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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Dormitories

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

The Inside of a Dormitory at Air Force Basic Training.

Copyright Rod Powers

The Army and Marines call them "barracks." The Navy calls them "ships." In the Air Force, your sleeping quarters in Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT) are called "dormitories," (or "dorms" for short). Don't let the name fool you, and don't confuse this with college campus dormitories. In Air Force basic training, like the other services, the "dorms" are large rooms with a whole bunch of bunks and lockers in them.

The dorms are housed in large buildings. Most of these dorms were constructed in the mid-70s. When I went through Air Force basic training in 1976, my flight spend half of our training in World War II quonset huts, and then moved to our brand new dormitory which had just opened (the current dormitories).

While these buildings are now more than 40 years old, they are very, very, very clean. Why not? They've had years and years of recruits going through who have spent a substantial number of hours keeping them that way. Most dormitory buildings are three stories tall. The drill pad, chow hall, laundry, and administrative offices are located on the first floor, and the dorm bays are located on the second and third floors.

Each dorm consists of two bays (two very large rooms), with bunks and lockers aligned along two walls. The dorm also has an office for the staff, a large bathroom/shower (called a "latrine"), and a dayroom. Don't get excited about the dayroom. You don't get to spend any time relaxing in it. It's used by the T.I. for flight events, such as training demonstration, and during mail-call.

You and your flight-mates will keep the dorm spotless at all times. Each morning, you'll make your bunks the "military way," using hospital corners (see Advanced Study ). Your shoes will be shined and aligned under your bunk, and your drawers and lockers will have everything placed in them just right.

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