ARLINGTON, Va. –
Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, Director of the Army National Guard, administered an oath of enlistment to 56 new Soldiers gathered in Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall July 18, 2018, before a Twilight Tattoo.
“This is a very important event for the men and women who choose to serve in the United States Armed Forces,” said Kadavy, who served as the host of the event. “These men and women represent the best America has to offer, volunteering to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our Nation. I would like to thank everyone who has had a role in teaching, raising or coaching these individuals.”
More than 20 of the new Soldiers have enlisted into the Virginia National Guard and are currently part of the Recruit Sustainment Program, which aims to increase troop readiness by teaching new Soldiers the basics of military service before they ship to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.
“Our intent is the make them administratively correct, physically fit and ready to ship to basic training,” explained Master Sgt. Josh Pedersen, section chief for Virginia’s RSP. “Sometimes drill weekend after drill weekend of the same thing over and over gets a little mundane, especially going into the summer surge, so we’re just trying to get them a little more motivated before they ship and to remind them it’s not the worst thing in the world be in the Army.”
The Virginia recruits came together from RSPs around the state to participate in the event.
Within the RSP, Soldiers are sorted into phases, depending on what point they are at in the training process. Red Phase is the initial phase of the RSP, for newly-recruited Soldiers attending their first or second drill. Red Phase focuses on verifying administrative correctness for the Soldiers, as well as briefings, education and counseling and also lays a foundation for the training that will come later. White Phase is the continuation phase, according to Pedersen, which aims to mimic the training environment Soldiers will encounter in BCT.
“From the Soldiers, we’ve heard that they go more prepared and we’ve heard from the training bases as well that the recruits are more prepared and they usually get put into a leadership position as well, so they can be instruction their peers,” Pedersen explained. “They understand the drill and ceremony and the rank structure and they’re more ready to jump into basic training.”
Soldiers who do not immediately complete AIT following BCT, enter Green Phase, which sustains the training learned at basic and helps in readying the Soldiers for their advanced training. Finally, Soldiers who have completed both BCT and AIT return to the RSP for one final drill period as Gold Phase troops where their paperwork is checked one last time and they are validated as fully-trained Soldiers before being handed over to their unit of assignment.