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Readers Respond: Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Responses: 132


Are you a graduate of Air Force Basic Military Training? Share your experience, tips, and suggestions! Share Your Suggestions


for rolling shirts we had something called "the machine" in your RLA there is a wallocker with 2 drawers. take two of the drawers out. put them on the floor. one side on each draw is smoot and without ridges (flat) take those two sides and put them together (next to eachother) then take a pre folded (ready-to-roll) shirt and put it between the two drawersthen take the security tray and a chair. put the front two legs of the chair and put them in the security tray then put the tray across one opening of the two drawers. put the shirt under the tray and between the two drawers and roll. it doesnt make sense here but the sides of the drawers will assure that the two sides of the shirt are flush. boom perfect shirt after perfect shirt and in 10 seconds too
—Guest Austin Hatch

Proud father

Im a Desert Shield/Storm Vet, Im going to see my son tomorrow graduate BMT, He is a Honor Graduate, the first week you will question yourself, if you made the right decision? We all do, including my son. Once you put on the service dress uniform and see your name on it, you know. The military is not for every one, once you become us, you will be proud of yourself, for the rest of your life. Go Airforce! ,
—Guest 17th SOS Vet


BMT was not hard at all as long as you are in shape before you go. If you fail your final PT test, then you will be sent to the 319 TRS to FIT Flight. I was recycled after the 4th week PT eval because I had injured my knees at the O-Course several days before and didn't say anything until AFTER the fact. That sucked!
—Guest Amy


My youngest daughter has been at basic for 1 week now and I miss her so much..But at the same times I am soo proud of her..She is following in her Grandfathers footsteps..Her Granpa was origianl 8th Air Corp and led the firtst daylight bomning mission over Berlin in March 1943! Go Blue and Go Miss Sarah!
—Guest Grant

long time over due

I have wanted to be in the air force for as long as I could remember but right after high school I got married to a army guy, it lasted for about 13 years. but now am 34 and divorced so its my time to go chase my dream am leaving for Basic for the air force in 2 months and am nervious and excited at the same time i think am to old but hey its my turn right.
—Guest ex military wife

Surviving first week of training

It was March 1973. You want to enlist for AFBMT during the cool months! It starts getting pretty hot soon after Mar. On my third day of training I was setback to day one for no military baring and rejecting the system! Heck! I thought it was just so silly the way I had to fold my underwear and salute a dummy along the path from one building to the next and I got caught! I was 23 years and was handpicked my our dorm Sgt. as an example to demean and belittle/screaming obscenities right in my face for being "old"! I felt I was on vacation! I was used already to a tough life AND it helped survive! A couple of girls got to go home because they couldn't handle it! PS I don't think they allow SGTS. to use obscenities anymore!
—Guest Ester

Back In the '70s...

I was in FLT 0725, 3706 BMTS, (June-July) 1973...a typically hot South Texas summer! Back then, there were several E-4 (then Sgt)MTIs...we had one, Sgt Simpson of Selma, AL. He was only 5' 8", but his presence and personality seemed MUCH bigger. In fact, this young NCO roared at just the right time and counseled at the right times, He and the senior TI, TSG Villareal, were excellent, fair, tough and smart. They gave me lessons I relied on for my entire six-year hitch. (If the financial picture was better then, I would've went for 20+ years...E-1 then was only $307.70 plus allowances!) Those two good men and a slew of other men and women USAF active duty and civilian employees got me through BMT smoothly. Still have my squad leader's lanyard!

Ready to go. BMT

Very excited and very nervous at the same time, but I'm ready.
—Guest Flork

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

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

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