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Females in Basic Training

Women have come a long way in the military. Don’t be fooled guys; women have it as tough or tougher than you in basic training. Genetically, males are built stronger than females. Females are expected to perform to the male’s physical ability. I am not talking about fitness tests; I am talking about day-to-day activity. Furthermore, males and females living quarters are separate in basic training. When a Drill Sergeant appoints a male platoon guide, that platoon guide receives information from the Drill Sergeant and then passes it on to other recruits. If the females are in their separate living quarters, they miss out on important details (such as formation times).

Here are some tips that females should take to heart when preparing for basic training (males will benefit from these tips too):

Bring enough undergarments to last you about a week; having time to do laundry is scarce.

If you want to have a short haircut, go to a salon before you leave. I’m betting the salon at your basic training station wont give you the same care as your regular salon at home. I have seen females try to fix their hair with sewing scissors at basic training because they were so unsatisfied with their haircut.

Female recruits tend to arrive at basic training with more pieces of luggage than male recruits. I recommend you leave all the extra items at home. At the Reception Center (the place you stay before you begin basic training) your luggage will be screened for contraband (e.g. weapons, magazines, etc). Even if you pack items that you think you’ll need, you may get them confiscated. For a list of what to bring and not to bring to basic training, consult The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook (

Last but not least, develop upper body strength before you arrive at basic training. Some of the fastest runners in my platoon were female recruits, but when it came time to do push-ups, often it was the females that struggled the most. Again, The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook has an excellent fitness routine for developing upper body strength.


Mike Volkin is the author of the Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, available at

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