Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP)

Before you ship to Basic Combat Training (BCT) you will attend the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP). RSP is a one-weekend-a-month drill where Cadre and Drill Sergeants will teach you everything to keep you on track mentally, physically, emotionally, and administratively before you ship to training. RSP is broken down into several phases - all with original training purposes and goals. These phases are described below.

Red Phase

Red Phase is your first two drills at RSP. During this training, you will learn the basics of being in the military including:

  • Army Structure
  • Chain of Command
  • Rank and Insignia
  • Customs and Courtesies
  • General Orders
  • Reporting Procedures
  • Drill and Ceremony
  • Physical Fitness
  • AKO and MyPay Setup

  • During this phase you will also be issued your RSP uniforms, order your name tapes, and be issued the "Blue Book", a guide that will give you a head start on all of the information that you will learn at Basic Training.

    White Phase

    White Phase depends on the amount of time between your enlistment and when you ship to Basic Training. During White Phase you will have time to practice everything that you learned in Red Phase and more about what you need to succeed at BCT. This phase will include the following training:

  • Proper Wear of the Military Uniform
  • Army Values, Soldier's Creed, and Warrior Ethos
  • Employ Camouflage, Cover and Concealment
  • Tactics
  • Weapons Familiarizations
  • During White Phase you will have the opportunity to compete for a promotion with the Stripes for Skills program. Stripes for Skills is a test conducted by your leadership that evaluates everything you've learned during Red Phase.

    Blue Phase

    Blue Phase is your final drill before you ship to BCT. During this drill you will have your physical preparedness evaluated, cover all of your final details, and make sure that you're administratively ready to ship. Training during this phase will primarily consist of:

  • Inspections
  • BCT Q's and A's
  • Final Administrative Preparation
  • Green Phase

    Green Phase is designed for Soldiers who enlist under the Split Training Option (STO). These Soldiers typically join the Montana Army National Guard during their junior year of high school and attend Basic Training during the summer between their junior and senior year, and AIT after they graduate high school. Green Phase Soldiers are usually put into leadership roles during RSP and are given the opportunity to stay current on skills like:

  • Urban Area Operations
  • Convoy Operations
  • Navigation Techniques
  • Disassemble, Assemble, and Functions Checks on Various Weapons
  • Gold Phase

    Gold Phase happens upon completion of BCT and AIT when you return to RSP for your final drills - known as your battle handoff drills - before you join your regular unit. During this drill you will meet with the representatives of your unit, get your normal drill schedule, and learn who your "unit sponsor" will be. Your final drills with RSP will consist of:

  • Completing Any Bonus/Financial Readiness Information
  • Education Benefits Briefing
  • Battle Handoff
  • Chain of Command Briefing

    Basic Combat Training (BCT)

    By and large the most frequently asked question we get is: what is basic training like? Below is a quick explanation of the differnt phases of Basic Combat Training, what you should expect, and how to prepare.

    Reception Battalion

    Typically 1-2 Weeks

    Reception Battalion, otherwise known as Week Zero, is where you'll in-process into Basic Training. Over your time here you'll get your physical exam, shots, a haircut, uniform issue and have your first Physical Training (PT) test. During Reception, you'll get a preview of BCT. You'll be introduced to Army Values and the Warrior Ethos as well as beginning exercises in teamwork, self-discipline, responsibility, leadership development, self-reliance, competence, and confidence. The schedule of Reception Battalion is as follows:

    Zero Day
  • Amnesty Brief: When you arrive, you'll be told what you can and cannot have at Basic Training. This will be your last chance to get rid of any prohibited items without being penalized.
  • Military Recordkeeping: With the paperwork you brought with you, you'll be set up the medical, financial, and personnel records that will last for your entire military career.

  • Day 1
  • Pay Station: Go to the Pay Station and recieve your ID card.
  • Smart Cards: A Smart Card for BCT expenses will be issued to you ($250 for males, $350 for females)
  • Central Issue Facility (CIF): Get your uniforms and your TA-50 (military field gear) issued to you. Your civilian clothes will be returned to you when you ship to AIT or home.
  • Medical Exams: Go through a general medical exam that includes a blood test.
  • Briefings: Be briefed on the GI Bill, SGLI (Servicemembers Group Life Insurance), and other financial classes.
  • General Orientation: An introduction to Army basics, such as the chaplain's role, the Red Cross, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), policies and procedures, and managing your personal affairs.
  • Post-Exchange (PX): You'll be able to buy items that you need for BCT and have your feet evaluated for the proper type of running shoes.

  • Day 2
  • Vaccinations: You'll recieve six vaccination shots including: measles, mumps, diptheria, flubicillin, rubella, and smallpox.
  • Vision and Dental Exam: Have a general checkup and dental exam (including dental x-ray) you'll aslo be issued a protective mouth guard.
  • Personal Affairs Division: Review all of your personal records and verify that everything is complete.

  • Day 3
  • Eyeglasses/Protective Lenses Provided: Your eyeglasses will be made on site and issued to you during reception
  • Photos, Yearbooks, BCT Video, and Ring: Get your first official military photograph, and opt into purchase a yearbook or graduation ring in advance.

  • Days 4-5
  • Final Processing: Once everything is complete you will get assigned to a Basic Training Unit and ship.

  • Red Phase

    Weeks 1-3

    Begin your transition from a confused volunteer to a confident Soldier. Red Phase training focuses on reinforcing the principles of discipline, and teamwork. Training during this phase involves:

  • The First Hundred Yards: Test your physical and mental readiness during this challenging team-building activity when you first get to your unit in Basic Combat Training
  • Army's Core Values, traditions and ethics
  • Assembling, disassembling, and caring for your M4
  • The Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Chamber
  • Security and crowd dispersion discipline
  • Combatives: hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla exercises
  • Barracks inspections
  • running, tactical daylight marches, and fitness training

  • White Phase

    Weeks 4-5

    White Phase is also known as the Rifleman or Gunfighter phase and focuses on developing your combat skills. Learn how to identify, track, target, and engage targets with a rifle. Training during this phase involves:

  • Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) and Rifle Qualifications
  • Zeroing a Rifle
  • Engaging targets at various distances and from different positions
  • Prioritizing multiple targets simultaneously
  • Hand-to-hand training
  • Rappelling the Warrior Tower
  • Night training
  • Map and Compass reading
  • Continued studies of all Red Phase Training

  • Blue Phase

    Weeks 6-9

    Blue Phase is the final phase of BCT and is also known as the Warrior Phase. It will build your individual training, increase your leadership skills and self-discipline, and improve your understanding of teamwork. Training in Blue Phase consists of:

  • Advanced Rifle Marksmanship
  • Maneuvering and engaging targets as a team
  • Convoy Operations
  • Additional weapons training including: machine guns, grenade launchers, and IEDs
  • Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT)
  • 10-KM and 15-KM tactical marches
  • Field training exercises
  • The End of Cycle Test (212 tasks that you're required to pass)
  • Final Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)

  • Graduation

    Week 10

    The final week of BCT. After you finish the final training events you'll recieve a day with your family to catch up and tell them about your recent experiences. The next day, you'll graduate before moving onto your next phase of training. (Usually AIT).


    Advanced Individual Training (AIT)

    Upon completion of Basic Combat Training, you'll go to Advanced Individual Training or AIT. This training provides you specific instruction based on the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that you chose during the enlistment process. AIT can vary in length from 6 - 33 weeks depending on your specialty and focuses directly on the tasks that you will be performing upon returning to your unit at home.

    Upon completion of AIT you will be a fully qualified Montana Army National Guard Soldier and will be able to return home and report to your RSP unit.

    For a list of military occupational specialties and the training length, click here.


    Are you ready to learn more about the training and opportunities that the Montana Army National Guard offers?

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