Are You Smarter Than a US Army Soldier?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: fstop123/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

It takes nerves of steel survive a firefight in a war zone. It also takes fundamental knowledge of Army procedures, command structure, communication, marching practice and a whole lot of other skills that civilians never stop to consider. In the United States Armed Forces, Army troops have to absorb and remember a multitude of critical details while enemy soldiers are frantically trying to kill them. In this hardcore quiz, do you think you’re smarter than an average U.S. soldier?

Green recruits start their Army careers in basic training, or boot camp. There, they get a taste of the physical, mental and emotional conditioning they need to set aside their primal fears and carry assault rifles into a frenzied combat zone. Without a basic grasp of troop formations, line of fire and coordination, chaos ensues … and people die. Do you think you know enough about the Army to make it through even one week of basic training, much less a full-scale offensive?

Soldiers need to know how to break down, clean and reassemble their weapons in a hurry. They must understand their basic caloric intake in order to fuel themselves for battle. They have to realize how critical it is to follow orders under fire, otherwise their entire mission may be jeopardized.

Let’s see if you’re cut out to be a U.S. Army soldier. Take aim at this Army quiz now!

Which of the following ranks is the highest?

Generals are the top dogs in the Army. And five-star generals are more powerful than those with say, one or two stars.


How do soldiers receive their daily duties?

Army general orders provide a list of duties for soldiers on a day-to-day basis. Soldiers are expected to follow their orders in a timely and professional manner.


At 1900 hours, what time is it?

The military uses military time. At 1900 hours, it's 7 p.m.


"Buddy teams" are a fundamental concept of ____.

During basic training, soldiers are paired off into so-called buddy teams. The idea is that the recruits learn to look out for each other at all times.


Which of the following units is largest?

A brigade may have anywhere from 1,000 to more than 5,000 troops. Battalions typically top out at around 800, and platoons, 45.


Which of the following is NOT one of the official Army values?

There are seven official Army values, indicated by the acronym "LDRSHIP." It stands for Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.


Which officer would likely be in charge of a platoon?

By the time an officer reaches lieutenant, he has a lot of responsibility. He may be in charge of a platoon, which can consist of nearly 50 men.


If your superior officer tells you to "double time," what do you have to do?

In military parlance, "double time" is a high-speed cadence. It means you need to pick up your feet and start running, at 180 steps per minute.


In the military's phonetic alphabet, what word is used for the letter "O"?

The phonetic alphabet makes it easier to understand words over (often crackly) radio transmissions. "Oscar" is used for the letter O.


What do soldiers do at APFT?

The APFT is the United States Army Physical Fitness Test. Every soldier must meet the minimum requirements of the test, which measures their strength, cardio fitness and more.


The "chain of _____" is how orders are passed from generals to privates.

The chain of command refers to the succession of commanders in the military. Orders are passed from commanders to lower-ranking officers, down to the guys who risk their necks in combat.


What does BCT stand for?

BCT stands for Basic Combat Training. All soldiers must pass BCT before moving on to more advanced training.


Who is in charge of basic combat training for new recruits?

They are loved and loathed, and mostly the latter -- drill sergeants are the guys in charge of whipping new recruits into shape during BCT. They yell a lot.


In the military's phonetic alphabet, which word represents the letter "T"?

In the phonetic alphabet, "Tango" is used for the letter "T." Because "Tango" is much easier to understand in the heat of battle.


What's the effective firing range of an M16 rifle?

The M16 has an effective firing range of about 600 yards. But that's only if you're not wheezing from running through a dark and terrifying jungle war zone.


What is an "MOS"?

MOS refers to Military Occupational Specialty. Is the specific set of skills training that a soldier receives after basic training.


What time is it at 0200 hours?

Even soldiers are sleeping at 0200. Or least, they hope they're sleeping at 2 a.m. instead of hauling rucksacks up the side of a mountain.


What body part is essential during a high crawl on a battlefield?

During a high crawl, a soldier cradles his rifle and uses his elbows to drag himself across a battlefield. It's a vital skill when the bullets are flying.


What do soldiers learn at BRM?

BRM stands for basic rifle marksmanship. If you can't hit the side of a barn with your M16, you're on mess hall duty.


How should you cross a wire obstacle on battlefield?

Sharp or barbed wire is common on battlefields. Troops should lay on their backs and use their heels to push themselves forward under the wire. That, or run the other direction screaming at the top of their lungs.


What's the purpose of bangalore torpedoes?

Ofter called "bangers," bangalore torpedoes are explosive charges delivered by portable tubes. Troops can use bangers to clear barbed wire or other battlefield obstacles.


What is the Army's motto?

The U.S. Army is meant to defend national interest at any cost. "This We'll Defend" is the Army's official motto.


What is AIT?

After basic training, soliders move on to AIT, or Advanced Individual Training. There they learn specific skills that suit their particular aptitudes, so keep that mop handy, Billy Bob.


What happens during the infamous Red Phase of basic combat training?

In the Red Phase of BCT, troops are under total control of their drill sergeants. Every tiny infraction (real or perceived) is harshly punished.


Which word does the Army use for "W" in its phonetic alphabet?

For radio communications, soldiers denote "W" with the word "whiskey." It's also what they drink once the battle's over.


What is midnight in military time?

Military time is meant to be ultra-precise. But when it comes to midnight, you can use either 0000 or 2400 hours.


What happen during an Entry Level Separation?

During basic training, an Entry Level Separation, or ELS, happens only in extreme circumstances. It's when recruits can't cut it as soldiers, perhaps due to physical or mental limitations.


If a drill sergeant yells a question at you during basic training, how do you respond?

In basic training, recruits are the lowest rungs on the ladder. They must respond with extreme respect, such as "Yes, drill sergeant!"


What skills do soldiers hone during the fourth week of basic combat training?

After weeks of doing nothing but running and learning, in week four of BCT, soldiers take up weapons. Week four is for marksmanship.


A company contains _____ platoons.

Companies are one unit size larger than platoons, containing anywhere from two to four platoons. Battalions contain two to five companies.


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