Fort Moore | Infantry OSUT

Hooah!! Welcome back for your Week Ten update. Congrats to your Soldier on entering their fifth phase of Infantry OSUT Training, the Black Phase! We hope you were able to attend the Turning Green Ceremony last week. You may have noticed that they are no longer referred to as Trainees, they have earned the right to be called Soldier!  


The Black Phase begins the formal portion of Infantry OSUT where they will learn and develop the skills required to become an Infantry Soldier. They have moved past the basic Soldier portion of training and will now focus on advancing their knowledge into experts in the Infantry arena.


During this week your Soldier will spend some time in the classroom getting instruction and familiarization on the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, commonly referred to as the SAW. The M249 is an individually portable, gas operated, magazine or disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, light machine gun with fixed headspace and quick change barrel feature. The M249 engages point targets out to 800 meters, firing the improved NATO standard 5.56mm cartridge. The SAW forms the basis of firepower for the fire team. 

Once your Soldier completes their classroom instruction, they will move out to the range and learn how to zero the weapon and fire to ensure they have a good shot group. They will also be coached by their Drill Sergeants on how to properly brace the weapon, fire the appropriate number of rounds in a burst, and “walk the rounds” up the target to ensure a hit.

The M249 is the first machine gun the Soldiers will train on and is one of the iconic weapons of the Infantry. For many Soldiers who join the Infantry, they report that they joined up to “travel the world” and “shoot machine guns.” This week is the first time they will get the opportunity to do the latter. 


Also this week, your Soldier will learn about mines. They will have the opportunity to to fire the M18 Claymore Mine. This is known to cause an exhilarating and loud explosion. Not all Soldiers will get to fire this live mine, but they will all become very familiar and competent on the use of them. One of the most important things they will take away from the Claymore Mine training is “Front towards the enemy.”


In your letter this week ask your Soldier how they are enjoying getting to know the M249 SAW this week. I am sure they will be excited to tell you all about it. Next week they will get to qualify with it and also do some Land Navigation.

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.


Stay tuned for more insights into Week Eleven and beyond. Follow us on social media for the latest updates, letter ideas, and more.

That’s a brief look at the intense but rewarding journey your Soldier is on. Let’s keep supporting them every step of the way!

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


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