After processing and general orientation, new Soldiers begin 10 challenging weeks of Basic Combat Training, known as BCT, assigned to a battalion in either the 165th Infantry Brigade or the 193rd Infantry Brigade.
The purpose of BCT is transforming civilian volunteers into basically trained, motivated and physically fit “warriors” who espouse the Army’s core values and are focused on teamwork. The goal is to create confident, self-disciplined Soldiers who are able to cope with the physical and emotional stress of deployment by coupling Fort Jackson’s time-honored tradition of basic combat skills training with innovative initiatives to protect the well-being of our Soldiers.
This is accomplished by mentoring, teaching and coaching provided by highly trained, professional NCOs, called drill sergeants. BCT Soldiers are taught Soldier skills, starting with the most basic and gradually adding to those skill sets and eventually using all the skills in a field-training environment. Soldiers must meet required standards and tasks throughout the cycle in order to graduate.
Combat in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom has resulted in the addition of many combat skills to basic training to better prepare Soldiers for the possibility of deployment in the future. This training includes convoy operations, urban operations, checkpoint operations, media and civilians on the battlefield, advanced first aid procedures and other combat skills.
Woven throughout basic training and serving as the foundation for Soldier’s training are the Army’s seven core values and warrior ethos. The core values — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage — are emphasized throughout the nine- or 10-week cycle by relating them to training events, Army heritage and teamwork development. With proper training and application, the values become a way of life.
The warrior ethos is the spirit of the American Soldier. Regardless of his or her occupational specialty, the American Soldier is known for total commitment to victory — mission first, never accept defeat, never quit and never leave a fallen comrade. The warrior ethos is reinforced throughout basic training so that these principles gradually develop into an absolute faith in themselves and their fellow Soldiers to succeed in all they do.