Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson is the introduction soldiers receive as they enter the Army. The program takes 10 weeks to complete and involves 12 to 14 hours per day of physical training and coursework. The experience contains five stages: a two-to-three day reception phase, a two-week Red Phase, a two-week White Phase, a three-week Blue Phase and graduation.
Basic Combat Training's five stages are broken down by specific tasks and milestones. Reception is when the soldiers complete administrative procedures necessary to join the Army, such as medical exams, receiving equipment and setting up their pay systems.
The Red Phase includes ballistics and rifle marksmanship, personal financial management and military law. In addition, it encompasses nutrition, marching, patrolling, field craft, and law of land warfare. The Red Phase also instructs soldiers on nuclear, biological and chemical defense.
The White Phase reviews rifle marksmanship and teaches engagement of targets at various distances. This phase also includes instruction on prone supported and unsupported marksmanship, as well as prioritizing and engaging multiple simultaneous targets at various distances. Additionally, it includes passing rifle qualification.
The Blue Phase moves into advanced rifle marksmanship, patrol and attack as a squad, and maneuvering targets as part of a team. This final phase also teaches use of a machine gun, an anti-tank rocket launcher and a grenade launcher. In addition, the Blue Phase instructs convoy defense, IED defeat, long-distance marching with combat load and control point operations.
The final week of training centers on graduation, which focuses on the soldiers and their families. Following graduation, soldiers head to Advanced Individual Training.