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Thread: Christmas Exodus at BCT (Basic Combat Training)

  1. #11
    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    Yup just finished company training and now starting my 4 day weekend...

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  • #12
    Senior Member ArmyGirl4ever's Avatar
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    My husband had a brigade training holiday last weekend and this week is a 4 day weekend..he worked 3 days this week.
    ArmyGirl4Ever
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  • #13
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    posters, please place all your Christmas Exodus questions in this thread and someone who has accurate information on it; please list it here.

    Christmas Exodus in the Military - Military Families

    Christmas Exodus in the Military
    Guest Author - Stacey Abler

    If you’re reading this, I’m sure it is with two important questions in mind

    1- What is it?

    2- Will he get it?

    Christmas Exodus put simply is a break for Christmas. This break only applies to those who are in some sort of training program, not when they have been assigned to their unit. It is generally about one week before Christmas and continues until a few days after New Year’s Eve. The days for your soldier may vary depending on how the holidays fall.

    If you are close enough to where he is training, you can go and pick him up in person. If not, the Army will help to arrange for his transportation home. Be aware that this time off will count against his leave time and if he’s in basic training, he will go in the hole. If you’re like most, you couldn’t care less as long as it means you’ll get to see him. I just mention it because we had to skip one of his block leaves to make up for the days.

    I was close enough to Ft Benning to be able to drive over and pick up my husband. Please keep in mind that this is MY experience and yours could vary depending on which base he is at and who his DS’s are. I was told to arrive at 8am to pick him up but it was closer to 9am before he arrived at my car. We were told to go to their barracks on Sand Hill to pick them up. There was a long line of cars that only grew longer as the minutes went by. When the DS’s finally came out, they went to each car and asked who your soldier was. They then radioed for him to be sent out. They will come out in uniform and this is most likely the first time you’ve see him in it. For me, I didn’t even recognize my husband until he was about five feet from my car. Guess that’s what happens when you see lots of soldiers in the same uniform with bald heads.

    They are warned against any PDAs and since they’re still in training, they’ll probably stick to it. I got a little hug before he got in the car. But I didn’t get my kiss until he couldn’t see the barracks anymore. I asked him if he wanted to do anything in Columbus before we left and he looked at me like I was crazy and said no, let’s just go home. I think he was ready for his bed.

    Those two weeks were great for us! Although it was very hard not to be on a countdown – I was constantly thinking “only xx days until he goes back.” Of course, I’ve been on a constant countdown in one form or another since he joined the Army (until he deploys again, until he comes home, etc.) so I guess looking back, it was a little prep for the future.

    It was very hard to take him back. He had to be dropped off at the reception center by 23:00 if I remember correctly. When we got there, I parked at the far end of the parking lot. The DS’s were outside with all of the guys lined up who were already back and they were barking orders. Right back to training mode.

    A few years after my husband had his Christmas Exodus, we happened to be returning from a vacation through the Atlanta airport on the day that exodus started. There were soldiers and Drill Sergeants everywhere you looked. I kept telling my husband he should go chat up the DS’s – I again got a look that told me he thought I was crazy. J It was very late at night and the DS’s were still there making sure all of the soldiers made their flights so, rest assured, he’ll find his way back home to you.

    Stacey Abler is an Army Wife and owner of the website, Married to the Army: Army Wife Information and Army Family Resources.
    In addition, she also operates several Cafepress stores - Army Family Store - Items for an Army Family for Army families and Marine, Navy & Air Force Store for Navy, Marine and Air Force families.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

  • #14
    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    Good information, Chief. That ought to clear up a lot of questions about exodus.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

  • #15
    Junior Member A.G.'s Avatar
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    I know this was some time ago but since I have some info on this matter, and this is stickied, I might as well share it like the Chief says. I got out of OSUT oct.9 from Benning so I got 'lucky' not falling into the exodus cycle. At the end of our cycle we had some good conversations with our DS's. One of the topics we hit was exodus, because the next cycle fell into it. What they told us was that, never mind they "hated" (with a special kind of love of course) Privates every day of the regular training cycle, they sure didn't like Privates who hung around for whatever reason for any leave (family weekend etc.) they got. They told us to "Get the hell off post" every authorized chance we got.

    They also told us that we should consider ourselves lucky because the exodus cycle gets more of their special kind of love as soon as they come back. This one DS said he hated the exodus cycle because they almost had to start everything all over again (red phase revisited).

    So my suggestion would be, for future BCT/OSUT'ers to get off that post, don't do anything stupid, keep doing PT, and lay off the fatty cakes even though it's the holiday season, because as soon as you get back ... depending on your unit/location of course ... you gonna have some fun smoking sessions.

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    I leave for 11x OSUT on August 30th this year, sucks that it seems like Christmas exodus will fall pretty much the week before graduation. Do you guys think that it's worth taking to be in the hole for so long? My family has 3 birthdays over a 14 or so day period in July, so I would like to be home for that if possible and don't want to be in the hole too much.

  • #17
    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    Well I hope you have read the thread, do you really want to be the one guy that stays back and has to do details all day every day, be a pain in the butt for the DS that has to be on duty b/c you decided to stay back??? I wouldnt want to be that guy, besides, even if you have enough leave saved up there is no guarantee you will get leave in July...you could be going to NTC, going to the field, going to a different school, maybe other people already put in leave for those dates, etc...

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    Go home and see your family........they deserve it!!!
    Proud Dad of Michael
    2SCR Stationed in Vilseck, Germany
    Fort Sill Grad 2/25/11
    FLW Grad 1/13/11

  • #19

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    Bigrredd is right. The longer you stay in, you will soon find that leave is not about you, leave is about your family. Take any opportunity you can to spend time with family. You never know when you may not see them for a year or more.

  • #20
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Good info since Exodus is around the corner.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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