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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Favorite T.I. Games

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Staff Sergeant Robert George, a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, marches his flight following the issuance of uniforms and gear. Recruits are molded into warrior Airmen through a recently expanded Air Force Basic Military Training program.
US Air Force Public Affairs/Master Sergeant Cecilio Ricardo/Public Domain

With any luck, you'll have arrived at Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT) in the evening or the night, and this "first day" won't last very long. Depending on how much time the T.I. has to kill before lights out, you may wind up learning some fun new games like fire drill. This exciting leisure activity is a great time-killer. It involves testing your ability to quickly carry your bags (aren't you glad you packed light?) from the drill pad to your bunk, then quickly back down to the drill pad again, lining up in formation. (Remember who you were standing next to?).

When you are busy playing fire dril remember that I told you that every single person I've ever met who has been through basic training has wished that he/she packed LESS than what they did.

You may not play fire drill, as (from many reports), that game seems to have been replaced by a new game -- "Pick 'em up, and put 'em down." Speed is the "name of the game," and it seems that T.I.s are content to play this game with new recruits for hours and hours.

Another favorite game that T.I.'s like to play during that first meeting, is "Reporting Statement." This is where everyone gets to stand in formation, holding their civilian luggage, bellowing out the reporting statement, until everyone gets it right (to the T.I.'s satisfaction, not yours). " Sir, Ma'am, Trainee Jones Reports as Ordered! " It's common for new trainees to want to put sir or ma'am at the end of the reporting statement. Don't do this. The reporting statement is " Sir (or Ma'am), Trainee Jones Reports, as Ordered!, " not " Sir, Trainee Jones Reports as Ordered, Sir!, " nor is it " Trainee Jones Reports, as Ordered, Ma'am! " (Note: You are not yet an airman, you are a trainee.)

My good friend, Pete Tabury explains another favorite T.I. Game:

When the T.I. says follow me and takes off for the stairway to the dorms, don't not follow him running !!!! I was about the fourth person off the bus and the T.I. told people where to stand when they got off the bus. The first couple of guys, kinda stacked up with lost looks on thier faces. Having heard and understood the instructions by the T.I., I stepped to the front and directed the others to follow suit. When the T.I. came and asked me how the Hell I knew what I was doing, I blasted out my reporting statement and then explained that I was in the Police Explorers for three years and had knowledge of marching and formations! He was stunned, and told me that he may make me his dorm chief and I gave him a funny feeling in his groin! LOL

Of course this all fell by the wayside after he did the Pick them up and Put them down game. He looked at me and stated in column formation to follow him! He then bolted to the doorway and swung it open, since the bags were on the ground I was a couple of step behind. But I would be darned if I was gonna let him get out of my sight and I was right on his heels sprinting. As I was catching up to him, he was already bounding up the stairs, two and three at a time. I did the same and was closing the gap, that was until he hit the first landing, hit the brakes and did an about face! Now he was up about two feet taller than me as I was two steps lower than him and he was screaming in my face from above!

"CAN YOU READ?" he asked.

"Sir, Trainee Tabury reports as ordered, Yes Sir !" I replied.

He then pointed over his left shoulder to the yellow painted cinder block walls and asked me "Then what the Hell does that say?!!!" And in big black letters it said "Walk, Do Not Run, Use the Hand Rails!"

"Exactly," he replied, and for the next 6.5 weeks, everytime we went in and out of the dorms, I had to stand at the bottom of the stairs and say that phrase to each and every person that entered the dorm from our flight. I will never forget that phrase as long as I live!.

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