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Readers Respond: Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Responses: 132

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Redheaded

I just have a quick question. Whenever we first arrive, and our T.I. picks on us for various differences and uses those to pick out Trainees for details and whatnot, will my red-headedness be an issue? Haha, it's pretty bright, and natural. Thank you!
—Guest Justin

Seriously...???

Unless you've done all the BMT for each branch then you shouldn't be talking. Everyone's experience is different. Why belittle a certain branch. You're in it together so you should support one another. Every branch is trained for a specific mission what one lacks the others make up for it. I have family members who have been in each branch and have talked about it without belittle each other. Just because you're a Marine doesn't mean you have the right to go talking trash about the air force because it's training is different. BMT is tough for most people so it doesn't matter. Everyone has their own reason for joining this is suppose to give people who have joined the air force or has thoughts about joining some insight on how basic training might go
—Guest Future Air Force Wife

address

I just got a call from my son and he was giving me that address. Glad I found this site, because I didn't get the whole address and this article helped me finish it. Thanks for sharing the info.
—Guest New Airman Mom

basic information

Times and dates for graduation...Not a personal manifesto of your daughters
—Guest lisa

Am I too old?

I am 26, married and leaving for BMT in a month. How bad am I going to stick being So "old" and just now going into the AFR?
—Guest scollins0039

Advice

I've been putting a lot of thought of going Air Force after my Army contract goes up. Not because I dislike where I'm at, but because I have a family on the way. My MOS is currently 11B Primary and 19D Secondary, I feel I should be able to take care of my family without the worries being KIA and my Grandfather served from WWII till just before Nam. He retired as a Master Sgt. It would do him Proud to see that one of his Grandkids had tried to follow in his steps. All in all.. I'm just looking for advice. Not all Grunts are XXXXX up in the head, mostly just concerned for their family and when the time comes the XXXXX up mentality comes.
—Guest Specialist

Nervous but excited

Just wanted to thank the people who are trying to help. Knowing they do flutter kicks and squat thrusts really helps. I think BMT is completely dependant upon the TI you get. Some will let you have desert while others will scream bloody murder at you for looking at it. I leave in a couple of weeks and am going to try and do my best-even if it seems there is no such thing to my TI :) I will not take the yelling personally and try to do what I am told. I will not gossip, I will try and help the people having trouble instead of ridicule them and hope people try and help me. If one person does wrong the group gets in trouble because we are supposed to be turing into a team and help each other to eventually learn to think not "what am i going to do" but more of "what are we going to do" I have heard horror stories and easy stories but consistantly heard of making friends, overcoming obstacles and a feeling of accomplishment when done. I hope to have that feeling by May 18th also :)
—Guest Angel

Inter-Service Rivalry

I am a former Airman, married to an Airman, and I have two brothers in the Army and one brother who is a really Gung-Ho Marine. OF COURSE Marine Corps recruit training is much more challenging than Air Force Basic, but the GOALS of the services are different. We all kid around with the stereotypes, but when the "stuff" comes down, we are all necessary to secure the freedoms of this country. Ground forces, would you want to be out there on patrol without the promise of air cover? Airmen, would you want to be responsible for close-air support AND getting down and dirty with the enemy? It's a silly conversation. In the end, the services are a family. We might screw around and give each other crap, IN THE FAMILY, but if you're not one of us, shut the heck up. You don't know unless you've been there. God Bless our servicemen and women, our veterans, and our country.
—Guest GeoChk

God's child

Well, I have been through AFBMT! I joined the Air National Guard after high school so I could make money while attending Jr college. After 2years at the Jr college level I had to figure out a way to pay for the rest of my schooling. Of course, the GI Bill! Wanting the biggest challenge, I chose the Marine Corps and it was the biggest challenge of my life, to that point. At the time AFBMT was 6 weeks, 2 years later when I enlisted in the Marine Corps recruit training was 13 weeks. I was at MCRD twice as long. Even now that AFBMT has been extended a Marine recruit is at MCRD a month after an airman has graduated. As I've said before, each service has a different mission requiring different training. Embrace the differences. I can tell you, while at Lackland I was never hit or deprived of food or sleep, I can't say the same about MCRD.
—Bean8541

the reality of afbmt

i would like to make some corrections. i dont know wat bmt the author of this article went through but while i was at afbmt i dont even remember seeing sodas and candy. i totally forgot wat they looked like. and as far as ice cream, we couldnt even look at it without gettin smoked. afbmt is not as easy as it was or as others may think it is. when i went to bmt i thought it was going to be a piece of cake, but i found out quickly that it wasnt. i also disagree with the fact that other ppl call af and navy bmt easy when they have never been throught it. when an individual have been throught all services bmt then thats wen they can make comparisons but until then, stop makin your selves look like idiots. and there is no such thing as the smartest branch or toughest branch in the military because one branch cannot survive without the other.
—Guest God's child

RE RECYCLED

Christine, I would not be to worried about him remembering his chain of command, it will all fall in place as he starts to fit in during the third week. It is not really that hard, they usually need to remember the name of their MTI, Section Supervisor, First Sgt, Commander, BMT commander, CMSGT of the Air Force, Chief of staff, and the President of the US. He will do fine, just tell him to take a breath be over before he knows it. and you will be extremely proud
—Michael60

EX MTI PROSPECTIVE

I was a MTI at Lackland in the 1980's first my congratulations to the author, I had to sit back and chuckle while reading brought back numerous memories. Second. Your children are completely safe in basic training and are being treated extremely well and receiving education at the same time. One of the most difficult and sought after positions in the air force is to become a Military Training Instructor. The selection process is immense as I remember the year I was selected there were only 7 in my class. They attend at that time was 250 hrs of classroom training including going through basic training all over again a second time, and the wash out rate is extremely high. Once they graduate they are responsible to educate and train 50 civilians from all over the country in 8 weeks. yelling is done to simulate stress, perfection is asked to see if they can pay attention to detail. Everything has a reason behind it, but the recruit cant see that. The most frighting part is the unknown
—Michael60

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

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