Is becoming an infantry soldier right for me?
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How to become an Infantry Soldier
Being a soldier is physically demanding. An average month for a soldier might include gruelling exercise and physical activity (in gyms or group sessions), sports, army maneuvers and procedures which can involve long periods of walking with heavy equipment like packs, webbing, rifles and armour. While a soldier is physically conditioned to operate in this environment throughout basic and infantry-specific courses, it is still advisable to have a good level of fitness before considering this as a career move. Other considerations are the high-stress and dangerous environment that a soldier may be placed in.
Soldiers may be deployed in international conflicts to suppress, engage and neutralize enemy combatants, and as such there is an element of danger to the position. They must keep calm and professional in dangerous environments that can involve the operation and use of high explosives, firearms and heavy military equipment. As it is a job with a degree of harm involved, interested parties must acknowledge the risk of injury or death inherent in the position.
A soldier will start their career as a volunteer. Training times can vary, but all follow a general process. A civilian is accepted as suitable for a career in the military after successfully completing a number of aptitude, psychological and physical examinations. These civilians - now referred to as recruits - are then sent on a basic training course for anywhere between two weeks to three months. Skills a recruit learns on a basic training course consist of first aid, drill, history, ethos, small-arms proficiency, teamwork and minor tactics. It is a physically demanding course to complete, with recruits engaging in physical training, pack marches, obstacle courses and field activities, which generally involve field maneuvers, patrolling and section attacks. Recruits will learn how to operate and maintain small arms, as well as how to fire at targets and through simulated combat training (often using blank ammunition).
After the successful completion of basic training, a soldier must then complete a job-specific training course, which can be between four weeks to three months. The course is far more physically and mentally demanding, with soldiers conducting field training for up to weeks at a time. After basic training and the training course, a soldier will be posted to an infantry unit. Other options are that a soldier may proceed with further training, depending on the posting and the army. Soldiers may also complete fast ropes courses, paratrooper training, mechanized skills, or combat medical skills. From there, a soldier will be generally posted to an infantry unit. It is at this unit that a soldier will receive the rest of their training. This may include training in explosives, heavy weapons, survival, chemical and riot situations, close combat and urban combat situations.