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How to Survive Bootcamp

Updated on December 29, 2014

So you decided to join the military? Your first challenge is to make it through basic training, which is no piece of cake. Do you have what it takes to be apart of the Armed Forces? In this article I will share some of the tips I used to survive Bootcamp.

Get in Shape Beforehand

You would be surprised at how many people join the military who aren't physically fit. Your joining to be a sailor/aiman/soldier, remember that and be ready for it! Take the time to find out what the PFT requirements are for your branch and make sure you can do them BEFORE leaving for basic training.

Learn As Much About Your Branch As Possible

It doesn't hurt to know what your getting into. Know at least a little something about your branch and the job that you are assigned. You should know what you signed up for, don't look like a fool

Pay Attention to Detail

One thing that you will quickly tire of in boot camp is the merciless inspections. During these inspections they are testing your attention to detail. Failing inspections is unsatisfactory, and proves that your not that good at paying attention. When you are taught how to do something, make sure that after the training is done, that you do it exactly the same way they showed you each and every time.


Don't Stand Out

Don't come in to basic trying to look cute/cool and definitely don't come in with the attitude of thinking you know everything. Be humble and blend in, you don't want to be targeted for standing out in a negative way. Bootcamp is about looking and acting like ateam, they don't promote individuality.

Remember Why You Joined

During basic training, you may get a little discouraged. Keep in mind why you joined and what you are trying to achieve. this will help keep you motivated, selfmotivation is key.

Stay Awake!

Don't expect to get a lot of sleep during boot camp. There is a lot they have to teach you in a short period of time, training is crammed into as much of your day as possible and they don't give you a lot of time to sleep. Do whatever you can to stay awake, drink coffee in the morning if you must, or stand up in class when you feel yourself falling asleep. But never ever EVER fall asleep during training. They will take it to mean that you aren't taking your training seriously.


Study, Study, Study

Basic training does have an academic side to it. You are tested throughout training to see how much you retain and if you were paying attention or not. The tests are not only actual tests but can also come in the forms of inspections and interactions with your superiors. They love to test you to keep you on your toes.

Make Friends

While talking isn't encouraged during training hours, when you can take the time to make connections with the other recruits. They can be much needed support when going through the difficult times.


Be a Team

If your division acts like a team you will be rewarded for it, if there is a lot of conflict expct to be punished for it. One of the biggest lessons you can learn in basic training is teamwork. Work together with your fellow recruits, you all are there to achieve the same goal: to graduate!


Have Support From Home

For many people who join the military young, this is their first time being away from home. Let your friends and family know that your joining and encourage them to write you often. Getting cards and letters from home, got me through some tough times and motivated me to keep going.

Remember That Bootcamp Is Not The Military!

Boot camp will be tough. You will be yelled at, isolated from your family, punished for others mistakes, stressed out, tired, and you might get discouraged. Just keep in mind that the way you are treated in bootcamp, stops once you leave. Bootcamp is just training to form you into the kind of strong person that the military needs.

I think these tips will help me in boot camp

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    • Bill Beck profile image

      Bill Beck 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      I joined the USMC 29 years ago. The 91 days I spent at Parris Island MCRD have many of my life's most indelible memories. The memories run the gamut from positive to negative. I never laughed so hard, and I never felt so much pain, exhaustion, and anxiety. Incidentally, I spent 5 years on the LAPD directly after the USMC, which was cake compared to boot camp. I'm still learning to keep my mouth shut though. That has been a tough lesson.

    • DanielleCherise profile imageAUTHOR

      Dani Norris 

      8 years ago from Virginia Beach

      Well thank you for reading and commenting :). I think my decision to join the Navy is the best one I have made. I say if your interested in the Army, then go for it. A lot of people decide not to join because they fear Basic Training. But it really isn't that bad, and if I made it through anyone can! If you do decide to join, I hope that these tips help ;)

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the information! I have occasionally thought about joining the army, and your hub has helped to explain what I can expect.


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