Basic Combat Training

Once you’ve decided to join the Guard, passed the eligibility requirements and taken the oath, the next step on your journey from civilian to Soldier is Basic Combat Training (BCT). While Physical fitness training is a big part of it, BCT is not all about push-ups and sit-ups. You’ll also learn the benefits of discipline in all you do. You’ll learn core Army Values, along with critical combat and occupational skills. You’ll learn to depend on your fellow Soldiers. You’ll earn their trust as well. Basic Training runs 10 weeks and is broken down into three phases: Red, White and Blue.

Red Phase

In this phase, also known as Patriot Phase, you’ll learn the fundamentals of soldiering. Things like discipline, values and teamwork. You will participate in physical readiness training, road marches and confidence-building exercises. You’ll learn first aid and participate in hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla exercises. Most of your classroom training occurs during Red Phase. You’ll study Army heritage, Army traditions and the seven core Army Values. Occasionally, you may be assigned tasks such as guarding your barracks overnight. Red Phase introduces you to the intensity of Army training and prepares you for the challenges to come in the next two phases.

White Phase

Your physical training will continue, of course. In White Phase, you’ll also learn rifle marksmanship and qualify with your assigned weapon. You’ll learn Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills—basic Soldier skills necessary to meet the needs of the U.S. Army. Put your heart and soul into it, and your confidence will continue to grow. You’ll earn your rifle qualification badge when you successfully complete White Phase.

Blue Phase

In the third and final phase, also known as Warrior Phase, you’ll throw live hand grenades. You’ll learn to operate additional weapons, train in urban warfare and learn to survive in the field for multiple days. You’ll continue to build on everything you learned in the Red and White phases, with a special focus on teamwork and discipline. After passing all your BCT tests and meeting all your BCT challenges, you’ll qualify to wear the Army black beret.