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Published:August 21st, 2009 14:45 EST
Joining the Military, Are You Ready for Basic Training?

Joining the Military, Are You Ready for Basic Training?

By Ron G Anselm

     When I was a young kid trying to decide what I wanted to do to start out, I really never imagined I would join the military. The military is probably the best place to start for anyone just graduating high school, and not sure what they want to do in life.

     Living on my own at seventeen-years old and at times starting to wander down the wrong path, it was a big challenge to get my life on track.

     Joining the military is the best decision I have ever made. Lots of people were intimated at just hearing the word "military", but never really realized how big and great an asset the military is to starting out in life and to learn complete discipline in every sense of work, life, values, integrity, and life in general is an accomplishment in every word of the sense.

     You learn a valuable skill that you can use to build on throughout your life. The military trains you and pays for that training which is in itself is a valuable asset to you. The military trains you in other aspects of job training, and in my opinion is the best training in the world. They also provide the best benefits of any employer.

     I learned the skill of warehouse operations, inventory management, supply management, purchasing, supply chain and logistics, leadership and management. I have built my career and resume from the skills I learned in the military, and have taken those skills and branched out to other opportunities.

     When you make it through the initial testing process, the physical, and then through the rest of the recruiting process, you have to then go through the big challenge of making it in basic training.

     The first service I joined was the United States Army. For anyone just starting out in the military it does take a big commitment on their part to get used to the lifestyle change. But it is a positive lifestyle change. I was not used to getting up before the crack of dawn, or as we called it in the military; O` dark thirty " and right when my feet hit the floor out of my bunk and out of a dead sleep when revile was sounding down the long hallways of the barracks and the Drill Sergeant with his round brown hat was screaming at the top of his lungs getting everyone in the squad bay up and moving and at the same time motivating me to move and move fast, was something I had to get used to and I am sure anyone would.

     Basic training is designed to train and mold the individual into a soldier, and the Drill Sergeants do not have very long to take those recruits through the massive training program that molds the person from a back on the block " civilian into the best, a United States soldier. With this time constraint, of course you are going to have the over twenty-hour days, very little sleep, tons of great training, and on top of that; getting your body physically in shape and mentally ready to face the tough challenges of being a soldier.

     All of this at first for anyone that is not accustomed to this lifestyle will more than likely want to make that person turn around, get back on a flight, and go home. But from experience, you learn to actually love it as you see yourself accomplishing challenges you never had to face and see yourself growing as you become a soldier. And feel the confidence that you never thought you had or even existed in you and mentally get the "Can Do" attitude instilled in you.

     You should prepare yourself for basic training before you go in. In basic training you will be doing thousands of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and calisthenics. When I went through Army Basic Training most days we did hours of these exercises a day on top of other exercises and running. Man, we must have run marathon after marathon.

     At first, if your body is not ready for this physical strain, it will be more of a challenge for you to keep up with the military requirements of physical training, and will be more painful for you as you get in the best shape of your life. But, if you start to prepare before going in, you will be  ahead of the game and ready to face the challenge of basic training.

     I would suggest starting out in your workout routine slow, especially if you have not worked out before or are not in the greatest shape. I would also check first with your physician to let him or her know you are starting a workout routine, and make sure you are healthy enough to do so. Focus on a push-up and sit-up routine, and get your body ready for all the running you will do in basic training. I know the military requirements have probably changed since I went through basic training, but in any case you will have to be in good enough shape to pass the military physical fitness tests that are given throughout basic training. There is no failing any test whether physical fitness or otherwise.

     You`re basically taken in a step by step process of getting in shape and ready to pass every physical fitness test. When I took each physical fitness test, I could see myself receiving higher scores on the next physical fitness test and the next and so on until the final physical fitness test just before graduation. If I remember correctly, I ran the two-mile run in around nine minutes, did over 120 push-ups in less than two-minutes; I think I did all of them in a minute and then started to burn out, and over 150 sit-ups in less than two-minutes. There is no way I was in this kind of shape when I first went in basic training, so you can see the progress you make in physical fitness training. You don`t even have to pay for a gym membership to work out and see results! It`s all free.

     On top of all the training in physical fitness you`re also going to be taking a lot of tests required to mold you into a soldier and again there is no failing those tests. I would get used to studying and reading for comprehension. You will also be required to know how to shoot a rifle. We spent a lot of time on the rifle range and yes, there are required tests to pass and to qualify you on the military rifle.

     This is just a small fraction of what basic training is like. But the point is to prepare yourself both mentally and physically to pass basic training, and be proud to say you are now part of the best military in the world. You will be proud to lead the way and set the example for others to follow. Knowing I served our great country and was a United States soldier is the greatest feeling of pride and accomplishment I have ever felt. The military has helped me prepare and face every challenge life has thrown at me.