Friday, September 2, 2011

5 Common Mistakes in the First 5 Minutes

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


  1. Hipsters ruin everything

  2. One kid in my BMT flight wore a t-shirt that had a Nestle Crunch Bar on the front. He instantly became derisively known as "Crunch" to the TIs, and that name stuck for the entire time we were there. Whenever they needed someone for some crap detail and they had to pick someone off the top of their head, it's usually someone like "Crunch" who has made themselves stand out at some point (I can still hear Sgt. Horton yell, "CRUNCH! Get over here!!!"). Don't wear anything with writing on it or that's unusual in any way, don't be first or last (especially last), and in general try to not draw attention to yourself.

    3708 BMTS, Flt. 295, Sept. - Oct. 1977

  3. I have a tattoo on my arm, I know it will be noticed soon enough, but im trying to delay the special attention on that first day. Could I wear a long sleeve or should I not?