I asked the ladies on my fanpage to come up with some questions that would have liked answers to when their husbands were in BCT/AIT so I could do a blog about them. Now, the answers to these questions are "generally speaking". Most things depend on the command, drill sgts, instructors and the post they are at.
When will I get his address? You have to wait for him to send you a letter telling you his address. My husband was able to send me a letter that first week there, but this may not be the case with everyone. You basically have to be patient.
What can I send him while he is at BCT? The only thing my husband told me I was allowed to send him was letters and pictures. They will be able to write, but I can't say how often. That all depends on how much free time they are given and how they choose to use that time. My husband called a few times during basic, but I mainly got letters. They weren't allowed much phone time at all.
When will I know when he graduates from BCT? They know their graduation date from the time they start the training. They have a schedule laid out. The only way this date will change is if he is injured and it causes a delay in his training.
How many people can attend his graduation from BCT? As far as I know, from what I have heard from others and read about, there is no limit to the amount of people who can attend the graduation.
What is appropriate attire to wear to a BCT graduation? First thing you have to consider is the weather of course. Most people I know and those I saw at my husbands graduation wore something casual. I wore dress pants, boots and a nice shirt. I saw women who wore sundresses and sandals. I didn't see anyone dressed too fancy. Just remember you want to look nice and respectable for you husband because you will representing him. I know I wanted to look a little sexy too and there are ways to look sexy without being too revealing.
Will I get to see my husband before graduation? Generally, you don't get to see them until the graduation ceremony. Again, this will vary from post to post. I will just tell you how it was with us. On graduation day, he was allowed to spend time with us, but he had a curfew and wasn't allowed to leave post. I also had to sign him out. The day after the graduation ceremony was called "family day". He was allowed to leave post and because he was doing his AIT at the same place, he was given a 3 day pass. He left post and stayed with me in my hotel until I left 2 days later. I don't know how it works if they are going to a different place for AIT.
How often will he get to call home? This will depend on the instructors. My husband got to call me every night between certain times. Your best bet is to wait for him to call you and find out when his free time is. As far as cell phones go, my husband could use one if he had one, but that is at the discretion of the command there.
Do Soldiers receive passes or leave while attending AIT? Can I visit him or can he travel to visit me?? Depending on the training schedule and a Soldier's demonstrated performance and maturity, a commander may grant leave or either an on-post or an off-post pass. Some passes may be overnight passes. Never assume that you will be able to visit a Soldier or have a Soldier visit without first discussing the Soldier's training schedule with him. Although commanders may grant both passes and leave, both are contingent on the training schedule. AIT trains on most Saturdays. Additionally, commanders may grant leave for emergencies. You should contact the American Red Cross when such an emergency exists. Although the American Red Cross does not grant leave, the message they provide allows the commander to make decisions based on the nature of the emergency. Finally, when Soldier's graduate from AIT and does not have a scheduled follow-on course, each may take up to 10 days of leave before reporting to his U.S-based assignment or 14 days leave for assignments overseas or in Alaska or Hawaii.
What can I send him while he is at AIT? This again depends on where he is. I sent my husband letters, cards, pictures, and homemade baked goods. I always made sure I sent enough for him to share with the others in his class.
When will I know when he graduates AIT? You should know when he goes. Each MOS has a certain amount of time in AIT, such as 20 weeks or 22 weeks. Just like BCT, he will know when his graduation is when he starts.
When do we find out what his first duty station (FDS) is? Most soldiers know where their FDS will be before they finish AIT. Some find out while still in BCT.
Do we get separation pay and BAH? Yes, if you are married, you will get separation pay and BAH. The BAH will depend on where you live and the separation pay should start after he has been gone for 30 days.
What is OSUT? OSUT is an acronym for One-Station Unit Training. This applies to soldiers in the Infantry. The Infantry has combined its Basic Training and AIT to be one 14-week long training session. He will attend more streamlined training, and will develop a camaraderie with his fellow trainees during this time.
Do they get passes during OSUT? Some may get a break in the middle of OSUT, but not all units do. This is a privilege so not everyone will get it.
When will I get the information about DEERS and when will enrollment in Tricare start? DEERS stands for Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Active-duty and retired service members are automatically registered in DEERS, but they must take action to register their family members and ensure they're correctly entered into the database. So, your husband will be the one to get you registered in DEERS. Active Duty and Guard and Reserve service members are automatically enrolled TRICARE Prime. However military dependents and retirees must choose the TRICARE option that best suits their needs. So your husband will also have to register you with TRICARE. Now keep in mind this is all when he first joins. Once he joins and you PCS or he deploys, you will be able to update DEERS and TRICARE yourself.
What is PTRP/WTRP? PTRP (Physical Training Rehabilitation Program). Theoretically, it's for soldiers who have been injured during training to rehabilitate and be returned to training. Women's Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP)is designed to treat women veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The WTRP is intensive 60-day residential program with a strong emphasis on interpersonal skills. The initial two weeks of treatment involve psychological and psychosocial assessments in order to develop comprehensive treatment plans. Women come into the program in classes, or cohorts, and work together to problem-solve, learn effective communication, and better manage their PTSD/MST symptoms.
What is a perm-profile and how does it affect the soldiers job and advancement? A perm-profile is when the soldier can't do any activity (such as PT) permanently. How a perm-profile affects the soldiers job and advancement all depends on what the soldiers job is and why he was given the perm-profile to begin with.