“Blue Phase” or “Warrior Phase” is the culmination and the most challenging of all the training phases. During this phase, there is a final official PT test. At some basic training locations, soldiers that fail are not allowed to go into the field with the rest of the platoon. The Final PT Test consists of the Standard Army Annual PT Examination. A minimum of 150 points (min. 50 points per PT event) is required to pass US Army Basic Training. Those that pass will move on to “field problems” (camping) and FTX (Field Training Exercises), such as nighttime combat operations and MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training. There is no access to the dining facility during these exercises, so meals are given in the form of either MREs (Meal Ready to Eat). Drill sergeants will make much of this an adversarial process, working against the recruits in many of the night operations, trying to foil plans, etc.
Week 2 of Blue Phase (the 8th week of Basic Training) culminates in a special tactical FTX (Field Training Exercise), during which the drill sergeants will advise, but allow recruit platoon leaders and squad leaders to exercise primary decision-making. They attempt to make virtually every one of these exercises different. Because being a soldier is potentially an extremely hazardous job, recruits must demonstrate extreme aggression and fearlessness, tempered by intelligence and common sense. Only those that demonstrate these vital attributes will be permitted to move on to AIT.
Following their FTX, non-infantry recruits then move into the final week of training, often called “recovery week”. At this time, soldiers must service and/or repair any items they are not taking on to AIT including weapons, bedding, issued equipment (helmet, canteen, gas mask, etc.) as well as ensuring the platoon barracks is in good order to receive the next platoon of trainees. This week also includes a final fitting of the recruit’s dress uniform as well as practice for the graduation ceremony which takes place at the end of the week.
For infantry recruits, week 9 will be a continual of week 8. Week 9 will present new field challenges and additional training in order to refine you as an infantryman. After week 9, you will continue to learn and train on infantry skills throughout your AIT.
Blue phase was amazing. By that time, my platoon really felt like family. We had been through so much by the time we started Blue phase. BCT certainly wasn’t over but we all felt that it got easier. Not because we weren’t doing PT (we were!!!) but because our minds had transformed more into a soldier’s mind.