Your orders for Army Basic Combat Training arrived and you’ve been assigned to Fort Sill Oklahoma – get ready for your 63 days of training and a wake-up!
Basic Combat Training (BCT) is ten weeks, not counting your Reception week. This is where, as trainees, you will complete the process of becoming full-fledged Soldiers in the United States Army.
This is a tough process, where you will learn new rules, learn to trust yourself, build confidence and learn how to work as a team. You’ll really understand what it means to be a member of the finest fighting force in the world – The U.S. Army.
This is your first step on an amazing and challenging path. You’ve volunteered to step up as part of the 1% willing to serve the United States.
Fort Sill basic training will transform you from an average civilian into a disciplined, motivated, physically fit Soldier. You’ll believe in teamwork and live the Army’s seven core values both in and out of uniform.
Those values will need to be memorized during your first week at Fort Sill, so get started now using the acronym LDRSHIP: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity
You will be put through extensive training and testing to make sure you can meet the Army standards in rifle marksmanship, physical fitness
Packing for Fort Sill Basic Training
So, what do you pack to bring to basic training? I’m so glad you asked.
You’ll need to take only a few basic things for Basic. The Army will provide everything else. You should get a packing list from your recruiter that will tell you what you should and should not bring with you.
You can also view the complete Army basic training packing list on our site.
Basic training is your first chance to follow orders, so read that list
carefully and pack only what it says you should bring.
While every packing list will be specific, here is a general idea of things you will need:
Two sets of casual, comfortable clothing, like sweat pants and a t-shirt. Also bring white underwear, calf-length athletic socks (also white), a pair of running shoes and your eyeglasses, if you wear them.
A lock is required, either a combination lock or a padlock with two keys.
You’re going to need basic
Bring a small sum of money: usually nor more than $100. That way if there is something you need prior to your first payday, you’ll be able to get it when allowed. Be sure to bring your debit card as well.
You must bring all copies of the orders and documents issued to you by your recruiter and/or the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Carry these documents by hand to your basic training site, do no pack them just in case your luggage gets lost, and keep them secure while traveling.
You will be allowed to bring your cell phone to use while traveling. Once you arrive
Army Basic Training Schedule
Now let’s get into what happens in Basic, because it’s a lot!
Fort Sill – Reception Week
In Reception week, trainees will start leaving the civilian life behind. You will be issued uniforms and other gear, get your Army haircut (if you’re a guy), and learn how to wear your hair if you’re a gal.
You’ll get to set up your pay (YES! You get a paid during training!), get vaccinations, receive medical and dental checkups, and take your first physical fitness test.
Fort Sill – Red Phase
In Week one, you’ll be exposed to new rules, regulations, and processes that go along with being in the Army. Your classroom instruction also begins during the first week.
Week two takes you out of the classroom and into the field. You’ll test your physical and mental endurance, train in first aid, and begin your land navigation (map reading). Land navigation will teach you to rely on maps for times when GPS just isn’t possible.
Week three brings even greater physical challenges, so now is the time to “embrace the suck”, as we say in the Army. There is nothing basic about Basic, and things are starting to get tougher. Combatives: hand to hand combat skills begin this week, too!
Fort Sill – White Phase
Marksmanship skills start during the fourth week. Here you’ll learn that shooting a rifle is more than just pulling the trigger. You’ll go over the proper way to hold a weapon, as well as how to breathe and stand while firing to increase accuracy.
Week five consists of more field training. Here is where you will learn more about your own physical and mental capabilities. You will get tested on endurance and marksmanship skills. Make sure you’re ready to pass!
Teamwork is the key to success during week six at Fort Sill basic training. Exercises, drills and more will test your ability to work as a team to complete goals. You’ll be taught to trust your team through different team building work.
Fort Sill – Blue Phase
Critical to each trainee’s success is the application of all of the training you’re receiving. Week seven helps validate the confidence you’ve developed so far, and you’ll use many of the skills you’ve learned in different field exercises. From hand to hand fighting to navigating obstacle courses and moving under direct fire, knowing you can rely on what you’ve learned is key! You’ll be taught to trust your equipment, your battle buddies and your own personal courage to accomplish the missions this week holds.
Week eight is the Tactical Training Base, a week-long exercise where you’ll put together everything you’ve learned to accomplish specific assigned missions. You will have learned a lot, but don’t worry – if you’ve been putting in the work so far, you’ve got this!
Graduation is right around the corner as you begin week nine of Fort Sill basic training. This is a week of inspections, practicing drills and getting ready to out process from Basic to your advanced training school.
Week ten, graduation week, is finally here! You’ll get to spend time with family and friends on Family Day and then graduate as a Soldier! This is the beginning of many more amazing things you’ll get to experience and accomplish as a United States Army Soldier! Hooah!
Getting Mail While At Basic Training
Letters will be the only form of communication you will have during Fort Sill basic training. Getting mail while you’re at training will help keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to.
Your friends and family can use Sandboxx as a method to send you Letters while you’re at Fort Sill. Letters are mailed overnight to base, so that you can hear from home faster than traditional snail mail.
Learn more about Sandboxx and invite your friends and family to sign up for Sandboxx, so they can start sending you Letters as soon as you get to Fort Sill basic training.
Read more: How does Sandboxx work?
Something to keep in mind while you are at Fort Sill basic training:
You will have two items that you will wear on your chest, every day. Each item represents an important ideal.
First, the US ARMY on the left. Second, your family name on the right. Everything you do in the US Army is a direct reflection of not only yourself but your family’s honor.
If you can’t find the courage or discipline to do good things for yourself then do it for them.
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Pete Thompson says
My son Jordan Thompson is in the 1st/ 79th FA Battalion, Delta Battery, 1st Platoon. Can you tell me what day and time he graduates?
My Son arrived at Fort Sill July 6 , 2021. I just received a quick call when he arrived . He was tired but exited to start training . I get a brief call from him on Sundays with exemption of a couple of Sundays and it is hard not knowing if he is doing ok . We have being communicating via mail with updates about the training . We also were able to comunícate with him using Sandbox , but if you write often , it can get expensive . Right now I am just counting the days for graduation date . I just want to have more details about graduation date and also know if he will have the weekend off after graduation. I wish I can spend a couple of days with him . It has been stressful and hard specially because he left right after graduating from high-school. Prayers to all future soldiers and parents . .
Sarah martin says
My son just went to basic training at Fort Sill OK and he sent the sandbox message to me, but I can’t send a letter without knowing his direct address. Does anyone know how I go about finding it so I can send letters through sandboxx?
Michelle Harbarger says
Same here. I received the Sandboxx text but my son still has not called and it’s been over 72 hours.
You will have to get the mailing address from your soldier when they call whether it’s during reception week or once they ship to their training unit. I hope this helps.
Scott Collins says
Our son left yesterday and the trip was awful. He barely made his connecting flight so no time to eat and he was exhausted. He text us to say they may go to bed at 3:30am and they have a 4:30am wake up. Exhausted and starving is not a good start. He was permitted to give us a 30 second, monitored and scripted phone call at 3:30am. ” I am here, I’m ok. This is the last time I can call for three weeks. Bye” We are freaking out.
My son arrived also Tuesday July 6 th he called me today and said there doing good just miss home and families they start basic Tuesday and that he will call every Sunday it seems there all supporting each other and bonding good I was missing him so much and to hear his voice and that there doing good makes me happy
My son Michael is there I am assuming reception week. He has been there since Tuesday the 6th of July. I’m trying to keep it together but so hard. Is there any support groups that offer help?
Enita Omas says
My son was there too, They started their first day of training June 30th, he give us a quick call and then another quick call today, Thank God that they’re able to call us even just a few minutes. Let’s keep them in our prayers.
I already did send him a letter through sandboxx but didn’t receive any reply yet.
I hope that app. can help us communicate with them.
God is good and He will protect and guide our future soldiers, Keep praying, May the good Lord bless and keep us all
Monica Marin says
Good Evening. My son, Dario Marin, arrived on Jan 6th. I read in one of the comments that the recruiter will be able to give some information but I’m not sure if he knows more than us after his arrival phone call. I know that is not much what you can say but I would like to know that he is safe and healthy.
Given that there’s two weeks ROM (restriction of movement) before starting reception, his recruiter might not know then. You could check with his recruiter after the two weeks to see if he has been assigned to a unit.
Hi! Do we know if recruits during Quarantine phase get to use their phones? And, if so, how often? Thank you!!!
My son is in Fort Sill training since January 5th. i suppose to recive a email for the send box comunication but i haven’t recive the email. i appreciate you and thank you in advance please send me the link
Jaime L Parra says
Trying to find information on my son Jacob Parra at Fort sill. Going on 2 weeks and nothing on his status. Very unnerving for a mother.
This is a late reply, but your son’s recruiter would know some information. Moreover, if there’s an emergency, contacting the Red Cross would be an option. I was told by a friend that the Drill Sergeants have sent out the contact information late which had some effect but not a lot.
Jaime L Parra says
I’m with you, my son is there now and havent heard shit from him. Noone has any information I’m so pissed off. Such bullshit no communication
Y’all have one of my nephews locked down like a criminal ,he hurt him back and instead of fixing him up , y’all have discharged him , thin you said he has COVID-19 so you quarantine him , with a 99 degree fever y’all have made him stay and watch his peers go thru basic training , I want to know the logic behind all this ? We want to come get the boy tomorrow ? Please call me 903-567-1784
Noel Chapman says
Hello my son’s air is 21 weeks long it depends on what their mos is.
How long is AIT?
it depends on your MOS. most are around 6-12 weeks.
Marisa Klinger says
When do they typically get to write their first letter with the address to write our family member in training ..
Kristina Pace says
My son will be arriving at Fort Sill around August 24 or 25th of 2020.
Julie Lovasich says
The comments and questions I see on here are not reassuring at all! How was your son’s basic training? Do you really not hear from them over 2 weeks?
My son has never been away from home. I’m proud he wants to serve, but as a mother you know how difficult it is to let your Child go from high school to graduating to being young adult away from home! His enlistment with his job choice is a minimum of 5 YEARS!!
How do you handle it? How is your Son doing now after being a few months?
I’m not sure if it’s more stressful on our children/young adults, or us!!
Hope to hear from you! Hope all is well!!
Best wishes, Julie Lovasich
Julie, my son will be leaving for basic this summer. I would love to connect, since it sounds like we are both going to be going through a very similar situation! Good luck either way, Trish