The United States Army gave We Are The Mighty unprecedented access to Army Basic Training. Fondly known as “boot camp” to those who have survived, basic training is the first thing recruits will experience when they enlist. The ten-week program carries recruits through three increasingly difficult phases and covers everything from dress and appearance, physical fitness, Chemical Radioactive Biological and Nuclear (CBRN) readiness, to weapons training.
The recruits started out lost in the woods, butting heads over who the leader is. They must find five points of contact in three hours using Land Navigation skills. It started out rough…
After they manage to find their points, they celebrate by singing the Army song. YES THEY DID. Because the military anthems slap and when you’re at boot camp you cling to whatever joy you can find.
Next up: The “Buddy Team” Live Fire
“We’re firing live rounds down range with another person moving down range. Probably one of the most dangerous things we’ve done,” shared Carpenter.
They’re warned by their drill sergeants to communicate above all use. When they first run the range, they use blanks. Only when the drill sergeants determine that they can navigate the range safely will they be given live rounds.
Watching Oller run the range will make your butthole clench, guys. God bless him. He had to do the blank fire three times before moving to live rounds. Remember, there is a lot to think about during exercises like this. The battlefield requires situational awareness and intuitive mastery of your weapon. If you’re second-guessing anything, you could get shot. When we see people execute these scenarios flawlessly, it’s easy to forget how challenging they actually are.
Finally recruits don their flak jackets as they prep for live rounds.
“Having to trust somebody I just met about a month ago isn’t easy for me. Having to trust somebody with my life is scary as sh**,” confessed Gideons. For a soldier heading into combat, trust is critical.