Fort Leonard Wood

Hi, Kris here, back with your week eight training week update. 

Week Eight Intel

By week eight, trainees will have learned the meaning of the Army Values and Personal Courage through their own actions, and have gained more confidence and skills every day. However, there is still more training to complete before they are able to graduate. Week eight includes a foot march, tackling the Forge challenge and training on Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat.

To start week eight, your trainee will don their full battle rattle once again to go on a 10 mile foot march with their platoon. You may have noticed that the length of their required foot marches has gotten longer with each exercise as your trainee continues to build up strength and stamina.

The following day, your trainee will head out for the Forge. This third and final field training exercise is the culmination of all their training and chance to prove they have what it takes to be a U.S. Army Soldier.

After a ~15 kilometer tactical foot march, trainees will arrive at Victory Forge, where their mental and physical abilities are tested to their limits. They are evaluated on everything they’ve learned in the prior eight weeks of training, from basic first aid to security and reconnaissance patrols. The drill sergeants will advise the trainees, but tactical decisions will be made by the platoon leaders and squad leaders. While each exercise differs in scenarios, all Basic Combat Training programs include an FTX.

The drill sergeants (DS) make the experience as realistic as possible by providing the trainees with intelligence reports and throwing sporadic enemy contact at the trainees, so they have to figure out how to secure the local area and their base from the threat. By the end of the Forge, your trainee will have completed 44 tasks and battle drills, as well as hand-to-hand combat with pugil sticks – all while running on minimal sleep, while lugging lots of heavy equipment. Overall, this test is something that will test your trainee physically, mentally and emotionally.At the end of the FTX, trainees return to garrison as soldiers after a short, informal field ceremony marking the culmination of their transition – the Rite of Passage.

Once your trainee is done with their time at Victory Forge, they’ll return to base with the rest of their platoon, and will have some enhancement time for physical and psychological strength building.

Your trainee will also receive training on Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat, and Forward Operating Base (FOB) and Control Point (CP) operations. Each time they move out to a training site, they are in a full battle rattle, conducting tactical foot marches – learning to tie all their training together.

You – and your trainee – are nearing the end of basic training! Only a few more short weeks to go until you’ll be reunited once again! In your Letter to your trainee this week, be sure to tell them which part (or parts) of the weekend you are looking forward to most.


Retired Sgt. Maj. Kris Broadus