Dear Parents, Guardians and Spouses:
Basic Combat Training is the first step toward a very challenging, yet rewarding, experience for Soldiers. This process includes learning discipline, self-confidence, Army standards and teamwork. We challenge each Soldier to reach their maximum potential to be “Army Strong” through military instruction, marching, physical and field training. Most importantly, we impart the Army values, principles and the spirit that makes all of us in uniform proud to be serving our country. Clearly, our objective is to discipline, motivate and challenge each Soldier to achieve the highest standards and live by the Army values.
Your Soldiers are well cared for in terms of their nutrition, health, living conditions, spiritual welfare and training. We realize the high level of trust that you have placed in the Army and in this unit to properly care of your loved one. We have no higher purpose than training and taking care of our young Soldiers while maintaining your trust in America’s Army.
The meals that we serve are balanced and designed to support the rigorous physical demands of training. Do not send food items by mail, Soldiers are unable to enjoy them, as they will be stored until graduation. Also, the use of tobacco products is forbidden during Basic Combat Training. Do not send tobacco products to your Soldier. Finally, Soldiers are required to provide their full attention to training so do not send reading material, other than spiritual material.
Sunday morning is set aside as a time for Soldiers to attend chapel services of their religious preference. Hundreds of your young Soldiers take advantage of this opportunity each week to strengthen their spiritual muscle. Our Battalion Chaplain is available to any Soldier who needs his counseling.
Basic Combat Training is both physically and mentally challenging. Your loved one will probably seek your emotional support during Basic Combat Training. Your support of them is important. Few Soldiers will say they love it, but Basic Combat Training is not supposed to be fun. Many Soldiers will be questioning their decision to come into the Army. Your positive encouragement is critical to their success. We recommend that you reinforce with them the commitment they made and the benefit of their service to themselves and their country. Time constraints may prevent your loved one from writing to you as often as you would like. Our Soldiers are so busy that days pass before they realize it. Please be understanding and continue to write as many encouraging letters as possible. Your mail is a “lifeline to family and friends back home”. Due to our schedule and organization, please use only standard U.S. postage. Using Certified or Express mail can actually add up to five days to the delivery time of those letters.
Because there are many things to learn during Basic Combat Training, Soldiers will have little free time. There will be no visitation privileges for Soldiers until the day before graduation. If there is a true emergency at home, please contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to find your closest chapter or for assistance visit the Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html. They will contact our unit as required.
The people most responsible for training are the Drill Sergeants. These men and women are carefully selected, highly trained, professional Noncommissioned Officers, who are dedicated to producing disciplined, motivated and physically fit Soldiers. The Drill Sergeant is the primary instructor for almost all training during Basic Combat Training. In the weeks ahead, expect to hear stories about Drill Sergeants. We promise that the Drill Sergeant is one person they will never forget.
Unlike many other career paths the Army is very much a Family affair and lifestyle commitment. The more information that you have as a Family member about the Army the easier it is for you to become a member of the Big Army Family. There is a significant amount of information about Family programs and resources available at http://www.myarmylifetoo.com. I would encourage every Family member to reference that site to answer some of your questions about Army life in general from a Family member’s perspective.
In a few weeks, you will receive information on the family day activities and graduation day ceremony. We strongly encourage you to attend this special occasion. It is a very important event in the life of each Soldier. Your presence will be greatly appreciated.
We are looking forward to meeting you.
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