Basic Training Schedule for an Army Soldier


Soldiers in Army basic training are subject to rigid time constraints. Every activity is carefully planned, from eating to sleeping, and each day is scheduled according to training requirements. Basic training days generally begin around 4 a.m. and end by 9 p.m.; however, there are rare exceptions.


  • In the basic training schedule for an Army soldier, wake-up is generally around 4 a.m. Soldiers are given a limited time to conduct personal hygiene, make their beds and clean their living areas (usually between a half-hour and 45 minutes).



  • Basic training is nine weeks long, and drill sergeants have to ensure all soldiers in their care are properly trained. The Army mandates a certain number of hours for each subject, which must be reached in order to consider a soldier's training complete. After breakfast, soldiers train for at least three hours. They are released for lunch at a military dining facility (DFAC) or eat specially packaged meals (MREs) and resume training immediately. Afternoon training is conducted for at least five hours, and soldiers are released for dinner.

Lights Out and Fire Guard

  • Lights out is generally between 7:30 and 9 p.m. Because of the rigorous training taking place during daylight hours, most soldiers are eager to get to bed. Every soldier is required to take a one- to two-hour guard shift (scheduled by the bay leader or drill instructor) during the night. Depending on the number of soldiers in the bay, this may occur every night or once every two nights. Soldiers on nighttime guard shifts are referred to as "fire guard," and are responsible for ensuring other soldiers stay in their bunks and are accounted for during their entire shift.

Field Exercises

  • Field training exercises (FTXs) are exceptions to the basic training schedule for an Army soldier. During FTXs, soldiers eat, sleep and train in a field environment, living in tents and eating pre-packaged meals. Soldiers are awakened at varying times and sleep whenever possible; so much training takes place during FTXs that a regular schedule is impossible.

Other Exceptions


  • During Army basic training, drill sergeants are only required by the Army to ensure soldiers get four hours of sleep per night. According to Army regulations, the sleep does not have to be in a four-hour block; it can be spaced out in 15-minute increments should the drill sergeant choose.

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  • Photo Credit buffet image by Nath Photos from alarm clock image by siloto from tables at the cafeteria image by Ragne Kabanova from Glühbirne image by Ewe Degiampietro from church. exterior. way to church image by L. Shat from
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