What is Basic Camp?

Basic Camp is a 31-day training event designed to introduce Cadets to the Army. The objective is to develop Cadet leadership skills and train them on individual and junior leader tasks to develop and reinforce Warrior Ethos and our Army Values. Basic Camp provides the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in ROTC, and, ultimately, the Army. Basic Camp Cadets graduate the course prepared to lead at the team (3-4 Cadets) and squad (9-13 Cadets) level.

Basic Camp 4th Regiment graduated from Cadet Summer Training July 16, Fort Knox, Ky, after successfully completing 30 days of training. (photo by Emily LaForme)

Basic Camp’s primary target audience is the Lateral Entry Cadet and the freshman Cadet. Lateral Entry Cadets typically decide to join ROTC in their sophomore year of college, thus require Basic Camp to learn what normal-progression Cadets have learned in their first two years of military science classes, during their freshman and sophomore years of Army ROTC. As an ancillary target, Basic Camp allows second-year (Military Science II or MS II) Cadets to gain squad leader experience, which provides opportunities for some MS III (rising senior) Cadets to fulfill roles as platoon-level leaders. Basic Camp consists of eight Cadet Regiments, nearly 3,000 Cadets.

Cadets are taught how to conduct troop leading procedures (TLPs) to plan and execute tactical missions at the squad level in a platoon construct/setting. As Cadets gain experience and confidence through the training, they apply lessons learned from the After Action Review (AAR) process.

Outcomes for Basic Camp include:

  • Using troop leading procedures to plan and execute tactical missions at the squad level within a platoon construct.
  • Applying the fundamentals of team development and team dynamics.
  • Understanding, embracing, and demonstrating Warrior Ethos and the Army Values.

Below are some highlights:

Cadet Tyler Nelsen, University of Northern Iowa, holds the feet of Cadet Madison Miller, Norwich University, in place during the two-minute sit-up portion of the army physcial fitness test of July 19 at Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo by Emily Peacock)

Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
The Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) provides an accurate assessment of each Cadet’s fitness level. The Cadets receive a calibrated assessment of their ability to pass the Army Physical Fitness test. The test consists of two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a 2 Mile Run course. Cadets are also briefed on the importance of Physical Training as a part of a comprehensive individual combat readiness plan.

Confidence Training
This includes rappel training, the Slide For Life, Log Walk/Rope Drop, and confidence and obstacle courses. Confidence Training is designed to challenge the Cadets’ physical courage, build confidence in personal abilities, and help them overcome fear. At the rappelling site, each Cadet executes one 17-foot rappel and several 37-foot rappels. Cadets demonstrate confidence in their ability to overcome fear of heights by executing the Confidence/Obstacle Course, Log Walk/Rope Drop and Slide For Life.

Basic Rifle Marksmanship/Live Fire (BRM/LFX)

The Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) training familiarizes Cadets with select US weapons, capabilities and employment techniques. Cadets receive training in order to conduct zero/qualification with the M4/M16A2 rifle, to gain confidence in their assigned weapon and in their training by engaging targets on the range. After a Cadet has qualified on his or her assigned weapon, upon completion of all BRM training. Cadets are prepared for future collective training and have confidence in their weapon systems.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear (CBRN)
Cadets are trained on CBRN tasks to develop confidence in the U.S. Army’s protective mask and chemical protective clothing. Cadets learn to correctly wear, operate and build confidence in their CBRN clothing and equipment.  Cadets will gain an understanding of the leadership challenges and constraints associated with operating in a CBRN environment. The culminating experience at CBRN is exposure to the effects of live tear gas in the CBRN gas chamber.