Wow- Basic Training is OVER. I honestly can’t say that I saw myself on the other side of the hurdle that’s known as BMT. I knew I was going to go, and I knew I wanted to be in the Air Force, but I can’t honestly say that I knew anything about going or how I would come out on the other side. But here I am- sitting at a table in Tech School, looking back at BMT in the rear view mirror. So how was Basic Training? What the hell did I do? I’m going to try my best to break it down for anyone and everyone that is curious. Think of it as an insiders survival guide. Because every Post BMT post/video/blog I’ve ever seen left SO much out. So this will be a multi-part blog, covering BMT up until Tech school, then I’ll continue on with my adventures from there.
0-1st Week. (Also known as hell week, sneaker week, and rainbow week).
How can I some up this week? Well, I honestly don’t even remember this week in detail. It became a blur so long ago sometimes I forget I even lived it. It’s hard and exhausting, and 0-2nd week are the worst weeks of BMT because it is nothing but in processing, appointments, and you adapting to your new schedule, environment, and stress. You get screamed at, you get told you’re doing everything wrong, you get rushed everywhere, you get belittled. You’re going to get your first issue of clothing, learn how to mark it all and put it away, you’re going to get a series of shots, urinalysis, and a bunch of other crazy appointments. Then you’re going to go to your first chapel briefing before Sunday and it’s going to be like a little patch of heaven in BMT.
I personally am not a religious person, but you better believe I was at church every Sunday and loved every second of it. There is every religion imaginable in BMT, and if you’re a crazy religion that doesn’t have a service, they will work to help you get your service. I went to the Contemporary service which was a lot of singing. It kept you awake and it kept you motivated, plus the Chaplain was awesome, and the praise band was really good.
Sometime in this time frame you’ll get your initial PT test. DO YOUR BEST. Give yourself a base line that you need to improve off of. And do not give up. Just don’t. There was a girl from my flight who gave up, she just couldn’t complete it- she said. They offered her another chance to take the test and she didn’t take it. So she got sent to med hold for out processing- Well as I was in my 8th week she was in her 3rd week- because after weeks and weeks of being in med hold UNABLE to go home yet, she decided to give it another try. Moral of this story? It is MUCH easier to get through basic by graduating than it is to just give up and go home. They will keep you for weeks, even months. You don’t just get to quit and go home right away. So no matter how hard it is, keep going, and just get through it.
Most important lessons I took away from 0-1st week:
Move with a sense of urgency. (You will hear this a thousand times. They mean it. If you think you’re moving fast, move faster)
You’re wrong. (Even if you’re right, you’re wrong)
They will give you an impossible task and an impossible time frame- Do it anyway. (The purpose of this is to actually follow orders and do your best. Show that you’re trying. Show you’re going to work your hardest, even if it’s impossible. If you go in telling yourself the task is impossible I guarantee they will make you do it 50 times over)
It gets better. No really, it does. Get through your second week and it starts getting better. You get into a routine, you get used to the stress, you start making friends, you start getting your life together.
Don’t give up. You’re capable of more than you think.
Things the old blogs don’t tell you:
Because it’s more of a newer thing do to critiques and “suggestions” the new BMT has this torture device called a Web Belt. I promise you, you will hate it. It will be around your waist from the moment you get up to the moment you go to sleep (aside PT). On it you have a pouch, and your canteen. Trust me, you will hate it. A lot. Also something not new, but also torturous is your IRS Parka. Now because I went in Jan-March, it was chilly, but not ALL the time. However they would make us wear this parka even when it wasn’t cold. Even when we were inside. We’d have to make our beds with these parka, do pushups with these parkas, run around with these parkas. You will be pouring sweat- and hating life. But it doesn’t last forever- remember that.
Get used to being naked in front of people. You’ll be showering with anywhere between 30-60 people. Changing in front of them. Peeing in front of them. Going to medical appointments. Just get used to it.
2nd – 3rd Weeks
This is when it starts picking up and you start realizing what BMT is about. You start going to class, you start doing PT regularly, you start getting put on your face. Those are the main things happening during these weeks (aside more appointments.) But you also begin to get some more freedom, you’ll be left alone for a few hours in the day room. You wont be yelled at as much (if you’re doing the right thing) overall you’ll start realizing that maybe you can do this. So to touch on the biggest parts of these weeks:
PT: You get your second PT test in the 2nd week, you will see BIG improvements if you motivate yourself. As far as regular PT, it alternates between muscle days and running. Running is hard if you’re not used to it so my advice is START RUNNING. No really, get some running shoes on and go run. Any bit you run will help you. You will run for 31 minutes nonstop. NONSTOP. The first 15 minutes you run in groups based off your initial run times, the pace is 2:15 a lap, and it’s nonstop. The next 10 minutes is a self paced run, but you cannot stop. The last 6 minutes alternate 30second sprinting/30 seconds walking. Muscle days get progressively harder through the weeks but they’re not impossible. I don’t consider myself a very strong person or very “fit” and I was able to do them. Situps, pushups, squat thrusts, partial squats, leg lifts, cross-knee crutches, and pyramid pushups. That’s it.
MTI Tools: A.K.A getting put on your face. You start off doing one set until you get to your second week, where it turns into 2 consecutive sets. Basically it’s pushups, flutter kicks, and squat thrusts. You can do these for any reason at any given time.
0-3rd week is nothing but getting adjusted and getting into the right mindset. My best advice to this is to work hard, don’t stress out. It’s only 8 ½ weeks of your life and it starts passing so much faster after this. So don’t give up and the most important thing: WORK TOGETHER. Some people in your flight will be terrible, the wont care, they wont want to work as a team. You’ll probably want them out of your flight. Just be an adult, be mature, and put your differences aside. Fighting, arguing, hating each other- it wastes your time, it divides your flight, and it really negatively affects your experience in BMT. As you start going further in your weeks of training, things like Warrior Flight, Honor Flight- they’ll start to matter to you. And you’ll realize that you need to work together in order to get those.
I’ll stop here for now and pick up again in the 4th week. Any questions/comments about anything- feel free to ask and I’ll answer as best as I can.