Basic training question

During basic training, is a recruit allowed at night to get out of bed to use the latrine/head?

Yes we were, 36 years ago at MCRD San Diego. If you had to go, you went.

But we were young and strong back then. Hardly any of us needed to go.

And, I imagine, beyond exhausted.

Sure (23 years ago, Tel-Arad). It’s the one who were to tired or lazy to go out we had to worry about - the guys who would piss in bottles*. Ugh.

  • Or, in one memorable case, the asshole who would piss down the tube of an unloaded RPG-7 shoved out a tent flap.

In the US Army, yes. Though sometimes it is necessary to set a time until which they cannot get out of bed. This is to force an actual “lights out, go to sleep!”. Sometimes, depending on what is going on the next day, the soldiers will want to work on things at night to be better prepared for the next day. More tired, sure, but better prepared. But a drill sergeant could possibly lose his job if the soldiers are working past 2100 when they are supposed to be getting mandatory sleep. Better not let a COL drive by and see lights on through the window after 2100. You’re fucked. Plus, there could be a lot of movement and commotion going on past lights out if there wasn’t a rule forcing the soldiers to stay in their beds.
So, trips to the latrine might be prohibited from 2100 until midnight, or something like that. It’s not imposed to actually restrict latrine trips. That is just the second order effect. The rule will simply be to be in the bunk, and not get out of it. That way, they shut the hell up and go to bed. It also forces them to sleep, which surprisingly is often necessary. If they want to wake up early and work on stuff, that’s on them of course, but they better not turn any lights on.

We did this for a few days in AF Basic in 1991. The door guard would wake everyone about 1/2 hour before reveille so we could start making beds and what not. Until the TI caught wind one day and chewed everyone out - put an end to that.

And yes, we were allowed to get up and use the bathroom at night.

In Navy Officer Candidate School in 2002, yes. I seriously doubt the answer would be “no” anywhere, since that would just be a recipe for pee bottles or worse.