Unit 71 Checklist

Verification of Acceptance

To verify your participation in Unit 71, please read and sign the following forms:

Important Dates

Basic Training encompasses 9 weeks of training: September 12 – November 15, 2024

  • Arrival Day | Thursday, September 12
    You should plan to arrive only on Arrival Day; you will not be able to check in early.
  • R-Night | Monday, September 16
    After a few days of In-Processing, R-Night (Receiving Night) is where the men are split into squads and start their official boot camp experience.
  • Advancement Day | Friday, November 15
    The completion ceremony after Basic Training is called Advancement. There is no other day so anticipated by the men in Basic Training and their parents. Advancement Day includes a skills demonstration, drill & ceremony review, ceremony and banquet. More Details

See Transportation Arrangements for details about travel days.

Sports Physical & Medical Info

Submit the following information by August 30, 2024:

  • Sports Physical Exam Form: Your appointment must be scheduled after July 14, 2024 to ensure it’s within 60 days of the start of training. You cannot start Basic Training until you have been cleared on this form. To submit, email a high-quality picture or PDF to [email protected].
  • Copy of Insurance Information: Email a picture (or scanned copy) of your insurance card(s) for your medical file. If you do not have any insurance, you can disregard this request.
  • We recommend that you have a current tetanus immunization.

Transportation Arrangements

Submit the Transportation Form by August 30, 2024.

Arrival on September 12, 2024

  • Flights must be scheduled to land before 2:00 PM
  • If you are driving in, please arrive on campus between 1:30-4:00 PM

Departure on November 16, 2024

  • Flights must be scheduled to take off after 12:00 Noon
  • If you are leaving by personal vehicle, you can leave after the Advancement ceremony on November 15 or any time on November 16, 2024

Please note: do not fly standby. If you are unable to arrive on the specified start date, your training may be terminated.

Tuition & Fees

Please reference the 2024 Basic Training Tuition & Fees sheet for information about the cost of Basic Training. You can also see Financial Details and the Financial Aid page for more details.

Our Finance Department will email you an invoice after your confirmation deposit and any registration discounts have been applied.

Please note: Full payment is due by September 2, 2024. Training cannot begin until full payment is received.

Packing List

Items on the Basic Training Packing List must be purchased and brought to Basic Training. All items are required, regardless of season.

  • Purchase all items on the Basic Training Packing List
  • See the Basic Training Issued Items for a list of gear and uniforms that will be provided
  • Mark all gear with first initial and last name
  • Pack your gear in soft/collapsible luggage or duffle bags

ALERT Store: Most of the needed gear may be purchased through the ALERT Store There are several gear packages to choose from or you may purchase items individually. Orders placed through the ALERT Store may be picked up when you arrive. Please realize that not all of the items in the store are listed on the website so you may want to contact the store manager by email at [email protected] with any questions.

Additional Notes: In order to travel “lighter”, you have the option to mail your gear in advance to the following address:

Basic Training Gear—(Recruit Name)
One Academy Blvd.
Big Sandy, TX 75755

Do not Bring: Do not bring books, magazines, music media, fixed-blade knives, alcohol, tobacco, laptop computers, sunglasses (during Basic Training), distracting pastimes, and any inappropriate paraphernalia.

There will be an inspection of all personal items at the start of Basic Training. Inappropriate items will be confiscated until the completion of Basic Training or dismissal from the program.

Also, please do not bring excessive cash or anything of great value. The International ALERT Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

How to Prepare for Basic Training

In order to help set you up for success we have put together a program to guide you as you prepare for Basic Training. Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind a day or two. The key is consistency and execution.

  • A verse by verse breakdown of 1st Peter  |  Download: 1 Peter Verse Sheets
    Make sure that you memorize using the King James Version. Memorize at least the first 16 verses before you arrive. This will be extremely helpful to you during the first few weeks of Basic Training, and the more you memorize beforehand the better. This recommended program gives you one verse a day to memorize through chapter 2 of the book. If you would like help in memorizing, you can download a scripture memory app such as VerseLocker or The Bible Memory App (both of these apps are available for Apple and Android and have free versions).
  • A daily physical training plan  |  Download: Physical Training Schedule
    We have found that if men prepare themselves physically for the training, they will be better equipped for the rigors ahead. This recommended program gives you one short PT session to complete a day for up to eight weeks prior to your start date. You may start this program at any time and do not have to do them at the pace or sequence that we have prescribed. If you find the PT too easy or too hard you may adjust it as needed.




Each Recruit is required to write at least one letter home per week. We also encourage written communication from family and friends at home, which can begin from day one. No letters or emails from single, non-related females are allowed during Basic Training.

Incoming letters and emails for recruits are distributed daily; however, because of frequent field exercises, mail may occasionally be delayed for several days before the Recruits receive it.

You can send mail to your son at the following address:
Recruit (Your Son’s Last Name)
One Academy Blvd.
Big Sandy TX, 75755


Emails may be sent to a Recruit at [email protected]. The subject line must be marked with Recruit (Last Name) or the email will not be printed off and delivered.

Emails received by around 3:00 PM (CST) Monday-Friday will typically be delivered the same day during mail call. No incoming emails are printed on the weekend or on days when the Recruits are in the field. Emails that come after that timeframe or on the weekends will be delivered at the next mail call.

Replies: US-based Recruits will reply by written letter sent through the mail. International students will have their letters scanned and emailed.

POGIE/Care Packages

POGIE stands for Personally Owned Goodies I Eat.

POGIE (food items) will not be allowed until the unit has earned the privilege, usually after the first few weeks. You will be notified when it is appropriate to send POGIE. Any food items received prior to your son earning this privilege will be stored until the appropriate time.

As you prepare to send POGIE packages, please review the following information:

  • Only send items that are approved on the POGIE Requirement List
  • The amount of POGIE sent should be kept to approximately one 12 x 7 x 4” box per week (about the size of a shoebox).
  • Recruits have limited time and space to eat and store this food. Also, they do not have access to refrigerated areas, so all items will be stored on a shelf.
  • The Recruits are being fed full meals three times a day, and we follow the US military’s calorie standards for portion sizes. So even though your son might be saying in his letters home that he is starving, just realize that a lot of his desire for food is due to his loss of control of when and what he eats, not actual hunger. In reality, he is doing just fine; his mind is simply telling his body to find a way to lessen the stress it is feeling, and that often presents as feelings of hunger.

You can send POGIE to the following address:
Recruit (Your Son’s Last Name) – POGIE
One Academy Blvd.
Big Sandy TX, 75755

You are allowed to send your son extra gear items at any point throughout the course of Basic Training.

Gear Packages

Recruits may receive packages with gear items, extra clothing, vitamins, Gatorade powder, etc., at any point during the training.

Packages that contain gear only should be sent in the following way:
Recruit (Your Son’s Last Name) – GEAR
One Academy Blvd.
Big Sandy TX, 75755

Phone Call Dates

Recruits received two opportunities to call home during Basic Training. These phone calls are limited to 15 minutes each.

Unit 71 Phone call dates:

  • Sunday, October 6, 2024
  • Sunday, October 27, 2024

Please note: If you live outside the United States, you must have WhatsApp in order for your son to call you.

Training Details

Promotion Standards

By the end of Basic Training, each Recruit must be able to satisfactorily complete each item listed in the promotion standards section of their Regulations Manual.

Basic Training Promotion Standards

There will be a review of this list mid-Basic to determine if sufficient progress is being made for him to continue on in training.

Evaluations on the progress of each man will be done on a bi-weekly basis. You will receive these evaluation reports by email starting on week three.

Training Agreement

Before starting training, all students must sign the ALERT Training Agreement.

We encourage parents to be familiar with this agreement (listed below) so that they can better support their son during his time at ALERT.

Training Agreement

ALERT is a program of discipleship and training that seeks to forge extraordinary men who influence their world for Christ. We believe the forging process occurs as the Gospel transforms a man, discipline strengthens a man, hardship matures a man, camaraderie sharpens a man, training equips a man, and service focuses a man.

In order to accomplish this mission while training a diverse group of young men, we have developed the following guidelines during your time as a student here at ALERT. These standards are for training purposes only, and are not meant to represent our staff/instructors belief on these topics. If you have any questions, direct them to the ALERT Commanding Officer.

Please review our Statement of Faith. If you have questions about what we believe, please contact us to discuss them.

Please review the following guidelines carefully. While some may seem inconsequential, our goal is to create a healthy and focused environment for each of our students.

  • Course Content: You are expected to participate in all courses, teaching, Bible studies, and chapel sessions during training—whether conducted in person or by video. We understand that on some occasions something said by a speaker, either live or recorded, may not line up precisely with what you personally believe. These occurrences are unavoidable, and are not introduced for the purpose of influencing you to one view or another. Please understand this and respect others with differing opinions.
  • Uniforms: Uniforms are dictated by the ALERT Sergeant Major’s Department for consistency in appearance. This includes uniforms for physical exercise, training, daily uniform wear, and civilian clothing.
  • Overnight Stays:  Men are not allowed to stay overnight with their family, or other families, on or off campus during training. After completing Basic Training, possible exceptions to this may include weddings, funerals, special graduations or milestone anniversary events of parents or grandparents. Birthdays are not a reason for an exception. All Leaves of Absence (LOAs) must be approved by the SMaj. Department.
  • Family Visits: In order to limit distractions, in-person visits with your parents and siblings are generally not allowed during training hours. After-hours or weekend visits are allowed with prior approval from the SMaj. Department. No visits are permitted during Basic Training.
  • Relationships:  During Basic Training, no letters or emails from single, non-related females are allowed. During 2nd and 3rd Phase, you can correspond with your girlfriend as long as it does not interfere with your training. Prior written authorization from both your parents and her parents is required to begin correspondence. If you believe your situation requires an exception, you may discuss this with the SMaj. Department.
  • Mail: Personal mail addressed to you will not be opened by ALERT personnel. During Basic Training, all incoming mail is screened by leadership after being opened to ensure that it comes from the right people and does not contain any information about the schedule or future events within Basic Training. The men receive their mail and open it, hand it to their Cadre members who briefly review it, and then it is returned to the men in training within the same hour. All outgoing mail is also screened by staff to confirm that the content and length requirements are met before being mailed.
  • Worship: Students are required to attend worship services each Sunday. During Basic Training, all students attend the Basic Training worship service. After Basic Training, students may either attend Campus Fellowship or one of the approved off-campus churches.
  • Version of the Bible: Instructors use a variety of versions at their discretion for teaching and discipleship, and men are welcome to bring the translation of their choice for personal study and devotions at any point in training. To allow the men to recite verses as a group, we use the KJV for memorization in Basic Training and 2nd Phase. In 3rd Phase, you may use other versions that have been approved for memorization by the SMaj. Department.
  • Music: We take a generally conservative approach to music with our men in training. Because of our Gospel focus, we evaluate Christian music based on theology and our statement of faith. We do not limit ourselves to hymns written in any particular time or era, but utilize songs that have good Christ-exalting messages. In addition, musical styles such as classical, big band, and many soundtracks are approved for listening in the dorm. All music is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the SMaj. Department, and we reserve the right to refuse any music, at any time, for any reason.
  • Movies: Occasionally, we show movies as a time for students to relax and unwind. In general, these movies are on the more conservative side, being careful about sensuality and language. That being said, we understand Christians hold widely differing standards when it comes to film convictions. Students are free to opt out of these events at their preference with no repercussions.
  • Tattoos: Tattoos are expected to be covered while in the ALERT uniform. Please bring a solid-colored arm, wrist, or leg guard with you to training. Unless the tattoo is deemed offensive by the SMaj. Department, tattoos are not required to be covered while in civilian clothing or while swimming. Tattoos that cannot be reasonably covered (on face, neck, hands, etc.) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and may, at ALERT’s discretion, exclude you from participation in our program.
  • Training Jurisdiction: While ALERT does wish to support the wishes of students and their parents, there are times when ALERT staff and a student or parent may disagree on what is best, either in a particular situation or in general. Students and parents must recognize that, if the differences are irreconcilable, the best course of action may be for a student to withdraw from training.

All standards, regulations, and the level of enforcement are subject to the discretion of the ALERT Commanding Officer.

Reasons for Discharge

There are several categories for early withdrawal from Basic Training: Medical Discharge, Performance Discharge, and Dishonorable Discharge.

Specifics for each of these categories are listed in the attached Promotion Standards document. 

Areas of concern would be:

  • If a recruit has fallen two or more weeks behind in scripture memory.
  • If the progress toward the minimum PT requirements is not sufficient to reach the standard by the end, based on a percentage of improvement.
  • Character deficiencies that are not being adequately addressed by the recruit.

Zero-Tolerance Policy

The International ALERT Academy expects all our staff, directors, contractors, volunteers, and students to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and holds a zero-tolerance policy regarding the following:

Zero-Tolerance Policy

This policy and reporting protocol is posted in all student living facilities and regulations manuals.

Admissions Office

Phone: 903-636-9500
Email: [email protected]


Tuition & Fees


Student Life