Army training has to do three things to turn you into a soldier:
  1) It gets you to do exactly as you're told, without question;
  2) It makes sure you will kill another person if ordered to; and
  3) It teaches you a soldier's basic skills.

Training is designed to get you to leave your old life behind and start a new life as a soldier. This is how it works.

  1. When you arrive to train, you are made to look like everyone else - you all have the same uniform and haircut, and you're not allowed to use first names.
  2. You're not usually allowed to see your parents or friends from home for the first six weeks, but you can call/email them after work.
  3. The army controls everything you do from morning till night - there are right and wrong ways to stand, make a bed, polish boots, and fold a t-shirt.
  4. Training is supposed to wear you out - you can expect to lose sleep, and at times you might not be allowed food or shelter.
  5. You're shouted at often and if you fall behind you're told you're no good and your whole platoon is punished (this is how the army 'weeds out' people who don't fit in).
  6. On the other hand, everyone in the platoon is supposed to help each other, so you can make some good mates. 
  7. You're told that soldiers are better than other people and that your army regiment or corps is better than the rest.
  8. You're also told to think of the enemy just as 'the enemy', rather than as a person or people.
  9. If you accept what you're told and you don't fall behind then your trainers and officers will praise you for being a good soldier.
  10. Towards the end of basic training, you have to be able to kill another person at close range with a blade. This is called bayonet drill. The YouTube clips below show an example of bayonet drill and an infantry veteran talking about it. 
  11. By the end of training, you know exactly how to fit in with the army - how to salute, march, use a rifle, throw a grenade and advance on an enemy target.


Find out how many army recruits get through training...