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  • Maximize your RSP experience.

    I seem to be getting a lot of PM's about what to expect at RSP drills, so I guess I'll just start up a thread on maximizing your experience. By the way, I'm not even beginning to pretend that I'm an expert on this topic. I just want to provide any help I can to help people make the easiest and most enjoyable transition they can from civilian life to military life.

    First thing everyone should do is scan the whole RSP thread. Cadre have different ways to run their drills in every state, so everyone will have different experiences. Second thing everyone should do is scan every forum on the rest of this discussion board--you should not only read every thread that relates to the questions you may have, you should also follow every link that someone provides within that thread that may take you to a website that may go into further detail about what was discussed in that forum, which leads me to the next step. Research every other military website available on the world wide web. The best place to start outside of this discussion board is military.com.

    For those that are about to attend their first RSP drill: You will be designated Red Phase. In this phase you'll cover general information that is similar to information that any other large organization will have their new employees cover such as sexual harrassment and, in this case, the history of the ARNG. You will also cover other general information such as direct deposit, insurance, beneficiaries, etc. Chances are you may get the opportunity to go through 1-1-1 (1 minute sit-ups, 1 minute push-ups, and 1 mile run), and chances are your first whole two days of RSP drill may consist of covering more clerical formalities.

    Understand that RSP is not BCT. RSP drills are designed to show you what your strengths and weaknesses are and what level of fitness you need to be at by the time you ship. If you pass the 1-1-1 great but if you fail all or even just parts of the 1-1-1 that doesn't mean they discharge you and send you home. Worst case scenario is you may get smoked and yelled at. But at the end of the day they will talk with you about what you need to do to improve your fitness as well as encourage you to stay motivated. They will also cover social issues with you such as staying away from bad elements back in your community and whatnot.

    One of the best things about being in red phase is you're mixed up with everyone else from white to gold phase. Learn what to do and what not to do by observing how the Drill Sergeants and NCO's work with white through gold phase personnel. While you're in red phase you may be given a 'battle book' which is a thick binder full of various materials that cover a broad spectrum of ARNG material from enlisted and commissioned officer ranks to Guard benefits and a card with the Warrior Ethos and soldier's creed printed on it. It would behoove you to memorize the Warrior Ethos and Soldier's creed as well as the 1st and 2nd general orders.

    Basically you're supposed to be given a break during red phase but when you come back for your 2nd RSP drill you will be designated white phase and the heat will be turned up unless you're 'broke' or have a profile, which means you're injured, which means you'll basically be sitting around doing nothing. On the other hand, if you goof off too much the NCO might decide to make you perform whatever duties you're capable of doing regardless of your injury.

    Best thing to do is to start running, doing sit-ups and push-ups now. Even if you can only do 1 push-up and 1 sit-up and run a couple yards before getting winded. You have to start somewhere. If you have any knee injuries, then your best bet is to do as much low impact fitness as possible in the beginning. The elliptical and stationary bike are the best places to start. Also, you need to invest in some really good running shoes--not basketball shoes, hiking shoes or tennis shoes. I cannot stress strong enough how important it is to work on developing a breathing rhythm when you run.

    Salt and sugar are your enemies. There is no substitute for drinking water. Stop drinking sodas and fitness drinks now. Stop smoking now. Stop drinking now. You will be amazed how drastically your level of fitness will change once you start eating healthy, well-balanced, small meals. In fact, I live primarily on a liquid protein and mega vitamin and nutrient diet with a few solid meals sprinkled in here and there. When you completely eliminate junk from your diet, keep your digestive system flushed, and take in a healthy diet your endurance will increase substantially, you'll require less sleep, recover quicker from a strenuous workout, and make significant gains with each workout.
    Last edited by VICEROY06; March 8th, 2011, 03:05 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

    This is some good info, thanks for posting it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

      Originally posted by Fidd's Green View Post
      This is some good info, thanks for posting it.
      I'll try to post everything I learn as I go. Won't be too much more left to learn, though. April 2nd and 3rd is my last RSP drill before I ship that following Tuesday.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

        If you haven't gone to your first RSP drill yet, then the best thing to do is to get yourself in the mindset of going to BCT now. Though you'll learn quite a bit when you do begin RSP training you have to understand that you'll only go to RSP once a month--RSP drills are not designed to have you at readiness when you hit BCT. RSP is only designed to give you a glimpse of what you will encounter once you are down range. You will have to learn how to become self-motivated (if you don't already have self-motivation skills) and train on your own between RSP drills.

        Perform a google search and find the chart that shows you how many push-ups, sit-ups, and your ellapsed time frame for the 2 mile run. I don't care who tells you about doing 100 push-ups or 200 push-ups blah, blah, blah. Train according to what your max is in regards to your age. For example: I'm 38, so my max for push-ups is 70-something, and my max for sit-ups is 64-something. My max ellapsed time for the 2-mile is 14 minutes. Even though the standard requirement at BCT is 10 push-ups for men and 3 push-ups for women, try to train to the standard as applied to your age category and gender.

        Hopefully, while you're at RSP drill, you may run into gold phase personnel (BCT graduates) that trained at your Fort. My MOS is 11B, and I'll be doing OSUT at Ft. Benning, so I talked at length with all the gold phase 11B that graduated from Ft. Benning. The best time to talk to BCT graduates is if you're lucky enough to have one teaching you something like weapons training or first aid while you're in a class session. The next best time is during AAR, which happens at the end of the day. You will assemble somewhere and a soldier or a counselor or an NCO will discuss with you the strengths and weaknesses of your RSP experience. You will have an opportunity to voice your concerns as well as talk to the BCT graduates. Do not be afraid to ask questions. In addition, BCT graduates are supposed to offer you as much advice on what their experiences were during BCT/AIT or OSUT.

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        • #5
          Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

          Viceroy, I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I appreciate your posts. They're useful to people who are new to the whole experience. You take the time to write out well thought out posts that are both informational and useful.

          So in a nutshell, thank you for continuing to post

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

            Originally posted by Hanson View Post
            Viceroy, I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I appreciate your posts. They're useful to people who are new to the whole experience. You take the time to write out well thought out posts that are both informational and useful.

            So in a nutshell, thank you for continuing to post
            You're most welcome. The RSP program is invaluable. Sure, Reservists, USMC and AD Army soldiers graduate from basic all the time. But none of them have the opportunity we have. Basic training will be hard enough as it is--who would want to make matters worse by being bounced around because you don't even know the simplest of the simple about being a soldier? I've never liked the thought of making such a drastic change in life like going from civilian to the life of a soldier blind, which is what the others are doing. Also, I've never liked the concept of being torn down and built back up. If a soldier needs to be torn down and built back up, then fine--and some soldiers need that kind of training. But for an older person that already has a significant amount of skill and professional experience, that kind of 'ground up' training is unnecessary especially if certain skills can be learned before going to BCT.
            Last edited by VICEROY06; March 9th, 2011, 11:58 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

              Viceroy, I'll be shipping to Benning May 6th, so I'll be taking in all the **** with you bro. Thanks for the posts!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                Originally posted by TheCaptain View Post
                Viceroy, I'll be shipping to Benning May 6th, so I'll be taking in all the **** with you bro. Thanks for the posts!
                Hey, Cap. I'll be at Benning April 5th. I've already adjusted my sleeping patterns to be up and alert at 0400 everyday (actually around 0330). Our reception lasts for one week. After that it's time to hit the dirt. As another 11B told me, be ready for the Drill Sergeant to "lie" to you. Your group may be told to prepare for locker detail the night before in order to be ready for inspection tomorrow, only to have no one show up the next day. Personally, I wouldn't sweat it. If your gear is already squared away that's just one less thing you have to worry about when the time does come for a real inspection. Also, be ready to compensate if your battle buddy is a screw-up.

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                • #9
                  Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                  Battle Buddy: Once you come into the drill hall, sign-in and wait with everyone else in parade rest to fall in at whatever time your drill begins, someone may run up to you and say "go to the bathroom with me" or they may just run up to you and say "battle buddy" and give you a gaze as they run in whatever direction they're going. That means he/she is designating you as a battle buddy and to follow them wherever they need to go. Understand that you cannot go anywhere by yourself. You must have a battle buddy with you at all times.

                  The logic behind having a battle buddy is to prepare you for a battle situation, and also a part of your Warrior Ethos: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."

                  If you get caught walking around by yourself you may get smoked and/or an NCO or Drill Sergeant will find someone to drag you by your feet around on your back while repeatedly saying "I'm injured and in need of assistance." Hopefully, someone will figure out that you got caught walking around without a battle buddy and save you or you'll be dragged around until someone does. This one guy in my detachment was dragged on his back from the Letrine (bathroom), all the way through the drill hall and into a classroom before someone decided to save him. Don't be 'that guy'.
                  Last edited by VICEROY06; March 10th, 2011, 10:19 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                    Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
                    Battle Buddy: Once you come into the drill hall, sign-in and wait with everyone else in parade rest to fall in at whatever time your drill begins, someone may run up to you and say "go to the bathroom with me" or they may just run up to you and say "battle buddy" and give you a gaze as they run in whatever direction they're going. That means he/she is designating you as a battle buddy and to follow them wherever they need to go. Understand that you cannot go anywhere by yourself. You must have a battle buddy with you at all times.

                    The logic behind having a battle buddy is to prepare you for a battle situation, and also a part of your Warrior Ethos: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."

                    If you get caught walking around by yourself you may get smoked and/or an NCO or Drill Sergeant will find someone to drag you by your feet around on your back while repeatedly saying "I'm injured and in need of assistance." Hopefully, someone will figure out that you got caught walking around without a battle buddy and save you or you'll be dragged around until someone does. This one guy in my detachment was dragged on his back from the Letrine (bathroom), all the way through the drill hall and into a classroom before someone decided to save him. Don't be 'that guy'.
                    I thought Battle Buddies were 'assigned'? I understand the concept of not going anywhere alone but I did not realize that you could just grab someone and designate them you 'buddy' and vice versa?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                      Good info viceroy. You're like me, wanting to know every aspect of what's to come. Did you watch hundreds of YouTube videos about BCT and whatnot?

                      Also, do you have your CAC card? Some guy is driving me to dobbins AF base today to get mine. I thought they issued you them at BCT.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                        Originally posted by TheCaptain View Post
                        Good info viceroy. You're like me, wanting to know every aspect of what's to come. Did you watch hundreds of YouTube videos about BCT and whatnot?

                        Also, do you have your CAC card? Some guy is driving me to dobbins AF base today to get mine. I thought they issued you them at BCT.
                        Got my CAC card two weeks after I enlisted. Found my DEERS site through the RAPIDS locator. I've already been using it to get the military discounts at restaurants, auto parts stores and of course the movies. There's a website that shows you all the businesses that offer military discounts.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                          I don't know about RSP outfits, but you generally aren't "assigned" battle buddies in your unit. And you don't always need one. It's more common in the earlier days of your career (boot camp obviously, since you'll have a bunkmate). Depending on the situation, your chain of command may prefer it since obviously 2 heads are better than one and if it is for a task, it will likely get done quicker. But I wouldn't get into the mindset that it's a permanent thing by any means.

                          The military values independence/intelligence/maturity as much as it does teamwork.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                            Exactly, its an implicit term to exemplify esprit de corps and to always look out for one another. Now when I was at Bagram last year, females were told they should not be walking on the FOB without their battle buddies at night because of the high rates of sexual assaults but when I left Green Beans at 0200, there was always a female walking solo on Disney.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Maximize your RSP experience.

                              I meant purely for BCT ('assigned' versus just grabbing someone); I didn't think that once done with BCT that you have a Battle Buddy in your unit....

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