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If you’ve been following along, you’ll see that I wrote about 0 week of Air Force BMT last week. You can also read about the gas chamber if you’re interested in knowing what happens in Week 4. I get a lot of questions about that.
Week 1 of Basic Training is not too much different than Week 0. The best part is that you’re finally starting to get into a routine. Your body is understanding the stress, and choosing to handle it… kind of. This week was still difficult for me, simply because I hadn’t received any letters from my husband. In his defense, he’d started a new job and was undergoing a ton of new training, plus trying to figure out how to function without me. I forgave him.
NOTE: Tell all your friends and family to send you letters as much as possible. This is the only bright spot in your life during BMT. My mom wrote me every single day about the happenings of life back home, and even gave me updates on Mike while he was so busy. Also, have your friends/family update you on current events, as there is no tv or newspapers. You’ll be surprised how much those updates mean to you.
The new week begins on Sunday. This will be the only Sunday your MTIs will spend with you (as long as you’re not in a horrible flight). That’s because you’re new and still need guidance. You will be allowed to attend the church session of your choosing. BMT has just about every type of service – from Christian to Buddhism to Wiccan to Atheism. You name it, they’ve got it.
Sunday also means grilled cheesies. Sometimes. If they run out, which they frequently do, you may miss out. Personally, grilled cheesies at BMT are just okay. The KRAVE cereal is the best. which, I actually heard they’re not serving anymore. Sad day for trainees.
THE REST OF THE WEEK
You’ll go to several more appointments in Week 1. You may have some briefings with the Commander of your squadron. You’ll also go to Med/Dental processing and Finance to get that stuff all sorted out. Basically, it’s a lot of paperwork. There will be a lot of marching back and forth all over the base. Your feet will hurt.
In the mornings, you’ll wear tennis shoes with your ABUs. This is so your feet don’t totally die (even though mine did anyway). After lunch, you’ll change into your combat boots. After about two weeks, you’ll begin wearing combat boots all the time. It really sucks. Your feet are going to get really calloused and hurt a lot. I actually ended up buying some really nice Dr. Scholl’s insoles for mine because my feet were hurting so bad.
Week 1 will also introduce you to your first full week of PT. If you’re at BMT in the winter, you’ll do PT in the afternoons. If you’re there in the summer/spring/fall, you’ll do PT in the morning. Morning PT is way better. It’s an awesome way to start the day. I was there when they transitioned into the winter schedule, so we went from doing morning PT to afternoon PT, and it sucked. It killed the whole routine we had established.
You’ll do a lot of running. When I was there, we did 3-4 run days a week, and 1 day of strength training. Do not think that Basic Training PT will prepare you for your PT test. It won’t. You need to work on push-ups and sit-ups on your own time. (Read more about PT at Air Force Basic Training on Aim High Erin. A little outdated, but still good information about the workouts.)
On run days, you do a 15 minute paced run behind two MTIs, then you’ll move into a 15 minute self-paced run. Then you’ll do 5-6 minutes of sprints. The sprints suck. I recommend being able to meet all the Air Force PT test minimums when you go in, otherwise you’re going to struggle. On strength days, you’ll do a lot of stretching, crunches, push-ups, and squats.
Praise God when you learn dorm details, because you will notice that you’re running out of toilet paper, your floor is disgusting, and your toilets are ridiculous. It is so gross. You typically don’t learn how to clean your dorm until Sunday because you’re so busy in week 0. Details are annoying, but they have a purpose. Sickness runs rampant in BMT because there are so many people from different areas living together.
Details are broken up between people, and some even have to take leadership positions.
- Latrine Crew – Latrine crew cleans the bathroom. It’s probably one of the hardest areas because the MTIs are so picky when it comes to the latrine. There will be a latrine chief in charge of the crew, but pray you don’t get that job, as it will be your booty when stuff looks bad.
- Laundry Crew – Laundry crew is probably the second worst detail to have, only because you have to not only clean the laundry room, but you also must wash everyone’s laundry. If you have a lazy laundry crew, you’re in for an awful time. We did not have a super great laundry crew, so the Latrine chief and I ended up doing a lot of laundry. Technically, laundry crew is the only ones allowed in that area, but if no one is doing laundry, then you run out of socks and underwear pretty fast. Desperate times call for desperate measure. Laundry crew also has a chief. It’s a tough gig.
- Hallway Crew – I was on the hallway crew. It was one of the easier duties. Basically, you spend a lot of time on your hands and knees trying to get all the dust out of the corners.
- Dayroom Crew – Also a fairly easy job. They spent a lot of time dusting and making sure there was no lint on the couches (that we weren’t even allowed to sit on). You’ll do a lot of sitting on the floor during BMT, but you won’t complain. You’ll be happy to get any sitting time.
- Shoe and Bed Aligners – I think this was an annoying job for those doing it. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You align your shoes in a certain manor, and they have to be completely straight. Same with the beds. Attention to detail!
- Outer Hallway Crew – This crew had to go out in the hallway outside of the dormitory and sweep the stairs and hallways. You gotta be extra good out there because the cameras are everywhere!
If you are scared of shots, this is going to be a bad week for you. You are going to get a lot of shots in Basic, and some of them will be given simultaneously. You’ll walk through like cows being herded into a stock yard, and the aides will be lined up on each side, ready to hit you in both arms and possibly in the triceps.
The worst one though… is given during this week. We call it the PB (peanut butter) shot. It’s penicillin. It’s huge, cold, and thick – and they put it right in your butt cheek. It goes in slow, and despite trying to relax, you will clench up – which makes it hurt worse. The boys took it worse than the girls though. Word of advice – once you get it, punch the area you got shot in. Massage it. Roll around on it. Whatever you have to do to put pressure on it will help the pain go away faster – because the next day you will be so sore from that specific shot. You have to massage it out so the medicine will disperse. If you don’t, you’re going to be in pain for several days. So just do it.
I think over the whole course of BMT, I got around 10 shots. It was not fun, but you’ll survive.
Once week one ends, you’ll be exhausted, stressed, and wanting to quit. Thankfully, you will begin receiving letters by that time, so you’ll have encouragement and love getting to you. Just remember to keep your chin up and stay motivated. Feel free to ask me any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer. Continue the journey with Week 2 of Air Force Basic Military Training.