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Readers Respond: Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Responses: 105


Grad 6-Jan-12 Some advice

I searched many sites for information, I was nervous about joining. The comments in this page helped me, so now I will add to it. Fitness, be able to run for 30 mins constantly. For discipline you will do a combination of push-ups, flutter kicks, and squat thrust for 1 or 2 mins at a time. PT Test min 33 Pushups, 42 Situps, 11:57 run time. As for the experience, I was 27 in BMT, Older people do get criticized alittle bit less than the younger people, but your still treated like everyone else. Most punishments are team related, so when you make a mistake expect others to pay with you. The biggest obstacle for me was youthful immaturity (ie don't talk, yet people talk). You don't have to like everyone but get along with them. Your TI, you most likely won't like him/her (yes men prepare for a her). After week 5/6 they might lighten up. There is a time called Airman's time where your TI will talk with you as a person, to me it was a great facet of BMT. Just remember you can do it.
—Guest Dana

My experience

All I really have to say is that sometimes T.I's will stereotype you and that'll stay in their minds until the day you or they die. As such my being called out constantly because I'm too damn tall made my wingmen fell like "well... I'm screwing up, but not as much as trainee ___!" So yeah, I got a lot of crap from both ends. Just try to understand your wingmen, be there for them and ignore your T.I unless they're telling you to do something. It's worse when they just talk straight to your face and just tell you in a monotone that you're an ugly dirtbag, so really, yelling is much better in my opinion. It doesn't stick. But just hang in there, don't be tall and move from Sunday to Sunday, letting the insults roll off your back as best as you possibly can, avoid getting injured at any costs. If you are injured, go to the doc. Treat your other wingmen with respect and for Heaven's sake, give Laundry crew a break! But mostly just keep your spirits up. It's only 8.5 wks of a very long life.
—Guest Kelly

Information on education

I'm trying to find out about the technology side of the Air Force. 8 weeks sounds doable and it makes sense now as to why they yell at you. Has anyone had experience with with their college, CLEP, ECI or tuition assistance? I can't get a recruit to answer my calls and I'm ready to go down to the office and kick some rear ends. If people are ready and willing to enlist to serve their country why is it so freaking hard to staff a recruitment office or to get someone to answer a phone? The other branches didn't have recruiters present either and after looking through the ASVAB, AFQT qualification scores for each branch, benefits and careers I think to be the best at what I want to be the Air Force is the best fit. I've gone through the website and combed through all the info there. I just don't see a breakdown of all career choices. Rapid Prototyping / CAD anyone?
—Guest Rapid Prototyper

Who's bashing?

I came to this site to learn about the Air Force since I have a nephew who will be joining in the summer. I loved the week by week description of AFBMT. I gained some insight into the mind set needed to complete AFBMT by reading the posts. Then I read some stupid statements. Are you really going to try to equate 8 weeks of AFBMT to 13 weeks of Marine Corps recruit training? You want to stereo type Marines and soldiers as dumb but you don't want airmen stereo typed as weak even though AFBMT graduaton physical fitness standards are less than Marine Corps ENTRANCE standards? Are you aware that recenly there was an AF recruiting video where an AF TI clamid his airmen basics were as physically fit as Marine recruits? The SgtMaj of the Marine Corps called the head Sgt of the AF and within hours the video was gone? Who's bashing?!


I feel like some people are using this forum for the wrong reasons. It's to give people advice about the military not tout your own beliefs on the branches. To talk down about one any branch for a personal reason is not helpful to anyone seeking advice and further perpetuates useless stereotypes. Even if you try to fluff it up by saying they're all important then turning around and bashing.
—Guest Guest 1227


I was just wondering if you get paid monthly or biweekly
—Guest Future airman

Mother in the waiting

I agree with 100%. Each branch has it's own mission to accomplish and has it own skill and training requirements. Each individual has his/her own reasons for joining their respective branches. In my family one nephew joined the Army because that's where my dad served in WWII, another nephew is joining the AF because he wants to travel. I will never disparage any branch in seriousness. Look at the death roll from the middle east, every one is there. Airmen, soldiers, even Coasties. They all served their country with honor and they have my respect. What I will call out is someone making inane comments. Yes, I've even called out other Marines shooting off their mouths. Semper Fi

To the Marine

My entire family was in the military, Marines, Army, Navy and Airforce! Not one of them was any better then the other!!! What one counldn't do the other one did, A team!!! All for one and one for all!
—Guest mother in the waiting

Go for it!

Naomi, by all means join! A good friend joined the Navy and went to the language school a Carreras it in Intel. He then went to work for the state department. As for the recent exchanges, if you would look at my1st post, I made it clear I have no problem with ant branch. We all had/have our own reasons for choosing our respective branches. If you chose to be an airman, fine. Just don't make silliy comments about your service. Each branch has it's own mission. The needs to accomplish that mission vary and require different skills sets, different types of "smarts", different kinds of training. Good luck!


Hey, I am seriously considering joining, for their linguistic program. Any advice? Also I am abit scared for BMT. And remember guys, air force, marines, navy or army...we are all here to help. We all join for different reasons..but we all protect our country, for our family , friends etc. All of you are heroes ^__^
—Guest Naomi

I should have expected this

When all else fails make a personal attack. What have I said that you find so offensive? All i have stated are facts. Airman bertizt said 8 1/2 weeks of AFBMT is as hard as 13 weeks of recruittraining. That is a silly statement. This very site states, "Marine boot camp is by far the toughest both physically and mentally." as for airman Morales, who is a taliban fighter going to be more concerned about? An airman that can do 30 pull ups or a Marine who can hit him at 1/2 a mile? As I said before be proud of your service, just don't try to make it more that it is. If you don't want to be stereo typed don't you do it either. I don't know if you noted but no airmen have challenged what I've said. As for your comments...they speak for themselves. Bean 8541 toughest physically and mentally".

To the Marine

It look's like you stand all alone with such a big fat head!!!!!! I wouldn't want to be by your side. For that statement NO MAN GET'S LEFT BEHIND!!!!! I HAVE A GOOD FEELING YOU BE THE ONLY 1 WALKING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
—Guest A Mom in the waiting

And another thing...

A1C Morales, I find it rather odd that you don't want to be stereotyped as "weak airmen" yet you will use the old stereotype that all soldiers and Marines are dumb. Your use of "30 straight pull ups" as some type of bench mark is inane. Impress me with some real "brains and smarts". At 0600 your spotter finds a high value target due north of you at 700 yds, it rained the night before and there is a 10knot breeze from southwest to northeast, what sight adjustments would you nake? Your platoon is manning an OP on hill 635, you seen an enemy column an estimated 3 clicks away, how many digits in the grid coordinates will get you within 5 meters of the target? Oh BTW, Air Force physical requirements for graduation from BMT are the minimum requirements for entrance into Marine recruit training. One last thought, our aircraft mechanics and radar guys and office poges work on the same equipment as the Air Force but our support people can and have defended their own bases. Can you say the same?


I believe one of the most important things to remember about BMT is that is a SIMULATED stress environment. If you find yourself on the brink of giving up just step back and ask yourself "what are they asking me to do?" You will find that it is much easier if you realize that the 'stress' you are under is not, in simple terms, real. The TI's will ask (rather, loudly demand) that you do meniel task in an impossible timeframe. They are not asking you to disarm a bomb or run into a line of fire. I found that the most stressful part of BMT was having to do so much in such a short amount of time. But, just remember, its SIMULATED stress; its all mental. If you really try to do what they are saying you'll be fine. The TI's know it can't be done, they just want to see how you will handle the situation. Also, teamwork is a HUGE part of BMT, if ya'll can't work together your life will suck for 8 and a half weeks. (that, I learned from experience) Good luck everyone!
—Guest A1C Tech School Student


they can basicaly recycle you for anything if they want i saw good guys that gave it all they had that got recycled for the littlelist things and the DBAs slipped by without even trying but while i was there i never saw anyone getin recycled for the chain of command just tell him to write it down over n over and he shouldnt have a problem
—Guest JON

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