Thursday, October 28, 2010

But My Friend Said...

As you prepare to leave for basic training friends and family who are in the military will give you a lot of advice. This can be a good thing but it can also just raise more questions and cause more confusion. With so much on your mind and a list of things to get done before leaving for basic training, it is important to be able to separate the good advice from the bad.

When anyone is telling you stories or giving you advice about your upcoming basic training experience, simply ask yourself the three W questions. What? When? And Why?

WHAT –What military branch is this person in? While every branch of military training has the same goal, to turn civilians into military members, every branch has its unique style, methods, and processes to achieve that goal. A member of the Navy cannot tell you what you will be learning in Air Force basic training, just as a member of the Air Force could not tell someone about the daily routine in Navy basic training.

WHEN – When getting advice from an Air Force member about basic training, it is important to keep in mind that Air Force basic training has dramatically changed in the past couple of years. Basic training has gone from 6.5 weeks to 8.5 weeks, and changed it's focus to training all Airmen in base defense. Therefore more training is focused on combat skills than ever before. My brother in-law joined the Air Force over 10 years ago, and he recalls handling an M16 for only one day of training. However, when I went through basic training in 2007, we were all given our own M16 within the first week of training and had to carry with us throughout training.

WHY – When listening to basic training advice and stories think about why the person is telling you specific things. Are they telling you horror stories about what the Training Instructors will do to you, how you will be treated, etc? If so, then they are only trying to make you more nervous, which you don't need. The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook address a specific situation where this often occurs, and how to keep it from effecting your state of mind prior to arriving at Lackland AFB. In general, if people are telling you specific 'horror stories' about what happened to them during basic training, they're not being helpful.

Usually the type of advice you will get is very generic, like, “Do what you’re told” or “Don’t upset your Instructor.” Good advice, but how do I do it? Well, that’s where The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook comes in. It was written specifically to give you simple, direct and most importantly, practical advice for you use before and during basic training.