Fort Moore | Infantry OSUT

Hooah!! Welcome back for your Week Nine update. This week your Trainee will be put to the ultimate test in one of the most demanding events of Army Infantry OSUT, The Forge. The Forge is a 96 hour Field Training Exercise (FTX) that will draw from everything they have learned since their arrival to Fort Moore. 

WEEK NINE EXPECTATIONS: BLUE PHASE

Week nine will kick off with a 96 hour Field Training Exercise, known as The Forge. You may not hear from your Trainee much this week as they will be in the field almost all week. Once they return from the exercise, they will be happy to read some letters from you as they recover both mentally and physically. This is the final test in the Blue Phase. After this week they will successfully transition into the fourth phase, the Black Phase.

THE FORGE

The “Forge” is a grueling, 96-hour, cumulative training exercise that puts week-nine trainees in a patrol base as they encounter a multitude of combat and logistical scenarios. It emphasizes battle drills, tactical operations, and numerous foot patrols.

Trainees will arrive at the 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 (DS) 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 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.

NIGHT INFILTRATION COURSE

The Night Infiltration Course (NIC) is one of the final events of the Forge. The Company will leave their training area in the afternoon, and move to the range where NIC is conducted. The purpose of the NIC is to condition the Trainees to the thought of moving forward under enemy fire. Once night falls over the range, the Trainees will follow their DS through the woods and into a deep trench at the far end of a sandy field. Opposite them 100 meters away are three machine gun towers where three M240B machine guns are securely bolted into a large turret which precisely directs their stream of fire 15 feet above the ground into a large hill behind the range. 

On command, the Platoon will go over the top of the trench and begin low crawling in darkness towards the towers under volleys of machine gun fire and pyrotechnic flares. With tracer rounds flying overhead, loud explosions, and the constant encouragement of their Drill Sergeants, the Trainees will slowly make their way across the sandy expanse while wearing their body armor, helmet, and other protective equipment. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete the event, and they will be extremely fatigued and full of adrenaline. Upon completion however, they will have a better appreciation for the importance of courage when facing adverse situations.

Once your Trainee is done with their time at The Forge, they’ll conduct a 10 mile Road March back to the Company with the rest of their platoon, and will have some enhancement time for physical and psychological strength building.  

TURNING GREEN

In the 24 hours after The Forge, your Trainee will conduct their official Turning Green Ceremony. This is where they will be officially recognized as a Soldier in the United States Army and issued their U.S. Army patch if they have met all of their graduation requirements. 

Family is welcome to attend the Turning Green Ceremony and also highly encouraged. This will mark the first time you will be able to see your Soldier since they departed on this journey. If you are unable to attend, don’t worry, the graduation will be here before you know if.

You – and your Trainee – are nearing the midway point of Infantry OSUT! It’s almost time to start thinking about reservations for graduation.

LETTERS FROM HOME = MORALE

This week is one of the most significant weeks of Army Infantry OSUT. They have put everything they have learned to the test. They have earned the right to be called a U.S. Army Soldier. In your letter to them, be sure to congratulate them on everything they have achieved. They will be happy to hear from you.

Now is a great time to send your Soldier an Exchange gift card! This way you can rest assured they have everything they need to get through the remainder of training. Plus, a gift card is a great way to say congratulations for everything the have accomplished so far.

THE MAKING OF YOUR SOLDIER

Stay tuned for more insights into Week Ten 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 Trainee is on. Let’s keep supporting them every step of the way!

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)