Tag Archives: Basic Military Training

April 10 recruitment tweet chat

By the Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Air Force Recruiting Service participated in its eighth “office hours” tweet chat, #AsktheAF on @usairforce, April 10 and received 69 recruitment questions from Twitter followers. During the hour-long Web event, AFRS officials and the Air Force Social Media Team answered questions about enlistment eligibility requirements, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test scores and other career field-specific questions. The first 31 questions were answered during the tweet chat, but in case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat.

Q1: How similar is the Air Force’s boot camp training compared to the Navy or Marines?
A1: Each branch is different. Here is a link to read about ours: http://bit.ly/R6R6AR #AsktheAF

Q2: I’m 17-years-old and live in Nigeria. How can I join the USAF?
A2: You must be a legal resident of the U.S., have a valid Visa, and meet all requirements. #AsktheAF

Q3: I don’t get my braces off until most likely next May. Any chance I can enlist now with a date near then? #AsktheAF
A3: You can begin the process when you’re less than a year away from getting your braces off.

Q4: What does it take to become an officer in the reserves? #AsktheAF
A4: Since this is an active duty site, please refer your question to the Air Force Reserve office. bit.ly/13d58AD #AsktheAF

Q5: Is it possible to join with a history of depression from over five years ago?
A5: That would be up to the doctor at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to determine. Please call a recruiter to inquire about having an evaluation done. #AsktheAF

Q6: What can give me a competitive edge to becoming a pilot?
A6: High GPA (grade point average), high pilot or navigators test scores and overall must be highly qualified. Earning a private pilot’s license and a technical degree will increase your chances of being selected.

Q7: Can I be denied to take the pre-ASVAB if I meet the weight requirements to enter the Air Force?
A7: You must be pre-qualified in order for your recruiter to begin any process with you.

Q8: What score do you need to enter the Air Force?
A8: While the minimum score is 36, a score of 50 plus will allow you to continue processing.

Q9: If someone wanted, can they be sent straight to a conflict after training?
A9: Once you get to your first duty station, the earliest you could see deployment would be 60 days.

Q10: If I wanted to be a recruiter, where would I be sent for training?
A10: Training is located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Tx.

Q11: What’s the best diet or workout to prepare me for BMT?
A11: There’s no set method, but here’s some recommendations: http://1.usa.gov/14ARYDs.

Q12: As an officer, are we able to still do combat like the enlisted guys?
A12: Yes, all members of the Air Force are eligible to deployment.

Q13: What’s the unit equivalent to the Army’s Delta and the Navy SEALS?
A13: Here is some more information about the Air Force’s Spec Ops units: http://bit.ly/1iyU5bn.

Q14: When is the right time to talk to a recruiter?
A14: If you’re interested, there’s no time like the present. Talk to a recruiter once you’re ready.

Q15: There are people with asthma in the military, so if I can pass a respiratory test, could I join the Air Guard?
A15: Since this is an active duty site, please refer your question to the Air Guard http://bit.ly/15P3wjP

Q16: Apply for an interservice transfer from the Army to USAF as a physician. What do I put on my personal statement? How will it benefit the AF?
A16: Please contact your healthcare professional recruiter for guidance.

Q17: How difficult is it to get a medical waiver for congenital cataracts?
A17: It’s difficult, but the chief medical officer will make that determination.

Q18: Can you tell me anything about what airborne mission system does?
A18: Learn more about airborne mission systems here: http://bit.ly/1hmougL.

Q19: What is the main reason the Air Force offers such great benefits?
A19: Learn more about the Air Force benefits here: http://bit.ly/1qlEjXm.

Q20: What are some current “critical need” jobs in the USAF?
A20: Job demands vary, but placement is based on ASVAB scores, physical, background and credit checks.

Q21: How long does it normally take to book a job and get a ship date in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program)?
A21: It may take three to nine months to book a job, as well as depart to Basic Military Training.

Q22: I’m home schooled. Can I still join the Air Force?
A22: A diploma issued to a graduate of a home school program must meet a variety of requirements, but yes, they can.

Q23: How difficult is it to become a drone operator? Are stresses different for them than other pilots?
A23: Each aspect has their own unique situations, but applicants are assigned an aircraft based on qualifications.

Q24: Does CAP (Civil Air Patrol) roll give me an advantage at being in the Air Force?
A24: Earning the Billy Mitchell, Amelia Earhart, or Carl Spaatz award will give you the advantage of being an E-3.

Q25: What is basic training like?
A25: Learn more about BMT here: http://tiny.cc/wxgf0w.

Q26: I leave July 1st for BMT, what should I prepare for BMT?
A26: Learn more about preparing for BMT here: http://tiny.cc/wxgf0w.

Q27: Any special requirements for an AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) job?
A27: OSI is not an entry level career field. You must apply for it as retraining.

Q28: Would one be better off getting a degree, then joining as an officer or becoming one after enlisted.
A28: That is a personal choice, and would depend on your goals.

Q29: What does the timeline look like after tech school? Will I know where I’ll be going before I graduate?
A29: After BMT you go straight to tech school. You’ll get orders to your first base about two to three weeks before graduating tech school.

Q30: In what ways will graduating BMT with War Hawk benefit me?
A30: You get an award at BMT and more liberties over graduation weekend.

Q31: Where can I go to sign up for the Air Force?
A31: Your local AF recruiter will assist you. Find a recruiter here: bit.ly/11uA68V.

Q32: If your in the DEP program as an enlisted member, can I change it to become an officer?
A32: You must be discharged from the DEP to apply. However, OTS selection boards have been suspended until further notice.

Q33: I’m leaving for BMT and I would like to become an officer sometime in my career. What is the best way to do so?
A33: Get your bachelor degree, get a 3.0 GPA or higher and then apply. Once you meet the requirements, you can apply.

Q34: If my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) is going to be security forces, can I still help out at the base chapel?
A34: You can inquire about volunteer work once you arrive at your first base.

Q35: If my husband and I both join, will we be deployed at the same time?
A35: Deployments are based off of the AF’s needs, so you could deploy at the same or different times.

Q36: How does someone get recommended for the PJs (pararescue jumpers)?
A36: Meet requirements and pass the PAST test (Physical Ability and Stamina Test): http://1.usa.gov/1i626rR

Q37: When you go to MEPS do they try and correct your visual acuity to 20/20 or should I get an eye exam before heading to MEPS?
A37: The MEPS cannot correct your visual acuity. You must contact an Ophthalmologist for review.

Q38: How does college credits help you rank coming into the Air Force?
A38: Earning college credits may provide you advanced rank. Please contact an Air Force recruiter.

Q39: What are some of the roles of CROs (combat rescue officer) in deployment today?
A39: You can find out more about a CRO at http://bit.ly/1jL05kB.

Q40: Once you graduate from the USAFA (United States Air Force Academy) and go to UPT (undergraduate pilot training), can you fly with the Guard, or do you have to go to active duty?
A40: If you graduate from USAFA and UPT, you will serve in the active AF. You may transfer or join the Air National Guard after you’ve completed your Military Service Obligation.

Q41: Is BMT really hard?
A41: Each individual has different experiences at Basic Military Training, but it’s not considered easy.

Q42: Is it alright to go to MEPS before I finish High School?
A42: Your Air Force recruiter will schedule you for a MEPS appointment when you meet the requirements to process.

Q43: How can someone switch between branches?
A43: By contacting an Air Force recruiter to determine your qualifications, and to see if the Air Force’s Prior Service Program is accepting applications.

Q44: What can I do to prepare myself for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal)?
A44: You must first contact an Air Force recruiter to determine your qualifications. You can learn more about EOD on http://bit.ly/14ASHo9.

Q45: How difficult is it to become a K-9 handler if you’re in security forces?
A45: Once you have earned your five skill level in security forces, and meet the requirements, you may apply.

Q46: What jobs can you get if you’re mildly colorblind?
A46: Provided you meet vision requirements, your recruiter has a list of jobs which you may qualify for.

Q47: Any specific advantages to flying helicopters in the Air Force, rather than the Army.
A47: After talking with recruiters from each service and establishing your goals, it’s up to you to make that decision. Also, the type of helicopter you want to fly should be considered.

Q48: How long is the average deployment?
A48: Average length of deployment is 120 -180 days, based on mission requirements and the needs of the Air Force.

Q49: What military careers do you have in the Air Force that involve technology?
A49: The Air Force is highly technological, and you can read about all careers on http://bit.ly/14ASHo9.

Q50: Is it better to join through the ROTC due to cutbacks or should I join when I graduate from college?
A50: College ROTC (reserve officer training corp), and applying for OTS (officers training school) are both sources of commissioning, & both are highly competitive. Your choice is a personal decision.

Q51: What kind of job openings could I have with an ASVAB score of 78?
A51: You must also qualify in one of the four aptitude areas; mechanical, administrative, general, or electronics to determine the job you may train and serve in, as well as passing a physical examination.

Q52: Can a non-citizen H4 visa holder join the Air Force?
A52: You must be residing in the U.S. legally and possess an INS Form I-151/551 also known as a “Green Card.” You must also meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force.

Q53: Do we have proud deaf people in the Air Force?
A53: All individuals serving in the Air Force must meet different frequency hearing requirements, depending upon the job they qualify to train and serve in.

Q54: What is the length of 2A6X1 – aerospace propulsion technical school? I heard it was cut short?
A54: The length of your technical training depends upon the type of aircraft, and engine you will specialize in. Length of training can range from 34-61 days.

Q55: I’m 31 and I got a 77 on the ASVAB. Can I enlist?
A55: You must enlist and be in Basic Military Training prior to your 28th Birthday. Please contact the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.

Q56: Can you be a single parent on active duty?
A56: Yes, provided you meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force. Please see an Air Force recruiter for information and guidance.

Q57: If I didn’t get accepted for an ROTC scholarship, can I still apply for the ROTC classes.
A57: Yes, speak to your guidance counselor regarding college level aerospace science courses.

Q58: If I’m a Lt. Col. in AFJRROTC (Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps). Is there a possibility of earning the rank of general?
A58: Yes, there is always the possibility of becoming a general in the Air Force, provided you meet all career milestones.

Q59: How long does it take to become a combat controller?
A59: Technical training is approximately 179 days. However, follow-on training, and location, is dependent upon career progression.

Q60: What is life like for an Air Force photographer?
A60: The Air Force provides a quality of life unmatched, to include education, training, travel, and much more.

Q61: Have the two year weather hubs been eliminated for 1W031 (weather observer).
A61: Since this concerns someone already in the Air Force, we recommend you talk to your career functional manager.

Q62: What could a person who was disqualified by MEPS for a high stigmatism do in order for their file to be reactivated for DEP?
A62: You may need a chief medical officer review at the MEPS to provide you an eligibility determination or possibly a waiver. Please contact your AF recruiter for more information and guidance.

Q63: I know I have to serve a four-year enlistment, but how long do I have to serve if I go to AF ROTC in college?
A63: If you are commissioned through AF ROTC, you will incur a four year military service obligation with the U.S. Air Force.

Q64: Is being part of pararescue dangerous?
A64: Any job can be dangerous. However, the training one receives to serve as a pararescueman, always focuses on safety, and the hazards of the job.

Q65: I want to join, but my family doesn’t want me to. What do I do?
A65: It is important that you share your intentions with your family. You may sit down together with an Air Force recruiter, or share www.airforce.com with them, so that they are more aware of your goals and ambitions.

Q66: What fighter aircraft are the most new pilots being assigned to?
A66: There is no way of knowing this information as it is ever-changing and based on the needs of the Air Force.

Q67: Do you get paid extra for being stationed at a northern-tiered base?
A67: You are not paid more for being stationed at an Air Force base in the northern United States.

Q68: Do any jobs require being pepper sprayed as part of the training?
A68: Security forces personnel may be exposed to pepper spray for training and awareness.

Q69: Can I take the ASVAB if I’m only 17?
A69: Yes, you can take the ASVAB if you are 17 years of age.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them during our next Air Force Recruiting tweetchat April 24.

Combat couple: staff sergeant reflects on trading drink orders for deployment orders

by Staff Sgt. Shaun Hostutler
edited by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

(Editor’s note: Staff Sgt. Shaun Hostutler is a broadcaster and her husband, Marine Sgt. Aaron Hostutler, is a photojournalist. Shaun is on her first tour in Afghanistan as a combat correspondent. While the couple and their children have been separated by prior deployments, this is the first time Shaun has deployed while Aaron remained stateside. Shaun and Aaron have agreed to share this unique military experience with Air Force Live.)

It all started with a Q-tip.

Well, actually, the Q-tip is the beginning of something else (we’ll save that story for later). I suppose the best way to start this story would be to share how I came to be a member of the world’s finest Air Force in the first place.

That’s why you’re here after all, isn’t it?

When I first started out in the Air Force, I was determined to stay focused. After dropping out of college and moving home to Austin (I couldn’t pay for tuition on my own after a year and a half at Baylor), I had spent a few years bartending. While the job was fun, it was just that – a job. I had always promised myself I wouldn’t settle into a job; I would establish a career in a field that I had genuine passion for. I wanted to be a journalist.

In bartending, there was free booze but no benefits and no health insurance. I had barely enough money to pay bills, feed my dog, buy some ramen noodles and send the rest to family who needed it. And sometimes, there was barely enough for the ramen noodles.

I can’t tell you how creative cooking can get when you’ve got next to nothing in the fridge and your power is cut off.

After two years of cleaning crusted puke and urine from bathroom stalls, being grabbed at by frat boys who couldn’t hold their liquor or control their bladders, and having to force a flirtatious smile all the while (because a sour face makes no money), I was convinced that I had failed. Some friends had graduated from college, others were starting careers. They were moving forward and I was going nowhere.

How would I find a way to finish school, land the perfect job, do what I love, make a good living, and establish world peace before I turned 21? My standards were high and unrealistic at times, but I held onto them.

I determined the easiest way to get to a combat zone and begin my career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist – without having to pour coffee for some editor while scraping together enough money to live – would be to enlist in the military. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?

I went to the first recruiting office I could find. I grew up an Army brat and figured, why the hell not? The Army office was closed that day, but the Air Force recruiter was in his office. From what I hear, it’s usually the other way around. I have never regretted walking into that office.

The life that the Air Force promised seemed to be so much more.

They emphasized education, encouraged independent thinking, and rewarded hard work. Not only did I find that I would be able to deploy, but I could also guarantee a job as a news broadcaster if I could pass a voice audition. I jumped at the chance. Maybe I wouldn’t be the next Eddie Adams right away, but I could go for being the next Christiane Amanpour or Lisa Ling. A few short weeks later, I was on a blue bus, on my way to basic training at what was then called Lackland Air Force Base – the “Gateway to the Air Force” – in San Antonio, Texas.

When I first enlisted, I had no idea how hard it would be to volunteer for a combat deployment. My military training instructor at basic nearly spit his coffee in my face, laughing when I asked during the second week of training how soon would it be before I could get an assignment to Afghanistan. I had to get in country before the war was over, because I knew that even though the war had reached its seven year mark and the nation was preparing to send in a surge, it could end at any moment and I’d miss my chance.

It would be five years before I would finally deploy.

It seemed to me that I was always in the right place at the wrong time. No matter how often I raised my hand to go, there was always a roadblock. I think it was fate’s sense of humor. It wouldn’t be until I stopped waving my hand like a six-year-old with a pressing question that I’d actually be able to go.

I thought it was never going to happen.

I guess that brings us to where we are now. Five years passed. In the time it took for me to finally get orders to Afghanistan, I was promoted, got married, moved across the world, was promoted again, had a baby, was tasked for two deployments that were canceled, had another baby, and returned to the States.

Just as my husband and I were getting settled in at my third duty station and looking to buy a house, he received orders to Afghanistan. And I was staying home with the kids. I wanted to be happy for him. Secretly, I was annoyed.

But life has a funny way of working things out. After all, I am writing to you from Afghanistan. Must be that funny sense of humor fate has again. Call it luck or pure coincidence, but this time his orders were canceled and mine finally stuck. I call it fate. It’s hard not to, when it was something as small as a Q-tip that got us to where we are now.

But like I said, that’s a story for another day.

BMT graduation, Jan. 12, 2013

By Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As they do every Friday, trainees who completed their eight weeks of basic military training graduated to become full-fledged Airmen in the U.S. Air Force, Jan. 11, 2013, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

However, this graduation’s backdrop was not the usual parade field. Instead, Airmen graduated under the overhang of their own squadron buildings due to previous day’s weather.

As family and friends gathered around, Warrior and Honor Flights stated their Oath of Enlistment and made the step from trainee to Airman.

Oath of Enlistment video

Afterwards, the air was filled with joy and excitement of both the Airmen and their guests.

Congratulations to the Air Force’s newest Airmen!


 By Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool
Air Force Recruiting Service

While on an aircraft recently my seven-year-old son pointed out the window and asked me what was below. As I replied “mountains” he got a strange look on his face and said “that’s funny, they don’t look so tall from up here.” Senior Master Sgt. McCool

As I reflected on what he said I realized his statement mirrored my career. As I was looking ahead at each challenge I faced, the mountains appeared so tall, but as I climbed them and looked back down I discovered they weren’t as tall as I thought they were.

My first “mountain” came on the morning of Aug. 3, 1995, when my dad drove me to the Military Entrance Processing Station in Phoenix, Ariz. I can remember it as if it was yesterday — standing under the fluorescent lights outside the building. The fear that had been building over the last year in the Delayed Entry Program was now staring me in the face. I was leaving home for the first time to attend Basic Military Training (BMT). The “mountain” seemed enormous and I almost begged my dad to take me back home, but his words of encouragement were the reason I was able to walk into the building that morning and survive the next six weeks of basic.

It wasn’t until three years later when I returned to BMT that I realized the “mountain” didn’t seem so tall. These experiences continued throughout my career as a health services apprentice, a member of the base honor guard, a military training instructor and here in recruiting duty. I have been fortunate to have many mentors and peers along the way who made the climb much more enjoyable. As you face mountains, find someone to help with your climb and know that someday you will be able to look back on each “mountain” in a different light.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool (right), Air Force Recruiting Service recruiter screening team superintendent, counsels a prospective recruiter. She was recognized as the Air Education and Training Command senior noncommissioned officer of the year for 2010. (courtesy photo)