First, Army Basic Training is not called Boot Camp. I think it’s a term that was originally used, but the Army moved away from it. From what I understand, the Marine Corps still call it that. To the Army, it’s Basic Training and is the soldier’s introduction to the military.
My basic training was at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We were an entire class of women. Most were 18 years old or so, and there were a few of us like me who were older. Because I had college, I came in as a Private First Class instead of a Private (which largely means more pay, but you still are treated the same way).
When I first arrived, I ended up at Reception Station for two weeks while they got enough women to fill our Basic Training company. That was about 90 women, so thirty per platoon.
Nothing can really prepare you for Basic Training. I can write all the details here about what it is was like, and it’d still be like being thrown into icy water in utter blackness. It is an experience beyond imagination. This is a video I ran across for Day Zero of Basic Training — are thrown into that water.
If you can only watch a few minutes of it, I won’t be offended. It was as bad as it looks, and worse, and very frightening. I had trouble watching all of it because I know what these guys are going through.
Next up will be “hauling soldiers in a Cattle Car,” so tune in, same military channel, same military time tomorrow.