Pvt. Josh Skinner was viewed as the company clown when he first arrived at Fort Jackson for Basic Combat Training -- cracking jokes, not listening to his drill sergeants and generally fooling around. Some Soldiers in his unit began to question his maturity. By the fourth week of training, however, the 18-year-old from Puyallup, Ore., had made great strides in transforming into an American Soldier with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. "When he (Skinner) first got here he didn't listen and that got us all in trouble," said Pvt. Krystal Fisher, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 13th Inf. Reg. The moment of the young private's transformation came when he fired his rifle for the first time. "For the first three weeks I fooled around, but by the time I got to fire my weapon, I started to care more and pay attention," Skinner said. "Now when I am told something, I listen. I think I finally realized the easiest way out of here is to graduate. The experience so far has affected me big time." Skinner, however, is just one of 140 Soldiers assigned to Co. C, 2nd Bn., 13th Inf. Reg. who are making the transformation from civilian to Soldier. Their transformation began Oct. 11 when they were picked up from 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) and immersed into BCT. "It is not as difficult as I thought it would be," said Pvt. Monique Remigio, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 13th Inf. Reg. "While it has been a challenge both mentally and physically, I thought it would be continuous yelling from the drill sergeants. They are more respectful of us than I thought they would be." During the second phase of training, known as the White Phase, BCT Soldiers go through Individual Movement Training, Confidence Training and Basic Rifle Marksmanship. The phase culminates with qualifying on the M-16A2. BCT Soldiers must understand and demonstrate the four key firing fundamentals before approaching any firing line, according to Staff Sgt. Luis Molinari, Co. C, 2nd Bn., 13th Inf. Reg. Those four fundamentals are steady position, sight picture, breath control and trigger squeeze. "The Soldiers may know the four fundamentals, but if they tell you them out of sequence, they won't be successful," Molinari said. "Before they qualify we are trying to reinforce the skills they have already learned. We are making sure they didn't miss one of the building blocks that makes them successful. If you leave out a block, the chances of success are not likely." Chris.Rasmussen@jackson.army.mil

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16