How Long is Army Basic Training? – The Training Phases

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

how long is army basic training

If you want to join the army, the first thing you’ll need to do is complete the basic training.

How long is army basic training? It lasts for 10 weeks. The mental, physical, and emotional demands of Basic Combat Training (BCT) are high but attainable.

New recruits will spend weeks in an intensive program that prepares them for each element of military life, including important physical skills and discipline.

In this article, we will explore more about the army basic training length and tackle each week of the training.

The Prerequisite Requirements of Army Basic Training

Before you can join the Army and undergo basic combat training, you’ll need to meet these qualifications:


  • Between ages 17 to 34 years old with a high school degree
  • A U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident
  • Must pass the ASVAB test
  • Must pass MEPS medical examination
  • Must have no more than one dependent who rely on your salary

Duration of Army Basic Training

1. The standard duration of army basic training


All new Army recruits must go through Basic Combat Training, or “boot camp,” in order to establish the foundation for their future success in the Army. The duration of the Army’s Basic Combat Training is around 10 weeks.

2. Army basic training schedule vs other branches

Here are the basic training schedules for each military branch:


  • For Army Reserves and National Guard: The basic training is the same as the 10-week basic combat training in the Army.
  • For the Marine Corps: The U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Training lasts for 13 weeks and is divided into four phases.
  • For the Navy: The U.S. Navy boot camp training lasts up to 8 weeks, which includes enrollment processing and graduation.
  • For the Air Force: The U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) lasts 7 and a half weeks.
  • For the Coast Guard: The U.S. Coast Guard’s basic training lasts around 8 weeks.

3. Structure of the training phases, respective timeframes

The 10 weeks’ start dates of US Army basic training comprise:

  • Week Zero
  • Red Phase (Weeks 1 through 3)
  • White Phase (Weeks 4 through 5)
  • Blue Phase (Weeks 6 through 10)

Army Basic Training Phases

Here’s what the BCT might look like at every phase:

1. Week Zero: reception phase

Known as the Reception Battalion, recruits will have this week for in-processings.

They will mostly do paperwork, get to know each other, take health tests, have haircuts, receive the Army Physical Fitness Uniform (APFU), training introductions, complete the first Physical Training (PT) test, etc.

Here’s what a typical Week Zero looks like:

1. Day One


  • Get up early, eat breakfast, and visit Pay Station for your ID card.
  • Besides your ID Card, a Smart Card for training expenses will be given to you. It contains $250 for males and $350 for females.
  • Visit the Central Issuing Facility to get your uniforms and field gear.
  • You’ll be subjected to a physical examination, including pregnancy and blood tests.
  • Haircut for men and women.
  • All the details of the Reserve Component, Servicemembers Group Life Insurance, the GI Bill, and the “Moment of Truth” briefing will be disclosed to you.
  • The Army’s General Orientation course will provide you with essential knowledge of the service.
  • You can buy things like the proper running shoes for BCT if you don’t already have them.

2. Day Two


  • You will be administered vaccines against flu, rubella, diphtheria, smallpox, measles, and mumps.
  • You will get your eyes and teeth checked out.
  • When it comes to your private life, the Personal Affairs Section will double-check and verify that there’s no problem which can disrupt your training.

3. Day Three


  • If you wear glasses, they can be custom-manufactured for you. The army will issue a pair of eye protection lenses and two pairs of glasses.
  • For the BCT yearbook, you will be required to pose for a photo in full military regalia.

4. Days Four and Five

  • If all goes well on your fourth and final day of processing, you will be given your unit and ship assignments.
  • Day 4 is for finishing off any unfinished business before Day 5’s shipment.
  • You’ll have to acquire your IDs, stamp your name on the luggage, and clean the quarters before deployment.

2. Red phase: patriot phase

Week One – Three

In Week One to Three, you will understand:


  • The Core Values of the Army
  • How to use your given weapon in training
  • First aid skills to save lives
  • Combat drills
  • How to confidently explore new territory as a team and overcome challenges together.
  • The use of the outdoors for your daily running, tactical marches, and general fitness.

By the end of the Red Phase, you should have a strong foundation for managing yourself and working with other recruits.

3. White phase: rifleman phase

Week Four – Five

By now, you must already learn the core values of the Army and have applied them in your training. For Week Four to Five, you will dive more into marksmanship.

You will learn:


  • The fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, maintaining rifles, and engaging targets with a rifle.
  • To practice actual combat and learn how to set priorities and multiple targets.
  • To target from a wide range of distances and angles using your rifle.
  • To climb the 47-foot Warrior Tower.
  • To partake in fitness training and conduct nighttime drills.
  • To use a map and compass.

In the White Phase, you must complete The Anvil. This training exercise will take place for two days and nights out in the field.

4. Blue Phase: Warrior Phase

Week Six – Nine

In this phase, you will be challenged intensely. You also need to do excellently in difficult tests to pass and graduate in the BCT.

During your final few weeks of instructions, you will be taught:


  • How to safely and effectively use advanced tools such as automatic weapons, lasers, and grenades.
  • How to plan and execute a multi-day land navigation course that will put your ability to survive, physical condition, and abilities to the ultimate test.
  • To improve in both individual shooting and team mobility.
  • To maintain the integrity by regularly reviewing Army Values.
  • To disable explosives.
  • Pass the “Fit to win” obstacle course.
  • Tactical foot marches.

You are required to pass:

  • End of Cycle Test (EOCT) – 212 tasks

5. Graduation


The US Army boot camp length ends in Week 10, which is Graduation and Recovery Day.

After successfully passing all your training and examinations, you can spend a day with your families to recover.

Then, the next day is graduation day and you will be receiving a black beret. Congratulations, soldier!

After graduation, you can further your Army training in Advanced Individual Instruction (AIT) or in Officer Candidate School.

Army Basic Training Locations

So, where is army basic training held? Actually, there are five basic combat training locations in the United States. These locations are:


  • Fort Moore in Georgia
  • Fort Knox in Kentucky
  • Fort Sill in Oklahoma
  • Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri
  • Fort Jackson in South Carolina

Here’s how the location of the basic training is decided:

  • Active-duty members: The basic training location is the same location where active-duty members learn more advanced skills.
  • An example: Combat engineers complete their basic and specialized training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
  • Military women: Female recruits can only complete their basic combat training at a location with sex-specific accommodation.
  • They will train at one of three places: Fort Sill in Oklahoma City, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, or Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
  • Aspiring officers: You will finish off your basic combat training at Fort Moore, Georgia. Then, you can enter the Officer Candidate School.

Tips for Preparing for Army Basic Training

1. Things you bring to the army boot camp:

  • Clothing (comfy shirt, shoes, undergarments, eyewear)
  • A combination or padlock (must have two keys)
  • Toiletries (Shampoo, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Soap, Towel, etc.)
  • Money (Only $10.00 – $50.00 cash only)
  • Important documents (IDs, Social Security card, driver’s license, proof of citizenship, etc.)
  • Your unit Recruiter and/or MEPS orders and paperwork (Must bring a duplicate copy)
  • Note: You will be handed your tickets for transportation and food.
Not allowed
  • Luxury and/or unnecessary possessions
  • Weapons (guns, pocket knives, etc.)
  • Cigarettes and lighters
  • Gambling equipment
  • Alcohol beverages and products
  • Nonprescription and illegal drugs
  • Books, magazines, and other reading materials
  • Candies, gums, and chips

2. How can I optimize my experience in army basic training?


  1. Drink a lot of water and be healthy.
  2. Always have things to do; don’t slack off.
  3. Train yourself to wake up as early as possible.
  4. Exercise as much as you can.
  5. Study well before entering basic training.
  6. Learn how to use your weapon and master it.
  7. Secure your important belongings by locking them with a padlock.
  8. Your respective Drill Sergeant is always right, so do what you’re told.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Do You Get Paid In Basic Training? When?

You will be paid an average of $3,800 a month or $20,170.80 a year. As soon as you start your training, you will receive payment twice a month.

Can basic training be shortened or extended?

It may be extended if you underperform or have difficulties completing an aspect of the program. In this case, you will ‘redo’ the part of the training that you have trouble with alongside another unit.

It’s also possible that despite a recruit’s best efforts, they fail the BTC and must return home.

What Is The Shortest Basic Training In The Military?

The Coast Guard has the shortest military boot camp among all military branches. Their training period takes only seven and a half weeks to complete.

Is Basic Training Hard To Go Through?

Yes, it is hard. The basic training is meant to push you to your limits, both physically and mentally. The goal is to help you become stronger and prepared for the army.

What Is The Difference Between Army Basic Training And AIT?

Army’s Basic Combat Training must be completed for someone to be called a soldier of the US Army. The army’s basic training time lasts for 10 weeks.

On the other hand, AIT, or Advanced Individual Training teaches new soldiers specialized training based on their chosen military occupational specialty (MOS). AIT training duration can vary from three weeks to two years.

What Is The Longest Basic Training In The Military?

The military branch that has the longest training duration is the US Marine Corps. The full duration of the training program is thirteen weeks.

How Many Weeks Is The Army Basic Training For Infantry?

The Basic Infantry Training lasts for 11 weeks. When that is complete, you will enter into Advanced Individual Training (AIT).


By now, your question “How long is army basic training” has been answered. Basic training in the Army is an unforgettable experience that molds its new recruits to become skilled and disciplined soldiers.

The length of basic training for Army forces is around 10 weeks and consists of four phases designed to strengthen both the body and mind.

Each week of basic training will focus on a new aspect of military life. Once your training is complete, the U.S. Army will officially enlist you as a soldier.

If you’re thinking about getting involved in the Army, you should be willing to take on the challenging but ultimately fulfilling journey that is basic training.

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