US Army ASVAB Career

US Army Bootcamp | What to Expect!

Jun 1st, 2021
us army bootcamp what to expect

10-Week Training Program

You have taken as many ASVAB test practice questions as possible and managed to pass the ASVAB exam and enlist in your chosen army career.

What’s next?

We’ve already looked at what happens during Navy boot camp; so here we learn more about what new recruits to the Army can expect.


And bootcamp is tough – there are no ways about it. US army bootcamp involves ten weeks of tough and challenging training. You will be pushed to your limits – both mentally and physically – so don’t plan on getting comfortable any time soon.

There are three phrases to US army bootcamp:

  • Phase Red
  • Phase White
  • Phase Blue

Here’s exactly what you can expect in each of these three phases.

Army Training: Phase Red

Duration: 3-weeks

This three-week training period is packed with both classroom and physical training and testing. The schedule is tight – and this will reinforce the kind of discipline that will transform each volunteer into a hardened soldier.

Shakedown is the very first thing you can expect; that phase when you are checked for contraband. Break this rule and watch your drill sergeant lose the plot! Over the course of the three-week interval, you will experience:

  • Physical ability assessment via the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
  • Seven Core Army Values
  • NBC Chamber (Nuclear-Biological-Chemical chamber)
  • Crowd control and management
  • Inspecting barracks
  • Operation and management of your M16
  • Combat training; both hand-to-hand and guerrilla
  • Fundamental principles of operating as an effective soldier
  • Importance of developing and fostering discipline

This is a tough schedule, but it is necessary training for any prospective soldier in the US armed forces. It also prepares candidates for Phase White.

Army Training: Phase White

Duration: Week 4 and Week 5

This is sometimes referred to as the Gunfighter Phase.

As the name suggests, this phase is geared toward development combat skills – with a notable emphasis on firearms and other weapons. There will also be a strong physical fitness component, too – a key theme that runs through all three phases of US army bootcamp.

Furthermore, candidates will continue to develop core skills – such as discipline and teamwork skills.

During this two-week interval, candidates will go through the following:

  • Marksmanship; rifle qualification.
  • How to zero a firearm.
  • Strategies to effectively engage long-range targets.
  • How to engage with multiple potential targets at the same time.
  • Further hand-to-hand combat training.
  • How to navigate rappelling a tower.
  • Advanced study of army values and training methods.
  • How to accurately interpret maps and compasses.
  • Night training.

At this stage of US army bootcamp, candidates become more comfortable with the standards expected of them. There is typically a realization among candidates of what life as a soldier will become.

This is also effective training for the final phase: Phase Blue.

Army Training: Phase Blue

Duration: Weeks 6-9

Phase Blue is the final phase that brings together the threads of previous weeks of training; ties them together and builds upon them with advanced training and tactical strategy.

Core skills of teamwork, discipline, and leadership are augmented. It is at this stage that candidates develop the confidence needed to operate as an effective soldier; the past weeks of training, and the final three weeks of training, transforming the soldier from a volunteer to someone prepared to take on the very real dangers that soldiers come to experience.

During this final three-week interval, you will experience:

  • Ethics, standards, and advanced core military values.
  • Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) – which must be passed.
  • EOCT (end of cycle test) – 212 tasks that must be passed.
  • Specialist marksmanship technique.
  • Eliminating threats posed by explosive devices/mines.
  • Bivouac field training exercise.
  • Convoy operations.
  • MOUT – Military Operations in Urban Terrain.
  • Tactical foot marches – both 10km and 15km.

This advanced three-week period brings together all the skills, both theoretical and practical, that you need to know to operate as an effective soldier – a confident, disciplined, skilled member of a wider team.

Week 10 – US Army Bootcamp Graduation

Candidates who successfully navigate through the above tests are eligible to graduate from bootcamp.

Once you make your way back from the 15km march, you will have one day to spend with your family. This is valuable time for every soldier and gives them the opportunity to share their experiences with those to whom they are close. 24-hours later, candidates graduate from bootcamp.

After graduating, candidates typically enter the next phase of training as a soldier – often the AIT, or Advanced Individual Training.

And that’s it! True, this ten-week training period is intense, challenging – but also highly rewarding at the same time. It transforms the candidate from an undisciplined volunteer to a disciplined soldier in just 70 days.