No matter what branch of the military you join, one thing's for sure, completion of basic training is something to be proud of! You have been looking forward to this day for several weeks, and now that's it's arrived, you can breathe a sigh of relief -- you're officially a soldier. If you're wondering what happens next, the answer is: several things.

Family Day

Soldier's Daughter

Once you have completed basic training and right before you graduate, family and friends can visit for Family Day. This typically takes place the day before graduation to convey some basic information to your loved ones regarding graduation and to give them a chance to spend time with you after months of little contact. Your family will receive information on what you have done over the past weeks, have a chance to tour the base and your barracks, and mix and mingle with other soldiers and their families while they enjoy refreshments. The Army will require you to return to your barracks by a designated time that evening while your family adjourns to accommodations off base.


Soldiers with military camouflage uniform in army formation

Your basic training graduation ceremony takes place the day after Family Day. Most graduation ceremonies last about an hour, and family and friends watch from the bleachers while you officially become a member of the United States military. Once you graduate, you typically receive leave and are free to return home with family and friends for a set period before you report for your Advanced Individual Training.

Advanced Individual Training

military pilot

Once your leave after basic training is over, you'll report for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where you'll train for the military job you chose. The amount of time allotted for AIT, and the location, varies according to your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). AIT provides extensive training in your MOS so you're ready to hit the ground running when you reassign to your post. You'll work hard and learn a lot, but the intense pressure of basic training will be over.

Permanent Change of Station

Family Welcoming Husband Home On Army Leave

Toward the end of AIT, you'll receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. Finally, you know where you'll be stationed and the uncertainty will be over. At this point, your spouse, and children if you have any, may relocate to your duty station. Unless you had a particularly long AIT, they have probably not joined you at this point. Now you can settle into military life, set up house and step out on the rest of your career.