About "Scared" about joining. Advice? Page 2
|July 8th, 2012||#11|
| || |
|July 9th, 2012||#12|
| || |
1. Keep your mouth shut.
Everybody's scared and confused when they first ship out to boot camp. For some, this is the first time they've really left the secure bubble of family, friends and home. Well, don't expect any sympathy, and quit your whining! When you arrive at reception, everything is going to be loud, fast, and confusing. You may end up spending a few days here, and it won't get any better over time. This is your introduction to basic training, and the cadre have seen a million scared kids just like you - and they're not the least bit sympathetic to your homesickness. They don't want to hear your attitude, either. Make it easy on yourself - shut up.
2. Do what you're told.
It sounds simple, but when drill sergeants start barking multiple orders at you, demanding you hurry up, stop, get your gear, get up, go, stop, wait, go, go go go! - it gets a little confusing. Don't panic; no one else is any more prepared than you are. Just remember Tip #1 and do your best. Whatever you do, don't be the one lagging behind, dropping your equipment all over yourself, whining and complaining about everything. That sterling individual (and there is always at least one) will become an example for the rest of your platoon and maybe your entire company for the duration of basic training. That individual will be ridiculed, belittled, dogged and resented for the whole nine weeks. Trust me, you don't want to be that individual. Basic training will introduce you to levels of stress you'll never experience anywhere else, and when you're working under that pressure trying to prove yourself amongst your fellow soldiers, the last thing you need is to be the butt of every drill sergeant's joke. Drill sergeants are notoriously mean, unhappy people, and they can and will make your life a living hell if they want to. Don't make yourself a target.
3. Make friends.
It's a long nine weeks, and it'll be even longer if you don't bond with your platoon. You'll have approximately sixty others like yourself all trying to survive together. Don't go against the grain - make friends and fit in. You'll be stuck with these people day in and day out, side by side, all working toward the common goal of graduation. Without fail, there will be a handful who seem hell-bent to bring everybody in the platoon down. These are the people who will have all the rest of you doing push-ups for 45 minutes because they didn't feel like standing still in formation. These people are despised by all, and when you're living in these close quarters, you definitely do not want to be one of them. The Army is a strict, structured place of discipline and self-control, but after lights out, you're at the mercy of your fellows. Remember Full Metal Jacket? Don't make it happen to you. Instead, pull your weight, do what you're supposed to do, and become a part of the team. If you do this successfully, you'll find yourself a part of a support system stronger than any you'll ever find again.
4. Don't cry.
The drill sergeants do not feel sorry for you. Whatever your problem is, suck it up and keep moving. Nothing will happen to you that hasn't happened to millions of other fledgling soldiers. Part of the drill sergeants' job is to keep you safe and make sure you get out of this alive. As long as you're breathing, you're fine. So get over it. Pain, exhaustion, hunger, heat, misery - it's all a part of the experience, and complaining about any of it will only make a fool of you in front of your platoon. And don't even think about crying to your drill sergeant about any emotional distress you may find in basic training. The drill sergeants do not care. They'll only mock you and make your pain and suffering worse, so see Tip #1 again and keep moving.
5. Don't try to get out of this.
You got yourself here. No one made you sign the paperwork. So own it. Maybe it's harder than you thought it would be. So what? You'll live, and you'll be a little tougher for it. Don't be one of the sad sacks who lie about their sexual orientation, act crazy, or fake an injury (or injure themselves on purpose) in hopes of being sent back home. These people are the absolute lowest life forms in the world of basic training. And you know what? Nothing they do gets them out any sooner. Either they're exposed for the frauds they are and are forced to finish training anyway, or they end up in a paperwork loop that lasts several months - and sometimes over a year - longer than it would've taken to just suck it up and finish training. The best way to get back home is to just stop being a baby and finish what you started. The less drama you cause while you're here, the easier it will be - for everybody.
|July 9th, 2012||#13|
| || |
I wanted to join up at 15 but my dad tore up the papers saying that I wouldn't/couldn't handle it, I waited until I was 17 1/2 and didn't need his permission. I was terrified when I walked through the recruit training establishment main gate, but I knuckled down, listened, learned and had a lot of fun.
I completed my basic training and I was so proud on my passing out parade, but my dad refused to come because I had basically proven him wrong.
I had a lot of fun during my service and quite frankly I wish I was still in uniform.
One thing you will need that's absolutely vital, "a sense of humour."
Adversus solem ne loquitor
|July 9th, 2012||#14|
| || |
Exercise. Run, do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and crunches. The more physically fit you are before arriving at basic training, the better off youīll be. Not only will you need less time adjusting to the physical demands of basic training, but youīll make a good impression on your drill instructors. Arriving at basic training overweight and lacking strength can make you a target for drill instructors, and in extreme cases, add time to your basic training.
Study. Knowing basic knowledge and military jargon before arriving at basic training can help you stand out from the crowd. That can be a good thing. The more you learn in a low-stress environment means you will have an easier time in the high-stress environment of boot camp.
Demonstrate leadership qualities. Immediately, your drill instructors will be looking for the leaders in the group. You want that to be you. When you arrive, speak loudly, do the things youīre told to do with speed and without hesitation, even if it makes no sense (and few things will). Speak to your fellow recruits you see doing things theyīre not supposed to, because if you donīt, and youīre their leader, you get punished too. Stand up straight, chin high, and donīt be lazy. All these things will help you stand out from the crowd. While itīs important to be a leader in boot camp, donīt alienate yourself from your fellow recruits. Having friends and buddies watching your back is very valuable during your training. Try to balance being a good leader with being a good friend. People who position themselves as jerks and outsiders will get no help from fellow recruits.
Be motivated. Itīs all too important in basic training. Anytime you are responding to a drill instructor, do it with confidence and do it loudly. Get right to the point when speaking, donīt stutter or stumble over your words. When "sounding off" as a group, try to be the loudest. If you are being lazy when sounding off, your drill instructors will notice and punish the whole group. Your fellow recruits will know the people who are not being loud and causing punishment. This will cause contempt amongst those people who you want to be your friends.
Never make excuses or say "I donīt know." In fact, in some boot camps, the words "I" and "you" donīt exist. Itīs "this recruit" or "Recruit (last name)" or "Drill Instructor Sergeant XXX". Drill Instructors will ask you why you made a particular mistake, why you looked them in the eye, or whatever minor error you have made. Always say something straightforward, such as "I lack discipline" or "I lack focus". They may make you do a few pushups, but they will cut you some slack because youīre not trying to make excuses.
Keep your cool. Many "tests" that you are put through in basic training are designed so that theyīre impossible to pass. Donīt get frustrated when you fail. Itīs meant to happen. The drill instructors will initially make tasks so difficult that they are impossible to complete. With time, the task will become easy for you. Thatīs the whole point. They will break you down and build you back up with more confidence then you ever had before. Just go with it.
When in doubt, do what everyone else is doing. There are times when you may not understand the instructions given, or you may not have been paying attention. If you see everyone else moving to do something and you didnīt hear what you're supposed to be doing, just follow everyone elseīs lead.
Hope you can use this.
BTW - 42RM is just a bad ass Marine with quite a lot combat experience. Heīs a nice guy once you get to know him. And you might as well get accustomed to being spoken harshly to. We are talking tough, but we are honest. In our profession we put our lives in the hands of others, therefore there must be clean lines between us. We say what we think - nothing personal.
|July 9th, 2012||#15|
| || |
I suppose since you plan on joining the US Army I may as well give a few pointers...
First of all, the attitude you gave back to 42RM is the absolute opposite of what you want to do when you get to basic training. The fact is, YOU DID come in here asking for advice from people who know what the hell they are talking about. Don't think for a second that you know better than him or others who have posted on here about your predicament....YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL...that't the first thing you have to get through your head.
Nobody cares about your self esteem. That is the biggest problem I see with new soldiers in MY Army the last few years is the this sense of entitlement. You are entering a world of hardened combat veterans. The US Army has been at war for 11 years. The NCO's you will be dealing with will likely have left home to go to war on several occassions for 12 to 15 months at a time. They don't care that you feel like you're being treated unfairly. Life isn't fair and combat certainly is not fair. So get over any notions you may have that you know better or you are different. You're not. Let me make this clear, you are joining, MY ARMY...not the taxpayers, not the governments, especially not yours...BUT MINE. (this is a typical sentiment among leaders in the military)
You're going to experience pain and discomfort...lot's of it. They are going to run you into the ground. They are going to ruck march you till you can't see straight. You will have to be aggressive when you're exhausted from doing buddy rushes. You will be punched in the face during combatives. You are going to be smoked by the Drill Sergeants for reasons beyond your control. Sometimes you will be smoked for only a few minutes, sometimes it will be for hours. WHO CARES...don't ask why, don't whine, don't complain, just do it.
The Drills are doing this so you'll act when the time counts. Not question, not shut down, not freeze up, but act.
Reception is going to suck more than anything for the entire experience. You'll be there for about a week. Just get through it into basic training.
Basic training is broken down into 3 phases. Red, White, and blue.
Red phase sucks...it's a shock, the Drill Sergeants are relentless and uncompromising. You're going to be sore. You're going to be confused. You're going to be in a totally different environment than you have ever been in before. The Drill Sergeants have total control over the recruits. LISTEN...this will save you a lot of unwanted attention. DO what you are told and give all you have. DON'T BE THE GUY THAT GETS SINGLED OUT...you will hate your life and your platoon will quickly hate you for getting them smoked. You'll probably hit a lowpoint after about a week and a half where it's gonna hit that you are completely alone...you don't know anybody, this place is awful...etc. What you need to realize is that you're NOT alone. You have 60 others going through the same thing you are. The drills are simply breaking your civilian bad habits and shaping you for the training that is to come. This phase lasts 3 weeks
White phase is more of what you signed up for the Army for. This is where you learn all about the M16A2/A4 or the M4A1. You will eat, sleep, train, clean, and learn the ins and outs of that weapon. You will also be introduced to several other weapons systems, basic infantry tactics, MOUT, fieldcraft, etc. It's the good stuff. This phase lasts 4 weeks.
Blue phase is where everything comes together. Everything you have learned over the past seven weeks is tested and evaluated through either inspections, hands on evals, or the 5-6 day FTX you go on as a culminating exercise. This phase lasts 3 weeks.
Do all of this and the stuff others have mentioned and you will excel. Do what you did earlier and get snippy with a guy who knows what the hell he is talking about and you will get crushed. It's really quite simple.
Last edited by brinktk; July 9th, 2012 at 21:14..
|July 13th, 2012||#16|
| || |
PT: You will be just fine. If you can pass your PT now you should be good. Military.com has some great workouts for you to get up to speed in no time. They will work you dog tired and you will never sleep harder in your life. Just take it in, you are getting paid to not think and exercise all day. Eat as much as you can while you are in basic. Sometimes you only get 15 minutes to get your whole platoon through chow so you have to eat quick. Your body needs the fuel. Drink water drink water. It is super important to hydrate. Don't be that fall-out who cant keep up because the are dehydrated. It'll just be another way of singling yourself out to your DS. Just push yourself every day, become the beast that your 6'4" frame is built for.
As far as emotions and all that goes, you will never have been more frustrated and angry in your life. The best thing to do is write letters back and forth to family in my opinion. I had my family send me music lyrics from some of my favorite songs. You forget what music is at Basic Training and it's good to have something to rock out to while on a nice morning run. Take what the DS's have to say with a grain of salt. They have to break you down to build you up. They know what they are talking about too. All three of my DS's had more than one deployment.
If you want to be high speed start learning the Soldier's Creed, The Army Song, your General Orders, etc ahead of time. It will save you the headache later. That stuff can all be found at armystudyguide.com.
Listen to all the advice given on this thread. It is pretty good stuff. The fact that you are looking at joining and doing this on your own puts you ahead of most of your platoon already. Half of them will be people who were court ordered to serve or just plain don't want to be there. Be a team player and stand out in a good way. Strive for the leadership positions and the end of cycle honors. They do show up on your record when you end up at your unit....
|July 13th, 2012||#17|
| || |
If you are this scared of boot camp imagine what it will feel like before your first deployment.
Then think long and hard about if this is what you really want.
If it is, then just dig deep and find some intestinal fortitude.
"We are the pilgrims, Master
We shall go always a little further,
it may be beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or glimmering sea..."
|July 24th, 2012||#18|
| || |
Thank you everyone for the great post's, I couldnt have asked for better information! 42RM, If I were to apologize for my attitude I would be wrong to do so, so instead I will admit I was wrong and tell you I do lack discipline. As for everyone else, thanks again, this information is exactly the kind of information I was looking for, And im sure more people on this forum will stumble upon this as well and use this information also. If it isnt too much, I would also like to ask for specific information on workout routines, things to study before basic so I dont have to waste time doing it in there and can focus on more important things, I know benjamin already posted a link which I will use, but real experience stuff like what you actually do for PT in basic. In the last couple of weeks I have been talking to my recruiter and getting motivated as all hell, im working out a lot more and running more, I dont feel the same as I did when I posted this thread, I have a little more self confidence and knowing all this information helped whipe away the unknown, Im getting more excited to get to boot camp then I am scared of it. An update on joining, I havn't signed under oath yet, Im meeting with my recruiter tomorrow to sign some more papers (I met with him last thursday as well) And after that he said it could be 1-2 weeks before im down at MEPS signing. Thanks again for all the information I appreciate all of it!
|August 16th, 2012||#19|
| || |
You will do fine as long as it's something you want to achieve.
I ship off to basic in September 4, I to am 18 turning 19 in august 21. I'm about 5'10 and weight 175pounds...not fat but not skinny either.
Basic Training is a different experience for everyone, and you will have your doubts before you sign up, How can i prove it? Well for one i had it 5months ago when i was about to sign up, that and well everyone that i've made friends with in the future soldier program all had their moments, specially as the date is only less than 20 days away...I'm nervous but at the same time i feel excited...I hope you signed up by the time you read this post, since you did make it about a month ago...
42RM isn't trying to scare you by the way, he is giving you advice but from his own opinion, like i said everyone has different experiences in basic, i know friends who are now in Ait, who would love to go back to basic...others who are glad is over....
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and advice, but you should only make your decision on this : Do you like the military life?
Good luck and if you did enlist good luck in basic and try to enjoy it, as i will try to do so as well
|August 17th, 2012||#20|
| || |
|advice, boot camp, scared, worried|
|I Really need some advice here.. :(|
|Irish Citizen Joining a foriegn military|
|Advice or Insights on joining the Marines.|