Here’s the one thing your Army recruiter never tells you before you ship off to basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia: It doesn’t start immediately. There’s this thing called the 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion, which you must suffer through before actual training begins, and it’s fucking awful.

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Tired, nervous, and not totally sure what to expect, you arrive at Fort Benning on a bus from the Atlanta airport, and then, boom, you’re doing mountain climbers while a pack of rabid drill sergeants scream in your face. Imagine the first day of high school, but instead of fretting over whether you should sit next to the cute girl in math class, you’re debating whether or not you should make a break for the wood line and never stop running until you cross the border into Mexico. Then you spend the next week falling asleep in formation, getting smoked, and trying to figure out how to stand at parade rest. It’s like hell, but with less sleep and more heat casualties.

Looking back at all of the crazy experiences I had in the Army, 30th AG is still the one that makes me shudder most. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but, really, it sucks. Here are eight depressing photos of new recruits being miserable at 30th AG that help explain why.

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