Future members of the military gathered Thursday at the Waxahachie Sports Complex to show friends and family the different skills that will help them succeed in army basic training.

These young men and women demonstrated not only basic soldiering skills but the ability to work as a team to get the job done.

The future soldier training program prepares a recruit mentally, physically and emotionally for the journey that they are about to in the military. The non-commissioned officer leading the future soldier program in Waxahachie is Sgt. Robert Nixon.

“The future soldiers are individuals that have already signed a contract with the army and they are just waiting to leave to go to basic training. Basically the training program is to get them prepared for basic training,” Nixon said.

“We get them in shape, teach them how to march and try to do a little bit of extra stuff to keep them motivated. This is so they have somewhat of an understanding of basic soldiering,” he said.

During the event, future soldiers demonstrated skills in close quarters marksmanship, which involved using a training weapon. In this drill they showed how to raise and lower a rifle while pointing the muzzle of the weapon in a safe manner and without jeopardizing the safety of others.

The next task was how to properly clear a room. An area was marked off the field to simulate a room and each team had to work together to complete the task. One person had to open a simulated door. Once the door was open, the other team members made a tactical entry and did a search of the room.  The last task demonstrated was marching and following basic commands. 

Nixon said from the time people sign their contracts with the army they go through three to six months of future soldier training before leaving for basic training. Recruits who are still in high school have about 10 to 11 months of future soldier training.

“I feel very proud that we put a lot of work into doing this. This work is not only for today but in basic training it helps us stay fit and helps us mentally and physically get ready for what is about to come,” Robert Alvarez said.

“A lot of other companies and stations don’t have this,” he said. “We actually talked to one guy from out of state that he wished he actually had this because a lot of the stuff that we are doing right now is a lot of things they do in the first week. We are getting it out of the way so we will stand out and do better.”

As part of Thursday’s ceremonies, many individuals received a formal promotion for completing the basic training task list, which includes such skills as learning the military rank structure, map reading and physical training. Promotions were also given out to individuals who had successful recruited another person to join the army.

Contract Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.