The Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
The Delayed Entry Program is a program where you can enlist now and a place will be reserved for your training, up to a year. I think these days, most recruits are in the program. In this timeframe you can finish your education, get ready for basic training or work on your first promotion. AR 601-95 is the Army regulation that covers this program. It covers all the policies and procedures of managine DEP enlistees from the time of enlistment until you enter the regular Army or get to your Reserve or Guard unit. Some sections you may be interested in include awards and incentives, the correspondence course program, pre-basic training tasks, prohibited activities, and the procedures for cancellation and request for discharge procedures.
This is a great program if you want a somewhat "gentle" introduction to the military. Plus, especially if you are still in school, there are some things you can take care of before you go. Many recruiters run programs where you can come in and do PT with them, plus some have picnics and gatherings also. The best part is that you can work early for your first promotion (which will take place before you even ship out), if you complete the program. You can learn a lot of the concepts you will be learning in basic training, making it that much less stressful.
Lately I have received a few questions on how to get an official ID Card before shipping off to training. I don't personally know the specifics, but I did find a reference to a memo: "Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and Reservists awaiting Initial Active Duty Training will not be eligible for an ID card until entry onto active duty for initial training (Memo, ASD/FMP, Jan 12, 97, Subject: Policy for Identification of Delayed Entry Personnel (DEP) When Using MWR Activities and Armed Services Exchange Operations". I take this to mean that a DEPer cannot enter a military post and use any of the facilities unless they are accompanied by an ID card holder. I have had a few DEPers tell me that once they got on post and went to the ID Card Facility, they had no trouble getting one issued that would allow them free access to everything on post.
This site is run by the Recruiting Command. Good place to learn everything you can about the DEP Program. It has a lot of links into the Go Army site, but it also has info on how to sign up for correspondence courses, your pre-basic task list and a host of other pertinent info.
From the website - "The 'DEP Contact Sheet' has been set up as a place to find other people that might be, or have already trained at certain places. Intended to hopefully help enlistees find questions to some answers, this site will allow users to search, and sign their own email address and information about where they will be training, or have already trained. "
This site was set up by a DEPer for his recruiter. Lots of good info that every DEPer should know, plus some fun stuff to keep you busy before you ship.