BMT Advice from an Airman
I asked several Airman this question: What one thing would you tell a future AB (Airman Basic) to help them get through BMT?
Here are their responses:
Probably tell them to concentrate on getting good at things in basic, to keep their goal in mind.
I would tell them that everything they do to you is a mind game. Nothing they do or say is going to affect you later on in your career. Just go through the motions and try to fly under the radar.
You’re getting paid to eat sleep and do PT. And it’s a short amount of time considering.
Best advice to a new Airman, keep your hand down (don’t volunteer), keep your eyes straight ahead, and accept that you cannot do anything right. It gets better but there is no pleasing your instructor.
I would tell them to accept the verbal beatings and accept responsibility. Even if you are in the right. The T.I. is there to yell at you so let them. You can’t explain your way out of something you did wrong or something they think you did wrong. Just let them yell at you till they’re done. Then tell them that you have no excuse and it won’t happen again. If they ask why you did it you could say that your a dumb ass and then tell them that it won’t happen again.
The one thing I would tell a trainee is that it is ALL a test, everything a TI does is testing your ability to cope with stress and perform under pressure. You might fail an inspection or miss a basic knowledge question but maintain your military bearing and mental dominance and you’ll be fine. Also mention how proud you are of them and that you know they’ll make it.
It’s only eight weeks and its all worth it when you graduate. Make honor grad your goal. You only get one chance at it. It’s a ribbon and a coin.
Do the very best that you can is all i can say to someone coming in. the better you do, the more the ti’s lay off of you. STUDY STUDY STUDY your memory work, work out on your own time when you get it, and be sure to have some knowledge of whats in the Airmans manual before you go to the BEAST. it will benefit you.
Tell anyone asking for advise to-practice their reporting statement over and over 10X a day, and to do pushups, breaking a 90 degree angle that….and to speak when spoken to.
DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR AIRMAN’S MANUAL AFTER BASIC
My advice is pretty much the same give it everything you have and when you reach your breaking point or push through it its all just a mind game never give up that driven attitude will serve you well throughout bmt trust me I know from experience. Take nothing personally stay focused keep in touch with your loved ones their love and support will help you through the bad times.
Emily, my son volunteered for almost everything…after the first 2 weeks. During the first two weeks they would ask for volunteers and if no one volunteered they all had to do more running and more pushups…he and a few others started volunteering and the MTI was much more pleasant….so don’t think the MTI’s don’t play favorites…that’s just not true. At least in my son’s flight. They had a running joke, hey we need someone to pour gasoline in hell………..nix?
I sent my husband, AB Hernick (321/359) one of the questionnaires that I found in the AFWM quicklinks. One question in the questionnaire read, “What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is just entering BMT?” and he responded with a one-page answer ☺
DISCLAIMER: Everyone’s BMT experience is different. Please follow this advice at your own discretion. LOL!!!
1) Bring an awesome pair of little scissors (like sewing/nail/craft scissors). You’ll be spending most of your downtime on -word that I can’t read…lol- for loose threads on EVERYTHING. A good thread cutter is a must! The scissors you can buy here suck.
2) Stare all MTI’s right in the eyes when you talk to them. It’s their only kryptonite. Stare them down “like you can see all the bad things they’ve ever done.”
3) MEMORY WORK! Know it backwards, forwards, upside down, under water, in your sleep. Nothing will save you more hassle than being able to quickly answer memory work questions.
4) Don’t obey weird/rude/uncalled for orders. The MTI’s are trying to test your common sense/military bearing/quick thinking. If an MTI tells you to feed another MTI his peas with a spoon, you better tell him that you feel like that would be inappropriate. Same goes for pointing/touching/etc.
5) MTIS have a 3 foot bubble. Do not get in their bubble. If you think you are even close, snap to attention, wait for them to pass, and then proceed with what you were doing. If you need to move, do so quickly.
6) Learn some basic drill movements. No reason why you can’t come in already knowing left, right, and about face.
7) REPORTING STATEMENT! When in doubt, spit it out – 1 per conversation.
8) Don’t trust older flights. Rumors are just that. If an older flight tells you about something or shows you a technique find out if it is okay before you act.
9) PRIDE. Do everything with pride and understand that others are working just as hard as you, so respect their work as well.
10) Wingmen! Use them.
BONUS: You’re going to hear that BMT doesn’t get easier, that you get better. That’s partly true. You will get better at doing whatever it takes to make it look fast/perfect/motivated. Keyword= look.
My son’s response to the survey…
Do not do anything to get noticed, stay under the radar. Do not volunteer and raise your hand. Those that did, paid for it.
Keep your clothes at the dry cleaners (I don’t understand that one, but others agreed.)