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Basic Training at Fort Jackson

"Victory Starts Here"

About this Site

This site provides a direct link between the Soldiers attending Basic Combat Training, the leaders responsible for their training, and you! We encourage you to come back often and follow along as your Soldier progresses through BCT.

Learn about Reception

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Creating the US Army Soldier
Soldiers in Formation

Basic Combat Training, often referred to as just BCT, is the introduction Soldiers recieve as they enter the Army. It is often considered a life-changing experience, something that people remember, reflect on, and tell stories to their grand children about decades later.

BCT is not easy...as we often say here, there is nothing basic about Basic Training.

BCT takes 10 weeks to complete. Unlike schools which typically have between six and seven hours a day of teaching, the Army trains for about 12-14 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. We try to avoid too much sitting in a classroom...but it does happen:

Rifle Fundamentals Training

We also spend a little bit of time outside; getting some fresh air and, when the opportunity presents itself, a little exercise:

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Traveling...by foot:

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Climbing ropes:

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And if you're good enough, graduating in front of your friends and Family!

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Training Photos
Basic Training Units

165th Infantry Brigade: Click here

193rd Infantry Brigade: Click here

Basic Combat Training Graduation Calendar:

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

Typical Training Schedule

Week 0: Reception
Soldiers complete administrative actions required to become part of the Army. Simple things such as medical examinations, setting up pay, and initial issue of equipment is completed. This process typically takes between two and three days but can take over a week in some cases.


Weeks 1-3: Red Phase
Welcome to BCT! Soldiers meet their Drill Sergeants and begin training. While often considered a difficult week for Soldiers due to the adjustments, it is actually pretty easy compared to later weeks. Most classroom-type training occurs in this period where Soldiers learn about:

  • Ballistics and Rifle Marksmanship Fundamentals
  • Personal financial management
  • Law of Land Warfare
  • Uniform Code of Military Justice (Military Law)
  • Dismounted Land Navigation (using a map and compass)
  • Fundamentals of Physical Readiness
  • Nutrition
  • Rappelling and navigating rope bridges
  • Drill and Ceremonies (marching)
  • Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Defense (often referred to as the Gas Chamber)
  • Fieldcraft
  • Patrolling

Weeks 4-5: White Phase
This phase is sometimes referred to the rifleman phase, qualification phase, shoot phase, and some other names. Whatever the term, the training focus is the same...how to identify, track, target, and effectively engage targets with a rifle. In a word, Soldiers learn "Marksmanship". The training is progressive and becomes more difficult as the training progresses:

  • Fundamentals of Rifle Marksmanship are reinforced
  • Zero a rifle (align the rifle sites to hit targets at different distances)
  • Engage targets at various distances
  • Engage targets at various distances using three different positions
    • Prone supported (laying down with a brace to hold the weapon steady)
    • Prone unsupported (laying down using only your hands to hold the weapon steady)
    • Kneeling unsupported (one knee on the ground, resting the weapon on the other knee)
  • Engage targets at various distances with limited time
  • Prioritize and engage multiple simultaneous targets at various distances with limited time
  • Engage targets at various distances, with limited and variable amounts of time, with a changing number of simultaneous targets available at any particular time...passing this requirement is also known as Rifle Qualification.

Weeks 6-9: Blue Phase
The culminating phase of BCT, Soldiers combine the skills they learned in earlier phases of training to complete advanced combat tasks.

  • Advanced Rifle Marksmanship (close combat and use of aiming tools such as lasers)
  • Patrol and attack as a squad
  • Maneuver and engage targets as part of a team
  • Employ "crew-served" and more powerful weapons
    • M240B Machine Gun
    • AT4 Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher
    • M203 40mm Grenade Launcher
  • Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT - Fighting in a city)
  • Convoy Defense
  • Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat
  • Long-distance Road Marching with combat load
  • Foward Operating Base (FOB) operations
  • Control Point operations

Week 10: Graduation
The final week of BCT is all about you and your Family. After completing the final training events to include a week of field training and a 15km march under load back into the main part of the post, Soldiers are given a day with their Families to catch up and share their experiences. On the following day, Soldiers graduate and are sent to the next phase of their training that in almost all cases is Advanced Individual Training (AIT). alt text