Congratulations! You graduated and are now an official member of the world’s greatest Air Force! You should feel proud. Now, after all the discipline you have been taught, you must go to Airmen’s Week. You will learn how to apply your code of ethics to real-world situations.
Sunday morning, you will rise earlier than normal with all your gear in tow and march to a new dorm. This new dorm is older, and you will only have 6 showerheads to share in the bathroom (unless they’ve changed the dorm that Airman’s Week happens in). Your new mascot will be the bulldog and you will have a chant (Hooyah BULLDOGS!) just like in your old squadron.
Sunday is crazy because you are trying to adjust to a new schedule and you may be separated from your friends in your old flight. I was fortunate that all my friends ended up in the same dorm as me, but that wasn’t the case for others. They will take the females that were in other flights who graduated with you and mix everyone in the new dorm. You will also be separated up into smaller groups for classes later on, but that’s not near as dramatic as trying to adjust to the new females.
Things to Know about Airmen’s Week
- This is the week where you adjust to being called “Airman.”
- It’s a time of sharing feelings, beliefs, and insights into ethical issues.
- You can eat all the dessert and soda you want (better cafeteria).
- You will have lots of time to socialize and call your family (though not with a cell phone).
- You will get to go to the Mini-BX nearly every night, and there is an activity center with lots of computers, as well as the library, where you can get on the internet and check Facebook, etc.
To elaborate on the above – during the day, you are in small groups discussing possible issues you may come across in the Air Force. In the evenings, you are given more liberties to move around the base, though you will still have dorm details and wear your ABUs everywhere. You still need a wingman everywhere you go. There are a lot of payphones near this older dorm, so I recommend purchasing a few calling cards before heading to Basic.
It was during this week that I got access to a computer and found out I was getting stationed at Buckley Air Force Base. Not everyone got their duty stations, but many of us did. That was a very exciting time! You can also feel your way around and find out if there are any other airmen going to the same technical school as you, or if they are in the same AFSC.
It’s pretty laid back, but you still need to maintain discipline. I saw airmen get in huge trouble for trying to sneak in electronics and break the rules because they had graduated BMT. Do not do this. It is not worth it. You can get into huge trouble for these things and they will punish you accordingly. This is not a good way to start out your career.
Handle that one last week with discipline and you’ll soon be on your way to freedom.
What now, Airman?
Everything that happens during this week revolves around that question. What now, airman? During the small group sessions, you will watch videos containing scenarios that may have questionable ethics. An MTI (though not as mean as BMT MTIs) will facilitate discussion and ask each one of you how you would react to this situation if you saw it happening at your base or in your shop.
Some people were idiots and liked to play devil’s advocate, but the questions are not difficult. It is a question of right and wrong and what you should do. Thankfully, there is no “right or wrong answer” to these scenarios and you cannot get into trouble based on what you say.
Most people blew these sessions off, but I enjoyed them. Plus, you get to know some of your fellow airmen a bit better, which is fun.
Leaving Lackland Air Force Base
On the following Saturday night or early Sunday morning, you will finally leave Lackland Air Force Base. My bus left around 4:30 AM, but we had to be ready to go at 2 AM. You can imagine how much sleep we got between packing and the excitement of getting the heck out of there.
We got our phones right before leaving and were not allowed to use them until we were off base. Of course, many people turned theirs on right after getting on the bus, but I was a scaredy cat.
Remember, you are hauling your belongings, so don’t buy a bunch of stuff just because you can. Your tech school will also have a BX. You can buy more stuff there.
Overall, this last week is easy and a time for you to relax before heading into rigorous technical school life. Take it for what it is and be grateful you’re getting paid to eat and talk.
This post concludes the basic training series.
To learn more about the other weeks, I’ve listed them here: