All of the military services restrict privileges and personal freedoms during basic training and job training. Below are the training/restriction requirements for U.S. Army personnel undergoing Initial Entry Training (IET) as required by TRADOC Reg 350-6.
IET is the period from the first day of basic training, through job training, and ends when the soldier graduates from their job training and reports to their first permanent duty assignment (PDA).
The Army has two different IET processes. The first process is where the recruit goes through basic training for nine weeks and then goes to a separate school called Advanced Individual Training, or AIT to learn their Army job. The second method (used mostly for combat jobs) is called One-Station-Unit-Training, or OSUT. It combines basic training and job training into one single course.
When we discuss the training phases below, Phases I through III are for basic training, and the first nine weeks of OSUT, which is the basic training portion of OSUT. Phase IV begins on the first day of AIT (job school) or week 10 of OSUT.
General Restrictions During Army Initial Entry Training
The goal of IET is to transform civilians into technically and tactically competent soldiers who live by the Army's values and are prepared to take their place in the ranks of the Army. This transformation from civilian to soldier is accomplished during a five-phased soldierization process which begins with a soldier's arrival at the reception battalion and ends with the awarding of a MOS upon completion of IET. By definition, soldierization is a tough, comprehensive process which totally immerses an IET soldier in a positive environment established by active, involved leadership.
This environment sets high standards, provides positive role models and uses every training opportunity to reinforce basic soldier skills. This demands that all soldiers in IET, regardless of rank, strictly adhere to the standards of excellence and commitment.
It is essential that the officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and Department of the Army (DA) civilians assigned the crucial responsibility of transforming America's sons and daughters into professional soldiers be motivated, disciplined, and competent professionals. Leaders must not only demand that IET soldiers achieve the Army standard during high quality, rigorous training, they must also demand that every IET soldier is treated with the dignity and respect entitled all soldiers. It requires active involvement by professional leaders and trainers who maintain the highest levels of technical and tactical competence in their profession.
Phased Training In Basic Training, AIT and OSUT
The concept of phasing and associated goals was established to provide intermediate objectives that give common direction and serve as milestones for IET soldiers during IET. The training cadre informs IET soldiers of the goals and standards for each phase of training. IET soldiers then know what direction to work towards and generally what effort must be applied to achieve the goals. Movement from each phase is viewed as a "gate" or "passage" for each soldier. The training cadre evaluates each soldier against the desired standards for each phase before advancing to the next phase.
The first three phases of IET are associated with basic training and the basic training portion of OSUT. The last two phases are associated with AIT and the MOS skill portion of OSUT. In OSUT courses, Phases III and IV may be combined. It will generally depend on how early in the course MOS training begins and whether basic skills testing is conducted at mid-cycle or end-of-cycle. The installation commander as part of the phased training program will determine actual phase lengths.
Phase I (Basic Training)
Phase I is designated as the "Patriot" Phase (Red Flag). This phase encompasses weeks one to three of basic training and OSUT. It is an environment of total control where an active, involved leadership begins transforming civilians into soldiers. Training during this phase is focused on inculcating Army values, traditions, and ethics, as well as beginning the development of individual basic combat skills and physical fitness training. The goals for soldiers in Phase I include but are not limited to:
- Pass Phase I test
- Pay strict attention to detail
- Conform to established standards
- Master basic skills
- Maintain individual and platoon areas
- Develop physical fitness consistent with time in training
- Receive an introduction to Army values, history, heritage, and traditions
Phase II (Basic Training)
Phase II is designated as the "Gunfighter" Phase (White Flag). This phase encompasses weeks four to six of basic training and OSUT. As its name implies, this phase is centered on the development of basic combat skills, with special emphasis on weapon proficiency. Skill development, self-discipline, and team building characterize phase II along with a lessening of control commensurate with demonstrated performance and responsibility. IET soldiers receive additional instruction on Army values, ethics, history, and traditions. The goals for IET soldiers in Phase II include, but are not limited to:
- Pass the Phase II test
- Conform to established standards
- Display self-discipline
- Qualify with the M16A2 rifle or assigned weapon
- Develop physical fitness consistent with time in training
- Reinforce Army values, history, heritage, and traditions, and define the seven Army values
Phase III (Basic Training)
Phase III is designated as the "Warrior" Phase (Blue Flag). It is the last phase of basic training and encompasses weeks seven to ten of basic training and OSUT. This phase is designed to develop and foster the IET soldier's understanding of the importance of teamwork. This phase culminates with the application of all skills learned in basic training (and basic skills portion of OSUT) during a 72-hour field training exercise. This exercise is designed to stress IET soldiers physically and mentally and requires each soldier to demonstrate their proficiency of basic combat skills in a tactical field environment while operating as part of a team. The goals for soldiers in Phase III include, but are not limited to:
- Conform to Army standards
- Pass the APFT to Basic Training standard (50 points each event, 150 points total)
- Pass the EOCT
- Complete all Basic Training POI requirements
- Demonstrate the ability to think, look, and act like a soldier, without detailed supervision
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Army Core Values, history, heritage, and traditions
Phase IV (AIT and OSUT)
Phases IV (Black Flag) and V (Gold Flag) of the soldierization process occur in AIT and OSUT and are characterized by lessening of control and increased emphasis on the technical aspects of an IET soldier's designated MOS. IET soldiers also receive reinforcement training on values and an introduction to the history, heritage, and traditions of their specialty branch. This lessening of control, expansion of privileges, and focus on MOS skills are all part of the evolutionary process marking the transformation from a civilian to someone who thinks, looks, and acts like a soldier.
Phase IV begins at the start of the first week of AIT, or the tenth week of OSUT. Phase IV continues to the end of the third week of AIT, or the thirteenth week of OSUT. It is characterized by reduced supervision by drill sergeants (DSs), reinforcement training of common skills, values, and traditions taught in basic training and an introduction to MOS tasks. IET soldiers starting AIT will receive initial counseling upon arrival at the AIT unit. This session will be used to establish goals consistent with the soldier's MOS training requirements as prescribed in the appropriate POI and this regulation. During this phase and Phase V, DS's should evaluate IET soldier's behavior, and their behavior should be consistent with Army core values.
Phase V (AIT and OSUT)
Phase V begins at the start of the fourth week of AIT (fourteenth week of OSUT) and continues until graduation from AIT/OSUT. It is characterized by reinforcement training of common skills, training, and evaluation of MOS skills, a leadership environment which simulates that in a field unit, and a culminating tactical field training exercise that integrates common skills and MOS tasks. This exercise is designed to reinforce the basic combat skills learned in basic training and how they apply to the soldier in the execution of their MOS duties in a tactical field environment.
Graduation From AIT or OSUT
Graduation from OSUT/AIT signifies successful completion of the first five phases of the soldierization process. All IET graduates, by definition, have demonstrated the technical and tactical skills necessary to join the ranks in the field and be a contributing member of the unit's mission accomplishment. It does not signify the end or completion of the soldierization process. Soldiers continue to develop professionally throughout their military careers, both in and out of the institutional training base. Reinforcement at the unit level and in the non-commissioned officer education system (NCOES) are essential aspects of the Army's soldierization program.
Amount and Type of Control
During IET, the cadre leadership should evolve from total control over soldiers to the point where it duplicates the leadership environment in field units. This gradual change supports the soldierization process, yet lets the DS gauge how self-disciplined the soldiers are and maintain or relinquish control accordingly.
A period of total control (e.g., continuous cadre supervision, soldiers restricted to company area, limited free time) will be enforced during phase I of IET.
Privileges/Limitations for IET Soldiers
Privileges granted in IET should support the phase training program, which establishes intermediate goals to help recruits in their transformation from civilians to soldiers. Specific privileges will be associated with each phase as incentives, and soldiers should be eligible for those privileges as they progress in training. However, the decision to award privileges must be based on individual performance. Soldiers should be given additional freedom as they demonstrate more self-discipline and the ability to accept responsibility. These are privileges, not rights, and as such, can be withheld, modified, or withdrawn by commanders based upon performance, mission, and program requirements. The following privileges are the outer limits and, as such, commanders can be more restrictive, if desired.
Phase I (weeks 1 through 3 of basic training). No passes are permitted, and IET soldiers are restricted to the company area. IET soldiers in this phase will be escorted to post exchange (PX) by the DS for necessities or as a reward for achievement. Soldiers are prohibited from driving privately owned vehicles (POV) and from wearing civilian clothes. They are also prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages and using tobacco products.
Phase II (weeks 4 through 6 of basic training). Passes in brigade area may be authorized. (Outside brigade area, in formation and escorted only). This modification is used as a reward for excellent achievement as determined by the battalion commander for the use of theaters, swimming pools, etc., which may not be available within the brigade area). IET soldiers in this phase are prohibited from driving POVs and from wearing civilian clothes. They are also prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages and using tobacco products.
Phase III (weeks 7 through 9 of basic training). On-post passes may be authorized. Off-post passes may be authorized after graduation from Basic Training. IET soldiers in this phase are prohibited from driving POVs and from wearing civilian clothes. After graduation, if of legal age, they may be authorized to consume alcoholic beverages while on pass. IET soldiers are prohibited from using tobacco products.
Phase IV (weeks 1 through 3 of AIT or weeks 10 through 13 of OSUT). Off-post day passes on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) may be authorized. IET soldiers must remain within a 50-mile radius of the post, and all passes must end NLT 2200 hours. IET soldiers will wear the proper military uniform while on pass (includes off-post passes). IET soldiers are prohibited from driving POVs. If of legal age, they may be authorized to consume alcoholic beverages while on pass. IET soldiers are prohibited from using tobacco products.
Phase V (weeks 4 through 9 of AIT or weeks 14 through 19 of OSUT). The first off-post pass will be a day pass only. All others may be off-post and overnight passes on weekends. Distance limitations will be imposed by local commanders; however, all passes must end NLT 2200 hours Sunday (or 8 hours prior to the next training day, whichever is earlier). If of legal age, they may be authorized to consume alcoholic beverages while on pass. IET soldiers are prohibited from using tobacco products or driving POVs. Uniform for off-post passes is left to the Commander's discretion.
Phase V, plus (more than 9 weeks of AIT or more than 20 weeks of OSUT). The following policy applies to all IET soldiers upon completion of the 9th week of AIT (or 20th week of OSUT):
- For those installations with the facilities to separate Phase V soldiers (at weeks 9/20), from other IET soldiers, privileges will be the same as permanent party soldiers.
- On installations where separation is not possible, use of tobacco and alcohol will be restricted.
Completion of Phases
In addition to the attainment of published training objectives, every IET soldier is required to meet the qualification standards. These requirements include but are not limited to:
Basic Training and Phases I-III of OSUT:
- Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with a minimum of 50 points in each event, 150 points total
- Qualify with individual weapon
- Pass all end-of-phase tests
- Pass the End-of-Cycle Test (EOCT)
- Complete all obstacle and confidence courses as prescribed in the appropriate POI
- Complete bayonet and pugil fighting training as prescribed in the appropriate POI
- Complete hand-to-hand combat training as prescribed in the appropriate POI
- Throw two live hand grenades and successfully complete the Hand Grenade Qualification Course as prescribed in the appropriate POI
- Complete the Protective Mask Confidence exercise
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the Army Core Values
- Complete all tactical field training, to include foot marches and field training exercises (FTXs) required by this regulation and the appropriate POI in Basic Training, OSUT
AIT and Phases IV-V of OSUT:
- Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with a minimum of 60 points in each event, 180 points total
- Pass all end-of-phase tests
- Pass the End-of-Course Comprehensive Test (EOCCT)
- Demonstrate performance of MOS-specific critical skills (skills determined mandatory for the awarding of a MOS) as identified by the proponent school and as prescribed in the appropriate POI
- Complete all tactical field training, to include foot marches and field training exercises (FTXs) required by this regulation and the appropriate POI in AIT, and OSUT
These requirements are set forth in order to produce the high-quality soldier demanded in today's Army. Therefore, only in extraordinary circumstances will constructive credit be granted. The installation commander may grant constructive credit to an entire class or an individual soldier for a missed training event.
For example, a class may receive constructive credit for an event missed due to severe weather conditions for which time and/or resources preclude rescheduling and execution. An individual may receive constructive credit for a missed training event due to circumstances beyond his or her control (such as illness, injury, emergency leave, etc.). Every effort must be made to reschedule and conduct the missed training before a decision to provide constructive credit is made. The intent is to provide the means to a training center commander to graduate a soldier who is deemed fully qualified, but through no fault of the soldier, has missed a required training event. This credit should be selectively used and only in those cases where there is a clear demonstration that the soldier meets and exceeds the IET graduation standards. It will not be used to pass marginal soldiers who have not shown the ability to pass a particular training event.
This constructive credit authority is applicable to all IET graduation requirements. Constructive credit authority resides with the TRADOC ATC or installation commander level and may be delegated no lower than the IET brigade commander level. For those training sites located at non-TRADOC installations, this authority will reside with the first general officer in that school's chain of command.