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Ft Leonard Wood Basic Training Review (4)

1. Your Name (as you would like it to appear) Jenn

2. Where did your soldier attend basic training? Fort Leonard Wood, MO


Image credit: U.S. Army

3. When did your soldier attend basic training (please include the year)? April 7-June 17, 2010 for BCT, AIT is also at FLW until Aug 6.

4. How often did you hear from him (phone and letters)? Quite often. He called almost every Sunday, the time gradually increasing from 10-20 minutes in Red Phase, to 30-40 in White, and close to an hour while in Blue. Also, I received a pack of letters weekly

5. How long was it before you heard from him the first time? The day he left. He called at midnight for 30 second to tell me he made it safely

6. How long did it take to receive a mailing address from him? About a week and a half, via phone call. The official letter came after he’d been gone 3 weeks already.

7. Were there any restrictions on what you could send him? I was told send him only letters and photos (no risqué photos!). Any food, candy, reading material other than a Bible would be confiscated.

8. When did you receive information about family day and graduation? About halfway through BCT.

9. Did he have a family day? If so, please describe. It was the same day graduation. He had an off post past until 2100 hours.

10. Please describe the graduation ceremony. Almost 200 soldiers in less than an hour and a half! Each platoon went up with a different cadence, then the soldiers stepped forward one by one to state the name and hometown (my husband was the only one not from a US state/territory- he’s Canadian). They had awards, songs, and drill sergeant introductions. In the beginning was a video of different things they had experienced during their training. We sat near the front on the right side of the center section (all the soldiers were in the right section!), and got some pretty good photos! Then we followed them to the gym where we were able to sign out my husband and another soldier whose husband and daughter had not shown up.

11. Is there a website for his unit? Did you find a place online that has pictures from his basic training? They gave us a website in a letter to view pictures, but it never had pictures up…

12. Any other tips or information? Get to graduation early, but not too much. I had been told to get there by 7am, but I had heard it from so many people going, that we got there at 6:40. The roads we needed didn’t even open until 6:45, and they wouldn’t let us in Baker Theater until 8. A line formed around 7:30. Bring cash if you want to order the videos, or checks. They don’t take credit cards at the ceremony/reception site. If possible, know where you are taking your soldier during their pass beforehand. There’s not much out there in FLW, and most of the restaurants got crowded fast!

Of course, send lots of (encouraging!) letters during the course of training! My husband’s platoon had to do 10 pushups for each letter they received, and an extra 5 if there were any mistakes. He needed to work on his anyway, so some day’s I’d send a packet (if he had requested items), a letter, and a card, all separately! His family and friends were also writing, so one day, according to his DS, he had to do 100+ pushups! He was known for only doing them correctly during mail call!!!

Take your phone everywhere! He told me Sundays were the day to call, so whenever I was with anyone on Sundays, I’d tell them- If I run out excitedly for a phone call, it’s my husband’s only chance to talk this week! I missed a call once, but by a minute or two, and was able to call him back since he had called from his cell phone, not a pay phone.

For AIT- when they can have their electronics back to use in their daily free time- remind them to ALWAYS lock them up, even if only gone a couple minutes!!! My husband’s “Truck” has had several incidences of theft occurring, usually during formation. They suspect another truck, but the 1st Sergeant won’t do anything about it, since they weren’t locked up.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 169 comments… add one }
  • Emily April 12, 2012, 12:05 am

    yah, that sucks! im worried thats what will happen with my boyfriend but im willing to go, i just hope he at least stays in the states. He hasnt put his top 3 in yet and i dont know when he will do that but hopefully he’ll get somewhere good 🙂

  • Samantha April 12, 2012, 5:23 pm

    I just found out that my bf is coming home 2 weeks early!!!!! He graduates the 26 of this month and then goes well was suppouse to go for 7 weeks after for his class thing and I just got a letter from him today saying that they cut it 2 weeks early!!! I’m so happy anyone else get a letter saying there loved one will be home early? And I was wondering if there’s anyway that I can see pictures of them in bct or anything? Lol

    • Emily April 12, 2012, 11:35 pm

      Samantha-thats exciting..whats your bf’s job?? i hope my bf comes home early but i dont want it to fuck up his grad date lol, cause im boutta buy the plane tickets

      • samantha April 13, 2012, 10:28 am

        he’ll be driving around the big tanks lol idk what the name is lol

        • samantha April 13, 2012, 12:46 pm

          lol i think its something transportation lol

  • Emily April 14, 2012, 1:29 am

    Ohh hmm! My bf kinda does tht too, && finds the ied’s & land mines..hella scary -___- but I have faith

    • Samantha April 14, 2012, 10:04 am

      Ik me too and this is what he’s wanted to do his whole life lol his ma showed me pics of him when he was younger and all he would wear was camouflage lol and he was to all the arm things too !:) I just can wait till he comes back home though:) what platoon is your bf in? Lol

  • Emily April 14, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I know same here ! I just want him back lol !! But I’m oh do proud of him
    && he’s 3rd platoon 🙂

    • Samantha April 14, 2012, 5:18 pm

      Lol fun fun lol mines in 1st lol wait not to be weird or anything how old are u lol I’m 16 will bE 17 lol 🙂

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 12:23 am

    Dang lol young in && 19 Gunna b 20 Olin October! How old is your bf? Mines 22 ? && nice nice !

    • Samantha April 15, 2012, 9:02 am

      Lol he just turned 19 2 days before he left lol we’ve been together for almost 2 years lol but it’s fine even though I’m young I know I can do it I have hope and faith in myself and him 🙂 anyways age is only a number right?lol

      • Samantha April 15, 2012, 9:05 am

        Oh and I was wondering if there was any websites were I can get pics of them at bct or reception or anything lol only if you new of any? 🙂

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Awww that’s cute ! 2 years dang! && I have no idea where there would b pics ! I hella want a pic of my boy in uniform lol ! 😉

    • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 2:01 pm

      if you check out facebook Leonards Studio Fort Wort they have almost all of the company and platoons on there if you cant find it let me know. Hope this helps! Stephanie.

      • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 2:03 pm

        should be Fort Wood*** sorry for the typo.

    • Samantha April 15, 2012, 7:31 pm

      Lol well he sent me a pic of him I think he was in reception though lol oh and he just called too!!! But it was for 7 mins idk y he usually calls for 15 but its better then nothing though right? Lol

  • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 2:02 pm

    shoud be fort WOOD lol sorry for the typo

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 6:00 pm

    tht was very helpful thank youu 🙂 do they update them until their grad date?

  • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Your welcome. My husband is also there but he doesnt graduate til the beginning of July. They update each company about Once a week or so. But i believe they stop taking pictures about a month bf graduation so they can get the pics to them bf they leave.

  • Reggie April 15, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Hello everyone, my wife just called us. Her phone call only last for 2 min but that’s better then nothing. She’s going into the 3rd week of red phase so I hope after this week the calls will become longer. It’s really hard not being able to talk to her. Even her letter would help which comes very slow. And I sent her some letter almost a 7days ago and she still haven’t got it. They didn’t give them a mail call last week which sucks. She graduates the first week in June which needs to hurry up and get here. These are the longest nine weeks I’ve ever experience. Our kids are doing better with this then I am LOL.

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 10:50 pm

    yes, mine was scheduled to graduate july 6th but said in his letter that it might be the 2nd? yay 🙂 i wonder how big their lockers are? my bf wants pics but i dont know what size to send him? im sending like 5 i wonder if 4 X 6 is to big? grrr…

    • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 10:55 pm

      I’m not 100% sure how big their lockers are but i go to CVS and use their Kodak machines and choose collage and make mini prints and choose the 2 3×4’s and they print out 2 pics on one 4×6. And before sending them i cut the 4×6 in half and i have send my hubby well over 75+ pics of our daughter in the 3×4 size and he keeps asking for more so i think that is the perfect size. 🙂 hope that helps.

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 11:05 pm

    that helps sooo much! thank youu! also do you know if when we send them letters do they get them whenever we send them or do they get them like once a week? i was unsure because u just got three letters from my bf this past saturday but they were dated like the 9th 10th and 11th so i was like hmm? someone else said they only send mail out like once a week? im not complaining lol just wondering! i rather that then not hear from him at all you know

    • Stephanie Miller April 15, 2012, 11:34 pm

      Your so welcome. Ever company is different bc they are all ran by different commanding officers. But for my husbands company they get mail call on wednesday and saturdays. Some weeks its different but most of the time its Weds & Sat depends on how busy they are. They do send mail all week long from the post office not just one day a week. He may have wrote those letters on those days but didnt have time to put them in indiviually into the PO box. So he may have wrote you each day and they all got put in at the same time. I do know that if letters get put in the mail box on fri eve or sat anytime they DONOT get sent out until Monday. And anything is better than nothing. 🙂 Any more questions feel free to email me or post questions on here. Also if you ever need anyone to talk to or need a quicker response feel free to find me on facebook. BTW what phase is your S/O in?

      • lexus April 19, 2012, 6:34 pm

        hey, my boyfriend just left for leonard wood on monday, he got there tuesday night at like 1a.m. do u think i could get a call from him this sunday? or is it too soon. also, how long do you think before i get his mailing address, and how many stamps do the normal letters need ?? thanks for ur help

  • Emily April 15, 2012, 11:38 pm

    yah, that makes sense! && okay thank you again haha, ill look you up on fb & im sure ill havee many more questions? && i dont know what phase hes in? hes prob been there almost 4 weeks now?

  • lexus April 19, 2012, 6:21 pm

    hey, my boyfriend just left for leonard wood on monday, he got there tuesday night at like 1a.m. do u think i could get a call from him this sunday? or is it too soon. also, how long do you think before i get his mailing address, and how many stamps do the normal letters need ??

  • lexus April 19, 2012, 6:33 pm

    hey, my boyfriend just left for leonard wood on monday, he got there tuesday night at like 1a.m. do u think i could get a call from him this sunday? or is it too soon. also, how long do you think before i get his mailing address, and how many stamps do the normal letters need ?? thanks

  • Samantha April 21, 2012, 2:43 pm

    You will only need 1 stamp per letter and you probe ly won’t get his address for a lil while because they can’t give out the first address:( and ya maybe this Sunday is too soon I didn’t get a call from my bf till he was in his 3 weeks:( but ull make it dont worrie hang in there lol

  • Emily April 22, 2012, 1:08 pm

    Lexus..my bf left a month ago for the same place && I got my first letter probably a week & a half into it ! I haven’t got any phone calls yet though -__- I’m hoping soon 🙂 but stay strong you will get through it.

  • Emily April 25, 2012, 5:29 am

    Does anyone live in Northern California whose flying to fort leonard wood to see their significant other graduate in July? Just wondering 🙂

    • Amber April 25, 2012, 11:14 pm

      Emily I’m from southern California and I’m flying out in July for my bfs grad 🙂

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 5:40 am

    Hello Emily, I currently live in NC and I’m debating on flying or driving. Military sourceone helped me with all of my travel plans. They even found a flight landing into the Ft lost in the woods base. Tickets are very exspensive though. They even helped me find hotels, I’m staying on base….

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 5:43 am

    Hello everyone, my wife’s platoon lost their phone privalges for the rest of basic training. That really sucks, so it’s just going to be letters only for 5 more weeks. She graduates in June.

  • Emily April 25, 2012, 11:47 am

    Reggie, sorry to hear phone privileges are gone! Stay positive! && I know I was looking for tickets & hotel & all that & I’m looking at $800 just for me, & his mom wants to go too so idk? But I found a hotel like 5 miles from base & I found a flight into the fort Leonard wood base i don’t kno if that’s the same as list in the woods but that flight is like $600? Where at on base are you staying, how does that work ?

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Thank you Emily. Call military source one, they can help you get on base if you have an I.D. Lost in the woods is another name for the base lol. They call it that because it’s in the middle of no where. We was going to fly but that’s just to much money to dish out. But military source one can help you find great deals. When ate you going to the graduation?

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Emily we are staying in a hotel on base for graduation and for AIT which is in Texas. Both hotels are in walkin distance from where my wife will be, so that helps

  • Samantha April 25, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Is anyones soldier graduating tomorrow? And r u aloud to see him/her today?

  • Emily April 25, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Reggie, I plan to fly out to see him July 1st because he’s thinking he graduates the 2nd? But okay I’ll call & see! You just hand to have a regular I’d? Does it cost more to stay on base or you said your just flying into it?? && his ait is at ft Leonard wood too? Would tht happen before his graduation too?

  • Emily April 25, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Another question, they sent out a list of things you can’t send while they are in “training” phone was included on it but my bf keeps telling me to send him his? Should I or will he get in trouble ?

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 9:10 pm

    I’m not flyin because of the cost…. But the price is about the same as other hotels just a lot easier to get you my wife. They can have their phones, they call home every Sunday for the most part. So sending him his phones a good thing unless they get into trouble. Letters are the way to go though.

  • Emily April 25, 2012, 10:55 pm

    Yes, okay well I think the hotel I was looking at was like 5 miles from base? I wonder if there is a shuttle for that distance that wouldnt cost to much? But ill look into what you are talking about

  • Reggie April 25, 2012, 11:16 pm

    I’m glad I could help. Let me know if it works out for you….

  • Emily April 26, 2012, 2:12 am

    I called & the guy gave me the names of a couple close hotels to base, but couldn’t help me all to much because we’re not “married” lol! But he was helpful anyways 🙂

  • Reggie April 26, 2012, 7:01 am

    Ooooo, yea that sucks. I hope everything works out for you.

  • Johnathan Harris May 1, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Hello evryone my name is johnathan Ileave for ft wood May 14th arrive at reception on the 15th and i was wondering is there any pointers for me? like physically and mentally? im in decent shape except for my run. its pretty pathetic im happy and exstatic however im scared lol ill be 536 miles frm home and away from my fiance:( its going to be hard:(( im only 20 yrs old but still. Any pointers would be amazing!! Thank you for your time Sncerely Johnathan Harris.

    • Angie May 10, 2012, 10:58 pm

      Hello Johnathan,
      My husband left for Basic Training April 30, 2012 and this is the end of his first week there. I just received his address and letters today. I am so excited and happy. He says he’s doing very well. One piece of advice is to avoid smiling lol. He smiled and had to do 20 push ups for it. 🙂 He said don’t stand out and don’t volunteer. Good luck and thank you for your service!

      P.S. Being away from a spouse/fiance/partner is REALLY hard. This will be the first time we’ve ever been apart for longer than 3 days. Call and write whenever you can. Your fiance will love anything from you.

  • Emily May 25, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Hi, anyone else SO graduating July 6th ?? I’ve been posting on the Facebook sight & today I read a comment that said your soldier gets flown to their duty station the day of graduation ?! Does anyone know what’s going on? I’m so confused & hope my boyfriend gets to come home for a little while before he goes to Korea for a year 🙁

  • Sgt.Turner June 12, 2012, 6:24 pm

    I am unsure if there is a site in which you can see pictures of your loved ones in basic training. For those who googled this and ended up on this site i would suggest going to the website of the fort that he/she are doing bct. Ive tried looking for pics, trying to keep taps on my brother, but no luck.. I hope that everyone else that reads this post I am leaving here finds what they are looking for. Good luck to everyone and remember its a long hard road ahead.

    • Angie June 19, 2012, 8:48 pm

      Hey Sgt. Turner,

      Have you checked the FB site? If you want it, I can post it for you. I’ve seen about 10 pictures of my husband so far. If your brother is at FLW then I can direct you to the general FB page.

  • Marisa September 20, 2012, 12:07 am

    This helped my so much, I did get the call the night my fiance arrived to FLW. But it’s been a few days and I was starting to get worried about when I would hear anything from her. Thanks so much for the reassurance 🙂

    • jess October 7, 2012, 5:14 am

      hey just wanted to let you and anyone who did not know this that if your child is at leonardwood for basic, they DO photograph thier journey and post it online! the website is ftwoodphotos.com they add new pics every week. usually you have to wait a week or two after they start basic for thier company to show up. someone posted this site on one of these forums so i just wanted to return the favor because this site is PRICELESS to me!

  • Amalia October 28, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Hey guys, my husband is leaving the day after tomorrow to start his basic training at Ft Leonard Wood. Is anyone else’s husband/boyfriend/wife leaving around the same time? Just wondering, I am having a hard time with all of this! Also, I noticed a lot of people are talking about their husbands bringing their cell phones with them to basic and ait school, but my husband’s recruiter told him not to bring his cell phone. Are they allowed to bring them? We have a newborn baby (he is 9 days old today!) and I would love to talk to my husband whenever possible, even if it is just while he’s on the bus or something. Reading everyone else’s stories are really helping me out but I am freaking out about how much I am going to miss him when he leaves!!!

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