A Glimpse of Military Basic Training

Guest blog post by Daisha McDaniel



This Summer I’ve had the pleasure of joining the USAA team as a MBA intern, and let me tell you, life from the inside is pretty fascinating. Being someone with little military exposure, working with USAA has exposed me to what it means to be and service our military members. I’ve always had an appreciation for our service members, but actually seeing and hearing what they go through has increased my admiration. This past week is the perfect example of how the company provided Military Awareness to those who otherwise wouldn’t have known, through allowing employees to participate in Zero Day PT (ZDPT). I had the honor of doing media coverage for the event.


At the start of 0300, I found myself arising to get ready to report on one of the biggest employee events USAA has to offer. ZDPT, also known as Day 1 of Military Basic Training, has been a company tradition for the past 20 years. It is a unique opportunity for USAA veteran employees to help non-military employees understand what it means to serve. ZDPT is offered to bridge the gap for employees to share an experience that all military members go through, regardless of branch of service, or time served.


This year’s event consisted of 297 trainees and was led by Senior Drill Sergeant First Class Brian Parks and Air Force Major Meghan Anderson. Their goal was to challenge participants physically, mentally, and emotionally. The purpose of this event was to strip individual mindsets and teach others the value of learning the purpose of becoming part of a team. To learn more about this year’s event, please see photo’s below.



Trainees being greeted by Veteran employees at 0430.



Veteran employees checking to make sure everyone has the appropriate uniform.



USAA trainee proudly leading her platoon in fire drills.



Team performing overhead arm claps as a unit.



Drill Sergeant leading troops in boot camp training exercises.



USAA trainees learning the importance of doing everything as a team so they don’t get singled out.



Trainee getting a haircut, in order to look like the rest of his team.



Sergeant First Class Parks asking a trainee how he likes his new haircut.



Sergeant First Class Parks leading push up exercises with a trainee.



USAA veteran employee encouraging trainees to stay in sync.



Sergeant First Class Parks showcasing his excitement to be a part of such a wonderful event.



Air Force Major Anderson explaining the importance of ZDPT in the USAA Community.



A set of dog tags was given to employees upon completion of the event.


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About the blogger:

Daisha McDaniel is a USAA member and MBA summer intern with USAA assisting in the Marketing department. She is currently finishing her second year of graduate school at Howard University in Washington D.C. and is scheduled to graduate in May 2018 with her Master’s in Business Administration. For fun, Daisha enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and learning to cook new foods.