Reception Battalion

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The 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion, Fort Benning, Ga., is where it begins. The battalion begins the transformation of civilians to Soldiers during four days of processing which includes medical and dental screening, haircuts, the issue of military clothing, the preparation and issue of identification cards and tags, physical fitness screening, complete pay and personnel inprocessing, orientation briefings and immunizations. Photo by Master Sgt. Deborah Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion, Fort Benning, Georgia, is where it begins. When the new recruit arrives at the Army post where he or she will undergo Basic Training, the Reception Battalion is waiting for you. It also gives you the opportunity to practice waiting . . . waiting . . . and waiting. When you get bored with waiting, you’ll be allowed to practice more waiting.

“Soldierization” begins at the 30th AG Bn. Drill sergeants and cadre assigned to the processing companies, instruct new Soldiers on basic military subjects during waiting periods between processing stations, in the evening, and on weekends and holidays.

The 30th AG Bn is responsible for receiving, processing and preparing all Regular Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard personnel for Infantry One Station Unit Training.

“We have way over what we, the Active Component, can manage. With well over 2,000 in the battalions, we need all the help we can get,” said Maj. Eddie IIams, 30th AG Bn. “Being augmented by the Army Reserve works good, it really helps us out. We absolutely love having them. Can we keep them?”

The battalion begins the transformation of civilians to Soldiers during four days of processing which includes medical and dental screening, haircuts, the issue of military clothing, the preparation and issue of identification cards and tags, physical fitness screening, complete pay and personnel inprocessing, orientation briefings and immunizations.

“We take them from the reception to medical to get all the paperwork done, give them uniforms and whatever they need so we can send them to BCT,” said Sgt. 1st Class Justin McCouey, 1st/330th, 95th Training Division (IET). “These last two weeks have been great!

Drill Sgt. Richard Wacasey, 1st/330th, 95th Training Division (IET), ensures a civilian transitioning to Soldier, receives his first hair cut from Fred Wilson, who has been cutting hair at the 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) for 21 years. Photo by Master Sgt. Deborah Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

“These new recruits are mostly curious about how to wear their uniforms, but getting them to listen can sometimes be a challenge,” McCouey continued. “We can repeat the same thing over 100 times and they still don’t listen.”

The ones who are unable to meet required fitness standards, are assigned to the battalion’s Fitness Training Unit where they receive instruction on fitness related subjects and work at increasing their upper body strength and endurance prior to their assignment to a training company.

The entire process is designed to prepare about 18,000 new Soldiers each year to begin their Infantry training.

“Our days start at 0500 and goes until….,” said McCouey. “This is why I joined the military. I had started down a bad path when I was young and the military saved my life.”

“In my civilian job I am a MilTech with AMAS at Fort Ben Harrison, Indiana.”

“After serving on active duty for three years as an 11B and 91X, I have my plan all set up for retirement.

During the summer months, the battalion serves as host to reserve component reception battalions. They help the battalion process the increased number of receptees, and receive training and professional development for their own cadre.

“Right now there are about eight drill sergeants here augmenting the Active Component. Now in a Senior Drill Sergeant slot, I help Drill Sergeant Candidates so they can be successful. I enjoy it. I like the more challenging jobs,” McCouey said.

Drill Sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Justin McCouey, 1st/330th, 95th Training Division (IET), ensures new recruits are inprocessed, “We take them from the reception to medical to get all the paperwork done, give them uniforms and whatever they need so we can send them to BCT,” McCouey said. Photo by Master Sgt. Deborah Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

There are more than 85 military and civilian personnel assigned to the battalion. The tenant activities (medical, dental, finance and Clothing Initial Issue Point) have more than 80 personnel assigned. All of these personnel are responsible for the mission of the battalion — “Prepare the Soldier for Initial Infantry Training.

“There is a method to the madness,” explains Drill Sgt. Vincent Wasson, 1st/330th Bn, 95th Training Division (IET). “It’s different and confusing at first, but once you figure it out and get the hang of it, the steps are all in place to inprocess these civilians for their first military experience.

“This is my first time with a reception battalion, but I love being a drill sergeant. There’s always a new experience,” Wasson said.

Corporal Brent Restall, a prior active duty infantryman agrees. He is in on-the-job training with Wasson to learn what he can about being a drill sergeant before attending the U.S. Drill Sergeant Academy in 2017.

“This experience has really made me miss the active duty,” Restall said. “Since Day One, these civilians start at zero. They have no concept of the Army. They are like children following your footsteps,” Restall said.

Today, the 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) is one of four active Reception Battalions in the United States Army and is the only location that receives and trains personnel for both Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Infantry/Armor One Station Unit Training (OSUT).

With a projected annual rate of 35,000 Soldiers or more, the battalion supports the 192nd Infantry Brigade, 194th Armored Brigade, and the 198th Infantry Brigade with newly arrived personnel making the transition from civilian to Soldier during a seven to fourteen day stay in the battalion before being shipped to their respective training brigades.

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