Fort Moore | Infantry OSUT

Hooah!! Welcome to the U.S. Army family. My name is Sergeant Major Kris Broadus—but you can call me Kris. I’m here to help you understand exactly what happens at Army One Station Unit Training (OSUT) over the next 22 weeks.

This path is tough and demanding, but at the end, your Trainee will have EARNED the title U.S. Army Soldier.

TRANSFORMATION BEGINS

By now your Trainee has left Reception and they have arrived at their BCT Unit. While in Reception, your trainee swapped out their civilian clothes for Army uniforms, received haircuts, and may have made a brief phone call home. They learn about grooming, uniform standards, barracks upkeep, and conduct. They received medical and dental checks to ensure they’re fit for the rigorous training ahead. They are also onboarded with pay and everything else they need to start their Army career.  

This is a difficult period for your Trainee. For the first time in many of their lives, they are without a cell phone, around new people, and are in an environment that is completely foreign to them. If they sound a little down or nervous, don’t worry, it is completely normal.

There are four phases to Army Basic Combat Training, Yellow, Red, White, and Blue. Before the official start of BCT, your Trainee was picked up at Reception by their Drill Sergeants and conducted their first test, The First 100 Yards.

THE FIRST 100 YARDS

The first week begins with the Trainees meeting the Drill Sergeants (DS), who will be responsible for their training throughout One Station Unit Training (OSUT). This is not your traditional first impression handshake; it’s an intense time for the trainees as the Drill Sergeants receive them from the Reception Battalion and they embark upon their first challenge in the Army, the First 100 Yards. 

The meaning behind the First 100 Yards dates to World War I, when Infantry Soldiers left the protection of the trench and went across the battlefield to engage the enemy. Leaving the safety of the trench meant that they had faith in their leadership and the Soldier beside them as they charged the enemy positions. In similar fashion, the new Trainees must learn to trust their new Platoon and their Drill Sergeants as they face the challenges ahead of them.

Upon arrival at the drop off point, trainees are divided into Platoons and given a brief introduction to drill and ceremonies. Once in formation, they will be introduced to their Cadre and given a history lesson on their new unit.

After their introduction, the First 100 Yards will commence. Their first task will be to conduct a resupply mission where they are required to move an arrangement of items from their start point to a designated drop off point. This is a very stressful event where they must learn to work as a team to transport cumbersome equipment, and maintain the cohesion of their group. They will cover approximately a half mile of distance with the team moving hundreds of pounds of equipment. Once they arrive at the drop off zone, they will be required to re-assemble their equipment pallet in the same configuration it was when they found it at the start point. During this mission, they will be exposed to simulated gun fire, grenades, and artillery fire.

Upon completion of their resupply mission, each platoon will compete against each other in a series of challenges. These events include a head-to head sandbag race, medical evacuation race, and a tug of war competition. The Drill Sergeants will be competing right alongside the trainees during these competitions and everything else they do throughout the First 100 Yards. This is a significant experience to be so close to their new Drill Sergeants who will lead them for the next 22 weeks.

Once the competition is over, everyone will gather together for a final demonstration. Simulated gunshots and smoke will fire and an Infantry squad will emerge from the woodline. This will show the trainees what they can accomplish after 22 weeks of training.  

WEEK 1 EXPECTATIONS: YELLOW PHASE

Week One marks the beginning of the first of six phases of Infantry OSUT, Yellow, Red, White, Blue, Black and Gold. During each phase, your trainee will work to complete a set of necessary tasks and exercises in order to proceed to the next phase. Please note that there may be slight variations in each phase’s weekly schedule between companies.

During week one, Trainees are subject to total control, and every action is monitored and constantly corrected by their DS. As a result, trainees are often subjected to group corrective action, even for minor infractions. This is so that all trainees develop an acute attention to detail, and foster a sense of common responsibility among the unit.

The majority of this week will be spent in a classroom setting. Here they will begin to learn the basic principles of the Army. Both the Army Values and the Warrior Ethos must be memorized by the end of the first week of OSUT. Trainees can remember the Army Values – Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage – by using the acronym LDRSHIP. They’ll have to be a bit more creative when it comes time to learn the Warrior Ethos, which states:

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

TEAM DEVELOPMENT COURSE

During the middle of the week, your Trainee will complete the Team Development Course (TDC). The TDC is a series of physical challenges that require the Trainees to work as a team to move themselves and pieces of equipment from one side of an obstacle to the other. These obstacles can consist of water moats, walls, and a variety of other barriers that the trainees must work together to figure out how to navigate.

Before the end of the week, your Trainee will also begin their introduction to US Mines and explosives, and they will also be issued their weapon. Your Trainee will be issued an M4 Carbine. During their 22 weeks of training they will carry this weapon with them and they will be charged with the responsibility to care and maintain it while firing roughly 9,000 rounds during their training.

LETTERS FROM HOME = MORALE

Your support as family and friends is invaluable. Letters of encouragement can significantly boost their morale, helping them persevere to graduation. If you’re unsure what to write, start with simple questions about their daily experiences or opt for the Daily Drive letter add-on for consistent support. 

Although Sandboxx letters arrive the next day with return stationery, a pre-addressed envelope, the return postage paid, photos, and a gift card feature, don’t feel like you have to use Sandboxx to send letters. We encourage handwritten letters and cards – these are super important.

THE MAKING OF YOUR SOLDIER

I’ve spent 25 years in the Army leading America’s sons and daughters, and I’m now using this experience to help new Army families and friends understand the BCT journey. I’m here to help you understand exactly what happens at Army One Station Unit Training (OSUT) over the next 22 weeks.

That’s a brief look at the intense but rewarding journey your Trainee  is on. Let’s keep supporting them every step of the way! Stay tuned for more insights into Week Two and beyond. Follow us on social media for the latest updates, letter ideas, and more.

You can always find me via chat in the Sandboxx app or happiness@sandboxx.us — just ask for Kris, and myself or another teammate will get back to you as soon as we can.

Hooah!

SGM Kris Broadus, U.S. Army (Ret)