Discipline phase underway for Fort Sill basic trainees

Updated: May. 31, 2019 at 1:19 PM CDT
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FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Brand new to Fort Sill, 189 privates, all hoping to graduate basic training to become a soldier in the United States Army. The discipline phase started this week, providing the foundation of a soldier.

“Some of the things that are different for them is having someone telling them what to do and enforcing something," said 1st Sgt. Antoine Sims, the Battery 1st Sgt. “It’s a change and a culture shock for a lot of these guys.”

These trainees have been on Fort Sill for several days, receiving equipment like clothing, dog tags and they also had hair cuts. But that’s just the easy part. Week Zero, they’re in for a much different experience.

“I think I’ll be okay," said Private Jasmine Yates. "I had a pretty rough childhood so I’m pretty sure this can’t be any worse than that.”

For the next nine weeks, trainees will be enduring physical activity and physical readiness, while learning teamwork and discipline. These are the basics of becoming a soldier.

Trainees broke out into four platoons and met their drill sergeants. The first day was learning different tasks and receiving punishment if those were not achieved.

Some trainees thought they idea of what they were in for.

“I expect it to be a lot different," said Private James Wright. "I mean I think the way they yell at you will be like, ‘Wow that’s awesome.’ Not really.”

Over the next few weeks, drill sergeants will lighten up.

“Over the course of the 9 weeks, they lay off the amount of control they have and they’ll let trainees demonstrate peer leadership," said Lt. Col. Ralph Heaton, the 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery Commander.

He says there are several expectation for the trainees new to his battalion.

“They never give up on themselves, they continue to work to the end goal of graduating and becoming a soldier," said Lt. Col. Heaton. "That they give their best and become physically ready, develop a sense of teamwork, discipline, and they live the Army values.”

Next week, the soldiers will have their first test of climbing the Treadwell Tower. It’s meant to show the new soldier they can overcome any obstacle.

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