After surviving boot camp with my first husband and now with my current husband, I’ve become somewhat of a pro at navigating those long days until BCT graduation. One of the best ways to feel better during this time is to gather as much knowledge as possible.
BCT, or Basic Combat Training, is what is known as boot camp in the Army. That is probably the first of many Army acronyms that you will come across when reading letters from your soldier. Here are some more Army acronyms and abbreviations decoded so that you can become Army smart.
AIT = Advanced Individual Training, better known as the training directly after boot camp.
FTX= Field Training Exercise. This is a four day training session where your soldier will go out into the woods and practice his tactical skills and camp in tents at night. He won’t be able to write you any letters this time so don’t freak out when the mailbox is empty.
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PX= Post Exchange. Think of the PX as a huge super store where you can buy everything from clothes to food at really cheap prices. Your soldier will get to visit the PX every now and then for supplies. Don’t be surprised if he asks you to mail him things like toilet paper, razors, envelopes and other goods. Trips to the PX are few and far between.
BDU= Battle Dress Uniform. Your soldier will be wearing BCUs most of the time in boot camp. These are the camouflage outfits that you see soldiers wearing in movies.
ASU= Army Service Uniform. This is your soldier’s dressy uniform that he will wear to graduation and any formal events from now on. These uniforms are blue with a white shirt and black beret.
PT= Physical Training. Soldiers are required to do PT on most days and must pass certain PT requirements before they can graduate BCT.
APFT= Army Physical Fitness Test. This is the PT test that assesses whether or not the soldier is physically strong enough for the Army. The test includes push-ups, sit-ups and running two miles within a specified time range.
PLT= Platoon. Your husband is in a group of guys called a platoon, which is part of a larger group called a Unit.
PVT= Private. This will be your soldier’s rank until he gets promoted to a Specialist.
Now that you know Army acronyms and abbreviations you will be able to decode your husband’s letters with ease, giving you one less thing to worry about as a new Army wife.