Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions regarding Extreme Military Challenge! We HIGHLY recommend that you review our Admissions Guide for more detailed information about our programs. Information for those already registered can be found in the Parents Guide sent upon enrollment.
Is this camp for "at risk" or "troubled" youth?
Absolutely not! All Cadets and recruits must be currently crime-free, drug-free and have the desire to do well in school. We do not accept young people who are court-ordered, sent against their will, etc. Minor school discipline issues will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Every participant must be at camp because they want to be there.
How are you different than other military summer camps?
The basic military information taught is very often the same. Marching is marching. The Field is the field. The real differences come with the staff, facilities and the environment. Visit our Benefits page for what sets us apart. We are confident no other program in the nation compares to Extreme Military Challenge!
Is this progam part of the Army?
No. Extreme Military Challenge! is owned and operated by Liberty Communications, LLC and has no affiliation with the United States Army.
Will my child be "pushed" towards the military?
We are a career exploration program. Our Cadets are provided a realistic exposure to the military environment, allowing them to make an educated decision on the possibility of service in uniform later in life. We are not recruiters and simply provide honest answers regarding military service, based on real-world experience. A summer with us will help any teenager be more confident, motivated and self-aware regardless of future plans.
My daughter is only 13. Is she too young?
Age is not really a factor. Some 13-year-olds have the "Fire in the Gut" and motivation to excel far better than older recruits and Cadets. It really the drive and attitude of the individual which determines success or failure. Incidently, young ladies have historically done extremely well during training.
How realistic is this program?
The program is extremely challenging. The days are long, tiring and exciting, much like life in the Army's Basic Combat Training. With that said, we work with teens, and we are very aware of that. Most of our staff started as Cadets. Therefore, we maintain a delicate balance of maintaining a realistic military environment, while always remembering that our real mission is to develop leadership and self-confidence in young people while keeping safety as our primary concern at all times.
Do you have payment plans?
Yes. We have made enrollment simple and automated. Go to our registration page for payment options, which are automatically charged to your debit or credit card.
Do Cadets wear a uniform?
Yes. XMC personnel - both Cadets and Cadre - wear a specially-modified uniform with distinct insignia which makes it clear that the wearer is not a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Uniforms are issued to each recruit and are their property to take home upon graduation.
What are the qualifications of your staff?
Simply put...when it comes to training Cadets, the XMC cadre has just about done it all!
Our primary cadre has over 200 combined years of working with Cadets, both locally and nationally. Many are former Cadets who later served in the military, representing nearly all branches of the Armed Forces. We have business professionals, combat veterans, educators and law enforcement personnel represented in our ranks. The staff is motivated and experienced, providing an exceptional summer camp for young people.
We are proud to have trained Cadets in programs across the nation. More importantly, we love doing it! Our cadre has attended and led military summer training programs for several years, with some having as many as 25+ years experience operating various camps. This experience provides a special insight to the unique leadership style required when working with young adults.
Every member of the cadre undergoes a comprehensive background check, is screened to ensure suitability to work with young people, and attends detailed training on the protection of youth. Each staff member is hand-picked, based on their experience, qualifications, suitability to work with young people, and the personal example they will set for each Cadet.
Are there medical restrictions?
XMC is a high-adventure program, meaning that each Cadet must be up to the task. Each Cadet and recruit must complete a "Sports Physical," within 60 days of starting camp, validating that they can fully participate in a very physical and challenging environment. The necessary forms will be posted by April 1st.
Many young people are on prescription medications, for a variety of reasons. Our preference is for each Cadet and recruit to not have such a requirement. We've learned that's simply not always possible.
Thus, all medications must be approved in advance through the admissions process. Many are easily approved (common meds for ADHD, for example). What we cannot approve are those psychotropic medications which are so mind-altering that they could put the young person, as well as those around them, at risk. We deal with these applicants on a case-by-case basis.
While some medications can be disqualifying, it is vitally important that parents/guardians divulge ALL required medications or other physical ailments. Frankly, we would rather disappiont a young person by disqualifying them for XMC, than to put them at risk by having them participate in a program that is more than they are capable of.
A qualified medical professional will conduct "Med Call" each day, as required. Each Cadet or recruit who needs medication is assessed a small weekly surcharge as part of the enrollment process to pay for this service.
What about texting, email and Facebook?
LOL! Ur jokn rht? (We couldn't resist!)
Cadets and recruits are required to turn in their cell phones upon arrival and will receive them back on graduation day. They will not have access to telephones, text, email or Facebook while in training.
Each Cadet or recruit who is not dropped off by their parent will make a "Safe Arrival Call" on Receiving Day. They will also make a phone call home on the Thursday evening prior to graduation fro each course.
Receiving mail during "Mail Call" is a vital part of the summer training experience. Your Cadet or recruit will greatly appreciate each and every letter sent.
Can I visit my Cadet/recruit?
Each Friday evening, the night prior to a graduation ceremony, we will conduct a "Friends and Family Night."
You will be invited to join us for Retreat (lowing the American Flag), followed by a multi-media presentation. After the presentation, you will be able to spend time with your Cadet/recruit as they show you around the facilities. You will get to see the Dining Faciity (DFAC), gym and chapel, as well as several others areas of the campus. Please know in advance that you will not be able to go into the Cadet barracks. This is to ensure the privacy of the Cadets, as well as compiance with our Cadet protection standards.
Immediate family members, who are active, reserve or retired from the Armed Forces, may visit during the training week, provided they are pre-approved by the Commander. In this circumstance, the family member is expected to be in uniform while visiting and will be a guest of the command. In most cases, they will be asked to address the Cadets/recruits regarding their military experience.
What is included in the XMC Registration Fee?
Enrollment fees include all training, meals, lodging, local transportation to training facilities, curriculum and uniforms. The enrollment fee also includes the coveted XMC Challenge Coin which can only be acquired by earning it upon completion of Cadet Basic Training.
Each Cadet will receive a basic inventory of uniforms (hat, blouse trousers, boots, socks, belt, shorts and T-shirts) upon arrival. XMC does not issue personal hygiene items, undergarments, gym shoes, etc.
Registration fees do not include transportation from your home to camp, medical fees or photographs.
Do you have scholarships available?
Unfortunately, we do not. Liberty Communications, LLC is a family-owned business which operates the camps. We do not have funds available to provide scholarships to young people attending our programs.
We do offer various discounts and incentives throughout the year for early enrollments, multiple enrollments, and for the children of active duty, reserve and retired military personnel.
Young people who wish to attend XMC programs, yet need financial assistance, may want to reach out to miitary-oriented organizations like the American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Veterans of Foreign Wars. These organizations will often support a young person who has a strong desire to understand the military lifestyle.
Are you affiliated with any other programs?
Liberty Communications, LLC owns and operates Extreme Military Challenge! We are not affiliated with, nor subordinate to, any other organization. Because we are not aligned to a particular program, young people from various military career exploration programs, such as JROTC, Exploring, etc. can attend.
What airport, train station or bus terminal do you pick up from?
Most Cadets and recruits will either drive directly to Camp or will fly into the Birmingham International Airport. Prior arrangements for ground transportation are required.
My son is interested in going to West Point/U.S. Naval Academy. Will this program help him?
While our structure is based on the U.S. Army, our programs are designed to provide a realsitic view of the overall military culture. We provide an insight to career options in all branches of the Armed Forces, as well as the non-military uniformed services, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We provide information on academic options through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the various federal and state military academies, and the variety of enlisted career options. Cadets also learn of the value of local community service, without pursuing military options. While your son won't specifically learn seamanship skills, he will understand the basic culture and history of the Naval Service and much more.
I'm concerned about the physical fitness standards. How hard are they?
Our physical fitness standards are based on those of the U.S. Army. For some young people, the physical fitness standards will be very easy to achieve. For others, the Physical Fitness Test, conducted at least once weekly, will be very challenging and difficult.
There are three events which are measured: push-ups, sit-ups, and a timed two-mile run. Cadets and recruits are required to score a minimum of 50 points per event in order to graduate Cadet Basic Training for a total minimum score of 150.
Recruits must have a score of 180 to enter the Recruit to Ranger (R2R) program on Training Day 7 (one week from Receiving Day) and must have a score of 250 on the final Friday to graduate from R2R.
Do not worry if you cannot meet the standard now. You will work daily, along with your "Battle Buddies," to achieve your goals!
If you are concerned about the physical fitness test we recommend also enrolling into the Cadet Military Fitness Challenge course to help prep for the PT test.
What does a Recruit or Cadet wear on Receiving Day?
The official arrival uniform for Receiving Day is a black polo shirt, khaki trousers, belt and either tan combat boots (Cadets only) or gym shoes (recruits or Cadets). Go to this page for details and examples.
Does my son/daughter need a haircut before arriving?
No. All male participants will receive a haircut on Arrival Day. This is not optional. If a medical concern exists in regards to a haircut please contact the Admissions Office at 855-962-2267 to discuss with an Admissions Officer. Females are not required to have their hair cut, but most bring what will be needed to keep hair at or above collar-length while in uniform.