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Readers Respond: Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Responses: 139


Classroom training Tip

At the begining of BMT you will be issued a bottle of hand sanitizer, KEEP THE BOTTLE!!! for one the TIs love to check you for it, and if you dont have it you will have to give up a 341. But the best uses for it (other than the perscribed use of cleaning your hands) while you're in class and you start doing the "chicken head", squeeze some hand sanitizer in your hands (about the size of a quarter) rub your hands together real quick then rub both hands on your face, avoiding your eyes and lips. The burning sensation you feel will help you stay awake, the it will turn cool and that will help too.
—Guest SFS SrA


I will be joining up with the air force some time this summer. I have spoken with my recruiter, and I am excited yet anxious. Reading this doesn't make it seem any less difficult, but at least I won't be diving blindly into it. I have at least now a pretty good understanding about what will happen. Now its just a matter of getting through it. Great articles and alot of helpful information. I like how you included feedback from others as well therefore opening up to other views as well. Good on you for putting this up!
—Guest Brandon

Frame of choice

You do not get frame of choice when going through BMT. You get a pair of black glasses. Source: went through BMT in November 2012.
—Guest Max

Gas chamber not one time requirement

Us military.about is usually spot one, so I just wanted clarify, that the gas chamber is not a one time deal. You will get this training multiple times throughout your career.
—Guest Sarah

Gas chamber not one time requirement

Us military.about is usually spot one, so I just wanted clarify, that the gas chamber is not a one time deal. You will get this training multiple times throughout your career.
—Guest Sarah


Went through Lackland Aug. 1968. Not to bad. Commitment is the goal. think only about what you're supposed to be doing, give it 100% and you will be fine. Made E-5 in 3.5 years and wish I had stayed in. Ah, but that's another story.
—Guest Jim Franklin

Graduation this weekend!

I'll be heading to San Antonio tomorow (2/27) to see my son graduate from Air Force Basic Training! I just want to thank Rod Powers for this helpful and informative website. My son and I found it invaluable before he left, and I confess I've checked it several times while he's been gone, to read up on what he's doing each week. Thank you, Mr. Powers! Go, Air Force!
—Guest SheriCS

Qualification in Basic

1973 Basic training, wetfire only missed 3 rounds. Put in Augumentee Police service but no ribbon citation or medal, just another job. Got to practice M-16 every month though. When did the medals in basic start in the USAF, like I said went in service 1973 and never heard of it. Was it up to the T.I. to apply because on the march back to barracks he made a big deal of my shooting. Remember 1970's, one time had to go to gate with empty M-16 for protest control, that was something else. Welding weapons though empty against U.S. Citizens. Empty M-16's to hi-powered deadly drones. WOW.
—Guest Larry


I leave for basic in one week, and I'm nervous and excited! I kinda wonder if they'll make fun of me for my long blonde hair or anything. Other than that, I've spent several hours reading over things, and I think I can handle it pretty good. I guess I'm just nervous and curious.
—Guest Sydney


My boyfriend has been gone less than a week at BMT, and I want to make sure he has a letter from me for christmas. I don't know if I am going to find out his address before then. Is there anyway I can find out his address?
—Guest trainee'sgf


I 1965 and spent 8 weeks at Lackland. Seems I had some difficulties. Looking back, I can say I enjoyed the time there. I would love to spend a day or two observing basic training now and compare how it is to how it was in 1965. Two things I know that have changed is weapons training and pay. I believe I recieved about two days traning which consisted of how to tear down and reassemble an M1 carbine and the rifle range. As I recall, an E-1 was then paid around $80.00 a month. Then againe everything else is provided. I would do it all over again if allowed. Sadly, 65 years are not allowed. Air Force is the best. Go Air Force.

Finances during bmt

While in bmt will you get paid??...I've been doing some research & want 2 make sure my family is okay???
—Guest vfaulkner


Question, my son just started WOT 5 today. He has not made is minimum sit ups of 42 yet. He's petrified of being recycled. Any suggestions.
—Guest mumzie565

Here we go...

I'm actually sitting in meps now! I am in the Air Force, and will be getting on the bus to head to Lackland in about 3 hours. I'm not so much nervous about BMT itself, I'm more nervous about the unknown. This is such a big change for a 19 year old! Regardless, I'm happy with my decision and look forward to 6 years of serving this great country.
—Guest Bobby light

BMT/Tech School

Just remember that if you can force yourself to do an endless amount of push-ups and sit-ups and squat-thrusts, you'll be fine. The point of their PT (or "getting on your face") is to push your physical limits, because that's the only way to get better. And the same goes for the giant mental game that they play. They yell and scream A LOT, but it's to teach you how to remain calm and composed in a stressful situation. If you commit, you'll come out a better person. Unfortunately I saw a lot of dirtbags graduate in the same flight I did. But they'll learn how to grow up later in their careers, and by then the punishments will be a LOT more severe. Just remember, 8.5 weeks and it's all over. THEN you'll be off to tech school. Depending on where you go and what your job is, you should have a blast. You'll finally have some freedoms back and you'll be learning about your career and having all kinds of fun! If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at dylon.king@us.af.mil

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

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