Information About the Military Training Center or Boot Camp:
For public service personnel, first comes the 4-week stint at the training center/boot camp. In the first three days, new recruits receive their supplies. These supplies include everything, including uniform, boots, and underwear. Strictly speaking, no soldier in the training center is allowed to have any private item – everything is provided by the military. In practice, soldiers in the training center are generally allowed to have a spare pair of glasses, a watch, a small amount of cash, etc. There is more leeway with respect to personal items once the men are assigned to their bases.
The recruits’ personal items – usually the clothes in which they come into the boot camp – are packed up and sent back to their parents. It is the quintessential Korean mother’s experience to cry over her son’s dusty clothes mailed back to her after she sent her son away for his military service.
New recruits are then given a physical. Although it is extremely rare to be sent home at this stage, there are a few whose health has significantly deteriorated below draft eligibility between the time when they received the initial physical and the time when they report to the training center. These men are sent home.
Then the new recruits receive an exam that would determine their specialty as a soldier. This is based on their college major, career background, etc.
Once the specialties are assigned, the new recruits are trained to be soldiers. They receive their weapons, learn how to shoot rifles and throw grenades, learn how to march and patrol, etc. It is more or less the training you might see in a movie – they go through marches with full gear (around 55 to 60 pounds) during the day and at night, learn how to fight with bayonet, train how to use their hazmat masks and sit through tear gas, learn how to dig trenches and encamp, learn first aid, etc. After four weeks of this, the soldiers are assigned to their bases. Read More →