Basic training for basic soldiers of the embryo Division was conducted by the officer and enlisted cadre throughout the winter and early spring of 1942 - 43. Military customs and courtesies were taught to orient the neophyte soldiers; close-order drill instilled discipline and cohesion; physical training toughened minds and bodies; and inspections taught "the Army way." Soon, weapons training was under way, and the men began to become familiar with the tools of the soldier's deadly craft. Long days dragged by on various Fort Jackson ranges, as the dry-fire drills gave way to live-fire practice and qualification with rifles, machineguns, pistols, and Browning Automatic Rifles. Later, grenades, mortars, and artillery live firing was added as the Division graduated from the 17-week basic training phase of the MTP into a three-month long unit training phase.

Field firing the M1 rifle, basic weapon
of the American infantry in WWII


Duty in the range pits was boring,
uncomfortable, and absolutely
essential to the development
of marksmanship skills

Endless inspections taught
the right way, the wrong way,
and the Army way.


From calisthenics to conditioning marches
to obstacle courses, physical training
hardened the mind and the body.