Reception Battalion (RECBN) is the period that begins when the recruit arrives at the Army post where he or she is to undergo Basic Training. Instead of spending a full day processing each individual, the US Army likes to spread out the processing to offer each soldier plenty of waiting time each day for the one to three weeks that it can take to finish the entry processing.
Paperwork is sprinkled into the schedule of each day at RECBN. On one day recruits get immunization shots, another day will include being issued your uniforms, different day will result in a present for those who wear contacts or glasses – you get an eye exam and special issue US Army glasses with lovely thick frames that will help prevent fraternization during BCT, there will be a day for an abbreviated physical assessment test, and yet another day will finally remove all of that extra hair you've been wearing on the top of your head. Each day, you'll eat your meals to help break up the long periods of waiting. If all of the processing happened in one day, how would everyone learn how to properly make their bed with hospital corners before training actually starts? Thankfully, the US Army has prolonged RECBN to guarantee recruits will have plenty of overnights to practice this skill.
One other very important event at RECBN is that you are assigned your Battle Buddy. This person will be your partner over the following weeks. You will get to know your Battle Buddy intensely because the two of you will rarely find yourself apart. Pray that you get a Battle Buddy that you can get along with easily; a poor assignment can be its own hell. If you screw up, it is likely that your Battle Buddy gets punished, too. No matter how sick you get of your Battle Buddy, don't ever, ever, ever go someplace without him.
There are drill sergeants at RECBN, but they don't seem to notice the recruits much until it is nearly time for them to leave for actual boot camp training.
Fitness Training Company
Those that fail the physical assessment test can be placed in Fitness Training Company (FTC), aka. “Fat Camp.” FTC involves daily, rigorous physical training and diet monitoring by Master Fitness Trainers (MFTs). Recruits are given two chances each week to complete the physical assessment test. If you end up spending four weeks in FTC without passing, chances are that you will be discharged from the US Army.
Recruits that sustain injuries during BCT, may also be assigned to a FTC for rehabilitation.
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