PVT Austin Buhr, son of Kenny and Caysie Buhr of Baldwin, attended BCT Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, SC this past summer.
Fort Jackson is a 52,000 acre base located in Columbian SC. More than 3,500 active duty soldiers and over 12,000 family members call Fort Jackson home. Fort Jackson is the largest and most active initial entry training center in the US. 50% of all soldiers attend basic training at Fort Jackson. 60% of the women that enter basic training, train at Fort Jackson.
PVT Buhr arrived at Fort Jackson June 13 as a trainee. The first 3 days is called Reception. This is when trainees are assigned their DS drill sergeants receive their uniforms, haircuts, shots and more paper work. Not much sleep and a lot of waiting. They then begin 9 weeks of BCT with foot marches everyday. Week one is Fall In- physical fitness testing and classroom. Week 2 Direction- Teamwork development, First Aid training, map reading and land navigation. Week 3- Endurance-Foot march, Bayonet Assault Course and Nuclear Biological Gas Chamber. Week 4- BRM Basic Rifle Markmanship 8 and 10 km foot marches. Single and Multiple target Detection. Week 5 Trials- BRM Basic Rifle Markmanship qualification testing. Phase 2 testing and Fit to Win Obstacle Course. Week 6- Commaraderie, US Weapon Familarization, Squad defense live fire. Week 7- Hand Grenade training, Live Fire Exercise and Threat briefing. Week 8 Victory Forge- 10 km Foot march, Night Infiltration Course, 15 km foot march. Week 9- Inspection period, Family Day and Graduation.
A ceremony called the “Right of Passage” is held after Victory Forge. The trainees have now completed the requirements and physical test. They receive their beret and are now called Soldiers. PVT Buhr was with company Bravo in the 2nd Battalion 13th Infantry Regiment.
Family Day is the most inspiring and emotional ceremonies at Hilton Field. Families see their son or daughter for the first time since they have left home 10 weeks ago. They get “tap them out” which is releasing the solider from standing at attention. They are now transformed men and women that we now call soldiers. About 1300 make it thru the 9 grueling weeks of training and graduate ranging in age 17 to 35. 10 % don’t make it. There were 32 soldiers took the oath of US citizenship. 297 were split option trainees/soldiers. Split Option is when 17 years olds sign up and take basic training between their junior and senior year of high school.
PVT Buhr was a split option and is currently finishing his senior year of high school. After graduation from high school next spring, PVT Buhr will be completing his AIT Advanced Individual Training.
Family members attending Family Day and Graduation were Kenny, Caysie, Max and Drew Buhr. Scott, Rita Buhr, Randy and Jayme Beyrer, Kayla and Dave Cocchiarella.
PVT Buhr is the great grandson of the late Jim and Harriett Buhr of Clear Lake.