One of the first things new United States Army recruits want to know is where they will attend basic training. The location depends on gender, military occupational specialty and availability. The Army has five training posts that are mostly located in the eastern part of the country. Each base provides rigorous training to prepare soldiers for the responsibilities required during a time of war.
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Fort Leonard Wood is located near the town of St. Robert, Mo. in the Ozark Mountains. This base is home to three battalions that are responsible for conducting basic training for new recruits. One battalion conducts gender-integrated training. Male and female soldiers train together but have separate sleeping quarters. A basic training company consists of four platoons. The gender-integrated company is comprised of two or three platoons of male soldier and one or two platoons of female soldiers. The other two battalions train male soldiers only.
Fort Jackson, SC
Fort Jackson is located near South Carolina's capital city of Columbia. Training for both male and female soldiers is conducted here. Fort Jackson is the largest basic training post for female soldiers. At Fort Jackson, basic training companies are either all male or all female. There are two training brigades located at Fort Jackson, the 193rd Infantry Brigade and the 165th Infantry Brigade. The 193rd Infantry Brigade has four training battalions while the 165th Infantry Brigade has three training battalions.
Fort Sill, Okla.
Fort Sill, Okla. is a male-only basic training post located near the town of Lawton. It is known as the Fires Center of Excellence. There is one training brigade at Fort Sill, which consists of five battalions. These battalions have five companies each. Two of the battalions have been recently reactivated at Fort Sill to handle the surge of soldiers enlisting for duty due to the demand created by the Global War on Terrorism. The two newly reactivated battalions will be deactivated when the demand for training new soldiers reduces.
Fort Benning, Ga.
Fort Benning, Ga. is located near Columbus close to the Alabama state line. Part of Fort Benning itself is actually situated in the state of Alabama. This post has two brigades comprised of male soldiers only. One brigade conducts strictly a nine-week basic combat training program. This brigade has four training battalions. The other brigade conducts a 14-week one station unit training program for infantry soldiers. This brigade has five training battalions. In one station unit training, basic training is combined with an advanced individual training that non-infantry soldiers undergo after basic training graduation.
Fort Knox, Ky.
Fort Knox, Ky. is located 35 miles south of Louisville. This post trains male soldiers to become Army tank operators. There is one training brigade consisting of six battalions. Training here is also one station unit training and lasts 14 weeks. Soldiers learn basic combat skills for the first nine weeks, followed by five weeks of intense training in their military occupational speciality.
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