Basic Combat Training: The Recruits Print E-mail
Friday, 21 September 2012
By Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff

To better understand the transformation from citizen to Soldier, this series will be following four Soldiers-in-training through their Fort Leonard Wood Basic Combat Training experience.

On Aug. 7, they boarded a bus at the St. Louis International Airport to post. They spent the next three and a half days at the 43rd Adjutant Battalion, beginning BCT on Aug. 11.

These Soldiers-in-training will spend the next 10 weeks in Company C, 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment.

Each week this diary will capture what these Soldiers have learned and where they stand in the process of becoming a Soldier in the U.S. Army.

Meet the four Soldiers this diary will be following, and what they had to say while riding the bus to Fort Leonard Wood:


Pvt. Tayler Douglas, 18,
Los Angeles, Calif.
MOS: 68P Radiology Specialist
“I had ROTC in high school and I enjoyed the structure. I like being told what to do, I like taking orders and giving orders. I also love running in cadences. I am looking forward to exercising. I used to run track in high school, but I have kind of slowed down since graduation in June.”
Biggest challenge: “I am not looking forward to push-ups. Upper body strength is my weakness.”

Pvt. Andrew Jobes, 18,
Eminence, Ind.
MOS: 13D  Field Artillery Automated
Tactical Data Systems Specialist
“I joined because a lot of my family has been in the military, but I mostly joined because I want a good foundation for my life to start out with. I like structure. I like the discipline and skills you get from the Army.”
 Biggest challenge: “There is nothing that I am particularly worried about, but being away from home will be tough. I’m a homebody. I won’t get home again until January.”
Pvt. Darwin Rivera, 21,
Puerto Rico
MOS: 91B Wheeled Vehicle
“I want to be part of something bigger than me. I have wanted to do it since I was 18, but my father said no. I’m a little nervous. I came here. I will try. I will see.”
First time in the Continental United States: “I’m from in island. I don’t see water anywhere. Everything is land, land, land.”
Biggest challenge: “The English. I have been practicing it for like a week.”

Pvt. Jessica Vanheel, 22,
Waite Park, Minn.
MOS: 36B Financial Management
“I felt like I wasn’t doing anything good with my life; just working. I am looking forward to the structure and learning to do things as a team. I’m going to give this my best.”
Biggest challenge: “Running. I need to build up to running, because I have never been a runner.”  

(Editor’s note: This is the first of an 11-part series focused on Basic Combat Training.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 November 2012 )