Headed to the Basic School? This is our first Q and A to give you a better idea of what to expect when you arrive at Camp Barrett.
1) What is check in day like at The Basic School?
When you arrive you will park on the parade deck and head over to a classroom where everyone else in your company will be standing in various lines for paperwork. This is not OCS. No one will be yelling at you, and everyone will be friendly. Feels good to be treated like a real person right?
Depending on what time you arrive, these lines could take an hour or two. You will probably not have a chance to go to the chow hall, and they will not provide you with meals, so bring snacks. This cannot be stressed enough.
Once you have completed the in processing for the day, you will probably have a chance to move in some of your stuff. However, you will not be secured for the day (allowed to leave base) until you have completed various rosters and other administrative info. In order to do so, you will have to purchase the WiFi in the barracks ASAP (about 30-60 dollars a month depending on your plan).
Only after you have secured (which may not be until very late in the evening) will you be allowed to leave base for food. Once again, having food on you will make your life significantly better. The same goes for the entire first week.
2) What are rooms like in the SOQ (student officer quarters?)
You will either have one or two roommates in a college dorm style room. The rooms are relatively spacious with a bathroom, common area, gear area, refrigerator, freezer, and microwave. You can bring your own linens, and as long as you keep the room relatively clean, no one will give you a hard time. Your days of living out of a single locker are over. Welcome (back) to college style accommodations.
3) What do you eat at The Basic School?
When you are not in the field, you will have access to the chow hall (time permitting) however popular times will typically have a long line to get in.
While you are not allowed to cook in your room, you should have food in the fridge/freezer and anything microwaveable is good to go.
Once you are secured in the evening, you can drive off base to Chipotle, Chili's, etc.
While eating clean is not always easy, it is certainly possible. Advance planning over the weekends and a well-stocked fridge will take you 80 percent of the way. Canned fish such as sardines and tuna is a cheap, healthy option.
Don't be that guy or gal who lives off of slim jims and hot pockets. A little planning and you'll eat pretty well. Your body will thank you.
Looking for other things to bring to TBS? Check out our gear list here.