Secrets to Basic Training Success
By SGT Michael Volkin
So you heard the rumors and stories about basic training, but have you heard the facts? From someone who has coached thousands of recruits through basic training, I have heard every question imaginable:
“SGT Volkin I heard there are some nights where you have to exercise through the night in basic training, is that true?”
“SGT Volkin is it true that drill sergeants are legally allowed to hit you?”
“SGT Volkin I heard that if someone misbehaves you can be deprived of meals, is that true?”
While all of the above questions are false, there are hundreds more which prompted me to write The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook. Even though I continue to receive questions daily from recruits all over the country, I would like to focus this article on the hidden aspects of basic training. Below are some points about basic training you may not know.
No… You Can’t Smoke
Unfortunately, smoking is an all too common habit for many military personnel. However, when you are in basic training there are no smoke breaks. If you like to smoke, I suggest you quick smoking on your own terms and not your drill sergeants terms. If you quit smoking “cold turkey” in boot camp, you will have a much tougher time trying to handle the stress of basic training.
YouTube & MilitarySpot can help you Prepare
Welcome to the 21st century! There are plenty of preparation tools available to you. One of the best preparation tools you can use is actual video clips of other recruits basic training cycles. Use the following links to view a small sample of the videos available to you:
Basic Training Tips:
There is a learning process to eating MREs
Learn how to eat a MRE before you leave for basic training. MRE stands for Meal, Ready-to-Eat. I explain how to eat MREs in my book. Unfortunately, the first time you see an MRE you will be in the field and your drill sergeant will give you 10 minutes to eat one. However, it takes most recruits about 15 minutes to learn how to open and heat their meal. This will be your lunch, your dinner, and sometimes even your breakfast. You do not get many luxuries in basic training, so at least make sure you eat well.
Believe it or not, snacking is a habit. Most people don’t realize that snacking is a habit so they continue to snack all day long. There is no snacking at basic training, just a quick three square meals a day. I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to go one week without eating anything but three square meals a day. It’s tough to do! You will realize your hooked on snacks the first few hours your at basic training. To overcome this habit, I strongly suggest you take the challenge I just mentioned. The week before you leave for basic training, stop snacking. Doing this before you leave for basic training will accustom your body and mind for your eating only three meals a day. The first week you will go without snacking is the toughest, its better you overcome this at home than fight it at basic training in combination with all the other stress you have to deal with.