Are you preparing to head off to Basic Training? If so, you are probably wondering what to expect, and how to put your best foot forward during this new and exciting phase of your adult life!

Having some background knowledge of Army practices and traditions is a great way to prepare for Army Boot Camp, and will make you stand out from the crowd during your time in training. Read on to learn some common Army knowledge that will prepare you to transition into your time in the Army smoothly and efficiently.

10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock, what?

If you are not familiar with military time, it can be a bit confusing at first. All branches of the United States Military operates on a 24-hour clock, instead of the 12-hour method that you are probably familiar with.

The military day begins at midnight (0000 hours) and continues for 24 hours, ending at 2359 hours (at 2400 hours, the clock restarts at 0000 hours). This means where you would normally shift from noon to 1:00 p.m., you instead will continue to count on the 24-hour scale, moving from 1200 hours to 1300 hours.

You can learn more about military time by reviewing on Military Time list, here.


Get ready to re-learn your alphabet!

Have you ever tried to spell out a word from someone, only to get frustrated with trying to differentiate between letters with similar sounds like “M” and “N” or “P” and “D?”

Well, the Army and other branches of the United States Armed Forces have an easy solution to this problem, known as the phonetic alphabet, which ensures important communications are not confused (especially when sending orders via radio or telephone).

The phonetic alphabet simply assigns a word to every letter or number, such as “Alpha” for “A,” “Bravo” for “B” and “Charlie” for “C.” Want to commit it all to memory before Basic Training? Refer to our handy phonetic alphabet chart.

Not sure what you should be doing?

Even if you do not have any specific orders at a given time, there are three general orders, that encompass what your ongoing duties are on a day-to-day basis while in the Army. These orders will become ingrained habit, thanks to your drill sergeant. However, it doesn’t hurt to commit them to memory ahead of Basic Training.

These orders include:

  • General Order 1: I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
  • General Order 2: I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
  • General Order 3: I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.

Your drill sergeant will expect you to be able to recite any of these orders at any time and in no specific order. So work on memorizing them now, so that you will be one step ahead of the game when you arrive at Basic Training.

As you can see, brushing up on your Army knowledge before shipping off to Army Boot Camp is essential to making a good first impression and getting off to a good start in the military. Want to learn even more? Check out our Army Knowledge page to discover other important Army information before you head off to Basic Training.

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