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.

author avatar
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. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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 🙁

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  5. 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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