Tuesday, January 22, 2013
My longer answer is….
A vegan is someone who does not eat any animal products, which includes eggs, milk, or cheese. They must either takes supplements (which are not allowed at BMT), or identify other non-animal substitute foods to make up for the lack of nutrients. Foods such as avocado, beans, legumes, nuts, kale, tahini, are all common ingredients in a vegan diet. However, they are not all very common in a BMT chow hall.
Because of these considerations BMT is not conducive for a healthy vegan diet.
This is not to say that it cannot be done. The human body is extremely resilient; however you will not feel or perform your best while living in this high stress, highly physical environment. Anyone who has gone through BMT will tell you that physically and mentally you are taxed the entire time. Feeling your best is essential to making BMT as stress free as possible, but if you are adamant about sticking to your vegan diet, just know that it is yet another hurdle you will have to surpass.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
-Squeeze the trigger after you exhale and before you inhale. This is known as the natural respiratory pause. This is the point in your breathing cycle where you’re best able to center the weapon on your target.
PS. I just used these techniques during my annual M4 and M9 qualification and once again qualified as Expert.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
By the time you complete basic training you will have rolled more shirts, folded more towels and made more beds than you will care to remember. However, there will be some things you wont be able to do right no matter how many times you try. For some people it’s making hospital corners on their bed, for others it’s folding towels into perfect rectangles with every edge the same length. For me, it was getting my duffle bag perfectly folded into a square. No matter how many times I tried I couldn’t make it perfect. On the other hand, rolling socks and shirts into perfect, wrinkle-free tubes was easy for me.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from your fellow recruits. For example, if you can’t role a shirt but can make a great hospital corner, find someone that can roll a perfect shirt faster than a roadrunner on speed, but who’s hospital corners look like a deformed taco. In other words, help each other out. Much of basic training is learning to work efficiently with other people, and the training starts with the little things, such as folding clothes and making beds.
Monday, March 5, 2012
It’s normal for all recruits to think at one time or another that they have made a mistake by joining the military. Usually this thought occurs during the first week of basic training. Some trainees will find it hard to avoid thinking about their cushy civilian life. If you think you may be one of those recruits that lay awake at night dreaming of your family and friends, keep these tips in mind:
Understand the first week of training is the hardest.
Yes, everything is new and no one seems to likes you. Don’t worry, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Everyone is feeling the same worries and fears. At this point, just understand what is to be expected of you and try your best to accomplish those tasks.
Hurting yourself or others will not get you home sooner.
As crazy as it may sound to you now, there are recruits desperate enough to leave basic training that they will hurt themselves to get discharged. Unfortunately this tactic doesn’t work. As a result, the recruits who self inflict an injury spend more time away from home stuck in military medical facilities while the other recruits have graduated.
You’re not alone.
Even though you are living night and day with fifty plus other people, at first you may feel like you are going through hell and you’re all by yourself. That’s because you have not yet connected with the other recruits. After the first week of training, you’ll find that you have built a friendship with the other recruits.
A parent of a military recruit who is currently going through basic training asked me “What will the military do if my son doesn’t want to finish basic training?” My answer to that is – the fastest way out of basic training is to graduate from basic training.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
The Air Force has a program called Operation Homecooking which has been around for 35 years. For Thanksgiving, and only Thanksgiving, trainees will get a break from training and have the opportunity to spend this holiday in the home of a local active duty member (don’t worry it won’t be your Instructor’s). Participation in this program isn’t guaranteed. If you are in your first couple of weeks of training you will not go anywhere. Instead you will continue with training but that night’s dinner usually consists of turkey. The number of trainees that can participate in Operation Homecooking is dictated by the number of active duty members who volunteer to host a trainee. If you are selected to participate it is important to remember the following information which your Instructor is sure to give you.
- You must remain professional and respectful.
- Don’t badmouth your Instructor or fellow trainees.
At the same time it’s alright to relax and have a good time away from Lackland AFB.
Historically Christmas is a relaxed training day. With Christmas being on a Sunday this year you will have the option of going to church that day. Sundays are normally non-PT and appointment days which means you will spend the day in your dorm. Usually you will be given cleaning details or told to work on your wall locker, but your Instructor will stay away as much as possible which will make the day a lot more relaxed.
Friday, September 2, 2011
No matter how often it is said, or how many times it is printed, there is always someone on the bus heading to basic training that makes at least one of these obvious mistakes. Don’t let this person be you. Read the following list bellow and then read The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook for more advice and tips on how to stay out of trouble at basic training.
- Hair: Do not shave your head before basic training. This applies to both males and females. Do not even arrive at basic with a military style cut (Flat Top, High-and-tight etc). Males should shave all facial hair before arriving at basic training. Females do not worry about shaving your legs; it is not a requirement for basic training.
- Recruiting T-Shirts: When you enlist in any branch of the military you will probably be given a t-shirt. This t-shirt will have a military logo on it. Your recruiter may even tell you to wear it when you go to basic training. DON’T! Unless you want to be yelled at more than everyone else your fist day of basic training, leave this t-shirt at home.
- Other Clothing: In addition to the t-shirt, you should also not wear clothes that are out of the ordinary or will draw attention. What would that be? When I got off the bus for basic training there was already a group of recruits standing in formation. As I approached them to take my place my attention was automatically drawn to a male recruit wearing a bright yellow one-piece jump suite. If I noticed it you can be sure the Instructors couldn’t help but go out of their way to introduce themselves to that individual. That is an extreme example but I think you get the point.
- Luggage: If colorful clothing will catch the Instructor’s attention, than you can be sure colorful luggage will too. Leave your cartoon character luggage at home. Yes there are people that still do this. I would even go so far as to only bring neutral colored luggage to basic training. (No purples, reds, yellows etc).
5. Attitude: When you first get to basic training it is important not to show any type of attitude. Attitude doesn’t only refer to a bad attitude, although that is the worst type to have at basic training. It also refers to an exited attitude. Do not get off the bus with a big smile on your face, or stand in formation acting as if you are enjoying every minute of it. Even if you are, don’t let the Instructors see it yet.
I know this information has been stated over and over, but again, it never seems to fail that either people misunderstand or simply think the rules do not apply to them, and as a result they arrive at basic training wearing purple pants, an Army t-shirt, with a newly shaved head, carrying a smurfs suitcase and grinning from ear to ear. Do not be this person - don’t even stand near them.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Basic training is designed to teach you how to work under pressure, to keep your military bearing under the most stressful situations, and to accomplish your mission even while being distracted.
At the beginning of basic training you must learn to decide when to open and when not to open a door. In the Air Force it’s called Entry Control Duty (EC Duty). This “simple” task of guarding the door to your dorm leads to stress and punishment for many trainees.
Your Mission: Prevent unauthorized personnel from entering your dormitory.
Your Adversary: Any and all Military Training Instructors (MTIs) trying to gain access to your dorm without showing proper identification.
If You Should Fail: At the beginning of basic training the punishment will be an MTI in your face, and then your face in the ground while you complete a given number of pushups. If you are to fail later in training, the punishment increases, and can even included being recycled (held back in training).
How to Accomplish this Mission and Succeed at EC Duty: At the beginning of basic training everyone will be assigned an EC Duty shift. The unlucky trainee who’s given the job of writing and monitoring those shifts is responsible for teaching you EC procedures.
Step 1 Make the EC Monitor show you all the procedure, in detail.
Step 2 Practice, practice and more practice. Once you have been shown the procedure, take the time to practice with your fellow trainees until you can say the instructions in your sleep (and some trainees will).
Step 3 When the MTI is pounding on the door yelling at you to let him in, ignore him. Do not listen to what he’s saying. Nothing he says or threatens you with gives him authorization to enter the room.
By the way - You will have specific instruction printed, (instructions are written on the door for you), which tell you who to allow entrance to and when to allow it.
This sounds simple right? It can be, if you stay focused and aren’t that trainee who believes the MTI’s threats. “Open this door or I’ll recycle your #@! back to next year!” What typically happens after this threat? The trainee looses focus and opens the door. The trainee now smells the breath of the MTI as he yells at him for opening the door. The trainee then notices the dirt between the tiles as he starts his third round of pushups.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
By Senior Airman Nick VanWormer
During basic training up to 60 recruits, each with their own unique background, prejudices, and ideas, live in close quarters in a high stress environment. In this situation there is bound to be conflict, in fact it is expected. It is also expected that this disunited group of people will learn to work as a unified team. Success strongly depends on how soon each individual learns the following key points of working with others during basic training.
1. Focus on others. As you prepare to leave for basic training your focus should be about what you need to do before you leave. When you’re with friends and family the conversation focuses around what your basic training experience is going to be like. At this point, the focus is on you. However, once you arrive at basic training you should change your mindset from ‘what do I need to do?’ to ‘what do we need to do?’
2. W hen one individual fails the team fails. Just like a sports team, in order to win the game the team must work well together. While at the same time it takes individual achievement to bring the team to victory. Likewise, the failings of one team player can cause a loss for the entire team. Therefore it is important that everyone looks out for their fellow teammates, stepping in to compensate for an individuals weakness (which could be as small as folding shirts, or rolling socks) and capitalizing on an individual’s strength.
3. Being right isn’t always best. During basic training you and your group will be faced with many tasks that must be completed in a short amount of time. Your instructor will not necessarily tell you how to accomplish these tasks, but rather leave it up to the group to figure out. This is often when conflict occurs. During these times you may be right about the best way to complete the task, but arguing about it is not the best use of time. If there is a strong enough conflict that is hindering the task from getting done, it is better to swallow your pride and do it their way in order to accomplish the task.
Consciously think about these basic concepts during basic training and it will help you work with your team.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I just did an interview on Ultimate Basic Training Radio with host Sgt Micheal Volkin. We talked about preparing physically for Air Force basic training and other tips for surviving basic training.
Click the play button to listen.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Being unable to send abbreviated messages every other minute to your boy friend or girlfriend is just one of the harsh realities of being in the basic training environment. Without these modes of communication, letter writing suddenly comes out of the drawer of obscurity, and becomes the lifeblood of communication between friends and family.
I am not going to explain how to write letters to one another, that is for a different blog. I am simply going to explain what not to send through the mail to your trainee during Air Force Basic Training. If you are the one leaving for BMT, make sure to give the following list to your friends and family.
1. First and foremost, do not send anything that your trainee is prohibited from taking to basic training. A list of prohibited items can be found in The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook under Chapter 10 - Packing for BMT: Helpful Tips on What to Bring.
2. Avoid sending any food. Any packages received during basic training will be opened in front of the Military Training Instructor and the rest of the trainees. MTIs have different ways of handling it when trainees receive food. A common practice is to give the receiving trainee a chance to eat the food. However, there are conditions. 1. The trainee must eat all the food, and 2. The trainee must eat it within 2-3 minutes. This may not sound so bad, but consuming a box full of brownies in 3 minutes is a gut-wrenching experience, especially when your body is has been otherwise deprived of all sweets.
3. Don't send clothes. This is more prevalent during the holidays. Friends and family want to send their trainee presents. Don't. Not only will they not be able to wear any of it, but they will have to pack it when they leave for technical school and packing space is very limited. On top of that, any clothing item, especially with any type of logo, is fuel for the fire when it comes to MTIs belittling trainees.
4. Don't send letters that smell of perfume or cologne. This is a favorite of MTIs when they are handing out mail. Again it is just one more bit of ammunition for them .
5. Don't send pictures you don't want others to see. Any pictures that you send will be seen by the MTI and probably all of the other trainees. Provocative pictures will be confiscated and at have been known to appear hung up for the entire group to see.
These are five of the most common things sent to trainees that should not be. What you should send are letters filled with words of encouragement, love and support. That is what your trainee will need from you doing Air Force Basic Training.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
By Air Force SrA Nick VanWormer
Your training at Air Force BMT is far from trivial, but there will be days when you may feel you’re playing Trivial Pursuit® with the devil himself. These pop quizes can have embarassing and painful results.
The following is a typical conversation between an Air Force Military Training Instructor and a recruit at the U.S. Air Force Boot Camp:
MTI: "What is the rank insignia of a Chief Master Sergeant?!!"
Trainee: "Sir, Airman Smith reports as ordered. The…The …Uh… ."
MTI: "The rank insignia of a Chief Master Sergeant is a 'The, the, uh?!!' Wrong. Give me a 341!!"
It’s not uncommon for “conversations” to end this way during basic training. Within the first two weeks of BMT, trainees are expected to study, memorize and present a vast amount of new information. It can be hard enough to try and memorize so much information in such a short time, but add someone yelling in your face and it may seem impossible.
Here are three tips to help you memorize everything you’re expected to know:
- The best preparation you can do is to learn the memorization work in advance. While everyone else in your flight is struggling, you are refreshing your memory. In Chapter 15, I have compiled the information you will need to memorize during BMT in The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook.
- You will learn a lot of different names and positions that mean nothing to you. To help you remember all these names and their positions, use word and association tricks. Here’s an example. The name Schwartz reminds me of Schwarzenegger. He is the Chief of Staff, and the hockey team in my hometown is the Chiefs. So I imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a Chiefs hockey uniform, bench-pressing a table with his entire staff standing on it. The more personal, detailed and bizarre you make it the better.
You will also need to learn the rank structure and be able to match pay grades (E-4, E-8 etc) with rank insignia. The simplest way to memorize what pay grade goes with what insignia is to remember that enlisted insignia is always one-less stripe than the pay grade. Example: an E-1 has 0 stripes; an E-2 has 1 stripe, and so on.
- Someone once told me that practice does not make perfect. Instead practice makes permanent. What this means is that you will perform the way you practice. If you practice incorrectly than you will perform incorrectly. When memorizing this information it is important to say it aloud. If you only review the information mentally, your voice will freeze when an MTI asks you to say the information aloud. You want the muscle memory of your mouth and voice to be as prepared as your memory.