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Dear Parents, Friends, and Family Members: Your Soldier has arrived safely at Fort Jackson and has been assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment for Basic Combat Training. Because Basic Training can be stressful, I am asking that you write to your Soldier. Encouraging and cheerful letters from home will help overcome the homesickness that may occur during your Soldier’s transition into the military.
I assure you that all our Soldiers are well cared for in terms of their health, living conditions, spiritual welfare, nutrition, and training. I appreciate the trust that you placed in the Army and in us for the proper care of your loved one. The meals served are balanced and designed to support the physical demands of training. Our Soldiers are on a nutritious diet, additional food items are not authorized and the use of tobacco or consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Please do not send these items.
Basic Training is the first step toward a very challenging, yet rewarding experience in service to our country. The purpose of Basic Training is to transform civilians into Soldiers. They learn basic Soldiering and survival skills that challenge them to reach their potential and truly become “Army Strong.” Most importantly, they learn about the values, principles, and spirit that make us all proud to wear the uniform.
The people most responsible for your Soldier’s training are the Drill Sergeants. These men and women are carefully selected, highly trained, and professional noncommissioned officers who are dedicated to producing disciplined, motivated, and physically fit Soldiers. Their job is to teach Soldiers the necessary standards of the Army. Unfortunately, not every Soldier will successfully make it through Basic Training. Some are unable to meet the physical demands; others will not successfully adjust to military life; and still others will find they lack the motivation to succeed. However, if these individuals have tried their absolute best, they need not feel ashamed, for the Army is not for everyone.
After successful completion of nine weeks of Basic Training, most Soldiers are reassigned to other units, either here at Fort Jackson or at other posts in the United States to complete Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The training they receive during AIT is designed to teach them the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) they will use once they reach their first permanent unit of assignment.
If there is a true emergency at home, please contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross who will then contact your Soldier’s company. Even though we emphasize staying in touch with loved ones, time constraints may prevent your Soldier from writing to you as often as you would like. Our Soldiers are so busy that the days pass before they realize it. Please be understanding, and continue to write your Soldier.
If you have any questions about your Soldier, please feel free to contact the Company Commander or First Sergeant whose names and phone numbers are listed under the Company Directory.
Robert A. Murphy