Dossier: Young adults

Basic military training: Be prepared when you report for duty

For many recruits, the first weeks of military training are the toughest. Everything is new and unfamiliar. You’ll find it easier to settle in if you’re prepared. Tips from wearing-in military boots to what you need to pack.

Text: Julie Freudiger, photo: Unsplash

As basic military training draws nearer, you’re bound to feel nervous. What do the months ahead hold? You’ll be faced with a whole host of new experiences: the daily routine, the uniform, the food and the dormitory. Being well prepared will help you settle in a bit faster and make the start easier.

Military boots

You’ll probably already have heard that it’s important to wear your boots in. You’ll be glad you did when you start out on your first march! Special blister plasters can help if your feet do take a beating. And: wearing thin nylon stockings under your socks can help prevent the socks rubbing against your skin so you don’t get blisters.

Positive mental attitude

It may sound like a cliché, but it’s true that your mood can make a big difference. If you tell yourself several times a day how awful a situation is, you’ll find it bad. Try to approach new tasks with curiosity and an open mind. You’ll see that time passes faster when you have a positive attitude. Making plans for what you want to do after basic military training can help keep your chin up. Maybe you want to go travelling? Anticipation can help you overcome strenuous phases.

Physical training

Depending on the military role you’re training for, the training will be more or less physically demanding. Nevertheless, being physically fit when you report for duty is sure to make the start of your training easier. The army has developed an app with fitness programmes tailored to the military role you may be assigned to. Or you can simply keep doing the sport you enjoy.

Packing list

You’ll be sharing a dormitory with a lot of other young men, so be sure to take ear plugs in case your neighbour snores. Headphones can also be a blessing if you want to switch off – or if ear plugs don’t work. There’ll always be times when you have nothing to do during your basic military training. Playing cards can help against boredom, or download a Netflix series. Last but not least: Take snacks with you to bridge the time until your food parcels from friends and family arrive. For information on what else you’ll need for basic military training, see the army’s official packing list (in German).