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Readers Respond: Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Responses: 139


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

Old time AF

I went to AF basic in Feb 1955. I think it is harder now. I am going to see my grandson graduate in July. I served 20 years and 5 months and am so glad I did.
—Guest Jim Kreinhop

Church services.

By call means go to church services! The break from the TI's is the only one you'll get all week, so you learn to take advantage of it. The chaplains don't pull any of the "your parents don't want you anymore", or "your parents don't care about you" BS. Our chaplain, knowing that we were homesick and scared out of our wits reassured us that our parents still loved us and that they were thinking about us every day. In fact, he said "When you left on that bus/train/plane for basic training, the ground was wet with their tears". It reminded us that although we were in USAF greens (1987) we were still someone's son or daughter. it always got us back in the right frame of mind for the coming week.
—Guest Frank

Comments not pertaining to AFBMT annoyin

Okay, seriously. The comments are getting annoying because they aren't pertaining to the US Air Force BMT. No-one cares about the other branches on this 'site' except the air force. Unless, you have been through BMT or have questions, please don't comment for the sake of us new recruits! Us recruits are here for advice and personal experience of previous recruits' experiences during BMT.
—Guest Future BMT member

31 Years ago today...

I went to BMT in May of '83. This bickering back and forth comparing USMC to USAF is silly. Who cares? I will say this: During basic, one of my buds rec'd a letter from his cousin undergoing Marine boot camp at the same time. Our TI eyed the letter, chuckled, and said "You know he's getting his balls busted!" My son is considering the AF. Looking at this brings back a lot of memories. The advice I would pass along is common sense stuff...maintain a low profile... do not back talk, ever...get in shape before you get to Lackland...remember, millions of airmen have endured this before, you can do it too...if you are a Christian, keep the faith...I served in the days before social media, so lost contact instantly with all my friends from BMT back in July of '83. But I remember them to this day.

Air Force BMT Grad Feb to Mar 1990

Pulled duty during AF Boot Camp as both "Chow Runner" and "Latrine Queen". If you want to overcome your fear of the TIs within the first week, become the Chow Runner; after that first week, once you've got your script down, you'll be fearless. As for you future Latrine Queens, you'll be on the bathroom floor with your flash-lights, looking for pubes at night. I didn't take a crap the first week I was there. I got expert marksman and barely missed Honor Grad when I got two demerits on my Red-Line inspection. I did my four years in the Air Force, got out, went to college, went to Navy OCS, flew for the Navy for five years, got out, went to medical school, then joined the Army. I'm retiring on May 29th, 2014. I agree with BG Chuck Yeager who said, "All I am, I owe to the Air Force." Keep the faith my future Air Force brothers and sisters. You will never forget your Air Force Boot Camp experiences. Make the best of it!
—Guest CPT Jack

Keeping Your Cool/Bearing

On the subject of 341's and being recycled or a screw up. I was in BMTS in 1988 and we were told that if we had 3 or more 341s pulled that we would be recycled 3 or more days. I can say that I believe at that time that TI's were less apt to do that if you kept your bearing. I know this because I had many more than 3 pulled, but I always kept my cool and as much as they hated it, they respected it. I got them pulled for: not addressing my TI by rank and only by last name, not announcing female entering the dorm room several time, "horseplay" in dorm and in formation, leaving my "guard post" as dorm guard for the night. I once dropped my salute to a captain because I thought he had saluted me when he stated that he saluted someone else. He jumped my stuff and when I explained calmly what I believed the situation was, he said carry on. If I had not kept my cool I'm sure I would have been in much more trouble. It's all about keeping your cool and following directions CAREFULLY!
—Guest PHOOD


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

Great site

I'm now an AF mom! My 18 y.o. son leaves in a few months for BMT & I think this info site is awesome. Having served 12 in the USANG, I certainly have a lot of stories & pointers about basic, but nothing AF specific. In fact, our whole family is Army/Navy, so this is new to us (thankfully, we all were very happy when he decided on AF) - even my son, who attended a USN highscho for 2 years. I think the pointers are great & offer much comfort to me, the proud mom, watching her baby head off for the experience of a lifetime. I am certain this site will be a regular stopping point for us while he's in training! Thank you!!
—Guest Felicia

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

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