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The Basic School (TBS) Questions and Answers

I am simply revisiting a correspondence with a young OCS graduate, nearing his TBS ship date, with several questions and answers about TBS.

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TBS Questions

Gearing up to head to TBS here in October, and had a few questions I was hoping you could answer:

1-Should I bring my desktop or just a laptop? Read as… how much space is in the barracks?

2-What’s liberty look like? Am i looking at training virtually 27/7 OCS style or what? Are weekends free, are you left to your own devices in the evening, etc.

3-Civillian attire: What’s the dress code roughly look like. I saw the indoc powerpoints on what regulations are, but I was sorta wondering what you guys generally actually wore. And how many sets of civies are really necessary.

4-Anything I can do to ease inprocessing?

5-Any other random stuff you wish you’d known before you got there?

Thanks for any help! I’m not worried about the actual training regimen. Just kinda want to make my life as easy as possible, you know?

Bush’s visit to The Basic School Sept. 14, 2007. He enviably was able to leave the same day he arrived.

My reply

1-If you bring a desktop, you will be sacrificing much of your space. Only bring it if it’s very important to you. I recommend a laptop–everyone in my room just had a laptop or even just a netbook. Space is at a premium and you will have very little time to do stuff on a computer that a laptop couldn’t handle.

2-Not quite OCS style hours. On average, 14 hour days 5 days a week. Sometimes you will have weekend training. Twice you will stand duty (24 hours). Probably 5 out of the 26 weeks are in the field or such long hard training that it destroys you for 24 hours out of the day. When the day is done you can go off base or out in town to eat or anything, no signing out. You usually have weekends “off” but will have so much homework or preparation or cleaning of gear or SLEEPING to do that your weekend “style” will be cramped, for sure.

3-Collared shirt, tucked in, belt+khaki shorts, no open-heel footwear, PT gear only for PT, very strict about the civilian attire! I’d say bring no more than a few bottoms and no more than half a dozen tops (remember the weather will get cold later on) because you will only wear civilian attire in short spurts in the evenings or for weekends out on town. In your own room obviously you can hang out in whatever, who cares.

4-Inprocessing is going to be a long boring process, nothing you can do about it. It helps to have all your ID, certificates, and financial info with copies in a folder. I carried around a folder with by SScard, birth certificate, copies of drivers license, bank information (for direct deposit), vehicle information etc etc.

5-Don’t be surprised if most of the time TBS sucks. You are halfway between officer and candidate–3rd Lt or “Lieutenidate,” and the huge Captain staff are constantly annoyed at the Lt body at large.

-Death by Powerpoint is a huge portion of your life. All you need to learn to succeed academically is rote memorization.

-Frustration at hurry-up-and-wait will destroy unit morale on a daily basis, especially waiting on “the word” before securing in the evening.

-Lack of sleep, forced intimacy, and “unfriendly” peer leadership evaluations will bring out the worst in you if you don’t guard your attitude.

-Make sure you’re PTing now! Everything but endurance will suffer.

-Learn all you can about different MOSs as soon as possible.

-Pogey bait is a go! TBS is the most pogey-bait friendly training environment.

-As you learn more and more about writing orders, keep a word document and keep fleshing out an outline which you can plug in details to or print out and write on to help expedite that process.

The Basic School Graduation Ceremony
You will be dying to see this day for 6 months

8 thoughts on “The Basic School (TBS) Questions and Answers

  1. I graduated from TBS in Sept.1966. Is there anyway to locate classmates. I know we lost a lot of friends in Nam.

    Seth Harp
    Georgia State Senator

    1. Good Morning Sir,

      Try the website This may be of some help to you in finding your friends.


      Sgt William Richardson

  2. Hey thanks a lot for the info, really appreciate it. I get lack of sleep and unfriendly peer leadership but what do you mean by forced intimancy?

  3. I was finally able to find a fairly comprehensive list of MOSs but it does not state specifically whether any of them are available or unavailable to women. Any sources that you know of that have these kind of specifics? Thanks!

  4. Hello, looking to attend fall TBS FY17. Assuming I survive OCS, would I able to leave to attend a wedding during TBS? I understand if I need to miss it just would like to notify the groom ealry.

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