Happy Monday. Welcome to the Knowledge Issue Point.
I don't care if you can stand at the position of attention, walk in a straight line, shine your boots, or salute. (It's nice, in some settings, moderately helpful with gaggles of dazed newbs for getting them from Point A to Point B without getting run over by traffic, and it does teach maggots discipline and attention to detail, but intrinsically, it's window dressing. If you can't pay attention without someone screaming in your ear, wear clean clothes, feed yourself, and wash your nasty @$$ without someone making you do it, nothing I write here will help you. Ever.)
Neither do I, at this moment, care to impart one single whit of martial history, customs of the service, military ranks, or other arcana. Nor cover a host of PC SJW happy horseshit we currently drop around our current services' recruits' necks, like a boat anchor to a drowning man.
Because the best discipline, the kind that matters, is self-discipline.
If you can master that, grab a bucket, or a thumb drive, proceed to the Issue Point, and draw your Knowledge ration for the next phase of training.
Books are our friends. I know this because someone told me that when I was about three years old, and it's stuck like glue to me to good effect ever since. The books below will get you through tough times, and may very well save your life, and not by stopping a bullet when you carry one of them in your shirt pocket. Until you manage to move The Knowledge below from your computer to your brain housing group, and then become able to muster it to your feet and fingertips like a frickin' Jedi master, it's just random electrons.
It's up to you to make it transition from thumb drive to brains to fingers.
These will not teach you everything (though it may feel like it sometimes), and in many cases they'll give you tons more than you need to know, including about a lot of stuff you don't need to know, strictly speaking.
But they contain most of what you do need, and give you room to grow, should you choose (or be forced to by necessity), beyond the bare basics.
Additional references, from a variety of sources, will follow as necessary, but this basic ration contains 99% of everything to be covered in the notional two-week period I outlined yesterday, and in fact contains about the same percentage (and much more beyond that) of what every recruit gets in the Army or Marine Corps in several weeks to months of Basic training.
People who get to some level of Jedi mastery of it are what the military calls sergeants, chief petty officers, and officers, which is not anything to ever be ashamed of.
Using these below, I'll point to specific chapters, sections, pages, etc. as I break it down into bite-sized chunks.
All of these links are active as of today, and since they only cost electrons, you'd be a fool not to download them, and put them on flash drives, at a minimum. Some/most of them can be purchased in dead-tree format from the GPO, many have been bootlegged as-is and sold by other companies over the counter at brick-and-mortar bookstores, and on Amazon, and you can also take your flash drive stick to Fed-Ex/Kinko's to burn your own copies, and it's completely legal. Hell, you paid for this stuff with your taxes.
But for one example, the current survival manual below is over 600 pages. That's $24 or more at the copy center, by itself. (But if I could take just one book into the wilderness with me in a gallon-sized ziplok baggie...)
If you find current copies of any of these at gun shows and swap meets, and for a reasonable price, I'd grab them.
Older versions, anything from about 1980 onwards, are generally worth the trouble as well.
But with this link list, you can get your hands on them for mouseclicks, plus the bandwidth and time.
And you should.
Someone forward-thinking might want to put the lot of them on flash drives, to have them handy to hand out to like-minded individuals, if they thought they might need others to have them in hand on some future day.
And yet again, getting the book, or even memorizing it, won't make you an expert. You need real-world application. But this is where you get the knowledge to apply in the first place.
FM 21-20 Physical Fitness Training (1998)
You can also use the following for the most current manual, but the download was horrendously slow:
FM 7-22 Army Physical Readiness Training (October 2012)
FM 21-18 Foot Marches (April 2017)
FM 4-25.11 First Aid (December 2002)
Tactical Combat Casualty Care (December 2017)
DD Form 1380 - TCCC casualty card (June 2014)
FM 23-9 Rifle Marksmanship M-16A1/2/3/4/M4 (April 2003)
MCRP 3-01A USMC Rifle Marksmanship (October 2012) - thanks Badger!
MCRP 8-10.3 Pistol Marksmanship M9 (January 2016)
FM 3-25.26 Map Reading and Land Navigation (January 2005)
FM 21-75 Soldier Combat Skills (January 2008)
FM 21-76 Survival (May 2002)
Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks Level 1 (June 2009)
Every single task for every soldier Army-wide, broken down to the individual steps.
FM 24-19 Radio Operators Handbook (May 1991)
FM 7-8 Infantry Platoon and Squad (April 2016)
Two additional recommendations that are always worth the getting are
1) The Guidebook For Marines, which is privately published, not available anywhere as a pdf, and distills yards of Army field manuals down to the quick-and-dirty essentials.
2) TC 3-21.76 Ranger Handbook (April 2017) which, being an official DA pub, is available at the link as a free pdf, and does a great distillation of things for the Army's best infantry experts.
Note that recently the Army, in its institutional wisdom, elected to change the field manual (FM) numbering system that had sufficed from about 1920-2010 or so, just to make things more complicated. I've used the older version for most of the above, but as the references are all recent, most if not all of them have the current numbering system on the first page. I also provided dates, because that's how they change editions.
For instance, I have multiple copies of FM 5-15, Field Fortification, dating from roughly 1920, 1940, 1955, 1968, and 1980. Why? Because, for instance, the 1920 edition was chock full of detailed drawings on how to construct a chemical-war-proof subterranean field battalion HQ and hospital capable of sustaining prolonged shelling from anything up to the size shell of German railroad artillery, using nothing more complex than sandbags and timbers up to 8"x8". Like they built along 400 miles of WWI trenches.
But after nuclear weapons became a thing, and trench warfare went away, that wasn't seen as quite as important, so it's not in the 1968 or 1980 editions.
So what? Well, imagine you're in Bosnia next year, and the Serbs don't have nukes, but they damned sure might want to shell the shit out of your town or village all day long with conventional artillery, and suddenly, those 90-year-old underground casualty station/field hospital drawings might come in pretty damned handy.
By the same token, you aren't likely to ever need to field-strip an M2 Browning MG, and you aren't likely to use a grenade launcher or Claymore mine. But you damned sure may be faced by someone who has them, and it would be a good idea to be able to recognize them, and know how far they're effective, and how much of what building material you'd need to build something of in order to be safe from the effects of one. That's the kind of extra info in many of the above references on which it would be a good idea to have a nodding familiarity, at some point.
Real-life cases in point: The Mexican military deploys the G3 rifle; the near world-standard FN MAG GPMG (that's the M240 to us), and the same M2 .50 BMG we've used since WWI. So, when one of them falls into your hands someday, or one is mounted atop an HMMWV or cartel "technical" at the border (by which I mean anywhere between, say, two miles south of the dotted line of the actual border all the way north to US I-8, which could actually be 50-100 miles north of the dotted line), it's a little late to wonder whether you're in range, what you need to hide behind to be safe from it/them, or how to utilize (or disable) one that...somehow...comes into your possession, and crack the book open and freshen up on the details on the spot. (Ask me how I know this.)
Any knowledge is better than no knowledge, but there will always be another thing to learn.
And what's in your library may someday be all the reference collection you're ever going to have, for either short- or long-term.