Military and military training camps are commonly portrayed in the media. These depictions are rarely accurate and lead to many misconceptions about military training for the average person. Today, in the age of social media, these misconceptions are propagated. It can be hard to know what is true!
In this article, we will take a look at ten misconceptions about military training. From the misconceptions about drill sergeants, the purpose of boot camp, and misconceptions about what it takes to be successful in the military, we’ll cover it all. Continue below to learn about ten of the most common misconceptions about military training.
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10 No family contact allowed at all
Many new trainees come to the training camp with the expectation that they won’t be able to talk to their families at all during the camp. What a terrifying idea for young recruits just starting out in the service! this is false. While you may not talk to your family as often as you’d like, you will have opportunities.
In most cases, recruits will have the opportunity to make a phone call once a week. These phone calls are typically limited to five minutes or less, allowing new military recruits to reconnect with their families. Often these phone calls benefit the families of the recruits more than the recruits. Weekly phone calls allow students to communicate with family and loved ones. Years ago, family contact was much more sporadic, but this is no longer the case.
9 Every new military recruit is huge and strong.
Another common misconception citizens have about military training is that all recruits are huge. While there is a minimum weight requirement to enlist, this does not mean that every new military recruit is six feet tall and packs a hundred pounds of muscle.
Of course, many military recruits are especially big and strong. However, many are more normal in size (or even smaller!). As you can see in the video above, these drills are challenging but possible for recruits of many sizes. You don’t need to be a superhero or even have superhuman strength. More important are the characteristics of organization, teamwork and heart.
8 Boot Camp is “brainwashing”
Training camp is undoubtedly a difficult time. In fact, not all recruits make it through the boot camp process. However, years of rumors and misconceptions have led to the idea that boot camp is a form of brainwashing.
Boot camp aims to get military recruits on the same page. Physical training is arduous and intense. However, the mental training in these camps could be considered even more important. Boot Camp is designed to instill a sense of community and push the boundaries of recruits. We can hardly classify this as “brainwashing”.
7 Boot Camp is designed for recruits to fail.
Unsurprisingly, the Army wants to bring in as many quality recruits as possible. Despite this seemingly obvious fact, the common misconception still prevails that boot camp is designed for recruits to fail. Of course, this makes very little sense. Millions of dollars are spent annually recruiting new soldiers and service members. Every branch of the military wants to keep as many recruits as possible.
As mentioned above, boot camp and other training grounds are designed to be difficult. However, most recruits complete their time in boot camp and move on to the next step. According to the Department of Defense, about ninety percent of recruits who start boot camp end up finishing it. Those odds aren’t too bad.
6 New recruits will only do physical training
For all recruits in basic training, fitness will be a priority. You will spend a good part of your day completing exercises and resistance training. However, many people believe that boot camp is all about physical training. This is not the case.
Beyond physical training, you will also learn the use of firearms, mapping, and strategies. Some basic trainings also involve team building exercises. While recruits will spend most of their time in physical boot camp, it’s a misconception that boot camp is all about physical training. The video above shows some of the many things Navy recruits receive training in during boot camp.
5 A person in good physical condition will have no problems in Boot Camp
Boot Camp is a challenge for all recruits; despite this, many recruits arrive with the wrong idea. They believe that they will not have problems because they exercise regularly and consider themselves physically fit.
Chances are, no matter how rigorous a recruit’s exercise routine is, recruits will struggle. Being in shape can help a recruit, but he’ll still wake up sore from the physical training in camp. Regardless of fitness level, training camp will be a physical challenge for everyone involved. If you still want to give it a try and be more prepared, the above video can give you tips on good ways to stay fit.
4 All military recruits are very patriotic
When some people think of the military, they think of patriotic heroes. While it’s true that members of the military are heroes, not all of them are necessarily patriots. Or, at least, not unusually. Just like any other occupation, it requires all kinds of people.
There is no minimum level of patriotism for a citizen to join the armed forces. More important than patriotism are the characteristics of determination, intelligence, and adaptability. Often recruits aren’t necessarily all that patriotic. However, most veterans who have spent years in the military generally are.
In the six military branches, there are all kinds of different men and women. Some may be patriotic, sure. Some can be very big and strong too. Boot Camp trains all recruits to understand the traditions, tactics, and methods of their particular branch.
3 Basic training has gotten softer or easier over the years
Most of the misconceptions on this list come from citizens who know little about the military. This misconception, unfortunately, comes from current and former military members. These ex-servicemen believe boot camp has gotten easier in the years since it ended. Do you remember when your parents used to tell you that they walked ten miles to school? And was it uphill both ways? As changes have come to boot camps, veterans have begun to think that it is getting easier or softer for recruits.
However, basic training is by no means smooth or easy. It has changed, without a doubt, but also the military strategy and tactics. The purpose of the boot camp now is to train soldiers for modern warfare. Basic training teaches recruits a number of valuable skills. First aid, water survival, marksmanship, and military tactics are many areas of focus. Recruit training also introduces customs and traditions for that particular branch of the military.
Despite the changes on the training ground, don’t get the wrong idea. Boot camp isn’t easy, and recruits must arrive at boot camp ready to train (and probably suffer, at least a little).
2 All military are snipers
There is a widespread misconception that every military service member is a sniper with a rifle. We certainly see this idea in many movies and TV shows; We’re looking at you, Special Agent Seeley Booth. As you may have guessed, this idea is not true.
A recruit must be trained in firearms, and many often undergo some form of rifle training depending on their branch of the military. This does not mean that the military expects all recruits to become snipers. If a recruit is particularly adept at shooting, he may receive additional training or special assignments after basic training.
1 Misconceptions of Drill Sergeants
There are several misconceptions about drill sergeants. When most people think of boot camp, they picture a drill sergeant yelling at someone in the face or even physically abusing them. While drill sergeants are often loud and aggressive, not all of them are “Major Payne”.
Drill sergeants are not allowed to physically harm or intimidate recruits. Despite this, they are rarely warm or friendly and have a reputation for being overbearing, indifferent, and even harsh. This is because the focus is on the future; Drill sergeants have the important job of taking a pool of recruits and producing a pool of soldiers in just a couple of months. That is not something I would want to be responsible for.
Many soldiers speak fondly of their experience with their drill sergeants. However, they may not have felt as warm during the moment.
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