Five things to know before you arrive at BMT

By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Getting ready to leave for Air Force basic military training can be an exciting, restless and confusing time. While you’re busy getting in shape and finalizing paperwork with your recruiter, you may have additional questions about how to succeed once you arrive at BMT. Don’t fret! We’ve got your back with these five essential tips to make BMT a bit smoother.

1) Know your reporting statement

You will use this every time you speak to your military training instructor. It is as follows:

“Sir/Ma’am, trainee (last name) reports as ordered.”

Be sure to use ma’am and sir when appropriate. Calling your MTI the opposite gender never ends well. Also, be cautious to not give your military training instructor a “sir sandwich”, by starting and ending your statement with sir:

“Sir/Ma’am, trainee (last name) reports as ordered, sir.”


Nothing makes an MTI’s day like a sir sandwich from a new trainee fresh off the bus!

2) Know the Airman’s Creed

The Airman’s Creed highlights an Airman’s promise to their country and fellow service members. Learn it and recite it with pride and motivation.

I am an American Airman.
I am a warrior.
I have answered my nation’s call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight, and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
A tradition of honor,
And a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman.
Guardian of freedom and justice,
My nation’s sword and shield,
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman.
Wingman, leader, warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.

3) Know the first part of the Air Force song

You’ll hear this song at many ceremonies and events throughout your Air Force career, and it’s customary for everyone to sing along too.

Off we go into the wild blue yonder
Climbing high into the sun

Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At ’em boys, give ‘er the gun!

Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off with one helluva roar!

We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

4) Know the Air Force enlisted and officer rank structures

Walking around Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in uniform can be a stressful situation if you don’t know the difference between enlisted and officer rank insignias and who you are supposed to salute.


5) Know the Air Force’s core values

They are our values that guide all aspects of an Airman’s military service.

Integrity first
Service before self
Excellence in all we do

Learning these five things before you arrive at BMT will make your transformation from a civilian to a motivated, disciplined warrior Airman a tiny bit easier.

What additional advice do you have for new recruits as they prepare for BMT?