I apologize that it’s been so long since I updated about the Air Force. I wrote an in-depth post about Week 1 of Air Force Basic Military Training several months ago, and I want to continue giving you the best play-by-play I can before I brain dump everything I learned there.
The mid weeks of BMT – Weeks 2 through 5 – tend to follow a similar pattern, so these recaps will not be as in-depth as the first and later weekly reviews. Basically, you’re learning a lot of drill, a lot of “attention to detail,” and how to live your life while stuck in Basic Training Wasteland. Each week has its memorable moments, but they sort of turn into a blur, and you continue living for Sundays, as they mark another week down and being that much closer to graduation.
Week 2 of BMT is about settling into routine. The Sunday that starts the week may be your first chance to prove to your MTIs that you are a flight capable of taking care of yourselves. By this time, you may have a Dorm Chief. The Dorm Chief could make your life a living hell, as a flight and as an individual. Pray that your dorm chief is someone older and wiser who likes you. If you like being in control, you should try to become dorm chief.
That first Sunday alone is a blessing and curse. You’ll have to make your own way to breakfast – as a flight – and then make your way to church as best you can. You must also get your dorm details done. It is up to your Dorm Chief to make sure this stuff happens, and you’d be smart to do it. Our Dorm Chief did not have control of our flight and had no idea how to handle getting us down to Chow and we got yelled at a lot the next day. Just know, Sundays are wonderful, but can also be full of confusion. It gets better as the weeks progress.
During week 2, you’ll also start hitting your classes pretty hard. These can be a relief because you’re finally away from your MTIs, however, if the instructor (also an MTI) is mean, it could be miserable. Most of the instructors are nice, and some of the civilian ones will even allow you to act like a normal human being – like not having to say, Sir/Mam, trainee ____ reports as ordered. Of course, upon going into and leaving every classroom, there is a ritual. You will have to sit at attention and wait to be put at ease. You are expected to pay attention and NOT FALL ASLEEP. Study and learn the stuff they teach you because you will be tested on it in the final week before graduation.
During this week, you’ll also start being quizzed on your memory work. That’s information about your chain of command, weapon safety, and other training guidelines. You best know that, as you will be yelled at, and possibly get a 341 pulled. Have I mentioned 341’s yet?
A 341 is very important in Basic Training. A 341 is a little sheet of paper with your name, rank, flight, etc on it, and it can be pulled for positive and negative things you do – mostly negative. They go in your BMT record, but it’s not a huge deal in the long run. Don’t let it scare you – but don’t try to act up either. You better get used to 341s because you’re going to need to have them on you all the way up until you graduate technical school. They are to be kept in a little plastic baggy in your left cargo pocket at BMT. Don’t ever get caught without them on you. It’s a bad day. (It was actually during Week 2) that I got my first 341 pulled on EC duty. Fortunately – it wasn’t counted because it was for a dumb reason and they wrote it off.
Another PT Assessment
Week 2 will bring another PT assessment for you. These are good because they’re formatted like a real Air Force PT test and you’ll see how far you’ve come since first arriving. I was able to shave 3ish minutes off my run during the full course of BMT, so don’t be discouraged. You can (and you will) get better.
Between PT, classes, and learning lots of drill, you’ll also get your name tapes (WOW!), but they won’t get to be sewn on yet. Anywho, just seeing your name on a tag that you know you’ll eventually be wearing is rewarding. You’re finally getting the hang of things and it just feels really good.
You’ll also receive a patio break. A patio break allows you to go sit out on some picnic tables and buy a soda or some candy. That is the real reward of week 2. You only get like… an hour, and there will be tons of people hogging the machines, so I used most of mine to write letters (as we were given very little time to do that otherwise). I also drank a Coke at the very end and it was so goooooood! Be careful though, you don’t want to make yourself sick. It happened to people in my flight.
Also – if you’re in the old dorms, there are payphones available, though they are total crap and the lines to use them will be long. I recommend everyone pack a calling card JUST IN CASE you get in the old dorms. Plus, you’ll use it in Airmen’s Week anyways, when everyone is staying in old dorms – and you’ll get your money’s worth. So just buy one before you go down there.
Week 2 will also bring about your first maintenance inspection. I honestly don’t remember everything it entailed, but I believe they checked just my clothing drawer and my closet. They will tell you the inspection is coming and give you time to perfect your locker, but be prepared. It’s gonna be a bloodbath. The first one is always harder because the MTIs are just harsher and more particular. It will be alright. Just don’t be a trash hole and you’ll be okay.
My biggest fear in Week 2 was that I was going to get recycled. That’s where you go back a week or two because of behavioral or health issues. It could be either. We would hear rumors and it would freak us out. The truth is, you have to really screw up to get recycled. Don’t live in fear of that. Just do as your told the best you can and you’ll be fine.
That’s mostly it for Week 2. Week 3’s update will be coming soon (hopefully). Feel free to ask me questions. It has been nearly a year since I was in BMT, but I know most of the basics are the same.