Originally Posted by Cypherian
My thoughts some will be out of date some will not make sense till you are actually there and see what I am talking about. First and foremost you do not want to call attention to yourself in any way shape or form and that goes from day one till the end, if you’re doing a good job the TI’s will notice if you’re not they WILL NOTICE! They are human and will become so at the end of training. For those of you who have been to AF basic more recently then 1986 feel free to correct me.
Things to learn or do before going if possible:
Get off of pop/soda/coke (whatever you call it) before you even get there.
Get In shape
Learn the USAF song now, trust me on this
Learn to "slide in and out of your bed” and not toss and turn all night makes making the bed easier and faster in the am.
Learn how to make hospital corners.
Learn to knock on a door correctly 2 sharp raps and wait for permission to enter. Multiple raps gets you the woody woodpecker name.
Learn the uses of neutral wax (removes black marks on the floor from boots)
Learn your stride distance IE heel to toe distance at a normal walk this is only important if you become the guide on ( Flag Carrier) you will have to line up the flight for inspection been there done that lol. Don’t try to learn how to march just learn your stride they will teach you marching. (You won’t have a tape measure available in basic)
Learn how to tie a Windsor knot on a tie
Learn to Shine shoes correctly and the tricks IE using an iron to heat the wax before use or a lighter to hit the wax after its on and those are only a few of the tricks for shining shoes there are many others.
Learn how to fold your underclothes in 6" squares if they still do that. Someone here who has been through more recently then 1986 I am sure will chime in and tell you if it is still done.
Learn to operate a buffer and the tricks to do so IE find the lightest guy in the flight and have him crouch not sit on it ( motor burns out if you sit ask me how I know that LOL)
Learn what never dull is and how to use it.
Learn how to properly roll your BDU/ ACU sleeves. AF Does not roll them like army / marines they will teach
you this but it’s nice to know before you go.
Learn to stand at attention but NOT lock your knees you will pass out.
Get book on Air force History when it was created major players major events you will see the information again when you’re in BMT but if you read it before hand it will help you remember it.
Get a book on the Us Flag again you will see the information again in basic but if you read it before hand you might remember it better.
The TI’s love asking questions when your in basic such as:
How many red stripes on the US Flag?
How many white stripes?
What do the colors represent (red/white/blue)?
What happened 4 July, 1776 at Independence Hall?
Parts of a flag pole
Read up on the M16 A2 learn the parts to it again just to be familiar not an expert etc.
Read up on MCU-2/P Chemical/Bio/NBC mask learn the parts to it and learn never to fall asleep in one the filter can to one side takes your head that way and the filter hole can be blocked by the rubber hoot over it ( ask me how I know not a pleasant way to wake up sucking for air) But they have been redesigned some so someone here with more up to date knowledge will chime in I hope.
Learn what grounded and flush to the right hand side means ::}
Learn the ranks enlisted and officer and what stripes or devices go with what.
There are mnemonic's to help you remember things these two are used but there are many others and some are ahem not appropriate in certain situations REMF ( Rear Echelon Mother Fucker) and ROAD ( Retired On Active Duty) lol :
How = Headquarters
Many = Major Command
New Airmen = Numbered Air Force
Will = Wing
Get = Group
Sex = Squadron
First = Flight
Be = Brigadier General 1 Star
My = Major General 2 Stars
Little = Lieutenant General 3 Stars
General = General 4 Stars
Remember there is such thing as a 5-star general though not a currently used rank. 5-stars in a circle
Learn the current command structure IE the people actually in the jobs names.
Commander In Chief
Chief Of Staff
Learn to hate inspector “13” that’s the little white slips of paper you will find in every pocket of every uniform you will be issued and no matter what there will still be a few there regardless of how many times you check the TI will find some. At which point you will be instructed to assume the front leaning rest position.
When you go:
Buy a prepaid 200 minute phone card before you get to Lackland AFB
Bring a small amount of cash 50 Bucks at most you will have to account for it and keep a list of bill serial numbers. So have it in 1 each 20, 2 each 10’s ,1 each 5’s, 5 each 1’s.
Bring only what items they tell you for clothing, pens etc and not in any other color then what they tell you lol someone will just don’t be that guy. Don’t bring scented soap, shampoo deodorant!! No battery operated razors or tooth brushes. Bring a larger size box of Q tips and cotton balls the will be invaluable
When you leave go in sensible pants and shirt no designs on the shirt, sensible hair cut not a high and tight or buzz cut when told to pick your bags up do so when told to put them down PLACE THEM ON THE GROUND DO NOT DROP THEM lol. Though, it doesn’t really matter as someone will drop them and you will play the pick them up put them down game or hold them out at arm’s length at your sides. You just don’t want to be the guy who causes it or draws the TI’s attention.
When Your There:
If you know everything there is to know about the AF & BMT, play stupid, until they teach you it. You will save yourself countless hours of BS.
Don’t be the first to volunteer, for anything, unless of course you want to be a target.
Don’t be a bitch, whiner, coward, punk, idiot and make others hate you. Be responsible. Take your life seriously this is your career. Don’t make others hate you. If you fuck up, take responsibility for your actions
Your name if it can be twisted into anything derogatory expect it to be done.
They will teach you what you need to know. Focus on yourself as a part of a team, don’t be selfish. Remember TEAM doesn’t have an "I". Give it your full effort. You only have to do it once, try hard, and then try harder. Memory work is key to everything. Do whatever it takes to make it through BMT, it only gets better afterwards.
Remember this is a game you will think the orders and rules are stupid for some thing’s they are but they are a teaching tool to find out if you will follow simple orders. Though they are stupid later you will follow orders regardless of how dumb they may seem to you.
Reporting statement Learn it live it love it which goes hand in hand with learning Sir / Mam
Calling a mam a sir and vice versa If your smart will only happen once lol Keep your mouth shut unless spoken to, and make sure you have your reporting statement down to a T. Remember not to have fear when they are in your face and just say whatever they instructed you to say, if you screw up you'll only keep screwing up b/c you'll get nervous.
When the TI say’s "hey trainee", don't look. Unless they somehow specify it is you they are calling. "hey trainee, walking out the door" and you are the only one in the door.
As I understand it they can no longer do this but the TI’s used to stand in front of you close enough you can count the individual hair follicle’s and when umm INTSTRUCTING you they would nod their head as punctuation. Which if you recall they where Smokey Bear hats and I swear to god they have metal in the brim as after about the 5th or 6th time it bounces off the bridge of your nose it starts to hurt like hell. But you could not move if you did or picked your hands up they could defend themselves… Like I said don’t think they can do it anymore but don’t know. Learn to pick a spot on their forehead or just above it and stare at that instead of directly in their eyes you’re less likely to move.
Never be caught falling asleep during a class. Stand up and go to the back of the room if they still allow that they will tell you if they do.
Make sure you wear your BDU's in the proper pairs and not mix matched. (yes I had FOUR ppl in my flight do this) If you see someone struggling with something, try to help them out.
Your TI's should tell you when you get there and they finally sit you down with your brother/sister flight that they are there to help you through this not weed you out. Your TI's will do PT with you, they will encourage you in every way they can, and hopefully they'll make jokes about you to make you laugh. Our main TI was the funniest guy I've ever had the pleasure of being around, but outside of it he was the meanest looking guy in that hat.
Ask questions if you have them....don't hide yourself b/c you’re scared, but do it by chain of command.
Don't write anything you'll ever regret. Don't write letters during a class.
People will be recycled in your flight, try not to be one if you have a job reserved you will most likely lose it because of the recycle
If you hurt yourself, work through it unless you broke something. Or you WILL be recycled.
Live out of your laundry bag. I can’t explain, but you will know when you get there what that means.
Chow Hall Going through the Snake Pit, never look at the Snake Pit...take your meal and look straight ahead at the top of the picture and keep moving, the 2nd you hesitate is when they'll strike. Never go for seconds, unless you are willing to pay for it.
Start meeting everyone as fast as possible learn to recognize them by their eyes, facial features and voice when you get your hair cuts it will be tough for a few days to remember who the person is.
Go to church. It’s honestly better than doing details around the dorm. You won't be able to sleep in anyways, and you will just spend all your time in the dayroom trying to polish your boots and stuff. If anything it makes the weeks go by a whole lot faster.
Warrior Week is the most fun you'll have. You won't sleep as much as you did before (and if you go during the winter it gets COLD) but you'll learn the most about what we do while being deployed and its refreshing to get out of that classroom.
If your being inspected and told your gig line is not straight, your boots look like they were polished with a Hershey bar or a pocket is unbuttoned etc DO NOT MOVE OR LOOK DOWN ETC you are at the position of attention there is NO MOVEMENT!!
When you are at attention in formation or any other time do not let fellow airman fall out / pass out and hit the pavement you will get ripped for it , I saw it from the SMURF section IE the back of the flight the TI tore the guy who didn’t catch the guy up and then tore all of us up for being stupid. Remember a trainee gets hurt it’s the TI’s ASS and shit rolls down hill guess where your standing as a trainee :}
I am sure others will chime in and or add to or call BS on some of my thoughts and memories of basic as things have changed a lot since I went through it.
Remember every flight will have it's rat, tattle tale etc so never count on something staying underwraps if you shouldn't be doing it DON'T!! Or atleast do it only by yourself or with out telling anyone else what your doing IE living out of your laundry bag. ..Someone will rat you and everyone else out they always do.
. . . ^ ^ ^
. . . Some excellent advice above ... and a lot of the info. is generic to all branches of boot camp and is also somewhat timeless.
I especially remember "sliding in & out of my bunk"
and it only took 5 to 10 seconds to tighten it up ...
(being quick makes you first to S.S. & S. and etc.)
Many of the others were just starting to make their bunks from zero with someone yelling at them.
This part may sound weird ... but my brain developed an "internal alarm clock"
too ... and I was up 15 minutes ahead of everyone else and this helped a lot too.
Good luck and you have a zillion times more info than I did ... when I went through.
HOWEVER ... Part of the experience is ... NOT ... knowing what is coming next ... and dealing with things as they come to you.