6 Things To Memorize Before Army Basic Training (ABT)

Headed to Army Basic Training?

Basic training is an extremely stressful time. Sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, and yelling instructions doesn’t exactly create the ideal study environment. Do yourself a favor by memorizing these 6 things to know and learn before Army Basic Training. By doing this, it should give you a few less things to worry about or the very least save yourself some pushup

How long is United States Marine Corps Recruit Training “Boot Camp”?

United States Marine Corps Recruit Training (also known as “boot camp”) is a 12 week program of initial training that each recruit must successfully complete in order to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

Receiving Mail at Marine OCS: What You Need to Know

What Mail at OCS Means to Your Candidate

Mail at OCS is often the highlight of the day. Many candidates enjoy receiving sports scores, newsletters, newspaper clippings, etc.: anything they would have normally kept up with at home. Family and friends are encouraged to share fun stories, summer adventures, or jokes as this keeps candidates grounded and affords a moment of escape from the stress of OCS.

SlaySession #22 – Fan Friday

I went back and picked a few of your “favorite” workouts to make this week’s… Fan Friday workout. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, knowing how much you probably won’t.

This week, my father told me a joke. It’s so bad it’s actually a little funny. “Why did the belt go to jail?… For holding up the pants.” Yes, I know it’s bad, but for him it’s a little funny.  For a little bit of context, he’s a police officer


Knees to Chest – 10 four count (Twice)

Bear Crawl – 15 yards (Twice)

Fire Hydrants – 15 Each Leg ( Twice)

Squat Drops – 15 total (Twice)


8 Count Body Builders w/ Burpee – 15 Total (Twice)

Inch Worm w/ Push-ups – 10 yards there and back (Twice)

15 mins of jogging at 75% speed – Distance doesn’t matter. What matters is that as soon as you’re done, you go right into the next workout.

Burpee Suicides – Exactly how it sounds… Amazing. Your goal is to reach the 25 yard line and back doing a total of 10 burpees with the traditional suicides.

Don’s special add-on: (Note: only if able to)

Give yourself 5 mins rest before attempting this. Do 15, 8-count Body Builders w/ Burpees, and then go right into a Burpee Suicide, except this time, go for 30 yards and 12 burpees.

SlaySession #21 – Reagan Tough

On this day, then-President Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt after being shot in the chest. With a collapsed lung he walked himself into the hospital. Yea… he got shot in the chest and was like “nah brah… i’m good to walk.” (at least that’s how I envision him saying it)

I pulled another one from my Father’s wise philosophies database, “If it’s important you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”


Lunges – 15 yards out and 15 back. (Three Times)

Spider-mans – Stay about 4 inches or so from the ground and go 10 yards. Then go back. (Twice)

Prone to Sprints – Start in the prone and hop up into a 70% sprint for 30 yards ( Four Times)

Pull-ups – Do half of your max set.  (Three Times)


Diamond Push-ups – Hands in the shape of a Diamond… it’s not rocket science. 15 in a four count (Three Times).

Buddy Carries – You will be fireman carrying a buddy or a sandbag. Something that simulates a “buddy”. Carry the “buddy” 50 yards in a semi-sprint.  (Five Times)

Burpees – They are traditional burpees. Do 15. (Three Times)

2 Laps around the track  – AKA 1/2 mile. Then take 45 seconds to catch your out-of-shape breath. (Three Times… I’ll help you with the math… 1 1/2 miles total… you’re welcome)

Don’s special add-on:

Go and read the story of what happened to Reagan. It’s history… study it.

SlaySession #20 – St. Patrick’s Day 40’s

As St. Patrick spent 40 years helping the Irish people, we will be doing 40’s of our own in appreciation. That’s 40’s as in numbers of reps, and not 40’s as in Edward 40Hands (don’t be that guy).

I pulled out an old one from a database known as my Father’s wise philosophies, “Excuses are like @$$holes, everyone has one.



50 yard build ups – Start at at 25% speed. Get to 25 yds and be at 50%, and reach 50 yds at 75% (Four Times)

Highland Fling – Do a full body cross over for a 40 times ( Do it Twice)

Lateral Step Squat – Set up 10 yards away face to the side. Side step into a squat until you get to 10 yds. Then go back facing same direction. (Twice)

40 yd Push-up to Build-ups – Start at at 25% speed. Get to 15 yds and be at 50%, and reach 30 yds at 75% (Four Times)


In and Out Push ups – You can youtube it if need be, but it’s one pushup hands inside and one outside until you get to 40.  (twice)

Planks – Do 40 seconds in the front plank, 40 seconds on right side plank, and then 40 seconds on your left side plank. (Tree times… yes tree… as in how Shane my Irish roommate says three)

40 Meter Sprints – Start the first one at 90%. Then 100% every one after. Take a 20 sec break between each sprint. (Ten Times)

Ball Throws  – Take a heavy ball and start at the 1 yard line. Get on your knees, and then explode up with the ball throwing it as far as you can. Throw it 40 yards, and then go back 40 yards. (Three Times)

Don’s special add-on:

Do 10 In and Out Push Ups, and then go right into 30 seconds of Planks on each side and front. As soon as you’re done with the planks go right into a 40 Yard Dash. Jog back and do another set of Ball Throws.

Do me a special favor this weekend. If you are old enough to partake in alcoholic beverages please do so responsibly. Last thing anyone wants to hear is bad news. There are tons of apps out there to help you get home. Use one! (off soapbox)

SlaySession #20: Two-A-Day Thursday

To help my kind-of-chunky Guinness-drinking roommate (who happens to be the Marketing Director at Sandboxx) I have started doing two-a-days with him. Maybe it’s for personal reasons (I’m not fat… ok?)… maybe not. You’ll never know.

I pulled out an old one from a database known as my Father’s wise philosophies, “Excuses are like @$$holes, everyone has one.”


Highland Fling – Do a full body cross over for a four count 15 times ( Do it Three Times)

50 yard build ups – Start at at 25% speed. Get to 25 yds and be at 50%, and reach 50 yds at 75% (Four Times)

Lateral Step Squat – Set up 10 yards away face to the side. Side step into a squat until you get to 10 yds. Then go back facing same direction. (Twice)

Inch Worms – 10 yards there and back (Twice)


Burpee Frog Jumps – Instead of jumping up at the end of the Burpee, you jump forward into a frog jump. 25 yds there and back. (Twice)

100 Meter Sprints – Start the first one at 80%. Then 100% every one after. Take a 30 sec break between each sprint. (Nine Times)

Pull-ups – Take whatever your max is and divide that by two. Take that number and do  that many pull-ups 7-10 times.

Bicycle Crunches – Full extended cross body crunches for a four count 20. (Three Times)

Don’s special add-on

Gains are made in two ways… the kitchen, and with sweat. I don’t think you’re doing these in the kitchen… so get to sweating. Then go home and do 15-20 mins of nutrition research. You’ll thank me later.

Tips on Writing a Modern Love Letter to Your Recruit on Valentine’s Day


wwii-homecoming-kiss “The sight of that shining moon up there—the moon that shines on you, too—fills me with romance—; and even though it’s just a dream now, it’s a promise of a glorious future with one I love more than life. The darned old moon keeps shining for us, darling—and even as it now increases that inescapable loneliness, it also increases my confidence in the future. I truly love you….”

They say people that don’t talk like that anymore. Why? This quote, taken from a letter written by Pauline “Polly” Elliott to her husband Frank M. Elliot serving in Normandy during World War II, seems to come from another era entirely. What’s happened in the past 70 years that makes language like Polly’s seem so foreign? Is it possible to translate the magic of her words into our modern age of texting, abbreviations and social media?

Definitely. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner we want to offer a few tips on what to think about when you’re writing your recruit a love letter and how you can make your letters to him all the more special.

old-letter-to-soldierWriting Your Recruit a Love Letter

First, think about your audience. Would you rather your letter be public or private—a post on Facebook or Instagram or a handwritten note for his eyes-only? These days we have so many options for communication it’s hard to pick one, but it’s also important to consider how your recruit would like to hear from you. This might seem like a weird thing to think about, but everyone is different and appreciates different gestures.

Focus and Put in the Time

Second, take a breath, and devote some serious time to your letter. Our lives today are full of constant distractions, and although it might seem easy to write out a few quick sentences and be done with it, your letter will mean so much more if you sit down, clear your mind, and reflect on what you want to say and how you want to communicate your emotions. Look at Polly! Obviously you don’t need to be quite as extreme, but it’s also very clear that she didn’t write those words lightly, and that makes a huge difference.

spanish-american-war-letter-to-soldiersThink of Their Situation

Third, be mindful of your recruit’s situation. He (or she) is living a totally different life than you and there might be certain things that he wants to hear about and others that he might not. Make sure to ask him direct questions so that he has something to respond to and don’t be afraid to write him first! These guys are exhausted, both mentally and physically, and sometimes they might not have the capacity to write a fantastic letter back to you. This is OK as long as you keep the conversation going—including special memories or attaching pictures are also great ways to show how much you care.

Finally, using Sandboxx you can take all of these tips and write your recruit a love letter up until Monday at 5pm with the guarantee that it will reach him on Valentine’s Day!

If you want to see more examples of Polly’s letters to Frank check out this article in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/70-years-later-love-letters-tell-of-wwii-couples-romance-and-tragedy/2015/05/24/02bca130-ffbb-11e4-8b6c-0dcce21e223d_story.html?utm_term=.affb9253fd49



How to Survive Army Basic Combat Training (“boot camp”)

The Army requires all officer candidates (who are not prior service enlisted) to attend Basic Combat Training (“boot camp”) prior to moving on to OCS.