Cell Phone Use in Army Basic Training

Drill Sergeants Determine When and How You Can Use Your Cell Phone

Military women on cell phones
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Can Army recruits use a cell phone during their Army Basic Military Training? When you are headed to boot camp, you no longer have to leave behind what has become a standard part of life for most adults. But you probably won't be able to use your cell phone the same way you did in civilian life.

You will probably be limited in when you can use your phone, in what ways you are allowed to use it, and for how long you'll be able to use it.

You won't be in personal possession of your phone most of the time.

Your Drill Sergeant Determines Your Cell Phone Use in Boot Camp

Recruits in many (not all) Army Basic Training platoons are now allowed to use personal cell phones to call friends and families, send text messages, and to update their social media status. But the use of cell phones is determined by each drill sergeant, and it is a privilege rather than a right.

Prior to the new cell phone program, well-performing platoons were often rewarded with a phone call home on Sundays. To take advantage of this, recruits would have to stand in line at pay phones and call using a calling card, or call collect. Phone calls were generally limited to just a few minutes to make sure everyone in the platoon had a chance to call.

Under the new policy, cell phones are kept by the drill sergeant, and returned to recruits for a period time each Sunday, if the DS feels the platoon earned the privilege.

Of course, recruits who don't have a cell phone are still allowed to use the old pay phones. The time allowed to make calls is also limited, from ten minutes to half an hour.

Cell Phone Policy Briefing Preparation

Before you head to boot camp, erase all photographs and videos that could be considered to be lewd or pornographic.

Your cell phone may be inspected during the initial briefing and you may be required to sign a policy agreement.

Different training platoons may only allow voice calls and not allow swapping texts, ​videos and photos. You won't be allowed to have your phone with you at all times like you did in civilian life.

Evolving Policies for Communications From Basic Military Training

One of the reasons the military is so successful is that they are willing to take full advantage of new technology. Most adult members of our society carry a cell phone these days. New military recruits generally have a cell phone with them all the time, following basic training. Some military members even use cell phones to call home from overseas assignments. There have even been cases of military members in Iraq and Afghanistan using personal cell phones to pass on vital military information to their commands, when military communication means failed.

Other military services may or may not allow cell phone use during their basic training programs. As communications methods evolve, so will these policies.

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