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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.