One of the most difficult parts of supporting your family member in enlisting in the Army is dealing with the first separation when he leaves for training. While in training, communication via phone will be very limited with phone calls generally only happening once a week at a maximum. Many spouses wonder when they will be able to live with their soldier again.
Spouses are not allowed to live with their soldiers during basic training. Soldiers are required to live on post in the barracks during this introduction to the Army. While family members are free to move to the same area, they will not be allowed to see the soldier any more often than if they lived far away. Visitation during basic training is only allowed for family day and graduation.
Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
The longer his AIT is, the more likely it is that he will have more freedom. My husband went through AIT for infantry and he didn’t have any more freedom during AIT than he had during basic training.
For soldiers who attend an AIT of longer than 20 weeks, dependents will often be added to his orders. This means that the Army will pay for the family to move to the AIT location. After a certain time period, the soldier will be allowed to live with his family if he chooses. This generally occurs after making it through the first phase of AIT.
If his AIT is less than 20 weeks long, the dependents will generally not be added to his orders. While the family can still move to the location of AIT, they will not be able to live on post and the Army will not pay for the move.
Every AIT is different as far as free time and the hours of training. Before moving to the area, it is important to talk to others who have been through the same training to get an idea of the amount of time he will have to spend with family. It only increases frustration to know he is just around the corner but still can’t be visited if his AIT is very strict with his time.
First Duty Station
Some soldiers will have additional training after AIT such as airborne. But a great majority will be assigned to their first duty station after AIT. For most families, this is when they will be able to be reunited with their soldier in a more permanent way.
Families will often be included on orders with the only exception being some overseas locations. The Army will pay for the family to move to the first duty station and will provide housing on post. If the family chooses not to live on post, the Army will provide a housing allowance to live off post based on the soldier’s rank and zip code of the post.
FAQ – Can I bring a spouse, fiancé, friend with me while I’m in training?
NO. The Army does not authorize Soldiers in the first two phases of AIT (Phase IV and V) accompanied travel.
FAQ – Can I communicate with my Soldier
Recruits cannot receive phone calls at BCT, but they are required to call their family within 72 hours of their arrival. Family members can use the Red Cross or the IADT Coordinator for emergencies, and they can send mail and care packages. However, there are no visits permitted during BCT until Graduation Day.
FAQ – Can I visit my Soldier or can my Soldier travel to visit me?
Depending on the training schedule and a Soldier’s demonstrated performance and maturity, a commander may grant leave or either an on-post or an off-post pass. Never assume that you will be able to visit a Soldier or have a Soldier visit without first discussing the Soldier’s training schedule with him. Although commanders may grant both passes and leave, both are contingent on the training schedule.
AIT trains on most Saturdays. Additionally, commanders may grant leave for emergencies. You should contact the American Red Cross when such an emergency exists. Although the American Red Cross does not grant leave, the message they provide allows the commander to make decisions based on the nature of the emergency. Finally, when Soldier’s graduate from AIT and do not have a scheduled follow-on course, each may take up to 10 days of leave before reporting to his U.S-based assignment or 14 days leave for assignments overseas or in Alaska or Hawaii.
FAQ – Can Soldier receive an off post pass for the weekend he graduates BCT?
Soldiers who have family members that attend BCT graduation and will be staying in the area for the weekend may be granted a pass. The pass is good for the following times and days:
The day of graduation – Soldier can be signed out from 1-78 FA AIT after In Processing the Battalion and Battery is complete.
8:00pm – must sign Soldier in
Saturday – 9:00am sign Soldier out
8:00pm – must sign Soldier in
Sunday – 9:00am sign Soldier out
3:00pm – must sign Soldier in
Only Soldiers with immediate family members (Father, Mother, grandparents and/or Spouse) will be able to sign the Soldier out for a weekend pass following BCT graduation. Fiancées, boyfriends or girlfriends WILL NOT be permitted to sign the Soldier out. Soldiers can be signed back in at any time during the time period they are signed out.