The Biggest Misconceptions About Military Training

Men and women enroll in the military to help serve and protect their people. Though there are various military branches, training is an important aspect that takes recruits one step closer to their goal. Several misconceptions regarding military training continue to be spread with the prevalence of social media and television. It sometimes becomes difficult to decipher what is true and what is not. One thing is for sure; as we explore these misconceptions you will be enlightened.

1. Drill Sergeants Harm Recruits

If you’ve seen some military films or sitcoms with men and women in training, then your idea of a drill sergeant may be skewed to someone who gets in the faces of recruits, constantly yells and is verbally and physically abusive. Some people even view sergeants as the tough guy who everyone is terrified of. The reality is that they are often loud and aggressive, but there are rules. Practices which involve physical harm were abolished many years ago. Drill sergeants today are not allowed to intimidate the recruits or cause them any physical harm. They are motivators and trainers who dish out a dose of “tough love” in order to transform trainees from civilians to soldiers. 

2. New Recruits Only Engage in Physical Training

Physical training is a fundamental component of basic military training and recruits spend much of their time completing exercises and increasing endurance. This is a priority but there is so much more which is done. In addition to physical training, emphasis is placed on tackling exercises, combat skills and the use of firearms. This is done in increasing levels of difficulty as recruits go through their training. During military training, recruits are tested physically and psychologically, and only the best make it to the end successfully.       

3. Family Contact is Not Allowed  

Many hold the misconception that recruits have no contact with their family while they are in training. What’s surprising is that many recruits come in with this expectation. While there are restrictions and trainees do not have the liberty to speak to their family as often as they wish, there are opportunities to connect with loved ones. Although mobile phones are not allowed in basic training, in most cases, recruits are able to make at least one phone call weekly to their family from the call centers. The duration of the calls is limited and these logistics many vary depending on the military branch.   

4. Physical Training is Easy for Physically Fit Recruits

Being physically fit does not mean that boot camp will be a breeze. While this is a misconception that many recruits initially fool themselves into believing, they get a rude awakening when training begins. Regardless of how fit they think they are, they struggle during physical training because it is just so intense. It requires them to push through to make it to the end of training sessions while feeling their hearts pounding and knowing full well that their muscles will hurt later. The trainers push their trainees in order to develop flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular strength and cardio respiratory endurance.   

5. All Military Servicemen are Sharpshooters

When we think of a military serviceman, we may think of one with a rifle, with special abilities in using it; however, this is not the case. Let’s just blame this misconception on what is portrayed on our television screens. The use of firearms forms part of military training but not all recruits in the military become sharpshooters. Recruits who show outstanding abilities receive extra training, during or after military training, to develop the skill.    

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