May and June are always big times for people to join the military. School is out and most people have their diplomas in hand. For the high school grads the military is an adventure, like the boat trip in Willy Wanka while the college grads look at it as a way to repay student loans and get out of their parents basements!! Here are a few tips to make life in basic training and your military career easier.
Branch out: When you get to basic training you will meet one or two people who you really connect with. These people are your go tos when you have a problem or just want to talk. While it is always great to have a few close friends it is good to meet other people and build your network. The more people you know the better your career will be besides, basic training is a lot like college; aside from the screaming, cussing, and lack of sleep.
Speaking of lack of sleep: You are young!! You will have plenty of time to sleep, so when someone ask you to take that extra fire guard shift for 20 bucks do it!! Trust me, that 20 bucks is the easiest money you will ever make in your life. You can also catch up on sleep between traveling, training, and cleaning if you are careful enough.
Dont buy the snacks: For most people just joining the military, money is an unknown concept and when you take an 18-year-old, give him a paycheck he can’t spend and then offer snacks $4 more than the shelf price at Wal-Mart they buy it without thinking!! Just save the money guys, protein bars and Gatorade are only a few weeks away and you will appreciate seeing the higher figure in your bank account.
Dont over think it: If a drill sergeant tells you to throw the grenade and then get down YOU DO IT!! If you are told to be in formation with a toothbrush, wearing nothing but socks do it (Ok you wont be asked to do that but you get my point). Most soldiers start getting into trouble in basic training when they over analyze what was asked of them.
Just Do IT: No, im not talking about the Nike slogan I’m talking about the things you are afraid of. If you are nervous climbing up Eagle Tower just remember, someone else was scared to and they made it. Scared of getting that peanut butter shot? Well, at least you will be healthy afterwards!! And sore…..
The gas chamber will suck: There is not much else to say on this one, the gas chamber is horrible!! Some people can tolerate it and these people are just really lucky but for the most part you will feel like you are going to die. But relax, take a deep breath in and remember, you signed up for this.
You will change: Change is not always a bad thing and you have defiantly done that. After 9 weeks you are a different person; confident, efficient, thinner are all words to describe you and people will notice it. So on family day just smile and laugh when your family comments on the changes, even though you can’t see them.
Set up a savings plan: I can’t tell you how many people I saw using their money to buy T.Vs, PlayStation’s, girlfriends/boyfriends new clothes, etc. You are young, start saving that money. I’m not saying you can’t spend it on anything but seriously think long and hard before you go on a spending spree.
Have fun: Remember, this is one of the few times in your life where everything is paid for, you are making good money, and you are actually paid to workout!! Enjoy it, the scariest part of basic training is the beginning few weeks and after that you feel more like a family. Basic training goes by quickly so always be sure to take a minute and appreciate the people and things around you, then drop down and give me 20!!!
What are some stories my fellow veterans have of basic training? Where did you go to basic training? What did you like the most/least about basic training? Like and subscribe to be part of the conversation!!