The Making of a Soldier–Part 3

This weekend officially started the 2nd phase of Charley’s Basic Training — called “White Phase”.

The BEST part of this phase is that once a week he gets his phone to make a short call! We got ours last night and he’s doing great! He loves the things he has learned so far and is performing very well! I can’t believe he has been gone a month yesterday already!!!!

He is LOVING the letters & cards, even though because HE has received so many the Drill Sergeant is making him perform 10 push-ups per letter. The first time for mail call he received 11 letters and didn’t have to do any push-ups, but Monday he received 9 and he did 90 push-ups! He said it was SO worth it! Keep those letters and cards coming and if you need his address, please let me know.

Here is what they are doing in White Phase:

“White Phase“, is where soldiers begin actually firing weapons. With the service rifle, the M4 Carbine or M16A1 Assault Rifle, they will fire at various targets, which are progressively farther-and-farther down range, making each successive target more difficult to hit. You are required to shoot at least 28 out of the 40 targets that pop up. You will gain the skill of “Marksman”, “Sharpshooter”, or “Expert” depending on how many of the 40 targets you shoot. Additionally, there are pop-up targets at long range. Other weapons the soldier becomes familiarized with include various grenades (such as the M67 fragmentation grenade), grenade launchers (such as the M203 grenade launcher) and machine guns such as the M240B and M249 SAW “Squad Automatic Weapon”, Soldiers will also be familiarized with the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, referred to as the “MA deuce”, as well as the MK-19 (called Mark 19) which shoots 40mm grenades over 3000 meters.

The second week of White Phase involves familiarization with anti-tank/armor weaponry and other heavy weapons. There is also an obstacle course which the soldiers are expected to negotiate in a certain amount of time. This is also known as the confidence course since the main objective of running the course is to build self-confidence. There is also the expectation of working as a team with the assigned Battle Buddy.

Additionally, there is continual, intense physical training, as well as drill and ceremony training. At the conclusion of White Phase, soldiers are expected to demonstrate proficiency with the various weaponry in which they trained, using numerous “go or no-go” (pass/fail) exercises, prior to being allowed to move on to Blue Phase. There will also be an off-record PT test in White Phase, which is for the drill sergeants to assess where you are in your physical fitness goals.

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