So you’ve made it out of Basic Training and now you’re on a plane to Monterey, California to attend the DLIFLC. What will happen next? Experiences across the service branches vary, but here’s what happened to me:
First, I got my orders to study Farsi for a year. But, my Farsi class wasn’t starting for another two months. This happens in many cases, so the first question is, “Do I get to go home during that time?” I’m sorry to say, the answer is no. But don’t be sad. Once you get to the Presidio, your pining to get home may subside. When I took one look at Monterey bay and realized the weather was warm and the view was gorgeous, I determined it’s best I stay here, anyway.
When you get here — if you’re in the Army — AIT rules apply. You’ll spend two weeks in Phase IV (black phase). Here, you’ll be assigned to the Bravo Co. barracks and there’s PT every morning. It’s a little more extensive than what soldiers do in Basic Training, but that’s a good thing because that means better results. Also, you’ll be marching everywhere you go with your platoon.
And there are plenty of places you’ll go: JSIB, DBIDS, the acronyms go on. You’ll be subject to a multitude of classes and presentations on how to live (and take advantage of living) in Monterey. You can have your cellphone for one hour each night. All high-value items will be stored away and you can’t access them. Not until you “phase up.”
Also, you’ll be subject to nightly room inspections. Keep everything spotless. Keep everything buttoned. Know the MI Creed. Know the Army song. Memorize the SOP – if you don’t know what an SOP is, you’ll learn when you get here; it’s basically a rule book on how your room should look. Your two weeks will be a breeze.
Some of my fellow soldiers complained about Phase IV, but I loved it. Truth be told, when you’re away from your freedoms (cellphone, electronics, food, drinks for the 21+ crowd) you might binge if they’re suddenly handed back to you after 10 weeks of Basic Training. So, it’s a smart and easy transition into having a normal – albeit, military – life. There’s something nice about Phase IV. You’ll get weekend on-post passes. It’s not bad. It’s simple. It’s a nice way to reintegrate into somewhat normal life after the craziness of Basic Training.
And if you’re squared away, you’ll graduate to Phase V and start your language classes. But we’ll save that for next week’s post.