Future Soldiers Program
Formerly known as the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), many recruits will spend at least a few months in the Future Soldiers Program before shipping to basic combat training. High school students wishing to join the Army can enter the Future Soldiers Program as long as they would ship to basic training within a year of entering the Future Soldiers Program. Recruits become a member of the Future Soldiers Program after talking to an Army Recruiter and doing their physical and choosing an MOS at their closest Military Entrance Processing Station.
Your local recruiting station will typically have meetings every week or so when members of the Future Soldiers Program will get together and you'll learn something on the pre-basic training task list. Some recruiting stations may even offer group PT for those who need to slim down / bulk up before heading to basic training.
Advantages of the Future Soldiers Program
Selecting an MOS: By entering the Future Soldiers Program well in advance of entering basic training, the recruit is more likely to receive the MOS they want. Especially with the greater influx of people wishing to join the Army, many MOSs become full in the short and even medium term. High school students just finishing their Junior year in high school can reserve their MOS before starting their Senior year of high school.
Early Promotion: Recruits in the Future Soldiers Program can get promoted from PVT (paygrade E-1) to PV2 or from PV2 to Private First Class (PFC). See our article on Army Advanced Enlistment / Early Promotions. To earn a promotion while in the Future Soldiers Program, a recruit must complete the Future Soldiers pre-basic training task list.
Preparation for Basic Training: The Future Soldiers Program will help you understand land navigation, drill and ceremony, military customs and courtesies, general orders, etc. Since you'll already know these subjects before going to basic training, you should have a less stressful experience at basic training. Definitely a big plus since you'll be less likely to receive attention from a Drill Sergeant for messing something up at basic training!
Article Last Modified: March 03, 2011
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