Massart Completes Army Basic Combat Training, First Step in Her Dream


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy senior Taylor Massart spent her summer in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for an Army Basic Combat Training. 

The training was ten weeks long and included rigorous training in physical fitness, rifle marksmanship, tactical skills and combat readiness. 

Massart said, “The typical day was waking up at 4:30 and doing two hours of physical training. Then we completed multiple training exercises throughout the rest of the day, which included either going to the shooting range or combat drills.”

She chose to do this because she has always had the urge to serve her country. 

“It felt like something I had to do,” she said.

Massart faced many challenges throughout her experience, including the lack of sleep and the biggest challenge being the forge. 

“The forge is the final aspect of training. It is four days long and includes hiking 40+ miles all done throughout the night,” she said. “Throughout the four days we had a total of six hours of sleep. We also had to complete a night infiltration course and marksmanship course as well as three challenging obstacle courses. After completion of the forge, we had the soldier ceremony.”

Throughout the experience Massart met many people from all over the world. 

“I met people from Africa, England, China and people from almost every state,”she said.

Massart made a few really close friends that she believes will be in her life forever.

 “Everyone had to have a battle buddy that we had to protect,” she said. “Mine quickly became one of my closest friends.”

The scariest experience Massart faced was the gas chamber and the first three days she was there. 

“The gas chamber entailed us going into a gas chamber that was filled with tear gas and taking off our gas masks. It burned our skin so bad,” she said. “The first three days we were there was called a ‘shark attack.’ The drill sergeants basically just try to shock your system and scare you. They were constantly screaming and yelling in our face.”

The most rewarding experience was the completion of the forge and the soldier ceremony. 

Massart said, “The drill sergeants inspired every single one of us everyday to do our best, and they were so tough on us that it felt so good to see how proud they were of us.”

She hopes to complete college, go to airborne school, the Military Medical school and then become an Army doctor.