military bun, you can practice these before BCT at home. It really helps to get the hang of them before you head to basic because you really have seconds to get your hair up and get ready for the day. There are lots of You Tube video’s available to help you learn how to do a military bun. You can use the rolled up sock method as shown, or you can buy a Conair Bun Maker made for military buns at Claire’s at the mall, any military supply store, or on Amazon.
As you leave reception heading to your very first company at BCT you will have two bags, one black, and one green. Some companies that make you hold the green bag above your head for a long time. Here’s a tip, when you pack those bags, at reception, put the heavier items, like boots for instance, in the black bag.
Fill the green bag with mostly clothing, make sure it looks good and full, so that it’s not obvious that you’re favoring the green bag, or you’ll just be causing your self extra trouble.
Now when you’re hefting this huge bag over your head, and holding it up there for what seems like forever, you can bask in the thought that everyone elses bags are so much heavier than yours!
Pretty soon, you’ll be dumping both bags out onto the ground for inspection. Try to make sure you have enough room so that you can dump your bags without your things getting mixed up with the belongings of the people around you.
As soon as your things are dumped, start separating them into piles, shirts with shirts, socks with socks, and so forth so that your drill sergeants can see each and every item, and how many of each item there are in as little time as possible.
Keeping things separated like this will save time, and also make it easier for you to repack everything quickly, everything you do will be done quickly.
Make sure you hydrate the day before you head for basic, and drink TONS of water in reception so that you’ll be plenty hydrated when you first head out with your new company.
A few people have asked lately what the difference between BCT, which stands for Basic Combat Training and AIT, which stands for Advanced Individual Training is. To answer that, I’m going to give you a very standard definition of each.
Then, I’m hoping that people that have experience both BCT and AIT will chime in the comments and share some of their insights and experience which is really what we’re looking for right? The scoop on what happens at AIT and BCT at Fort Leonard Wood.
BCT – Basic Combat Training – Fort Leonard Wood
Basic Combat Training which is often shortened and referred to as BCT is the 10 week course that every soldier undertakes that teaches them how to be a soldier in the United States Army. During Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood soldiers will undergo intense physical and mental training.
Three Phases of Basic Training
This is the initial phase of basic training, it’s also considered to be the hardest part of the entire course. Soldiers generally arrive on base and then head to reception where their paperwork and loose ends are taken care of. Then they’re picked up by their units. As they come off the buses, they’re treated to what’s called a shark attack.
If you’re not familiar with the term shark attack, check out the You Tube video on this page of a Fort Leonard Wood Shark Attack. If nothing else, this event will acclimate the soldiers to a change in environment. The idea is that all available drill sergeants greet the new soldiers in training as they come off of the bus and they well.. attack. We’ll be adding an article very soon about preparing for Army Shark Attacks, if you have any advice or insight into that, please comment here so that we can quote you or add your thoughts into that article.
Throughout ‘red phase’ soldiers will receive their ACU’s, get their hair cut (it’s a REALLY good idea to get that done before you arrive!) and begin physical training. Soldiers will go through the gas chamber, which we’ve discussed a little bit here on the site, and will likely delve into further as time passes. If you’re unfamiliar with that, and you’re headed to BCT at Fort Leonard Wood, or anywhere else really, open up a notepad on your computer, and make a note to Google Army Basic Training Gas Chamber, and watch some video’s on You Tube.
The gas chamber is a really scary part of basic combat training, unless you’ve studied, and prepared mentally for it, then… it’s a few minutes out of your life, and a helluva runny nose.
Soldiers will also visit the confidence course, where they will practice team building, rappel from a tower (which is pretty darn cool, if you can overcome any fear of heights, this is a good one to practice before arriving if you’re able.)
During red phase, soldiers at Basic Training will also learn a lot about the army. They’ll also learn a lot about physical fitness, all recruits will have to pass a physical training assessment to pass Basic Training, so that’s a big part of it.
So to wrap, soldiers in red phase will learn Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence in Basic Training. They’ll also learn Landmine defense, and rappelling.
Basic Tactical training begins followed by Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense, Landmine Defense and rappelling at the confidence tower. They’ll undergo plenty of physical fitness training, and be given all that they need to survive BCT.
During White phase, recruits begin to learn about, and fire their weapons during Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM). Soldiers will fire M16 rifle’s, throw grenades, and use a grenade launcher. Most soldiers say that BCT is a lot easier once they’ve graduated from White Phase, some say white phase is harder than red.
During Blue phase, soldiers in training will participate in a Night Infiltration Course and a Tactical Foot March. There’s A LOT of focus on physical fitness at this point as soldiers that do not pass the physical fitness test will be held over and may go through BCT again.
AIT – Advanced Individual Training – Fort Leonard Wood
This is where soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood learn their trades. For instance, if you’re going to be an MP you’re getting your training to work in the Army as a military police officer.
There are three major fields taught at Fort Leonard Wood:
Most soldiers report that AIT is a lot more relaxed than Basic Training, and for the most part, soldiers in chemical school are given a lot more privileges than they were in Basic Training, for instance, soldiers are generally allowed possession of their phones, and laptops. They may also be given daytime passes on weekends and allowed to wear civilian clothing (which is a BIG deal) during their off time.
It’s been reported however that this isn’t always the same in other schools on Fort Leonard Wood, including Military Police school. Have a point of view or insight to offer, please comment below!
Keep in mind that soldiers in this unit may have to do additional push-ups for each letter they receive, by all means, don’t let that discourage you from writing, write every single day, sometimes three times, but use that paper wisely, and make those letters count! Imagine what strong arms your soldier will soon have as well!