Posted on Jul 26, 2021
PVT Infantry Recruit
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I am going to fort Bennington and wanted to know what is basic training like due to covid as well as how does the Christmas brk work for new recruits
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Responses: 19
SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
23
23
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By the way, it's Fort Benning. Not Fort Bennington.
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SGT Jacob McInnes
SGT Jacob McInnes
1 mo
Oh why’d you have to tell him XD
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COL David Turk
COL David Turk
1 mo
Must be the English (as in GB) spelling.
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CW3 Steve Butts
CW3 Steve Butts
1 mo
Christmas Break? Listen to your Drill Instructor and become part of a solution and not part of any problems!
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CW3 Uas Officer
CW3 (Join to see)
29 d
I think the PVT is just ahead of the game seeing as Benning is one of the bases that needs to be renamed. His 'suggestion' of Bennington addresses those that are concerned about cost. Just add "ton" on the back of everything that says "Benning".
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1LT Voyle Smith
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Congratulations on your acceptance into the US Army! I was there for Officer Candidate School in 1966, graduated 27 Jan 1967 and was ordered to Ft Bragg and the 3SFG(A). Had gone through Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft Jackson. Ft Benning is a huge post and you’ll come know it quite well. The programs have undoubtedly changed substantially since then but you’ll be given opportunities to excel. Follow the instructions of those appointed over you and stay out of trouble. You’ll make friends who will last a lifetime.
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CPT Aaron Kletzing
CPT Aaron Kletzing
1 mo
wonderful advice here
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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Edited 2 mo ago
Not sure how the COVID restrictions at Benning are currently, but for Christmas Exodus, it usually happens that as soon as Christmas Break rolls around (dates will be designated), all troops WILL be sent home for Leave unless otherwise dictated (Soldiers in trouble, etc.). It will be Charged Leave. All instructions for Christmas Break during training will be given out by your Drill Sergeants/Cadre.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
1 mo
During my last school there, all the TRADOC units went on block leave, which meant all the students and just left a skeleton crew. I hit first of January for OSUT, so missed that Christmas leave, but I was there for Christmas for IOBC (BLC now). I stayed on duty since my family was with me and my parents came down. I took two passes, did staff duty officer, then had to check in the rest of the days. Easy duty and didn't cost me any leave time.
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MSG Thomas Currie
MSG Thomas Currie
1 mo
Across Christmas is a terrible time to go to Basic or OSUT (and I would assume the same is true of AIT as well, but especially Basic and OSUT). It's a bit like summer break from school -- where students forget half of what they learned, especially for PT -- unless you're a serious athlete who just loves PT, having two weeks away from Basic or OSUT -- especially combined with holiday eating -- causes problems for a lot of young soldiers.

As SFC (Join to see) mentioned, the leave over Christmas is charged as regular leave. You only earn 2.5 days of leave a month, so the two weeks at Christmas uses up 6 MONTHS worth of leave, meaning that you are "in the hole" owing the Army leave that you haven't earned yet. Depending on when/where your next assignment is, this can create a problem with not being able to take leave at graduation.

Soldiers CAN decline taking leave over Christmas but that's not a great option either. Anyone who doesn't go on leave will be consolidated in some barracks for those two weeks, and of course the Army will find SOMETHING to keep you busy rather than have a bunch of guys lying around with nothing to do.

I have always advised anyone enlisting to do everything possible to avoid being in training over the Christmas holidays.

Basic or OSUT training cycles that would ordinarily graduate during those two weeks will either be cancelled or will be compressed to graduate early. There's no problem if the cycle is cancelled because you won't be scheduled for that cycle. Being in a compressed cycle can be good or bad -- you get through training quicker, but you still have to complete all the training events so it just means that any slack time in the regular schedule gets replaced with real training and you may have longer days. Like many things in initial entry training, if you're towards the top of your class, the compressed schedule isn't terrible, but if you're one of the guys who is struggling to keep up then the compressed schedule is a real killer.
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SPC Jeff Lutz
SPC Jeff Lutz
1 mo
i guuess the army has change since i was in. what the hell is christmas break. spent thanksgiving and christmas where assigned. fort polk for thanksgiving, camp howze korea for christmas.
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MSG Thomas Currie
MSG Thomas Currie
1 mo
SPC Jeff Lutz - The rest of the Army works right through the holidays (although most units do go to half-day schedules or something similar for the week before Christmas through Jan 2nd). BUT training units run a 50-week year! ALL the training centers run by TRADOC cease training for two weeks every year. This is nothing new. This has been standard in the US Army since before you were born.

Most cadre in TRADOC units either take leave if their families live somewhere else, or they simply stay and "work" half-days during the two weeks of EXODUS. Units do everything possible to 'encourage' soldiers in training to take leave for that two week period. The few trainees who insist on staying are consolidated in just one or two barracks buildings so the other buildings can be shut down and secured. A small number of NCOs will be stuck supervising those soldiers.

There aren't really very many soldiers in training who actually experience this because the course schedules are adjusted to avoid having courses in session over the holidays. If the total number of soldiers needed for an MOS is low enough, TRADOC simply doesn't conduct the course for that MOS that would fall across the holidays. Courses with a short course length are almost always cancelled over the holidays. Longer courses (such as OSUT) will skip those training cycles if the ARPRINT is low enough. Otherwise course sessions that would normally graduate during that two week period are usually shortened so that soldiers graduate and ship out before Christmas.

Courses that need to conduct sessions that straddle the holidays will conduct training up until the week before Christmas, send everyone on leave (except the few who insist on staying), then restart training about Jan 3rd. The graduation date is adjusted to account for the two week gap, but that still means the unit will have lost several training days due to processing everyone out and back in, plus having to retrain whatever the soldiers forgot over the holidays.

Unfortunately TRADOC does not look at what training is being conducted on any particular day of a course, so you can end up with a course that trains until the end of the week before Christmas, sends all the trainees home for two weeks, then goes straight into a mandatory training event or major evaluation just a couple of days after they get back. Finding a way to make this work is left up to the training units and their cadre.
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