Basic training is the start to every military career. It is a common experience, we all share and can relate to. However, recent times have changed this. A new generation is forging their legacy during a pandemic. We spoke to Leslie Ann Sully, a media relations officer at Fort Jackson. We asked some direct questions, and here is what the Army had to say:
Q: What is the base policy on masks? I.E. on social media, some recruits are wearing masks, while some staff are not.
A: “Everyone on post must wear a mask in public spaces and in other areas if not able to socially distance. Some pictures you see might be older ones which on our account we identify but not everyone does this. Also, we have modified the training model of 2 + 8. Trainees start the first 2 weeks only training with those in their sleeping bay and then they move into bigger training groups after that. We call them being a protective bubble.”
Q: Is there an isolation period mandated?
A: “Yes, when trainees come into the reception battalion, they are all tested and if anyone is positive, they are in isolation for 14 days and then retested. They are not cleared to go a unit to start basic training until they have a negative test. We have test machines at our Moncrief Army Health Clinic on post.”
Q: Do the trainees and Drill Sergeants get tested?
A: “All trainees and drill sergeants are tested at the beginning of basic training. Throughout the ten weeks, everyone gets a temperature check twice a day and a check of COVID-19 symptoms to see if another test is needed. Then, before trainees can move into the next training phase, they are tested again.”
Q: How has this impacted Army standards?
A: “The training is still ten weeks and we have moved some training around to make the initial 2 week phase we call yellow phase. There are some training that is not done now like combatives.”
We have yet to get responses from the other branches. Did you, or a loved one recently graduate? Drop a comment with your experience! Stay up to date with American Grit stories!