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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Open House

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

After the Graduation Parade, recruits can show off their living space during "open house." This is known as the "payback period."

Copyright Rod Powers

Right after the Air Force basic training parade, and until about 1300 (1:00 PM), there is an "open house" held in the dormitories. This period is referred to (by the basic training staff) as the "payback" period. This is where your loved ones can see where you actually lived, and can see with their own eyes that it was possible to teach you how to make a bed and fold clothes. This is also a chance for your loved ones you to meet and talk with your T.I.s.

You may wish to warn your loved one that your T.I. doesn't have a sense of humor, considering you still have to live with him/her for another couple of days. During my twin daughters' basic training graduation, before walking over to the dorm, one of my daughters begged me, "Please, Dad, don't make any jokes, okay? Our T.I. DOES NOT have a sense of humor." Luckily for her, the bay she lived in was on the top (3rd) floor, up five flights of stairs. Upon reaching the top level, I couldn't even breath, let alone attempt to be funny. I think they build dormitory floors higher than when I went through basic.

The visit to the dorm reinforce that even though you have gone through the graduation ceremony, you are still in basic training, and will be until you outprocess on Monday. When we left the bay and went back down the flight of stairs (much easier going down, I think the exercise of going up got me a little bit back into shape), there was a T.I. waiting there, sending recruits back up to fix their "scuffed shoes." My daughters noticed this before we even left the doorway of the building, and scurried back up the stairs without being told (they learned much during their stay at basic).

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