Army Achievement Medal

Sea Girt, NJ

RSP soldiers returning home from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) are awarded the Army Achievement Medal for their outstanding performance while attending AIT.

Stripes for Skills

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
- Muhammad Ali

For Soldiers seeking advancement to PV2

During the White Phase Stripes for Skills, you will learn more about the Guard and more of what you will need to know to succeed at BCT, like:

  • APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test)
  • Fireguard & Guard Duties/General Orders
  • Fiscal Readiness
  • Land Navigation: Identify Topographic Symbols on a Map
  • Land Navigation: Determine Grid Coordinates
  • Drill and Ceremony: Marching as a Squad
  • Land Navigation: Identify Terrain Features and Determine Distance
  • Basic Military Communication (Phonetic Alphabet and Military Time)
  • First Aid: Perform First Aid for Bleeding Extremity and Splinting a Fracture
  • First Aid: Evaluate a Casualty and Preventive Medicine
  • Drill and Ceremony: Marching as a Platoon

You will learn all about the importance of the Army Physical Fitness Test, and how your fitness level can have a tremendous impact on promotions, special schools and just about every part of your Guard career. This is especially important for Soldiers seeking promotion to the rank of E2. Here is an example of what you will be learning about at White Phase Stripes for Skills:

The APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test)
You are required to pass the APFT before you graduate from BCT and during AIT. After AIT, you’ll take the APFT once a year and the results will become part of your records. At your commander’s discretion, APFTs may be administered at any time in order to gauge your fitness level. These tests might not be added to your permanent record, but it is essential to always stay prepared for an APFT at any time.

How the APFT Is Administered
When you take the APFT, push-ups come first, followed by sit-ups, then the two-mile run. You will have a rest period of 10-20 minutes between each set. You will be tested in small groups for the first two exercises, and there will be a demonstration of proper form before the exercise begins. For the two-mile run, you will be tested in a large group and will wear a number on your chest that must remain visible at all times.

Guard Fitness: The APFT and Your Career
You are required to pass the APFT before you graduate from Basic Combat Training, but that does not mean your fitness tests are over. You have to take the APFT for record at least once a year, and you will also need to take it every time you want to take a step forward in your career. Fitness is of critical importance in the Army, and only those who are in the best shape get to become NCOs, or get invited to join special training schools.
  • Promotion Points
    As you move up in rank, you will earn promotion points for many reasons-one of which is APFT scores. You can earn up to 75 points for excellent APFT scores. But just a few points-maybe one or two more push-ups-can be the difference between getting that promotion or having to wait another year. You owe it to yourself to get the highest score you can and to develop great fitness habits now.
  • Special Schools
    In addition to earning promotion points, high APFT scores can also help you gain admission to special schools, such as Air Assault, Sniper and Mountain Warfare. The availability of these schools is partly based on your MOS and unit mission, but with some, you will also need to score very high on the APFT in order to be considered. The opportunity to attend these highly selective schools may come once in a lifetime, and each demands intense physical training. Only the best, brightest and most physically fit are chosen-only those Soldiers who have what it takes to complete the training.
  • NCOES (Noncommissioned Officer Education System)
    If you show leadership potential, you may have the opportunity to become a Noncommissioned Officer-a leader and trainer of Soldiers. NCOs become eligible for promotions by completing training courses at an NCO Academy. As one of the first events at the academy, you will take an APFT and the results will go on your permanent record. But if you fail the APFT, you will be sent home-even if you have the highest academic scores!
  • Professional Responsibilities
    Since events are unpredictable-especially natural disasters-the Guard may be deployed at any time. Being ready to go from citizen to Soldier at a moment’s notice means constant physical fitness-an essential part of National Guard service. And if you get promoted to a leadership position in the Guard, you will have to be able to perform any task you ask of your Soldiers and provide your Soldiers with an example of excellence in performing it.

General Orders
Performing guard duty will be one of your first official responsibilities. You could be guarding the company area, a perimeter in the field, equipment or any number of other items.

The ARNG takes this duty extremely seriously. So it’s very important to memorize the following three General Orders regarding performing guard duty:
1. “I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.”
2. “I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner.”
3. “I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.”

At any time, an inspecting officer may ask, “What are your orders?” Here is the way you should answer:
  • As the officer approaches, stop what you are doing, stand at attention and salute.
  • When the officer returns your salute, execute order arms. Remain at attention.
  • Inspecting officer will command, “At ease,” and will question you about your orders.
  • Say: “Sir/Ma’am, my orders are of two classes: general and special. My general orders are . . .” (state all three general orders, continuing until you are finished or are ordered to stop).
  • After that, answer any questions the officer has about the special orders for your post.

Remember the four “S” rule:
  • Stop
  • Stand at attention
  • Salute
  • State orders

Basic Military Communication
Military time is based on a 24-hour clock, from one minute after midnight to midnight the same day. The time is written with four digits, where the first two are the hour and the second two are the minutes. So, “0130” (“zero-one thirty”) is 1:30am, and “1330” (“thirteen thirty”) is 1:30pm.

Military dates are written as Day/Month/Year. The month can be abbreviated to its first three letters and the year shortened to its last two numbers. The rule is: If you abbreviate one (month or year), you must abbreviate both.

June 15, 2003 = 15 June 2003 = 15 JUN 03
April 29, 1993 = 29 April 1993 = 29 APR 93

The Phonetic Alphabet
The Army uses phonetic pronunciation for letters of the alphabet to ensure clear communication, such as during radio transmissions.

Drill & Ceremony
This is the list of moves you will be asked to perform for Stripes for Skills.
  • Execute the Position of Attention
  • Execute the Hand Salute
  • Know Who and When to Salute
  • Execute Rest Position
  • Parade Rest
  • At Ease
  • Stand at Ease
  • Rest
  • Execute Facing Movements At The Halt
  • Right Face
  • Left Face
  • About Face
  • Marching
  • Forward March
  • Half Step
  • Change Step
  • Column Left
  • Column Right
  • Halt

design & development: Fathom Creative, Inc. (, Anthony D. Paul (anthonydpaul), Brent Maxwell, Charlie Hoover, Shelli Martinez, Maribel Costa, Efrat Levush