Before you ship to Basic Combat Training (BCT), you will attend the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP). These weekends will be your introduction to BCT and will get you started and keep you on track mentally, physically, emotionally and administratively while you prepare for your career in the Guard. RSP drills give you an opportunity to start getting comfortable with the terminology and protocols that are part of Guard service—and you will be getting paid for the time you spend at RSP.  There are five phases to RSP as described below.

Red Phase
Your first weekend at RSP is Red Phase. In this intensive first few days, you will learn basics you need to know right away, like:

  • RSP Introduction
  • Army Structure
  • Chain of Command
  • Rank and Insignia
  • Customs and Courtesies
  • General Orders
  • Reporting Procedures
  • Drill and Ceremony
  • Physical Fitness
  • AKO & MyPay set-up

White Phase
Depending on the number of months between when you enlisted and when you ship to BCT, the length of your White Phase in the RSP will vary. During this phase, you will learn more about the Guard and more of what you will need to know to succeed at BCT. In addition to physical training, instruction in this phase will include:

  • Proper Wear of the Military Uniform
  • Army Values, Soldier's Creed and Warrior Ethos
  • Employ Camouflage, Cover and Concealment
  • Tactics
  • Weapons familiarization

Blue Phase
At your final drill before shipping to Basic Combat Training, in addition to physical preparation, you will cover all the final details that have to be taken care of before you leave. But you can get a jump-start on these items by learning what to expect before, during and after BCT, such as:

  • Inspections
  • What Every Trainee Wants to Know About Basic Training
  • Final Preparations for BCT

Green Phase
Green Phase courses are designed for recruits in the Split Training Option (STO) Program. Generally, these are soldiers who joined the Army National Guard during their junior year in high school. After you graduate from Basic Combat Training and during your senior year of high school, you will gain advanced leadership and career opportunities, and a chance to stay current on skills like:

  • Urban Area Operations
  • Convoy Operations
  • Navigation Techniques
  • Disassemble, Assemble and Perform a Function Check on Various Weapons

Gold Phase
Once you have completed both Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training you will return to RSP for one final drill - known as Battle Handoff - before joining your regular unit and beginning work in your MOS. You will meet representatives from your unit and learn where and when your next drill will be. Before you leave, you will learn about the Unit Sponsorship Program and get a final HOOAH talk about holding yourself to the high standards of fitness and behavior you have learned at RSP and Initial Active Duty Training.

  • Bonuses / Your Financial Readiness
  • Battle Hand-Off
  • Army structure/Chain of Command

You are required to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) before you graduate from BCT and during AIT. After AIT, you’ll take the APFT once a year and the results will become part of your records. At your commander’s discretion, APFTs may be administered at any time in order to gauge your fitness level. These tests might not be added to your permanent record, but it is essential to always stay prepared for an APFT at any time.

How the APFT Is Administered
When you take the APFT you will complete three events:

  • Push Ups: Soldier will complete as many push ups as they can in 2 Minutes
  • Sit-ups: Soldier will complete as many sit-ups as they can in 2 Minutes
  • Two-mile Run: Soldiers will run at their own fastest pace for 2 miles and be graded on the time it takes to complete the event. You will have at least a 10 minutes rest period between each event. You will be tested in small groups for the first two exercises, and there will be a demonstration of proper form before the exercise begins. For the two-mile run, you will be tested in a large group and will wear a number on your chest that must remain visible at all times.

Guard Fitness: The APFT and Your Career
You are required to pass the APFT before you graduate from Basic Combat Training, but that does not mean your fitness tests are over. You have to take the APFT for record at least once a year, and you will also need to take it every time you want to take a step forward in your career. Fitness is of critical importance in the Army, and only those who are in the best shape get to become NCOs, or get invited to join special training schools.

As you move up in rank, you will earn promotion points for many reasons-one of which is APFT scores. You can earn up to 75 points for excellent APFT scores. Promotions are highly competitive so just a few points, maybe one or two more push-ups, can be the difference between getting that promotion or having to wait another year. You owe it to yourself to get the highest score you can.