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Chapter 3 – The Reception Battalion

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Chapter 3 – The Reception Battalion

3-1. The Path

Welcome to the Reception Battalion. By being here, this means that you have met your initial entry qualification requirements. While at the Military Entrance Processing Station you underwent a battery of aptitude tests and medical examinations to determine if you were qualified for military service. Congratulations, you passed!

Now that you have taken the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, know what your future military occupational specialty (MOS) will be, have signed your enlistment contract and are sworn into the United States Army, it is time for you to begin the transformation to becoming a Soldier.

You are at one of the following Basic Combat Training/ One Station Unit Training locations:

  • Fort Benning, Georgia

  • Fort Jackson, South Carolina

  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

  • Fort Sill, Oklahoma

If your MOS is 11B/11C (Infantryman), 19D (Cavalry Scout), 19K (Armor Crewman), 12B (Combat Engineer) or 31B (Military Police Officer), you will conduct your Basic Combat Training and occupational skills training in one course. This is called “One Station Unit Training” or “OSUT” and is conducted at Fort Benning for 11B and 19K Soldiers, and at Fort Leonard Wood for 12B and 31B Soldiers.

All other Soldiers will go through “Basic Combat Training” or “BCT” at one of the four locations listed above, and upon completion, will attend a follow-on course called “Advanced Individual Training” or “AIT.” This course may be at the same installation as your BCT training or may be at another location.

While at the Reception Battalion, you will undergo further medical, dental and administrative screening. You will receive a standard military haircut, be issued your initial clothing issue to include physical fitness and Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs), footwear and miscellaneous clothing items. You will be taught how to properly wear the clothing issued and begin to learn the basics of military culture.

Your actions and ability to follow instructions will be monitored carefully. A drill sergeant or processing sergeant will take you through the stations required for you to enter into the Army.

Follow all instructions and pay attention to detail. One of the key elements to being successful in the Army is ensuring you understand what is required of you and ask questions if you are unsure.

A typical stay in the Reception Battalion lasts from 3-5 days for BCT Soldiers and 5-7 days for OSUT Soldiers.

When you complete reception in-processing, you will be assigned to a training company. Drill sergeants will pick you up at the Reception Battalion and travel with you to your BCT or OSUT company location.

Eagle Cash Stored Value Card: While at the Reception Battalion, you will be issued a Stored Value Card. The stored value card reduces cash/check operations for initial trainee advance. The card can be used at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service sites (barber shops, clothing sales, and Post Exchange facilities).

Any remaining value at expiration is returned to the Soldier; however, spending the full amount prior to completion of training is encouraged. Advance amounts are $350 for males and females. The Value Card will expire 45 days from initial issue to Soldiers at the Reception Battalion.

3-2. Critical Information Needed Upfront

During your stay at the Reception Battalion, BCT or OSUT, you will be expected to read, study, and memorize as necessary various information. The purpose of the information is to introduce and reinforce who we are as Army Professionals and what we represent as Soldiers. Your job is to fully understand, comprehend and at times demonstrate your proficiency by reciting it to the drill sergeant and leaders either individually or as a group.
Information identified by a “star” requires comprehension by memorization.

3-3 . The Battle Buddy System

Soldiers rely on one another to stay motivated and reach peak performance. Although required in Initial Military Training, Soldiers will form natural bonds with their fellow Soldiers as part of Army culture. To contribute to this team spirit, we live by the buddy system. A buddy team is usually defined as two Soldiers in the same unit who look after each other at all times.
By getting to know other Soldiers on a professional and personal level, you learn how to improve yourself and encourage others. Working together, you and your battle buddy learn initiative, responsibility, trust, and dependability.

While at the Reception Battalion, BCT, OSUT and AIT, same-gender Soldiers (male-male and female-female) are placed in buddy teams. With the requirement to excel in Army training, some Soldiers need more positive reinforcement than others. For that reason, you may also be paired based on your strengths, so you and your buddy can complement each other’s weaknesses.

Battle Buddy responsibilities:

  • Never leave your buddy alone

  • Never let your buddy go into an office or room by themselves; even if a drill sergeant, platoon sergeant or instructor says it’s okay

  • Keep your buddy safe and free from harm

  • Know the whereabouts of your buddy at all times

  • Pass information to your buddy

  • Encourage and support your buddy to train harder and do better

  • Help your buddy solve problems

  • Inform Cadre of any changes in your buddy’s behavior

In the end, the most rewarding part of the buddy system is making every Soldier your buddy; for any one of them could help you accomplish your mission or save your life in combat.

3-4. Army Values

Our ethical and moral foundation as Soldiers are codified in the seven Army Values—

Loyal, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

They are at the core of who we are as individuals, as Soldiers, as Professionals and as Americans. Whether on or off-duty, Soldiers live these values every day.

The easiest way to remember the Army Values is through the acronym “LDRSHIP”.


LOYALTY: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers.

Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and dedicating yourself to the United States of America and the U.S. Army. A loyal Soldier is one who supports his or her leader and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty to the Nation, family, and your fellow Soldiers.

DUTY: Fulfill your obligations.

Doing your duty means carrying out your assigned tasks and being able to accomplish the mission as part of a team. Duty also requires you to work hard every day to be a better Soldier. Everyone in our Army contributes to the mission if they do their duty.

RESPECT: Treat people as they should be treated.

In the Soldier’s Creed, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. Self-respect is also a vital ingredient and is a result from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team, and all contribute best when they are treated with respect.

SELFLESS SERVICE: Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.

In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition, reward, or personal comfort. Selfless services is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the team effort without thought of personal gain.

HONOR: Live up to Army Values.

Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything you do. It is always doing what you know is right even when no one is looking.

INTEGRITY: Do what’s right, legally and morally.

Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. Once lost, it is the hardest to recover. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity strengthens, so does the trust others place in you. Trust is one of the most important things in our profession. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will characterize your relationships with Family and friends, and finally, define you as a person and a Soldier.

PERSONAL COURAGE: Face and overcome fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral).

Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. Courage is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing fear or adversity may require continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are right.

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