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How do/did you stay motivated when faced with adversity and negative thoughts in boot camp/military?

#Military #BootCamp #Army

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Nicholas’s Answer

Boot camp is difficult and the mental challenges are usually harder then the physical challenges. You remind yourself that it is only a short period of time and then you will be out doing what you signed up to do. You will meet a lot of good friends during that period of time, and you will bond together and that helps make things easier having others to rely on. Lastly I will say staying in contact with home, write a lot of letters, helped give you that final push and drive you need.

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Vince’s Answer

Basic Training is designed to test you! You took an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies. Even when you've done your 100th push-up of the day or it's been a week since you've slept 4 hours, all the training has a purpose. It's to show you how much you can endure and ultimately succeed. The Drill Instructors or Drill Sergeants are the most professional people in the military. They will teach you to succeed. When you're waivering, look to your left or look to your right and see your battle buddy. It is not only about you succeeding but is about being there for your fellow soldiers as well. You will look back on that experience as one of the best of your life. I did.

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Judith’s Answer

Boot camp is training you to be your best when you are feeling your worst. Remember that boot camp is just for a short time. Follow instructions - your mind and body will thank you. Writing letters or journaling can help with negative thoughts. Even as a non-religious person, I found a church service that genuinely lifted my spirits. The comradery that you develop with your fellow shipmates provides invaluable life experiences.
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Dawn’s Answer

Half of the success of any boot camp is your approach and attitude. Mental preparation is just as important as prepping for boot camp. To really make the most out of boot camp you have to not only exercise your body, but apply your mind. If you don’t have the right thoughts and feelings in place then your boot camp could feel more of an uphill struggle.

For me, I could never go home and say that I quit. I’d be disappointed in myself. It’d be something that I’d regret for the rest of my life. It’d be a quality in me that said, you couldn’t do it. You made a very big commitment, but when the going got tough, you decided it “wasn’t my cup of tea.” That, along with knowing that my family and friends supported me, kept me motivated to complete my days in boot camp.

Honestly, just put one foot in front of the other, and follow instructions. You’ll get through every single day. Even the most difficult days, you will get through it. Getting through day by day is a very manageable task. You’ll walk away as a leader. A decision maker. A person capable of making difficult decisions, and with the ability to remain confident and motivated throughout any situation. Nothing will rattle you. A fire destroys your house? No problem. We will rebuild. Car breaks down on the highway? Let’s diagnose and fix it. If not, call tow truck and I’ll find a way to get to work. You will figure it out. You will remain calm, and you will get it done.
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Lance’s Answer

Basic training or 'boot camp' can be a trying time for someone joining our armed forces and each service has a different flavor to their experience. The general consensus among military people is that Marine Corps boot camp is the toughest, followed by the Army, then the Navy and the Air Force with the least stressful boot camp.

US Army boot camp is now 10 weeks long, having changed a standard 8 week schedule that it held for many years before the early 2000's when it switched to the new format to add training modules. Getting through the 10 weeks will be tough, but one can make things easier by taking some preemptive measures before beginning basic training, like the following:

  • Get into the best physical shape that you can. Focus on push-ups, sit-ups and the 2-mile run, which are elements of the standard Army physical fitness test that you'll be required to pass. In addition to that, practice strength training, pull-ups, running at least 4 miles and hiking for 10+ miles.
  • Get in the habit of functioning at high level while getting up very early. Your body has natural rhythms that can be adjusted by slowly shifting your wake-up time earlier in the weeks before attending basic training. Army basic training will start at 4:30AM and you will lose sleep because of guard shifts and various duties that will force you to wake up even earlier.
  • Arm yourself with as much information as possible - talk to people that have been through basic training, watch movies, stay in contact with your recruiter; basically do everything that you can to prepare yourself mentally.

While you're in boot camp you can keep yourself motivated by remembering what your end goal is - completion. Basic training can be a time focus on faith to help get through as well if you are a person of faith; getting away from the barracks for an hour or two in a safe place can work wonders. Stay in touch with family by writing letters every chance that you get - there is something soothing about writing down your struggles and sharing them with someone that you love and trust; don't forget to call whenever you can as well.

That's it - if you can do these things, you'll make your life so much easier in boot camp and once you're finished, you'll have a great well of experience to help overcome any tough times that life throws at you.

Thank you comment icon Thank you, Lance. I will keep all you have said, close. Benjamin
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James’s Answer

Basic Training was difficult. I attended Marine Corps Basic Training in 2019. I got everything taken away from me that I found comfort in. Growing up, music was something I depended on in almost all adverse situations I found myself in. I had to find a way around that at Boot Camp. I sung to myself, wrote down song lyrics, and found a way to get by. I also made sure that I had something to look forward to every day. Even if it was just when I got to lay my head down on my pillow. That was at least something. It meant we were one day closer to graduation.
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