Fort Jackson 20101018

I joined the national guard and ship out on Oct 18. Im a little nervous about the whole thing! I am 34 yrs old with no prior military service. I am doing this to better my career and for my family! And heck its supporting our country!!! I am a little nervous tho! I do have tons of questions tho! is there anyone else ship out at this time? How does christmas exodus work? will i be the oldest? is cell phones aloud? just curious about alot of things.
Original Post
You're charged leave time for Christmas exodus if you go home, not sure if it's mandatory, and your leave can go into the negatives. You will most likely not be the oldest person there but it is possible, in my company we had around 25 people that were 30+, the vast majority were 21 and under though. Just push yourself, we had a 31 year old beat the crap out of most of the company in PT. Bring your cellphone but don't expect to keep it, we turned ours in but when we got to call family/friends they were issued out. (we only got to call 3-4 times).

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask, I'll do the best I can to answer them.
Thank you so much for the info. I have read alot on these forums and they have helped tremendously! I will definately go home for Christmas to see my family in Texas! I have a sister that lives about 20 min away from Fort Jackson also. Will she be able to pick me up at Christmas exodus and take me to the airport? Also will she be able to see me at all while I am at basic. I realize that i will be in BCT, but I was just curious if she will be able to come on the base on like a sunday or something while I am there. Also what exatcly do i need to bring to Fort Jackson? Any info that people have on BCT for Fort Jackson is greatly appreciated. I just dont want to go in blind and the more info I have the more confident I will feel!
You're welcome.

She should be able to pick you up and take you to the airport since the flight home will be on your dime but there is paperwork she will have to fill out. Don't schedule anyone to pick you up on the day you're scheduled to head to AIT however, you will have to use government transportation. She could stay at the airport with you if your AIT is far enough away from basic to warrant a plane.

She will not be able to see you at basic beyond family day and graduation, you're there to train and to some degree get used to being away from family/friends. Don't being a whole lot with you to basic, you'll be issued so much crap that it's really more of a hassle. You can have people mail you stuff once you get the address and get it out so that's a better route.

Bring with you one pair of running shoes (wear them don't bring any other shoes and make sure they're new, you'll need them). Other than that just bring basic hygiene stuff and 3-4 shirts and 1-2 pants/shorts, you turn clothes in anyways. Don't buy shoes at the PX/mini mall on base unless forced to, they're a rip off. Bring two key locks with you that won't lock unless the key is in it so you don't do stupid crap like lock your key in your locker. Don't buy a lot at reception, just the necessities because the mini mall/px outside reception is cheaper. Bring a pack or two of baby wipes with you, you don't always have time to take a shower after pt (also baby wipes are great at cleaning the M16). Q-tips are a nice addition for cleaning the rifle as well.

Other than that you need to get into shape at least enough to pass your PT test or close to it before getting there, it will make your life easier there and help you when you get out of basic and have to do more reps or run faster. Memorize the soldier's code, soldier's creed, Army song, rank structure, general orders and know military time beforehand if you can it will make life easier at basic. Once you get to basic memorize the chain of command there.

I went to Benning so i'm not sure how Jackson is exactly but i can't imagine it's too different. Other than that just don't fall asleep in the classrooms and make sure you do your best all of the time, you weren't drafted into the Army, you asked to join. Remember that.

Oh and people in your platoon will annoy the crap out of you at times, just vent to a friend you make there and don't start or let someone else coax you into a big scene. And you should be flying into Georgia and then hoping on a bus to Jackson, the bus to Jackson will most likely show up at the latest it can so make sure the food vouchers they give you are spent wisely. When you use them you do not get any money back if you spend less than the full amount so keep that in mind as well. I suggest using the 23 dollar one for dinner and spending it on snack food in a store not a restraunt so you have food if they take forever.

Good luck, if you have anything else let me know.
Alright I got first hand experience with Ft. Jackson BCT...I graduated from BCT in July of 09 from Ft. Jackson and also AIT from Ft. Jackson...Let me tell you...we had a 42 year old grandfather in our Bn. If he can do it, you can do it. Keep your head up...When you get there, your heading to the 120th Inprocessing Station for about 4 to 5 days...there you will recieve a temp. barracks so don't get comfortable...The food is excellent. You will meet all your Drill Sgt. as well. You will be issued uniforms 3 pair I believe, issued boots..winter and summer. Patrol cap, everything your gonna need for clothing...packed nice and neat in a brand new duffel. You'll get your shots and vision wear. You'll get your ID if not already issued. You'll get the infamous shave and a haircut and yes they will go to the skin with that shit. I hope you don't have big ears..cuz they will get bigger..lol. You will take a mini pt test(pushups in a min, situps in a min, 1 mile run) Just to see where your standards are...PLEASE try to excel in this test. You'll learn basic formation skill and Dress & Ceremony here at inprocessing. Just remember this is not BCT yet...so your not gonna be hearing alot of yelling or much corrective actions yet. That comes soon...So don't relax. You will also to assigned your Platoon here and your Drill Sgts. Stay away from them as much as possible...Don't buddy up to them, because then they will remember you and they will exploit that. So your final day at In processing, they get you up bright and early...you throw all your shit in the back of a truck and everyone gets on a bus. The DS are there with you and there as nice to you as can be...They tell ya to take a little nap..close your eyes relax..DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT CRAP...Its about to be on like donkey kong...You pull up to your new home and all HELL is gonna break out...these nice and respectful DS become demons sent by the darklord himself...They make you run as fast as you can up the hill to your new barracks..They give you 1 minute to find your bags and run back to your Plt formation...Then you have to hold your duffel bag over your head until everyone finds their shit...(TIP try to mark your bag so that its easily identifiable to you) Cuz you will have trouble finding it..and then the rest is history my friend...you will have a blast I guarantee it...Good luck to you...I hope you get the "new" barracks and not the space ships...I was Delta 2-39 Death Dealer...You better have motivation and you better show it...Give it your best on everything, just be grateful your doing BCT in the winter..cuz the summer in Columbia SC is HUMID and you pray for rain, but it never comes and when it drizzled a little bit...it makes it worse. I was there for 21 weeks and it never rained...You couldn't walk down the sidewalk without breakin a sweat...Believe me your lucky for the winter..Enjoy my friend. Hope I helped.
christmas exodus leave is not mandatory...however the Drill Sergeants may try to convince you that it is. A few guys during my BCT stayed and didn't take leave, which meant a DS had to stay with them. I personally took the leave...it was a nice break in the middle of BCT, but you will end up having a negative balance of leave for a few months after that.
I am prior military. Can't say I'm looking forward to going to boot for a second time; but, hey, it is what it is and if that is what it takes then so be it. I'm sure things are much different then when I was at Great Lakes (Aug95), but no matter how easy boot becomes, remember it's not designed to be liked. It's not a long time, and it's very temporary.
True that! I have no prior military. I am not looking forward to it but am looking forward to getting it over with. I am doing this to learn a trade (21T)and to better my family. And what better way than to serve my Country! Guess I will see you there and good luck!
Gotta go to boot camp again because there is absolutely NOTHING that we learned at Great Lakes that could ever be transferred to the Army lol. I don't blame the powers that be, I would make me go to boot camp again! It's like comparing apples to tire irons. I accept that and like jddaniel2, I just want to get it on and over with ASAFP

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