Fort Sill

Hooah!! Welcome back for your Week Seven update. Your Trainee has moved into the fourth and final phase of Army BCT. Before you know it, you will be seeing them at their graduation.  

This week they will take the End of Cycle Army Combat Fitness Test, go to the Hand Grenade Range, and conduct a visit to the Buddy Team Live Fire Range.


You may have noticed in your letters and your calls with your Trainee, they are becoming more and more excited about their upcoming graduation. They are eager to see you and have adjusted quite well to Army life. While there are still some significant milestones left to overcome, they are well on their way to earning the title of U.S. Army Soldier.

All of those early morning workouts are going to be put to the test as they take their ACFT. I am sure they are starting to notice quite a bit of difference in their physical appearance and prowess.  


To start Week 7, your Soldier will take their final record Army Combat Physical Fitness Test (ACFT). They must pass the ACFT in order to graduate Army BCT. This can be one of the most stressful events for your Soldier. This test will serve as a true testament to all the hard work your Soldier has put in every morning working out and running with their Drill Sergeants.

Remember there are 6 events on the ACFT: 

  • 3 Repetition Maximum DeadLift
  • Standing Power Throw
  • Hand Release Pushup
  • Sprint-Drag-Carry
  • Plank
  • 2 mile run

The ACFT is scored based on your gender and age. All Trainees must achieve 60 points in each event and have a minimum score of 360 to successfully pass. The maximum score in each event is 100 and the maximum score on the ACFT is 600. For many Soldiers, the progress they have made since their first ACFT assessment in Week 3 will be monumental.


They will also learn about their supporting weapons systems during this week such as the Frag Grenade and the M320 Grenade Launcher. Just like in the Rifle Marksmanship weeks, the Trainees will spend the day at a range where they will practice and qualify with the respective weapons systems. Trainees typically find the M320 and Frag grenade ranges to be a highlight of basic training. These explosive weapon systems are sure to be a spectacle and give them some fun stories to tell.

One of the most memorable events will be the first time they throw a live grenade. This is normally a very stressful time for the Trainees. They must face and overcome their fears while throwing their first grenade. All Trainees must throw two live fragmentation grenades and they will earn a qualification badge for their accomplishment.


At the Buddy Team Live Fire Range, the training will be focused around the fire and maneuver tactics central to infantry Soldiers. The main training event is the Tactical Training Days (TTD 1-4) where the Trainees will learn to shoot, move, and communicate in two person buddy teams. The Trainees will learn the basics of individual movement techniques (IMT) which is the tactical method of moving in combat. Then they will go to the live fire range, put on their protective vests, helmet, ear plugs, and eye protection, and begin practicing the lanes. 

The live fire exercises (LFX) are some of the most stressful events a Trainee can experience as they are required to move and accurately fire live rounds while another Trainee is doing the same thing next to them. A Trainee is required to constantly be aware of their surroundings and must keep their weapon pointed in a safe direction. They are constantly supervised by their Drill Sergeants and once they complete the training, they have a greater respect for their weapons and confidence in their ability to employ them safely. 


This will be an extremely memorable week for your Trainee. They will always remember the first time they threw a live grenade. Be sure to ask them what it was like, I am sure they will have some stories to tell. Also, be sure to ask them about their ACFT. Their motivation level is surging as they prepare for next week’s big event, The Forge.

Remember, Sandboxx letters arrive the next day with return stationery, a pre-addressed envelope, the return postage paid, photos, and an option to add a gift card. But if you don’t have the time to write as often as you’d like, consider adding an Exchange gift card to your next letter. Then you can rest assured your trainee has everything they need to be successful each week at training each. The paper gift card is sent with your Sandboxx Letter and delivered directly to your trainee on base, so they can use it right away. 


Stay tuned for more insights into Week Eight 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 — 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)