First off- whoa. I meant to take a short break and I ended up getting through tech school before I ever finished my BMT posts. So sorry about that!
Picking up where I left off, 4th week has to be the quickest week of training in my opinion. The days were so packed full of events that the week was over before I knew it, and from this point on training was all gliding downhill from here.
- CBRNE: A.K.A Gas Chamber! You get on a bus and get taken to the CBRNE site where you’ll spend the remainder of the day. First you’ll sit through safety information about the gas chamber, and going over your gas mask/equipment, fitting it properly, how to seal it. Pay attention to it- you want a good seal. You’ll get your MOPP gear and go through some exercises, learn how to put all your gear on, get briefed no the procedures of going through the chamber. I personally was one of the first people in the chamber- it’s WAY better. The gas gets released after the first people get inside so it isn’t as concentrated. You’ll get told what to do, but basically you do jumping jacks, walk around a bit, then you loosen your mask. When they tell you, you’ll pull it off completely and shout out your reporting statement before exiting the gas chamber, from there you’ll just walk around with your arms spread a few laps to get the gas off you, then you’ll take your gear off and clean out your mask. Tips: Hold your breath when you take off your mask to lessen the effects of the gas. After this you’ll have an MRE, and go through a few hours of classes giving you some information on chemicals, explosives, and information you’ll need for BEAST.
- Blues/Name Tags: Super exciting until you actually get there. For hours you will be dressing/undressing, getting marked to get clothes altered, re fitting things on, waiting for them to get back to try them on, ect. It’s exhausting and boring, but nonetheless it’s a mile stone in BMT because not only do you finally have your blues- you have name tags! Which is a big deal when you’re 0-4th week.
- Obstacle Course: Definitely a LOT of fun. They put a lot of emphasis on safety because so many people get hurt doing this, but honestly if you pay attention and use common sense- you’ll get through it just fine. There are several obstacles to go through, some of which may or may not be open (a lot were under construction). You’ll spend the day learning some safety, doing a walk through of the course, then actually going through it. The Weaver was the most physically challenging in my opinion- but I still got through it in decent timing. The rope swing was probably the hardest for my female flight, 98% of us fell into the water.
- PT Evaluation: You’ll have a PT eval this week also. Seriously push out everything you have for this. There are some exceptions for this eval, like if you get seriously hurt at BEAST and can’t do your 7th week eval they MIGHT take your numbers from 4th week and let you graduate with them if you have passing numbers. Also where you’re at on 4th week is about where you’ll be for 7th week evaluations, because during BEAST you wont be doing much PT so when you hit 7th week you’ll be slower and weaker.
- Weapons Evaluation: The training M16 weapon you were issued during 1st or 2nd week that you’ll have to have carried with you for Entry Control duty should be pretty familiar to you by now. You’ll have an evaluation where you have to take it apart and put it back together with less than two instructor assists in order to pass. It’s no longer timed but ideally you should be able to take it apart and put it back together in under 2 minutes – which isn’t hard.
This week goes by a little slower after such an eventful 4th week. You’ll have a LOT of classes, you’ll also take your flight photos and individual photos, and you’ll have some evaluations like locker inspections and control (marching). Overall it isn’t a bad week, nor a hard week.
BEAST WEEK! Camping out in tents, going through exercises, and learning to work together with other flights to earn beast excellence. It’s cold, it’s hot, it’s exhausting, and you just want to go back to your dorm- but when it’s over you realize how quickly it passed by and how easy it was in hindsight. Just push through it, it’s just one week of your life.
This is when everything starts hitting you- you’re about to graduate. Now it’s time to sink or swim. You have your EOC test, your final PC test, final inspections, Control, and a few other tests they have for you. You’re getting riled up for graduation, wearing blues, and walking around like you own the place. You also – if you’re lucky- will get to EC for baby flights coming in. (Which means you guard their dorms so their MTI’s can go home, or you help their MTI’s teach them basic things). DO IT. Don’t be the asshole that scares the new people and gives them bad information, don’t teach them shortcuts either- they need to learn for themselves. Think of your first week and what you wish you would’ve been taught, or how you wish you were treated. This is a great chance to start working on leadership and mentoring skills- which you will need. Don’t baby them, but help them out. Motivate them and give them tips to succeed.
And here it is. This week will CRAWL by, you’re dying to see your families and get out, you’ve passed your tests and all you’re doing is sitting around your dorm trying not to kill each other because at this point you’re so sick of the attitudes and everyone else. (Especially girls). But it finally rolls around. I’m not going to spoil the best part of BMT for anyone, but the last days you’re there are the best. Airman’s run goes quick but it’s exhilarating and amazing, the coin ceremony makes you feel like you’re 10 feet tall, and when you see your family or significant other again you will feel a thousand different emotions. You’ll spend the weekend with them and finally get to call yourself an Airman.
“Sir/Man Trainee Airman ____ reports are ordered…” Don’t say it. But you probably will. You’ll be so used to calling yourself a trainee you’ll tack it onto Airman in your reporting statement. But don’t worry, you’re an Airman now- call yourself one. The last night you’re in BMT is a long and sleepless one, you’re about to go off to tech school and you’re worried about being on your own because you realize BMT wasn’t so bad and it’s been a mental vacation.
Don’t worry. You made it- and you’ll keep making it.
You WILL get through Basic Training if you just do what you’re supposed to do and don’t stand out. Don’t get an attitude, don’t think you know more than anyone else, don’t think you’re better. Just get through it and put it behind you. BMT is just the first very very short step in your military career, or 4-6 years of your life. Get through it without a fight and it wont be so bad.