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.