“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.
White phase was when the intense training of Red Phase really clicked with me. I started understanding faster and being able to apply what I was being taught in a very effective manner. White phase was a little more relaxed but certainly not easy. Especially when group punishment happens so often!