FM 21-20 Recruit's Handbook



Table of Contents

Introduction 1.0
Overview 1.1
Military Courtesy & Realism 1.2
Exclusivity 1.3
Purpose of Basic Combat Training 2.0
Schedule for Basic Combat Training 2.1
Your Enlistment Clerk & Enlistment Liaison 2.2
Connecting to Basic Combat Training 2.3
Connecting to Teamspeak 2.4
Your Drill Instructor 2.5
Basic Combat Training Procedure 2.6
Basic Combat Training Conduct 2.7
29th Soldier Procedures 3.0
29th Drill Modes and Rules 3.1
Rank Structure in the 29th Infantry Division 3.2
Close Order Rifle Drills (CORDS) 3.3
Chain of Command 3.4
After Basic Combat Training 4.0
Closing Statement 4.1

1.0 Introduction

Welcome to the 29th Infantry Division’s FM 21-20 Training covering the 29th Infantry Division Lighthouse Corps’ Basic Combat Training (BCT) program for enlisted recruits. This manual has been created as a concise guide for passing Basic Combat Training. Topics covered will be brief but enough to provide you the information necessary for passing the program.

1.1 Overview

Recruits of the 29th Infantry Division are expected to act in a respectful manner. This expectation is rooted in many things, and fully acting in this manner requires an understanding of these roots. Recruits must understand that every single member of the 29th Infantry Division started his/her career by going through the same Basic Combat Training program as a Private. Every single rank in the 29th has been earned and not skipped over. While some other realism units find justification in allowing members to enter the unit at a higher rank, the 29th Infantry Division takes pride in every member earning his/her rank and place in the unit. When you wear the division’s tags, the rank in front of your name carries a level of weight and responsibility.

1.2 Military Courtesy & Realism

Earning rank takes time and takes work. Promotions are not given based on length of service, but a combination between service and work. For example, someone with a Sergeant rank has more than likely over 18 months of service under his/her belt and is capable of commanding a large team to victory.

Because of the work put into earning these ranks and positions, a huge amount of respect is given to those of rank. You are always to treat those above you in rank as your military superior by addressing them by his/her rank alone or in addendum to his/her last name (rather than by his/her last name alone) and keeping as respectful as possible, as well as abiding by any orders they give you.

This is a very simple concept. For example:

  • Instead of “Hey, Evarts, what time are drills tomorrow?”, say “Sergeant Evarts, what time are drills tomorrow?”.

This might seem unusual coming from a non-military background, but after some practice and hearing it from others, it becomes second nature and feels quite comfortable.

1.3 Exclusivity

The 29th Infantry Division is a participant based organization that requires a push and pull from all of its members. Our success depends upon it. When you pass through Basic Training and enter into the unit, we ask of you only a few important things: that you comply with our decent amount of rules and fulfill the simple duties described to you during your training. Among those duties is to always represent the 29th ID as best as you possibly can. While, first and foremost, this rule pertains to behavior and professionalism when donning official tags, it also extends into a couple of gray areas that we need to be reminded of from time to time.

The 29th ID has an exclusivity rule for all enlisted members. This means that if you are a member of the 29th ID, you cannot simultaneously be a member of what may be considered another realism unit involved in the same games that the 29th also is. The reasoning for this is simple: in exchange for the exclusive usage of our servers and participation in our events, all that we ask of you is the courtesy of being prioritized. It is important to remember that the 29th does participate in outside scrimmages. In order to prevent likely conflicts of interests, sanctions must be put in place.

Members cannot be part of another realism unit involved in the following three games:

  • ARMA 3
  • Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
  • Squad

Members are allowed to be a part of realism units in games that the 29th are not deployed in. However, understand that if your dedication to the unit is wavering, and your participation in another unit is a factor, you could be asked either to step away from the 29th or your other unit. Understand that we do not wish to force you to spend all your time appeasing our demands. Just keep in mind that we are a realism unit. Part of our attempts at realism happen to include not being a member of another military.

2.0 Purpose of Basic Combat Training

Basic Combat Training is a series of training sessions where every incoming recruit learns the basics of what it takes to be a member of the 29th Infantry Division. Several criteria make up the expectations of a graduate, including behavior, maturity, respect, discipline, listening skills, and basic in-game abilities. Because every 29th member has met these expectations, we have a very respectful and respectable community that everyone enjoys.

Recruits that are new to the game should realize that your Drill Instructor will have patience with your lack of in-game skill and Assistant Drill Instructors will likely provide you with extra assistance. Recruits that are more familiar with the game should realize that Basic Combat Training teaches far more than in-game skills. You will learn behavioral concepts as well as military structure, terms and more importantly, discipline.

2.1 Schedule for Basic Combat Training

Basic Combat Training is a five-day program starting on a Sunday and ending on a Thursday. The one-hour sessions always take place at 7:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, 7:00 pm Eastern Time or 7:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The start date and time is provided to you as a reply to your enlistment thread. If you need to miss a BCT session, it is understandable; however, your attendance is a significant factor in whether or not you pass the Basic Combat Training program. Therefore, we ask you to attend as many days as possible.

If you are outside of the PST, GMT and EST time zones, for a complete listing of time zones worldwide along with the associated UTC offset go to

The server address and server password for where Basic Combat Training will take place can also be found from the reply in your enlistment thread.

2.2 Your Enlistment Clerk & Enlistment Liaison

When you first enlist to the 29th Infantry Division, you will be assisted by two teams of staff who will assist you in the process of enrolling into Basic Combat Training.

Upon enlisting, an Enlistment Clerk (EC) will process your enlistment and assign you to the training platoon that will suit your availability the best. During this process, the enlistment clerk might ask you questions if we are missing any information that we need in order to process your enlistment. Once your enlistment has been processed and you have received an acceptance letter, you will be assigned an Enlistment Liaison who will add you as a friend on Steam and send you a message on the forums.

Your Enlistment Liaison (EL) will assist you throughout the entire period of Basic Combat Training and will be your first point of contact for any questions or inquiries you might have. Your EL will provide you with further information that you need before BCT and will explain to you how to prepare, which includes changing your Steam name and connecting to the server. If on the unlikely chance your Enlistment Liaison is unavailable and you require assistance, you are welcome to contact any of the contacts for your timezone listed on the enlistment acceptance letter.

If you are unable to make a Basic Combat Training session, is it important that you notify your liaison as soon as possible so that BCT staff can be notified and excuse you.

2.3 Connecting to Basic Combat Training

The Squad Basic Combat Training program has an exclusive modded server for BCT. To locate the server, follow the guide below.

  • Launch Squad and open the “Custom Server” browser.
  • Search for the “29th Infantry Division [BCT Server]”.
  • Once found, attempt to connect to the server.

It can take up to two minutes for the server to appear in the browser. If this is your first time connecting to a 29th Infantry Division server, you will be required to download our mods before connecting to the server.

If you are having technical problems connecting to the server, please notify your enlistment liaison and contact a member of the Medical Corps.

2.4 Connecting to Teamspeak

29th Infantry Division Teamspeak information:

To connect to the 29th server, go onto connections, connect, and enter the server details in the appropriate boxes. When entering the server address, put the port number on the end, like so: If you don’t put :35750 at the end of the address, you will not be able to join the server.

Creating a bookmark ensures you always have quick access to the servers you want and allows you to avoid having to repetitively type in server details.

  • Start Teamspeak and click on the Bookmarks tab.
  • Select Add to Bookmarks from the drop down menu.
    • Label: Name of bookmarked server. i.e. 29th Infantry Division
      Address: Host name or plain IP and port. i.e
      Nickname: Your selected surname (last name). Do not add anything but your surname.
      Server Password: 29th
  • Click Apply
  • Click Ok

You will be required to be present during Teamspeak on the final day of BCT. After graduation, you will be required to be in Teamspeak for every drill.

2.5 Your Drill Instructor

As the 29th Infantry Division is a realism unit; Basic Combat Training (BCT) is intended to provide a realistic experience to every trainee. Your Drill Instructor is trained to be informative and to teach you the concepts you will need to pass BCT, but they are also trained not to tolerate misbehavior and, just as in the military, to use discipline whenever necessary.

Your Drill Instructor has proven through his/her service to the 29th ID that they are capable of teaching and preparing recruits to be 29th members. They have invested countless hours in BCT, and his/her dedication and experience will be respected. You can learn a lot from your DI, and if you miss the opportunity to ask a question or listen to an explanation, you will most likely regret it later in your 29th career.

2.6 Basic Combat Training Procedure

Each session of Basic Combat Training will teach you both verbally and demonstratively. There will be no repeat sessions, and it is important that you listen carefully to what you are being taught. We do not teach you ranks and unit structure to bore you or waste your time. We teach you the order and description of each rank as well as how this unit is laid out because those are things you will be expected to know in the 29th. The things you learn at Basic are used in general conversation after you graduate, and if you do not pay attention you will not be able to keep up.

In addition to verbal concepts, you will be taught in-game techniques that will more than likely be new to you. Many new tactics will be taught at BCT and you will be expected to try your hardest to perfect them.

On the last day of Basic Combat Training is the Proof of Ability (POA) test. Your Drill Instructor will test you on what you have learned in BCT. This is where recruits will demonstrate his/her effort throughout BCT and where those found wanting will be removed. Many items on the POA are listed in this field manual, and you will be glad you read it.

2.7 Basic Combat Training Conduct

Your conduct during drills is especially important. You must always act in a mature and professional manner. The instructors will not waste your time if you do not waste his/hers. If an instructor gives you an order, execute it quickly and efficiently, and without complaint. Remember, the impression you make in BCT usually carries over into the unit. You are graded on your behavior.


Just as in the military, a well-behaved recruit does not speak until spoken to. If you have a question, you may request permission to speak from your drill instructor. To do this, simply type PTS in chat and your request may or may not be granted when the speaker is finished talking

Fall In

While in drills, scrimmages or a unit meeting, you are to line up in rank order quickly. While in line you are not to look around, accidentally shoot your weapon or move around. You are to remain standing, not prone or crouched, completely still and facing forward. When in line, take your hands off the keyboard and mouse. Face forward and pay attention. When you fall-in you should be shoulder-to-shoulder with the soldier next to you. There should be no gaps in the line at any time. Listen for “close the gaps!” or “everyone shift right/left!” These generally tell you that there is a gap in the line and it should be filled. Never move unless instructed to help ensure you are not the one shifting inappropriately.

Position of Attention

When at the position of attention, you should be facing forward with your chin level to the ground and unarmed. You should not move. There is no reason to touch your keyboard and mouse. If you are caught moving or looking around while at attention, you will be punished for your lack of discipline. While an officer or NCO is speaking to you, you are not to use the voice commands, your microphone, or text chat. If you wish to speak, use the PTS procedure described above.

3.0 29th Soldier Procedures

Every member of the 29th ID has a set of standards that they must uphold whilst representing the unit during drills and events.

PTS - Permission to Speak
This is a simple procedure. Do not speak unless spoken to. If you’d like to speak, type PTS in all chat then wait for the person speaking to grant your PTS.

PTU - Permission to Use
As a private, you will train using the rifle class only. Once you have reached the rank of Private, First Class, you will have the opportunity to choose an AIT. If you would like to ask for permission to use a weapon, type “PTU - [AIT]” in all chat and wait for a ranking member to grant or deny the request.

PTL - Permission to Leave
During drills, to maintain a level of professionalism and discipline, soldiers are not allowed to leave without reason. If you need to leave a drill, simply type “PTL - [reason]” in all chat. Patiently wait for the drill leader to grant or deny your request, then depending on the outcome, leave the server or continue playing. If it is an actual emergency, e.g. your house is on fire or your animal ran away and you didn’t notice, you can freely leave and explain another time why you disappeared.

  • Example of an appropriate PTL:
    “PTL - Family emergency”
  • Example of an inappropriate PTL:
    “PTL - Rust base is being raided”

If you know in advance that you need to leave a drill early, for example due to a sports team practice or event, inform your chain of command about this as soon as possible so leadership can prepare for your absence.

Binds - Saluting Officers
Squad does not support custom saluting binds, therefore to salute an officer, type Salute in all chat.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam supports binds.

  • Mutate changename [INSERT NAME HERE]
  • Mutate Respawn
  • Mutate Dropatobj [INSERT OBJ HERE]
  • setbind F5 say Salute

ARMA 3 does not support custom saluting binds, therefore to salute an officer, type Salute in all chat.

3.1 29th Drill Modes and Rules

The Second Battalion has custom modded Squad servers so that advanced situations can be made for drills. The 29th has two types of drills. The following objectives are examples of what you might face in drills or events. They are from the Squad servers, RS2 and ARMA3 may have differently modded objectives.

Drill Type - Attack / Defence
This is simple. One team is attacking with one team defending. The attacking team needs to destroy or capture an objective in a set amount of time whilst the defenders try to prevent this from happening.

Drill Type - Attack / Attack
This is slightly more advanced. Each team starts in a different location with the intent to capture the same objective. This usually means one team has to capture and secure an area before the other team does.

Objective - Intel Table
This is the standard objective in 29th drills. The intel table cannot be destroyed by explosives or firearms and can only be dug down with shovels.

Objective - Radio Tower
This is a more advanced objective used mainly in larger drills. The radio tower can be destroyed by weapon fire, explosive fire or by being dug down using shovels.

Objective - Ammo Cache
This is another simple objective used in smaller drills. The ammo cache cannot be dug down using shovels and can only be destroyed with explosives.

Objective - Ammo Dump
This is a very simple vanilla feature. The ammo dump is a two by two set of ammo boxes that can be destroyed by explosives or shovels.

Objective - Repair Station
This is another very simple vanilla feature. The repair station can be destroyed via explosives or shovels.

3.2 Rank Structure in the 29th Infantry Division

The highest ranking members of the unit are officers. They set policy for the unit and exercise authority over large groups of soldiers. These members are to be saluted and can be addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am.”

Second Lieutenant (2Lt.) First Lieutenant (1Lt.) Captain (Cpt.) Major (Maj.) Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Colonel (Col.)
O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6
The entry level Officer rank, who typically leads a platoon under the Company HQ’s command. Usually the Executive Officer of the company, the First Lieutenant is the second in command and executes orders from the captain, but can be the commanding officer, or can lead a platoon if necessary. The Captain commands a Company and is also referred to as the Company’s Commanding Officer (CO). They do not lead a platoon, but are the highest rank in the Company HQ The Major is usually the Executive Officer of the Battalion, but can be the Commanding Officer in absence of a Lieutenant Colonel. The Lieutenant Colonel commands the entire Battalion, and is also referred to as the Commanding Officer, or CO, and does not lead a company, but is the highest rank in the Battalion HQ The Colonel commands the entire Regiment, and is also referred to as the Commanding Officer, or CO.

Warrant Officers
Designated an officer by Regiment Headquarters, Warrant Officers are classified as officers but are distinguished from a Commissioned Officer by not having completed the special training or OCS program. The duties performed by Warrant Officers encompass the same jobs performed by Commissioned Officers but are usually only held in an interim period until a Commissioned Officer is available. These members are to be saluted and can be addressed as “Sir”, “Ma’am”, “Mister”, “Ms”.

Warrant Officer One (WO1) Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2) Chief Warrant Officer Three (CW3) Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5)
W-1 W-2 W-3 W-4 W-5
Warrant Officer 1 fills the role of a Platoon Leader by someone who is typically in lieu of a 2nd Lieutenant. Chief Warrant Officer 2 fills the role of an Company Executive Officer by someone who is typically in lieu of a 1st Lieutenant. Chief Warrant Officer 3 fills the role of a Company Commander by someone who is typically in lieu of a Captain. Chief Warrant Officer 4 fills the role of a Battalion Executive Officer by someone who is typically in lieu of a Major. Chief Warrant Officer 5 fills the role of a Battalion Commander by someone who is typically in lieu of a Lieutenant Colonel.

Senior Non-Commissioned Officers
SNCOs are NCOs who have been promoted up through the ranks due to his/her dedication and experience. They will generally serve as senior advisors to the officers, and will oversee the NCOs under his/her command to make sure the officers’ policies are enforced. They will lead soldiers in combat as well.

Technical Sergeant (TSgt.) Master Sergeant (MSgt.) First Sergeant (FSgt.) Sergeant Major (Sgt. Maj.) Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
E-2 E-1 E-1 E-1 E-1
A Technical Sergeant is a seasoned leader who typically serves as platoon sergeant in a highly distinguished capacity. In some cases, a Technical Sergeant can hold a Company HQ position. The key advisor to the platoon leader. A key advisor to the Commander, the Master Sergeant is the second highest ranking NCO rank possible in a company. Typically a Master Sergeant fulfills the same duties as a First Sergeant or acts as an assisting member of leadership to the First Sergeant. In the absence of a First Sergeant, the Master Sergeant is the Senior NCO of a company. A key advisor to the Commander, the First Sergeant is often the most respected member of the company, and known as the “Company Boss.” Helps run the company by dispatching leadership training and has much experience under their belt. A Sergeant Major is typically the Senior NCO for an entire Battalion. This rank is the second highest in the unit and is a mark of a distinguished and knowledgeable leader. The Sergeant Major is the go-to advisor for the battalion leader. The Command Sergeant Major serves as the advisor to the regiment commander and is the highest non-commissioned officer rank in the regiment.

Non-Commissioned Officers (Leadership)
NCOs are the backbone of the army. They are granted his/her authority by his/her superiors and serve as his/her subordinates. His/Her role is to enforce the policies and regulations set by the officers, as well as to lead groups of soldiers in combat.

Corporal (Cpl.) Sergeant (Sgt.) Staff Sergeant (SSgt.)
E-5 E-4 E-3
The entry-level NCO rank, a corporal is a PFC who has proven themself in leadership training and is capable of leading other soldiers. A Corporal is usually an Assistant Squad Leader, but can also lead squads if necessary. Usually does not discipline the men as much as a higher NCO, but acts as a team leader A Sergeant is a proven Corporal who is placed in charge of a squad and is in charge of their squad’s discipline, appearance, and organization. Sergeants call practices and drills for their squad when necessary. In some cases, a Sergeant may be a part of a platoon headquarters. A Staff Sergeant has many of the same responsibilities as a Sergeant, but has even more exceptional leadership skills. Often has sergeants working under them and can lead a platoon or act as an advisor to the platoon leader.

Technicians (Non-Leadership NCOs)
These are NCOs who serve in positions which require skills of a technical nature such as clerks, who handle the unit’s paperwork. They are still NCOs and as such can exercise the same authority over soldiers. They generally do not serve in leadership positions because they are occupied with other important responsibilities.

Technician, 5th Grade (T/5) Technician, 4th Grade (T/4) Technician, 3rd Grade (T/3)
E-5 E-4 E-3
Equivalent to Corporal, a T/5 has been qualified to specialize in a certain area, such as clerical or office work, or specialized weapons. Equivalent to Sergeant, this enlisted soldier is a proven specialist at a particular area, and often is in charge of training other specialists under him. Equivalent to Staff Sergeant, this enlisted soldier specializes in a certain area, such as head of a particular office in Headquarters Support Staff or clerical work.

At the bottom of the list are Privates. These are the regular infantry soldiers who make up the majority of the unit. His/Her role is to follow orders and carry them out to the best of his/her ability.

Private (Pvt.) Private, First Class (PFC)
E-7 E-6
Once recruits graduate basic combat training, they receive the 29th ID shoulder patch and serve to carry out orders to the best of their ability. This rank is awarded to Privates who have become valuable to the Squad Leaders. They assist in drills, showing other Privates the ropes, and are next in line for leadership positions if they wish to pursue that option. PFCs have the option to pursue Advanced Individual Training by choosing an AIT.

Clarification on the Addressing of Rank
Although it is acceptable to address your superiors by their full rank, there are valid alternatives and specific exceptions and differences for certain ranks.

  • 2Lt. and 1Lt. - Can both be addressed as “Lieutenant”.
  • CW2, CW3, CW4, CW5 - Can all be addressed as “Chief”.
  • Sgt. Maj., CSM - Are always to be addressed as “Sergeant Major”.
  • MSgt., TSgt., SSgt., Sgt. - Technically can all be addressed as “Sergeant” but often not done so in practice due to it sometimes causing confusion on who you are addressing. The rank of FSgt. is an exception to this and must addressed by their full rank.
  • T/5, T/4, T/3 - Are never to be verbally addressed as “Technician X Grade” but instead as “Corporal” (in the case of T/5), “Sergeant” (in the case of T/4 or T/3) and "Staff Sergeant (in the case of T/3).

3.3 Close Order Rifle Drills (CORDs)

Close Order Rifle Drills are always performed when lined up and starting from the position of attention. These are practiced as a way of maintaining discipline within the unit. When we hold a match against another unit, we will perform CORDs as a sign of respect to them.

  • Attention - Unarmed / nothing in hands
  • Present Arms - Rifles out facing forward
  • Ready - Reload rifles
  • Aim - Aim 45° up and then 45° to your left. This position is halfway between straight forward and left and halfway between straight forward and up.
  • Fire - Fire one shot
  • Order Arms - Move your rifle so you are aiming straight forward but 45° into the air, then slowly bring your rifles down the Ready position (Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Parade Rest - Unarmed / nothing in hands

3.4 Chain of Command

The chain of command essentially means that if you have any requests, questions, problems or concerns you should contact your Squad Leader or Assistant Squad Leader first. Outside of the squad hierarchy, the Squad Leaders move paperwork up to the Platoon Sergeant who would bring it to the Platoon Leader. From the platoon level, the Platoon Sergeant will take issues to the Company Sergeant and the Platoon Leader will take issues to the Company Commander. Everything, both positive and negative, moves from the bottom up and from the top down. It is important that you avoid skipping steps in the chain of command whenever your issue can be dealt with by your immediate superior. The 29th Chain of Command is as follows. You should always start at the bottom of the chain of command.

  • Regiment Headquarters (Regiment Commander, Regiment SNCO)
  • Battalion Headquarters (Battalion Commander, Battalion SNCO)
  • Company Headquarters (Commanding Officer, Senior SNCO)
  • Platoon Headquarters (Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant)
  • Squad Headquarters (Squad Leader, Assistant Squad Leader)

It is important to know who your Regiment Commanding Officer (CO) is. The 116th’s Regiment Commanding Officer is Colonel Wheatley.

4.0 After Basic Combat Training

After you graduate Basic Combat Training, one to seven days later, the news will be posted in the 29th Infantry Division’s Promotions and Awards category. This will contain all graduates from the Training Platoon along with the medals they received and to which platoons and squads they were assigned. Assuming you graduated, your information will be posted there, along with encouraging replies from many 29th members. The sought-out thread will contain your Training Platoon number in its title. For example, the 213th Training Platoon’s thread will be entitled “213th Training Platoon”.

Soon after assignment, you will receive a message on the forums from your Squad Leader. They will introduce you to the squad and encourage you to ask any questions you may have; feel free to reply. Your Squad Leader is now the first person you will contact with any questions or concerns about the unit. His/Her job is to help you learn and ensure you have a proper experience in the 29th Infantry Division.

Graduating Awards

If you graduate Basic Combat Training, you will receive the following awards on your service jacket. As you can see by the last three awards, you will receive the appropriate participation award for the game you participate in.

4.1 Closing Statement

We are a professional realism unit representing the US Army in ARMA 3, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, and Squad. We try to be as serious and disciplined as possible. Our discipline and military courtesy provides for a very fun and enjoyable environment for all ages. On the other hand, we realize that we are all human and understand if a few mistakes are made here and there. There is a time and place for order and seriousness, but there is also a place for having a good time. It is very rare that anyone feels overly pressured after Basic Combat Training - ask any of our members in the server if we are “too strict” or if they enjoy themselves.

Whilst chain of command is an important policy, throughout BCT you are welcome to ask any member of the Lighthouse Corps any questions or concerns you might have, although it is encouraged that you contact your Enlistment Liaison about this first.

Created, Edited and Approved by Lighthouse Enlistment Office
Technician, 4th Garrett Claude H. Garrett Sergeant Major Chris R. Cyr Command Sergeant Major Ramses M. Conrad Technician, 5th Grade Christopher M. Cowles Corporal Garrick L. Roland
Chief of Lighthouse Corps Assistant Chief of Lighthouse Corps Assistant Chief of Lighthouse Corps Supervisor of Enlistment Corps Senior Enlistment Clerk

Last Edit: 2024-06-10 - CW5 Dethfield