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Things to Consider When Deciding Whether to Join The Air Force

Basic Training


Air Force Training
US Air Force/Flickr

The Air Force only has one location for enlisted basic training : the 737th Training Group, at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas. It doesn't matter if you're joining the active duty Air Force, the Air Force Reserves, or the Air National Guard. All new Air Force recruits go through the same basic training at Lackland. Each year, over 35,000 new recruits go through Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT).

Air Force basic used to be 6 1/2 weeks long, but this was changed to 8 1/2 weeks in November 2008. The new AFBMT is not only designed to teach the fundamentals of military life, but also places great emphasis on the Air Force Expeditionary Force (AEF) deployment cycle, which consists of pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment phases. The major event at AFBMT is now " The BEAST," which simulates a week-long combat deployment.

When you first arrive at AFBMT, you'll undergo an initial physical fitness assessment. You're not required to pass the initial test, it merely gives you, and your Military Training Instructor (MTI) an idea of how you stand. However, if you fail to meet the below standards, you can expect some extra attention from your MTI, as well as extra PT time to make sure you can pass the final fitness test. The initial fitness assessment standards are:


2 mile run: 19:16
1.5 mile run: 13:45
Push-Ups: 34
Sit-Ups: 38


2 mile run: 22:43
1.5 mile run: 16:01
Push-Ups: 21
Sit-Ups: 38

In order to graduate from Air Force basic training, you'll need to pass the final fitness test:


1.5 mile run: 11:57
Push-Ups (1 minute): 45
Sit-Ups (1 minute): 50


1.5 mile run: 14:21
Push-Ups (1 minute): 27
Sit-Ups (1 minute): 50

The Air Force does not grant leave (vacation) immediately after basic training. When you graduate from Air Force basic, you'll proceed to your Air Force technical school. Your first leave will be when you graduate from technical school, or around 10 days during the Christmas period, whichever happens first.

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