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Anyone going to BOLC this fall 2014 or spring?

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armyNP armyNP (New) New

Hi All,

I am a newly commissioned NP trudging through phase 1 BOLC and was wondering if anyone was going to be attending Ft Sam Houston in the fall? I am trying to figure out the best time schedule wise on when to attend the phase 2.. and learn some more about what to expect while there... Do you still need to have a printer or access to one? I read PixieRN blogs which were fantastic!! Unfortunately at this point I am the only newbie officer attending BOLC in my unit... any thoughts or additional tips from people that have recently been would be much appreciated!

Thanks! armyNP

PG2018

Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

I have no suggestions, but I'd love to to know how everything went for you direct commissioning as a NP. I'm in my final year of a psych NP program and have been speaking with army and navy recruiters (reserve primarily) although they've been on radio silence for a couple of weeks.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

armyNP, are you active duty or reserves? Glad you enjoyed my babble! :)

Hi sorry! Forgot to add that I am reserves... @ psych guy my commissioning process was long... Had to do age waiver ... The entire process took about a year... Recruiters changed due to assignments ending and documents had to be resubmitted.... Since I have sworn in .. Dec 2013.. I had to provide same documents a few times.. So I highly recommend as the others have ... To keep a folder with all your things with you so you have access to them quickly.. My unit is over 60 miles from my home so it's a lot easier to have things on hand.., I need to figure out the Dropbox function others have mentioned as well.., I really like the people in my unit.. Especially commanding officer she's really cool... I'm trying to get my packet and everything together since I'm up for captain when I finish BOLC ... I've had to repeat a lot of the admit physical stuff cuz it was never entered from the pre-swear in physical.. My processing into the army has not be a usual one but I've had a good response from most everyone I've asked questions to and for help.. So that's made it ok.. I hope I've answered some of your questions.. It is a lot of hurry up and wait! Lol

Hi PixieRN do you know anyone that has cycled through fort Sam in January or March? Just curious how the weather was for them... Also on the packing list it says two pairs of boots... Since they are expensive.. Do you think it's necessary? I have a pair of Danner boots that I love.. Can't really afford a second pair... Do you wear the dress uniform for graduation? Heard conflicting accounts on that.. Would a poncho liner work rather than dorm sheets? One last question! I probably won't have any TA 50 gear issued to me before hand does it matter what kind of bag I bring my stuff in? Thank you for answering these if you can!!

I'm also a NP and I'm at bolc now. You really don't need a printer, the hotel has a business center. I bought two pair of boots but I'm active duty and I knew I would use them. They are on the packing list, but no one really checks and I know another person that only brought one pair. You will probably be fine. Just make sure they are authorized boots. They are strict on that. If you have any other questions just let me know.

Hi PixieRN do you know anyone that has cycled through fort Sam in January or March? Just curious how the weather was for them... Also on the packing list it says two pairs of boots... Since they are expensive.. Do you think it's necessary? I have a pair of Danner boots that I love.. Can't really afford a second pair... Do you wear the dress uniform for graduation? Heard conflicting accounts on that.. Would a poncho liner work rather than dorm sheets? One last question! I probably won't have any TA 50 gear issued to me before hand does it matter what kind of bag I bring my stuff in? Thank you for answering these if you can!!

I have been here in Jan and if does get cold. If you are reserves, you are mainly just coming here for the field portion so know that you will be in the field in jan. I would probably pick march if you have a choice! It is SO hot right now for us. But march would be perfect. We are wearing the dress uniform for graduation. What are dorm sheets for??? You will get all your TA 50 stuff here.

Hi Scrubnurse.. Thanks for the response! I was told that it would be a good idea to bring twin size sheets (dorm sheets for slang where I live lol) for the cot/bed in the field.. I know they give you gear and a sleeping bag,, that others have phrased as “well used” so I think its for comfort factor.. not sure.. that’s why I was asking.. I have a poncho liner or woobie I have heard it referred to.. that I was going to bring.. are you able to bring protein bars and stuff like that with you or is that contraband? do you have any other tips that you have learned since being there that make it easier.. like notebooks, paper, stuff like that.. hope it gets a little cooler there for you! Thanks again for the response..

I wen tin July/August and the weather is unbearable. If you can go in mid to late spring.

BOLC is beyond easy and unlike any other officer BOLC for the rest of the branches. So don't worry about being direct commissioned.

I don't really think sheets are needed. There are two people I know that brought them, but seems like just more stuff to haul out to the field, guess it's a personal opinion. I just washed the sleeping bag they issued us and it's fine. I did bring a hotel pillow with me to the field. The packing list says food is contraband, but we were instructed to bring food. There have been issues with vegetarians not having enough to eat in the field and the cadre just said to bring your own food. I brought tons of snacks this week and thankful I did. I'm not vegetarian, but the MREs and chow get old. You just have to eat in designated areas only-- don't want to attract ants/mice/snakes to your tent. As far as paper, I would just bring a small memopad that fits in your acu pocket. I am assuming you are short course/reserves? If so, bring lots of pt uniforms. Our short course people have to do PRT twice a day in the field and the 2 sets on the packing list aren't gonna cut it, especially since you are sleeping in them too. I would also buy two new canteens, you don't want to drink out of the issued ones! Even if you have a camelback, many times they want canteen only at formation for uniformity. Any other questions, just let me know. :up: Oh and Dranger is correct, it is very easy here and I'm older and not one of the "hoohah hoohah type".

Hi Everyone, scrubnurse and Dranger thank you for your responses! I am enrolled in this coming October’s BOLC course and looking forward to it in an anxious sort of way! I noticed you mentioned that the short course people will be doing PT twice a day? What is that we are doing? I have heard about something called combative’s and how some people have been injured doing this so I am a little hesitant about that. Do you guys know if that is still part of the program? Any other advice? I am older as well and happy to hear that it is the easier of the courses.. lol

Any other tips you all have would be greatly appreciated! Hoping the weather is good for 4 wks I will be there!

Thanks!

armyNP

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Combatives are optional and there was a minimum PT score to participate when I went to BOLC. I didn't do it, but those who did enjoyed it - it kind of seemed like wrestling to me. I hope you enjoy BOLC!

Hi Pixie RN!

Thanks for the response! I don’t think combative’s is for me.. I grew up with 7 brothers.. been there lol. I am kind of looking forward to it, so I can fully participate in my unit! I wonder if anyone else on the government thread will be heading to BOLC this October? If so give a shout out!

Thanks

armyNP

ArmyNP,

I'm here at BOLC now, last week! Combatives were not an option. Only those that failed the PT test were exempt from combatives (they do regular PT while we did combatives). I dreaded doing it, but it's not bad and actually kind of fun. The short course reservists did combatives in the morning with us and then did PRT in the afternoon. They do this so the short course people can learn how to perform and conduct PRT. (no worries, this is mostly just stretching exercises). Those of us that are active duty do PRT during regular BOLC. Don't be anxious about BOLC. It is not hard at all and it is actually lots of fun! You will make lots of friends. While I'm happy to see my family again, I'm actually sad to leave!

Hi scrubnurse, bummer lol, I did pass the PT test, now battling shin splints.. what is PRT? A guy in my unit said that two people while he was attending BOLC last year, did combative’s and one person ended up with a fractured wrist and another ended up with a spinal fracture.. I guess that is why I am anxious about that part of it.. but I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do.. How is the weather there this time of year? I heard from people in my unit that I need to go check out someplace called the riverwalk? What have people been doing on the weekend? are you on base or in a hotel on the weekend?

Thanks for your response I really appreciate it!

ArmyNP

Update from BOLC!! So I have completed week two of the Short Course!! So the first day we arrived orders said to report to building 592... That was not correct lol it was actually at a hotel on base called Candlewood... We got the hotel shuttle to bring us over there... Filled out paperwork and then we were given our room assignments.. Back to 592 I go... At least we had the shuttle since it's a bit of a walk with bags.. Then we had to change into PT uniform and get to AMEDD building for continued in processing. As for the PT test everyone needs the copy of the record PT test with the 1SG or company commander legible printed name and signature AND contact information on said paper... OR a memo stating that it is a record APFT and that your score is accurate.. With the name typed or printed, signature and contact info.. If not you will be taking the PT test here.. You now have private room no roommates at the hotel ..

The first week is classroom getting paperwork straightened out... Come with the documents listed on the BOLC website you will need them and it is not easy getting to a printer all the time..once you learn the lay out of the post it is easy to get around.. A car is best.. But you can walk everywhere on base, just give yourself enough time to get there! The Cadre set up a google drive with the power points on it and when we integrated the next day with the long course we were given their google doc/email account information so we could follow along. The integration was ok.. Everyone has been pretty cool and has been great with giving information for people who have no military background!

Part two of update!! The first week out at the field was interesting... The Sunday prior we dropped our duffle bags off in the morning then had the rest of the day off.. Saturday we had an all day lecture until 1600.. Not bad .. Then Monday 4 am,,, rise and shine! On the bus out to the obstacle course!! Unfortunately I hurt my back by falling off the log roll "belly buster" I think they called it! Then off to the leadership reaction course!! It was fun but physical... I did a bit of damage to my back.. Had to get seen by medics got a ice pack and Motrin.. Piled in trucks and van off to the fob.. Carrying assault pack.. Got issued rifle and gas mask then collected our duffle bag and found our tent.. Hello army cot! Lol .. Not very comfortable.. With a bad back.. Off to sick call the next morning met a really cool PA.. Got some muscle relaxer and Motrin.. On temporary profile now but getting better each day! The cadre here are really cool.. As long as you be there on time.. Right uniform. No issues.. Stay tuned for week three!! Oh by the way read the other blogs about bringing the trash bags to line the duffle bag.. And gallon zip locks!! Snacks! It rained here ridiculously for three days and was cold!!