Basic Training for National Guard and Reserves

Basic training is virtually the same as it is for active duty. It is ten weeks long and is held at Ft Benning, Ft Sill, Ft Jackson, Ft Leonard Wood or Ft Knox. Certain MOSs may entail a combination of BCT and AIT together, referred to as OSUT.

Basic training is divided into three phases of three weeks each. The phases are red phase, blue phase and white phase. Typically, soldiers earn more privileges as they advance through the phases of training.

Graduation from basic training is at the end of nine weeks. Soldiers will then be transported to their AIT location for training of their particular MOS.

Please visit the basic training guides section of the website to read reviews from others about how basic training can differ between the locations.

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Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. i’m new to the army wife thing ad my husband left for basic a few weeks ago. i was wondering ,the national guard, are they able to come home before they leave for ait? bc i am pregnant wth our first child and i am due 2 weeks after he is expected to finish basic.

    1. For active duty, they typically go straight through. I would assume it’s the same for NG but I can’t say for certain. Hopefully someone else can chime in who has experience with it.

    2. Although it’s a little late for this comment, but my be of use for future reference. My husband is Army Reserves and after basic training he came home then the next summer he went to AIT this is what they call split option. This could go for many reasons, and for my husband’s case this was because he had school starting in the fall and wasn’t able to go both through basic and AIT together. Just like some soldiers who are going in at 17 are doing split option because they have to return home to go back to school. Hope this helps even though it’s really late.

    3. My son, who is 17, is doing the Split Option / National Guard. I am wondering if the graduation ceremonies are with all the Fan Fair, like at the end of OSUT. If I could only choose one, should I go to the graduation at the end of his BCT (1st split) or next summer, during his AIT (2nd split)??

    4. Layla they do not get to come home in between 🙁 my husband finishes on valentines day and doesn’t come home til after ait. Sorry 🙁

  2. Hello!

    My husband is wanting to join the military. I am currently pregnant and my husband can’t decide if he should be active duty army or national guard. He is torn because he does not want me to financially struggle while he is at basic training. I am strongly against him going active, but it is ultimately his decision. Will I get BAH while he is in training for national guard?? Or is that only for active duty?? He is trying to make a decision so I have some peace of mind knowing he is safe and to not stress me and the baby. Please help!! Thank you!

  3. Hello
    My husband just joined the National Guard and he is leaving for Basic Training in a few weeks and his AIT is 30 weeks long im pregnant and we have 3 other kids. My question is will we able to come with him to AIT?

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