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Army Basic Training: Be Smart, Be Ready Paperback – April 1, 2001
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About the Author
The author graduated with honors from Sweet Briar College near Lynchburg, VA. After graduating in 1989, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army, Corps of Engineers. She served in various posts throughout Germany during her tour of duty there, mainly as a platoon leader and a construction officer. Her experiences as a basic training company commander in Ft Leonard Wood, MO are the inspiration for this book. She currently resides near Ft Polk, LA with her husband and two children.
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Top customer reviews
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The biggest thing to realize about basic training (and the army in general it seems) is that it's all a mind game. If you can get in the right mental state, the physical stuff is no problem. You will do enough physical stuff while in basic so that passing your PT test at the end won't be a problem. I started basic doing 2 pushups, 11 situps and a 22 minute run - by the time I finished I was almost maxed on pushups, and was passing AIT standards in situps and the run. My PT score was well over 200 (only need 180 to pass AIT, 150 to pass basic). Getting yourself in the right mindset is the most important thing. The drill sergeants will try and mess with your head, and so will your fellow soldiers. Books like this emphasize the physical aspect of basic training, and I wish they put a LOT more time and effort in to the mental part - which is why I gave this one 4 stars instead of 5.
After September 11, 2001, I felt frustrated that I was too old to join the military... but then I found out I was wrong and I can still get into the Army National Guard up until my 35th birthday. I already knew that I'd have to lose quite a bit of weight and get into good shape, but I still had so many questions... what will I really be getting into if I decide to enlist?
The author thoroughly examines each step along the way... things you should be able to physically, memorize and understand BEFORE showing up at Basic.
As a woman, I found it frustrating to find other books on the subject omitting information about what it's like to be a female recruit. This book has quotes from different recruits and officers, both male and female... quotes on everything to how to prepare before Basic to how they think gender integration affects training.
An included chart tells you how many sit-ups & push-ups you'll need to do, as well as a minimum speed for a 2-mile run... for both males and females, and per different age ranges. Recruits in Basic will range from 17 year olds to 35 year olds... the Army is realistic in knowing at 35 year old body is not as fast or as energetic as a 17 year old one.
It was comforting to know that the Army wants you to succeed and while they yell at you and make you sweat your butt off, they emphasize teamwork, loyalty and selfless service.
I still have a long way to go before I'm physically ready to enlist, but after reading this book, I feel much more confident and definitely ready and less intimidated. I know that no book or person can totally prepare me or anyone else for the challenges in the Army, but I do feel far more at ease about my decision to join.
The author clearly not only relied on her personal experiences, but also on research and interviews with current and former recruits, sergeants and officers. She includes a number of websites for reference as well as her own and invites those with additional questions to e-mail her directly.
Whether you've already enlisted or if you're just thinking about it, you owe it to yourself to read this book. As I was pondering my decision, I asked 2 male friends of mine who had been in the Army about their experiences... they both told me what they knew and what their experiences were, but I still felt like I wasn't getting the whole picture... this book makes me feel like I do have the big picture.
As more people join the military in response to 9/11 and demand for this book increases, I hope the author includes even more information in the next edition... including diagrams of how to perform certain exercises and how to salute, wear different types of uniforms, etc. ... and an index! Nonetheless, this is a five-star effort and a tremendous resource I will definitely consult again in the future as I get closer to my fitness goals before enlisting.