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  • Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

    Hi all-

    I was recently approved by the AMEDD Board to commission in Arizona, and I'm awaiting swearing in. I understand that as a Reserve Component 73A, I will go through the "short course" at Fort Sam which consists of the FTX, while completing the educational portion both at home and during drill weekends prior to attending.

    Is it possible to request to attend the long course as a Reserve Component 73A? Would anyone recommend requesting it? I would like to be as fully versed in military custom, procedure and tradition as I can before assuming a post. Also, my thoughts were the longer I spend in a training environment (read: living with other soldiers and involved in daily life around the base), the better prepared I will be to adapt to this new role. Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

    Yes it is possible to attend the long course, and I would highly recommend it. It is simply a matter of which course your unit enrolls you in. However, to be frank, 9 weeks VS. 4 weeks is a big difference in money for your state. They may not have the money, or be willing to IF they had it, especially since the short course meets your training requirements. Keep in mind, that the fundamental difference between the short and long course is: Short course 28 days (ish) no days off, with 15 days of field exercises. You will merge with the long course for those three weeks of FTX's. The long course has essentially 6 weeks of death by powerpoint, weekends off, and mandatory leadership positions for everyone.

    Disclaimer: YMMV, my knowledge and recollection is subject to memory lapse, and being out of date.

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    • #3
      Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

      rat4spd is spot on. The Guard is cash-strapped pretty much across the board now. I know of several AMEDD officers pitching for a longer course and it was not on the table.

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      • #4
        Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

        Thanks for the info. My recruiter said the same when I spoke to him recently. I guess 4 weeks will have to do!

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        • #5
          Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

          Originally posted by LT-SW View Post
          Thanks for the info. My recruiter said the same when I spoke to him recently. I guess 4 weeks will have to do!
          Howdy. I'm a direct commission O4 that will be attending AMEDD BOLC short course next month. What's the weather like on Camp Bullis on September? I have been told that nights can get really cold, and that contrasting extreme temperatures at day/night are common. What brand of combat boots is better for the FTX? Can you have bubble gum or drink packets with you during FTX, or are they considered contraband food? I understand the short course is 28 days straight, but do we get any spare time to go off base for a Pizza or whatever? I have been advised to also take civilian clothing, but that was meant for the long course, if we are not going out off-base, I guess it would only be dead weight. How many sets of ACUs do we need for the short course, they ask three for the long version, will two sets do for the short one? As an O4, I can request single acommodation quarters, but I don't know if I should, as it would set me apart and perhaps even look standoffish. Advice?

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          • #6
            Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

            MAJ, you will have limited time off on weekends. You will doing the powerpoint death march until 5PM or so on weekends, and your spare time will be doing laundry. I'd recommend three or four sets of ACU's. In reality, you're gonna stink, and sweat anyway. It'll be cooler at night and warmer during the day, but nowhere near what the extreme was when I did it in November. We had high 30's/low 40's to upper 40's at night. Weather during the day was spectacular in the 80's. you'll be somewhat warmer.

            As far as boots, I used the SWAT boots, maybe from Ranger Joes. You will want civilian clothing. You wont need it during the FTX's though. As far as going off base, like I said, you'll only have evenings on the weekend. As a MAJ, you may get a single billet. As far as standing out, don't worry. You'll be in company with a few other MAJ, and possibly a LTC or two. Saluting can get a little lax in the short course. Don't freak out. Correct it as you see fit.

            As far as what you can have on you during the FTX, sure, drink cool aid or whatever. You'll eat MRE's for lunch and eat a hot breakfast and supper on the bleachers. Tolerate the active duty/ reserve 70B's/67J's that are in the long course. They will look down upon the reserve course as you will fall in the back of their platoons during the FTX's.

            Try to have a good time. It'll pass fast. You may be in a hotel for your stay there, not that you'll be in it for 15 of the 28 days. Keep in mind that the course has been actively changing in the last few years. People that have attended more recently are a better source of information.

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            • #7
              Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

              So I was wondering... what does the BOLC training consist of? I saw somewhere that there was a first part that is all online. But when you report for the second half, what can you expect? I was interested in the 72A and 72D. I was looking and I couldnt find alot of details on the nuts and bolts of the class. What can you expect when you are seperated into your specalities?

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              • #8
                Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                Thank you kindly for you advice R. I take it then I won't thread upon the Riverwalk or The Alamo. TCs!
                Are we allowed Cell Phones during FTX at camp Bullis? Is there a strong signal? Are there AC Outlets for recharging?
                Do you take your laptops to FTX?
                How many people stay on each tent at FTX? Did they finally install the showers at Camp Bullis?
                In the short course, will there be Combatives, Drills, Weapons qualification and road marches?
                If we are going to do marches, do you have any idea of how many miles, and the average weight of the rucksacks carried?
                Will we carry M16s around, M9s, or nothing? Are we supossed to train in grenade throwing? Sounds strange for AMEDD, but I was told it was part of BOLC.
                Is the Battle Buddy system still used?
                Do we need to bring a Protractor for the Map Reading exercises, or is it provided?
                Should I buy a Printer for my laptop? If so, are there facilities such as a PX within the base where I can buy it, or should I send it via USPS Mail?
                Is there a Supermarket/ Drugstore nearby within walking distance, or within the Base?
                I understand there's a Military Museum at FSH, what type? Does it feature Civil War military items, or just antique medical equipment?
                Since we won't be in the Hotel for those 3 x 5 days periods at FTX, where do we store our items? Are we supposed to take them out of the room, and place them in storage?
                Again, thank you very much for your assistance, it is very appreciated.
                Last edited by celtan; August 31st, 2013, 08:17 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                  Hello! Any answers to the above?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                    Signal Strength? AC? I had all of that in Afghanistan and I would not think that would be a problem in a medical FTX. Some of your questions are very in-depth Major and perhaps an excellent sponsor in LTC Ritchie may be the one to engage.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                      Hi, I only have a few days left and virtually everyone I have contacted refrains from answering, even those in charge of the course! Not even those who are currently attending will answer these Qs. I'm even wondering if I'm comitting some sort of OPSEC faux pas... Will try to send LTC Ritchie a pm. Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                        Originally posted by celtan View Post
                        Hi, I only have a few days left and virtually everyone I have contacted refrains from answering, even those in charge of the course! Not even those who are currently attending will answer these Qs. I'm even wondering if I'm comitting some sort of OPSEC faux pas... Will try to send LTC Ritchie a pm. Thanks!
                        It's not opsec, it's just that you have extraordinarily detailed questions that only someone who has completed the course in the past few months could answer. This forum caters to new enlisted Soldiers, and doesn't have many AMEDD officers involved who could address issues at this level of granularity. For the sake of future AMEDD officers, perhaps you'd continue to contribute to the forum throughout your career, because (as you've experienced) we could really use more of you.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                          WILCO

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                            celtan:

                            My AMEDD BOLC RC training is a couple of years out, but the main changes that I've heard happen have been more scheduling than content. If anyone has more current info, feel free to post it.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Are we allowed Cell Phones during FTX at camp Bullis? Is there a strong signal? Are there AC Outlets for recharging?
                            Yes, everyone had them. You weren't technically allowed to use them until told, but folks used them pretty frequently. To the occasional "put your phones away or we'll not let you bring them" talk. Signal seemed fine. Outlets were around the place. Bring a power strip as a courtesy to others.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Do you take your laptops to FTX?
                            No. I don't think I saw any. I wouldn't be crazy about leaving my laptop there while I was out in the field.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            How many people stay on each tent at FTX?
                            Can't remember exactly. 20-30 maybe? Does it really matter?
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Did they finally install the showers at Camp Bullis?
                            Good question. No clue.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            In the short course, will there be Combatives, Drills, Weapons qualification and road marches?
                            Combatives was offered for folks who could show a passing APFT and under the agreement that they'd PT on their own to pass the final APFT. I opted out. There are enough injuries that I wasn't interested (I was still considering emergency medicine at that point, I think). Drill and ceremony is minimal. They give you a crash course in the basics at Ft Sam. You spend a day on the range shooting the M9 and M16, but it does not count as weapons qual. There is running and marching as part of PT and getting around. Nothing anyone without obesity or asthma couldn't handle easily.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            If we are going to do marches, do you have any idea of how many miles, and the average weight of the rucksacks carried?
                            A couple miles maybe? No idea of the weight. Nothing you can't handle. There are likely grandmothers out there marching. You can do it.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Will we carry M16s around, M9s, or nothing? Are we supossed to train in grenade throwing? Sounds strange for AMEDD, but I was told it was part of BOLC.
                            You are issued an M16 and carry it around with you at all times. No grenades. That would be amusing to watch.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Is the Battle Buddy system still used?
                            Only on night training and map/compass.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Do we need to bring a Protractor for the Map Reading exercises, or is it provided?
                            No.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Should I buy a Printer for my laptop? If so, are there facilities such as a PX within the base where I can buy it, or should I send it via USPS Mail?
                            No you shouldn't bring a printer. You won't need one.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Is there a Supermarket/ Drugstore nearby within walking distance, or within the Base?
                            There's a commissary within walking distance on base.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            I understand there's a Military Museum at FSH, what type? Does it feature Civil War military items, or just antique medical equipment?
                            It's AMEDD history only.
                            Originally posted by celtan View Post
                            Since we won't be in the Hotel for those 3 x 5 days periods at FTX, where do we store our items? Are we supposed to take them out of the room, and place them in storage?
                            No you leave them there.

                            You REALLY need to relax. If you bring what the orientation materials recommend and nothing else other than an open-mind, you'll be fine. Seriously.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Fort Sam AMEDD BOLC Training

                              We did get phone privileges taken away once when a bra was found flying on the flag pole. It was funny. It did provide a little humor after sitting out on the Fob for the day when the FT Hood shooting happened.
                              Last edited by rat4spd; September 24th, 2013, 11:22 AM. Reason: Spelling

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