USAA employees find out what it’s like to be in military by taking part in basic training

More than 500 employees woke up before sunrise Friday for 33rd Zero Day PT event

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of USAA employees moved from their desks to active duty for a day, living the life of a military recruit and taking part in some basic training.

The 33rd Zero Day PT event took place early Friday, on the main USAA campus.

A press release states Zero Day PT is designed for employees to put themselves in the place of those who they serve as they do their jobs, by being put through the paces of a simulated first day of basic training.

The drills are the culmination of weeks of preparation, as many if not all of the employees took part in both extensive training and safety briefings.

The event was created by a group of USAA employees 15 years ago and since then more than 5,500 employees have participated.

“They just have to understand what our military members go through and then it helps them understand, so they can serve our members better,” Mike Kelly, USAA’s assistant vice president of Military Affairs, said.

Those who took part in the drills received military dog tags to show they made it through the event.

And not only is the event about personal success, but USAA said Zero Day PT raised money for others.

USAA is contributing more than $12,000 on behalf of the participants, to the Face the Fight coalition to raise both awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention.

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.