Heading to BMT?

[Source: J. Boone Pooler Photography]

So, you want to know more about BMT?  Morbidly curious about what your significant other/family member/friend is going/went through?  Or, did you, yourself, make the commendable decision to join the Air Force?  Like you, I wanted to know as much as I could before I left.  My best source for an online community became a Facebook group of others who shared a May 2011 ship date for BMT.  I loved sharing that excitement with others, and I hope that if you’re heading off to BMT that you’re equally as motivated and anxious.

Who am I to tell you what to do?  Well, I left for BMT on 31 May 2011.  I was an older trainee at age 30, and I’d just finished my fifth year of teaching.  I had been physically preparing myself for five months, focusing on running, pushups, and sit-ups.  At BMT I was the Dorm Chief, from start to finish.  I was never permanently replaced, nor did I replace a “fired” Dorm Chief – I was my MTI’s first choice.  I received a 97 on my EOC.  I was an honor graduate.  Upon graduation day (28 Jul 2011), I was awarded Top Honor Graduate out of 817 trainees.  Numbers aside, I had a successful experience at BMT.  The only thing I can’t speak to is marksmanship – I did not have a good day on the range, although I qualified.       

What are you getting yourself into?  Read on about my experience at BMT!

My Journey To Enlistment
Announcing My Intentions
Moving From “O” to “E”
Meeting with the Recruiter
ASVAB – Debrief, Awaiting Results, and Results
MEPS – Before and After
Choosing My AFSC
My Enlistment

Thoughts From Training
1 June 2011 – My Arrival
28 June 2011 – Monday of 3WOT
7 July 2011 – Murphy’s Law [Written after training.]
13 July 2011 – End of 4WOT
1 Aug 2011 – En Route to Keesler AFB
3 Aug 2011 – Day 2 of Tech School
19 Sept 2011 – The Shock of Reintegration

Pre-BMT Preparations

Money Matters
What to Pack

Know Before You Go
Cell Phones
Guard and Reserve
Traveling to Lackland
“Made It” Postcard
Shakedown Sheet

Daily Life at BMT

Illness and Sanitation
The Period Problem [TMI female post]
Entry Control [Also listed under “Duties and Details”]
Chow Runnin’ and Grubbin’  [Also listed under “Duties and Details”]
Love in the Squadron
Laundry Bag Living 

Dress and Appearance
Beauty and the BMT
The Makeup Question
Wedding Rings
Rapunzel, Rapunzel
How-To: The Sock Bun [YouTube video]
When conformity is a GOOD thing!

Duties and Details
Why you should raise your hand!
Dust Down

Student Leaders – Dorm Chief, Element Leaders, Guidon Bearer/A-Flight Guide
Flight Office Technician – “House Mouse”
Chow Runnin’ and Grubbin’ – Chow Runner
EC Monitor [Also listed under “Daily Life at BMT”] 
Part 1 – Bed Aligners, Shoe Aligners, End of Bed Display
Part 2 – Fire Monitor, Utility Crew, Day Room Crew, Hallway/Chrome Crew
Part 3 – Academic Monitor, PT Monitor, Water Monitor, Electrician
Part 4 – Chapel Guides, Road Guards, Pad Crew

Physical Training

Running Shoes
BMT PT Regimen
Racing for PT

Weekly Highlights

Graduation Information

Graduation Schedule
The Airman’s Run
Squadron T-Shirt and Coin
The Airman’s Coin
Awards and Honors
Reuniting at Graduation
My Challenge Coins

No-Nos Series
Part 1
Part 2 – MTI edition

YouTube Series: Rolling and Folding
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Towels
Part 3 – PT shorts and shirts
Part 4 – Female Undergarments
Part 5 – Socks
Part 6 – Sand T-Shirts

YouTube Videos
How-To: The Sock Bun
Motivation: Core Values = BMT Success

129 thoughts on “Heading to BMT?

  1. HopeHatchetsaid

    Not sure where to post this or if you've said something about it and I've missed it. It has to do with doing your hair. I know it's to be kept off the collar, my hair isn't long enough to bun but it would most liked touch my collar. Do you have to bun your hair? Also is there anytime do do your hair? Because I have very thick curly hair and if I don't straighten it with a flat iron then I'm in big trouble, not way would I be able to pull it up nor would I be able to wear a hat at all. If you could cast some light on this that would be great!

  2. Erinsaid

    @Hope – If yours isn't long enough to be put into a bun, then you're going to have to cut it shorter, unless you can manage to braid it and keep it from touching your collar. You won't dry your hair with a hairdryer and definitely no straightening while at BMT. You'll just have to end up with a bigger hat to accommodate your hair. The time you have to do your hair in the morning is VERY minimal, and it has to be perfect. Good luck, I know it's a PITA to figure everything out!

  3. Alecia Stoppelsaid

    Wow thank you so much for all this time and information you have put into this blog. I leave in Aug for BMT and just by reading your blog my nerves cool down a bit. I really appreciate.it. Thank you!

  4. Sarahsaid

    Hi Erin! I'm a big fan and have been following your blog for forever. I was wondering, when do they take your body fat measurements at bmt?

  5. Erinsaid

    @Sarah – The took our waist measurement that first night, but I never remember them actually taking body fat measurements. Hope that helps!

  6. Franshesca Apontesaid

    It looks like a dog tag. It contains their name and some other information. They may have another one attached of a loved brother/ or sister that may have been killed in war.

  7. Erinsaid

    @Franshesca – Yes, you get dog tags, but you won't wear them at all at BMT, and you're only supposed to wear them in the AF when you deploy. You'll give them to your Unit Deployment Manager when you get to your first base.@Sarah – Then you should be good to go! 😉

  8. candycanesaid

    Hi Erin! I'm headed to BMT at the end of October and will be in Tech School for about 4months in Ohio. Cold?! My friend will be mailing me a pre-packed suitcase to my Tech School since my family will be unable to attend graduation at Lackland. Can you recommend a packing list for Tech School?

  9. Erinsaid

    @candycane! – Hello! I would wait it out and see what the conditions are like when you get there. You won't be able to wear civilian clothes initially anyway, and you may find it more convenient to just go shopping. You might want to send a favorite pair of jeans or shoes. Towels you can buy there (if you don't want to deal with your small BMT towels), as well as additional beauty/toiletry items. You might have them send your iPod or laptop (if you're comfortable with that). You also might want some warm PJs or sweats for hanging out in your dorm room.

  10. Kassidy Allardicesaid

    Hey Erin! I leave for basic in February and im getting a little nervous. I was a little curious about the amount of people who dont make it to graduation, wether it was because they failed the tests or just couldnt handle it? Kind of a weird question!

  11. Erinsaid

    @Kassidy Allardice – Congrats to you! Out of our flight of maybe 51/52 people, only one didn't make it because she was recycled. The others that we lost along the way, two were due to medical issues (out of their control) and one was due to an issue with a tattoo that had to be appealed. Ultimately, you'll learn that they don't WANT to lose you – it doesn't make sense for the AF financially, since it costs so much to take you through the process and train you. Discharge is a last resort. Hang in there, embrace the suck, and know that you can do it!

  12. Kassidy Allardicesaid

    Thank you!! That helps calm the nerves a little!! I appreciate all the time you have put into this blog, it has been a big help and i think id be going a little crazy with out it! haha

  13. Erinsaid

    @Kassidy Allardice – You're very welcome! I try to put in as much time as I can, which is challenging these days with a new house and a pregnancy! Good luck to you!

  14. Michael Smithsaid

    Erin, thank you so much for making the time to write. After the graduation, will you be able to go back home before tech school?

  15. Erinsaid

    @Michael Smith – My pleasure! Typically, no. If you're AD, it's almost certainly a no (according to my experience). If there's a BIG gap between BMT/tech (I'm talking months, like August to November/December for a girl in my flight), then you'll be sent home before going to tech. Otherwise, everyone goes to tech school and will be put on AFI ("Awaiting Further Instructions") where you'll do chores and CQ while you wait for your school to start.

  16. Stefani Bradleysaid

    Hi Erin!I am (hopefully) leaving for BMT sometime this summer. I am still waiting for jobs to come down. But I have started a physical training program to get me ready for basic. I would love to score as a Thunderbolt on my final PT eval and I was just curious if you remembered the run time and number of sit up and push ups needed to score as one. I have found numbers on various sites but they differ. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much! 🙂

  17. Erinsaid

    @Stefani Bradley – There's no magical number you have to hit to make it – you just have to have a composite score of 90 or higher. 🙂 I hear that they don't do awards for it anymore though, so it's a crapshoot. All in all, it's still worth it to try. If you get a 90+ on your PT score, you won't have to test again for a year. Good luck to you!

  18. Nicole Rinkersaid

    Ahhh I'm so glad that I found this blog. I've been reading all your posts like a mad woman. I'm leaving for BMT June 4th. Everything that you've said has been so insightful. I too live in Colorado, Colorado Springs. I read where you mentioned Peterson and Carson. My husband is TACP in the Air Force and so he's stationed out of Carson. I've been asking so many people that I know about their BMT experience and they're so vague about it and just tell me that I'll do fine. So thank you so much for being so detailed!

  19. Erinsaid

    @Nicole Rinker – Glad to help! Are you doing ANG/RES/AD? Congratulations to you! Definitely take advantage of our high altitude to improve your running!

  20. Nicole Rinkersaid

    Yes it'll be nice to actually feel like I can breath while running for once. I'm going active (finance) in hopes of putting in a package for OTS when I'm eligible, that is if I like it.

  21. Erinsaid

    @Nicole Ringer – You'll be heading to my old stomping grounds, the 335th TRS at Keesler. Enjoy your time there!

  22. AlisonBsaid

    Hello Erin, I hope this message finds you well. I leave for bmt in two days and I am excited and nervous. I have found your site very informative and helpful. Unfortunately I only found it a few weeks ago, I wish I had found it months ago so I could have studied your posts in depth, haha. I just wanted to thank you so much for all the time and work you have put into it. It is by far the most useful site on the internet. I have one question for you, my husband suggested I pack a separate bag for tech school. Forgive me if I missed a post containing this information, but is this allowed? And what should I bring? My ideas of what to bring are clothes, makeup, shoes (just my super comfy nike sandals), air force appropriate jewelry, shower/hair stuff (like my deep conditioner, I know my hair will need it after basic!), my contact lens case/solution, my full wallet/my purse, and my ipod and accessories. I was also wondering how many clothes I should bring? I am aware I may lose some/a lot of weight during basic so should I only bring a few items? I'm thinking I should bring clothes that are small/tight on me now too. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank again for everything ma'am!

  23. Erinsaid

    @Alison.B – the ideas you have for your tech school bag are perfect. Don't go crazy with the clothes. I brought one civilian workout outfit, my favorite jeans, a jean jacket, and that was about it. The best way to do it is to have your husband bring you the bag and figure out what fits out of those items by Sunday evening, and take possession of that bag then (versus Thursday night). You can always buy more clothes there or have your husband ship you items. Good luck to you! You're very close to my original ship date! 🙂

  24. Kristi Hingstrumsaid

    Your blog is the best thing I could have found!! I'm about to join the Air Force (attempting to track down my recruiter!), and I have been very nervous and concerned about BMT- I've always been fit, but it is BMT, after all! I really appreciate the time you took to share all of this with everyone! Definitely improves my own confidence knowing what to expect and what is expected of me.

  25. Erinsaid

    @Kristi Hingstrum – Thanks, glad to help! Good luck to you as you start the process. It's a very exciting time, when anything is possible! 🙂

  26. Christopher Calverysaid

    Thanks so much for posting all this! I get shipped to BMT in two weeks (nervous- definitely) and both my normal recruiter AND his replacement have been in the hospital for months now due to various illnesses and complications. I'm finally getting a new recruiter tomorrow, but your posts and articles have made me feel wayyy more comfortable than he can. You're a lifesaver! P.S. I have some towels that are the same size as the ones you use in your video, but after about an hour I still couldn't get it quite perfect. I'm assuming we'll have time to practice before our first real inspection?

  27. Erinsaid

    @Christopher Calvery – Glad to help! That's what my goal was – to help people feel better about what they're doing by learning more about the process. The unknown is exciting, but it's also very anxiety-inducing. You'll definitely have time to practice folding, and you can find the person in your flight who folds the best and have them help you. Good luck and congrats on your upcoming shipment!

  28. Nicollesaid

    I just came across your blog yesterday & am so grateful! I, unfortunately, can't enlist into AD & was told that I could potentially qualify for AR. It was frustrating at first because I have done so much research! I've been trying to research what I can about AR & there is almost nothing. It's very difficult! Fortunately I came across your blog. Seriously, you have made my decision to enlist into the Reserves much easier. And I thank you for that! Without this information I would be lost! Calling the recruiter Monday. Can't wait! Again, thank you for all your hard work & sharing all of these experiences with everyone!

  29. Erinsaid

    @Nicolle – Glad I could help! I think the Reserves are very family friendly, so it should work out in your favor. I don't feel like any less of an Airman because I'm a Reservist. Sure, I miss out on the fun of PCSing, but it also helps to provide stability in my life and my career. You may find that you have plenty of opportunities for active duty orders within your Reserve unit, so it's as though you're doing it full time as a Reservist. Good luck with your recruiter!

  30. Erinsaid

    @Nicolle – For the most part, yes. I would assume that some AFSCs aren't as prevalent in the Guard/Reserves as AD, such as battlefield Airmen (PJs, Tac-P, etc), as the length of their training and the need of their career would demand a greater commitment – I THINK. A recruiter should be able to give you a better idea.

  31. Bereg96said

    High Erin! I was wondering, where exactly can I purchase those underarmour hipsters? At BMT? Or should I get them before I go off to BMT? I so, where?

  32. Jaleesa Davissaid

    hi, erin! i've got two more weeks, give or take, until i ship out for bmt. and i'm 5lbs below my max (which is 170). any suggestions? i don't want to completely rely on the bmi. my recruiter said he's not sure if the meps i ship out of (ft. buchanon, puerto rico)does that.

  33. Erinsaid

    @Bereg96 – I hear they're not available at all anymore. If you want nicer underwear, don't wait for BMT – buy them ahead of time. White granny panties are your only option down there.@Jaleesa Davis – I would just keep eating clean for these last few weeks. Water only, proteins, veggies, no carbs or starches, no sweets. Best of luck to you, you got this!

  34. Trisha Kingsaid

    I just want to say I love your blog! Very informative! I leave 12/16/13 and Im running into a bit of a problem finding the people in the chain of command. I realize the list is always changing. This sheet my recruiter gave me is confusing and is making it hard to "plug in" the correct people with their titles. The list is as follows:PresidentSecretary of DefenseSecretary of Air ForceChief of StaffAir Training Command CommanderLackland Training CommanderBasic Military Training Group CommanderSquadron CommanderTraining SuperintendentSections SupervisorTeam ChiefTeam MemberIs this list right? It seems short. It doesnt even ask for the CMSAF. Where the confusion sets in: Im not sure if the Lackland training commander is the commander for the 37th training wing? Is the bmt commander the 737th commander? The Squadron commander…do you find out this person and the rest of the list when you get there? Lol of course Ill find out all of this when I get there, but to have a jump start on it would be nice…Im not the best with names. Any help you could provide would be appreciated! Although Ill admit, a strange question. 😉

  35. Erinsaid

    @Trisha King – Thank you very much! Your list is a smidge short. CMSAF is definitely on the list down there. Your assumptions are correct though!Info for the 37th: http://www.37trw.af.mil/units/37traininggroup/Here's the info for the 737th:http://www.37trw.af.mil/units/737traininggroup/Squadron commander you'll find out when you get there, along with your MTI Chief and MTI team, since you don't know what squadron you'll be in. I didn't have to know my section supervisor. I wouldn't stress out too much. If you're going to memorize anything, memorize the Airman's Creed and the AF song before you go, and familiarize yourself with pay grades, rank, and how their insignia looks. You'll study that chain of command before every meal, as well as during other down time. Best of luck to you! You're going to kill it!

  36. Trisha Kingsaid

    Thanks for getting back to me so fast! Youre awesome! Another question…Im currently a spouse. My husband is about to be Staff Sgt. and we are stationed out here at Travis AFB. How soon do the MTIs figure out who you are? Everyone tells me just fly low, be quiet and so on. But I feel like the minute Im "discovered" (lol) they would make me dorm chief or element leader…My question is, should I just volunteer for it and get it over with or wait for them to "deal with" me?

  37. Erinsaid

    @Trisha King – You're welcome, I try! 😉 You know, there were a number of milspouses and military connected folks in my flight, and it didn't seem to make a huge difference in the picking of student leaders. There were other factors at play, including age and personality traits. If you have strong leadership skills and want to serve in that sort of role, you can choose to stand out and get selected. Totally your call. I didn't go in there wanting to be a DC, per say, but I knew I was destined for something and I just rolled with it. I can't really suppress that part of my personality. 😉

  38. Trisha Kingsaid

    Thanks! This helps 😉 Im just gonna go for it! What've I got to lose? In my last job I had a lot of responsibility taking care of my team and a department in the absence of management. So taking charge and being a leader isn't an issue. Either way I know I got this and Ill make it through (got my eyes on that honor grad ribbon) 🙂 Thanks again!

  39. Zitlaly Esparzasaid

    Hi Erin, just wondering what happened with those afoqt results? I'm gonna try to take my test, but I would like to hear a girls opinion on her experience and outcome first! Thank youSrA Nino

  40. Zitlaly Esparzasaid

    Wow, I'm so happy to see your test result! You did awesome! Good luck in the submission of your package! I know it takes a lil bit to get the actual commission, specially if there are others competing for the position! Either way, I think you'll do great!Best wishes,SrA Nino, Z.

  41. Erinsaid

    @Zitlaly Esparza/SrA Nino – Thanks! I've already been giving the blessing in my wing and have a position lined up as an LRO, I just have to submit my package for final approval at the ARPC level. 🙂

  42. Jenna hencheysaid

    Hi Erin!All of your posts have been tremendously helpful to me and I plan to pass the link on to the other females in my DEP group, I'm the DEP commander, so I try to look out for them.I know you're not AD, but you are and you mentioned knowing some milspouses. My husband is a SSgt and I'm enlisting AD. My departure date is 25FEB2014. I will go to tech school at Keesler for Cyber Transport Systems (one of the newer AFSCs, and longer). I'm curious how the joined spouse system would work for me once I get to tech school and get to the assignment part. How do we apply for joined spouse? I've attempted to do research on this subject and have discovered very little information, as if it's a rare instance to have a spouse of and AD service member enlist AD. If you have any information or know anyone that's been through this process, please let me know. You've already been such a great help. Thank you for your Integrity, Service, and Excellence.Best, Jenna H.

  43. Emilysaid

    Hey Erin! This has been a tremendously helpful blog for me. I have been doing a lot of research through my consideration on joining the Air Force, and this is by far the most helpful. My main concern is how I can mentally prepare myself for the mental mind games and the yelling from the MTIs. Are there any tips on how you could share on what I could do to prevent the tears and any other reaction similar? It would be super helpful:)

  44. Erinsaid

    @Emily – Glad to help! There's really no way to prepare yourself for the mind games, and that's the toughest part. So many factors play into how they affect you, including stress and lack of sleep. The best thing I can tell you is to remember that the process is worth it, and in the long run, eight weeks is nothing. As for tears, bite your tongue, do whatever you have to do to resist breaking down in front of your MTI. Save it for later, or try to get to the latrine ASAP so you can do it there in private. Good luck to you!

  45. Megan Englandsaid

    Hi Erin, thank you so much for your excellent blog! I was wondering – do you have to be tall to be a Dorm Chief? You've mentioned a few times how your height has played a role in various ways at BMT. I have an extensive background in leadership and would love to take on the extra challenge, but I'm only 5'4". Marching at the back of the pack, I'd be staring at a whole lot of shoulders!

  46. A Taysaid

    Hi Erin,Thank you for all the information you provide on these blogs.Question:If i were to bring a laptop to bmt, what would happen?I know it would be locked up in my luggage for the whole 2 months; that i do not care about. I also plan to pad the laptop case very well, so damage I'm not worried about either.

  47. Erinsaid

    @A Tay – Ridicule and negative attention, from your MTIs and flight members. We had someone do that in my flight. I'm not sure what they'd do, now that things have become more strict. When I went through, people brought those electronics back to the dorms with them Sunday night before they shipped to tech, but I've heard that isn't permissible anymore.

  48. Becca Gocesaid

    Hey Erin, my name is Rebecca and I'm leaving in 8 days. Thank you so much for everything on this website. It's very detailed and it has helped me a lot. I do have a couple of questions though, my bag says "nike" on the side… Is that a bad? Also, for my hair ties, I put some of them in a plastic container. Will they get thrown away, or are they okay?

  49. Erinsaid

    @Becca Goce – No big deal at all about the Nike logo on your bag. Totally fine to put your hair ties in a container too. Good luck to you!

  50. blazegirl130said

    Hey Erin, I don't leave for bmt til August but I want to know about the hair situation. I don't really want to use a sock bun. Can I just twist it into a bun?

  51. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – Yep, that's totally fine! Just make sure you still use pins/product so you don't have any loose hairs. Good luck to you and congrats!

  52. blazegirl130said

    Hey Erin, weird question here that popped into my head. You know how you bring 6 sports bras and one reg? Do you wear the same sports bra from pt all day? I mean I don't have a problem with it if so cause I mainly wear a sports bra anyway.

  53. blazegirl130said

    Hey, for bmt do you think I should bring my backpack that has the words air force and website on it or should I just bring a different bag?

  54. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – I personally erred on the side of caution and went with plain everything, but plenty of people did (especially the Guard folks who get backpacks) and nothing resulted from that decision, IMHO. Just anticipate that you could get a, "You're not an Airman yet, why do you have this bag?" comment.

  55. blazegirl130said

    Hey, so I've been exercising and its hard to do pushups in the morning than it is in the evening. I was wondering if you knew what would be the proper way to warm up so I can work more on my pushups.

  56. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – I wish I could help you there, but that's a personal area of need for me as well. :/

  57. blazegirl130said

    So I was wondering after tech school you go straight to your first duty base right. Well my question is do you think it would be best if I box my things up ahead of time? I mean what happens when you are at your first duty base. I know you will have to do CDC's bu what about after that.

  58. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – If you are active duty, it would be best, or at least make arrangements to do the Recruiters Assistance Program so you can go back and prepare yourself for the move. I can't speak to the process completely, since I'm not AD. As for your first base, you'll learn your job and work it, plain and simple. You can work towards your CCAF, and you'll do all of the things expected of any Airman, including preparing and keeping yourself ready for deployment.

  59. blazegirl130said

    So I have never flown on a plane before and don't know the whole process. How will it go after you reach meps when it's time to ship out?

  60. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – I would ask that question to the folks at Air Force Wing Moms, only because my experience is much more different as a Reservist than someone entering AD. Reservists don't go to MEPS on their shipping day. I drove myself to the airport later that day with my family.

  61. blazegirl130said

    Also with the 3 change of clothes, does that include the clothes you change into after spending the night at a hotel before going to meps or no?

  62. Erinsaid

    @blazegirl130 – I wouldn't bother with PJs. It's just more stuff you don't need. I slept in underwear and a sports bra until we got our uniforms, then everyone sleeps in PT gear. No, you need the three changes of clothes for when you're actually there, prior to getting your uniforms.

  63. Kierstin Mocksaid

    This is going to be my survival guide! I've yet to talk to a recruiter due to the fact that the phone numbers I've been provided don't work. But your blog has answered so many things already. I'm 22 and I've always had the thought of joining in the back of my head and I think I'm finally going to go for it. I think I remember in one of your posts you talking about weight. For my height i should be 110 im about 103 normally just hard to keep on the weight I gained. I was wondering if they were strict on being under requirements or is it really just for those who are over or close to?

  64. Erinsaid

    @Kierstin Mock – Glad it can serve as that! Sorry that you've having trouble connecting with a recruiter. I would try the 800 number again and explain that to the advisors on the phone. Is 110 your minimum? That would definitely be a recruiter question. They DO have "underweight" folks at BMT – they are put on an eating waiver and allowed more time than the usual trainee to eat their meals, so they maximize their calories. Good luck to you!

  65. Kierstin Mocksaid

    I was thinking of trying that or maybe just making a trip to the actual office, I was just worried because I've read a few places making an appointment is best but I guess I'll have to work around that. And yes as long as I haven't grown 110 is my minimum. I hope these eating wavers don't put a target on your back?

  66. adriMMMsaid

    Hey Erin! Let me apologize in advance for what is going to b a rather long post. I just wanted to hop on what Kerstin mock was asking about weight and also som things about RES specifics. At the beginning of the month I switched from AD to RES (literally 2 days before MEPS, so it made MEPS quite interesting) and I just learned what my job is! Biomedical Equipment, I am really starting to get nervous again, especially because of how long that tech school is and well technical it all is… Anyway I passed my MEPS physical with flying colors, we had an awesome lady/nurse? who explained a lot to us and was overall a helpful, kind person. the only issue was when she weighed me in I was exactly 1 pound above my minimum 🙁 unfortunatly she said that do to my being AF I would have difficulty actually getting the final go ahead to be shipped due to my weight. that was a few weeks ago and I keep dropping weight. I am trying to stabilize and hopefully gain but with my history that is unlikely. I am 5'1 and my minimum is 105, (oh and I'm 22) I have always had a small yet muscular build so 107-112 is average for me. I want to start truly working out(my job is a very physical one)but am afraid to loose more weight. You mentioned meal waivers, but how does that work and how do manage to still ship?Right now I am looking at shipping right at the very beginning of 2016. Secondly you said that reservists don't go to MEPS the day they fly to BMT, is this still true? If so that might help to 'fix' my weight issue… Any additional Reserve specific info you might be able to throw my way would be awesome as the switch from AD was so sudden and my recruiter and I are in such a rush to get me to BMT. Thanks for everything, your blog is the best! oh and I swear in in the next 10-ish days!!!

  67. Erinsaid

    @Kierstin Mock – Anything will put a target on your back at BMT. Better that particular one than something else. If it's what has to happen in order to enlist, I would definitely make it happen.@adriMMM – Not sure how the meal waiver would affect you shipping, or if it would even be a problem before you leave. You shouldn't go back to MEPS before you ship, so that's always a plus. I used to weigh in at my recruiter's, but that was about it. I would be sure to wear some heavy clothes/shoes when you go to your recruiter. Have you spoken to a dietician or a nutritionist about putting on weight and bulking up while working out? I would start there. If you don't ship until 2016, another option would be to swear in, get your military ID card as soon as you can, and then see the folks at the Health and Wellness centers in the gym on base about diet and nutrition. In the meantime, I'd start packing on the healthy fats like avocados, etc. Good luck to you! Don't hesitate to hit me up in the future.

  68. Kierstin Mocksaid

    Just an update I went to a recruiter and was told I couldnt even take the asvab until I hit minimum weight. I was at 100 mid september I was a lite upset that I couldn't continue in the process so it set me off a few months but im now at 107 this last week. Hoping to get back with the recruiter this next month. Im hoping everything is smooth and dast sailing afterwards was really hoping to be at bmt in the spring

  69. Kate Chappellsaid

    Hey Erin! I'm leaving February 9th and I know you always say to take travel sized things and that there are a lot of things you can buy at the BX… I'm going to BMT by a bus from Dallas so in that case would you recommend full sized and bring other items myself, or is it still best to just wait and see what my MTI prefers? By the way your blog and videos are amazing. They help when I'm so nervous/anxious that I can't sleep at night.

  70. Erinsaid

    Thank you! You can always bring them along and use them at tech (leaving them in your luggage at BMT) if your MTI decides they want the flight to be standardized and you have to buy other stuff. Good luck!

  71. Kierstin Mocksaid

    My weights about 116 now! This is so crazy. I got with my recruiter and took my asvab I'm waiting on a medical waiver right now for my penicillin allergy, then I finally get to go to MEPs. Things are going so slow right now, I just keep coming back to read all your posts. It keeps me excited!

  72. Erin Carpentersaid

    That's great! Awesome gains! Keep motivated and hang in there! Trust me, many of us wish we were in your shoes! 😉

  73. Lexie Westsaid

    I feel like you are my sister from another mister! I'm 30 years old, a prior educator, a milspouse, and decided to take the plunge to enlist. I'll be off to BMT in March and am super excited for what's to come. I just wanted to say thank you for providing such a wonderfully detailed blog. I feel even more prepared and a lot less anxious about the unknowns. Thanks again!

  74. Erin Carpentersaid

    Lexie, too funny! I wish you well on your journey – I don't regret it for a minute! Relish every moment!

  75. Erinsaid

    @Aaron – Gosh, I don't even remember, honestly. Just keep fighting for yourself, and reminding folks about your waiver. We had folks there on a waiver, and they tried to "take it back as well." Keep at it, it's worth it. Good luck to you!

  76. Kierstin Mocksaid

    Hey again! I went to MEPs earlier this month, everything went awesome. My waiver went to the board to get approval so more waiting. I did have a question along the lines of packing. So I've heard some people mention a tech school bag. What do you think of this? Some have said they just brought a bunch of extra stuff to bmt then I've heard of people having their family members bringing stuff to them on grad weekend.

  77. Erinsaid

    @Kierstin Mock – I'm a big fan of that strategy. A bag like this one can last you a good long while in your career. http://www.militaryluggage.com/Black-Bugout-Bag-p/5016-o-blk.htm You can wear it in ABUs, Blues, tech school, operational, etc. As for the extra stuff to BMT, I would hold off. I also hear they're cutting down on the stuff parents bring you. Check with AF WingMoms on FB. They are usually hip to the latest BMT dealings for families. If you have a long tech school, you can have people send you stuff, or I would buy new and/or Amazon Prime. Fingers crossed for your waiver!

  78. Kierstin Mocksaid

    I actually already have this bag http://www.militaryluggage.com/ABU-Three-Day-Backpack-p/9979abu.htm do you think this bag will be alright or would I get chewed out for having an ABU bag like those who bring Air Force emblem things. I'll probably opt for the sending of things or if I get one of the jobs I want I'll only be 4 hours away from home here in Texas. My biggest thing will just be getting my hair straightener as soon as possible. I have crazy curly hair, not looking forward to dealing with it at BMT.

  79. Erinsaid

    @Kierstin – Yes, that's fine. I wouldn't stress too much about the ABU factor. Many of the Guardsmen I went there with had been given ABU backpacks, so it was common. Expect some flack, but just roll with it. You won't be the only one dealing with hair struggles, I promise. 🙂 You'll adapt pretty quickly as you work through it.

  80. mindysuewhosaid

    I am extremely nervous. Not of BMT or PT or anything like that… but I'm 31 years old. I'm currently a bit over the weight requirement… I have huge boobs that are always in my way (I wish I could chop them off) and I've had 3 children all by c-section. I'm extremely nervous about the waist measurement as I'll always and forever have the all famous kangaroo pouch (can only be rid of by cosmetic tummy tuck) which is around, oh, a million more dollars than I have. Also, I have forearm tattoos… however according to the standards, they dont seem to cover more then 25 percent of the exposed limb/body part…but I'm still worried. I want this SO BAD. More than anything but I'm scared I won't even get in, to try. Any advice?07 April, 2016 21:23

  81. mindysuewhosaid

    On a positive note, I'm walking and jogging 2-3 miles per day. Sit ups and push ups every other day. Three days ago, I could do 4 situps. Today, I did 21 in 40 secinds. I can't do a real push up but I'm doing the knee push ups, I started being able to do 1. I can do 6-8 now. Just still worried about everything else

  82. Erinsaid

    @mindysuewho – Such great progress, PT-wise! Keep it up! All you can do is keep at it and speak to a recruiter. It sounds like you're pushing yourself and you're motivated enough. The tattoo part is going to be up to your recruiters to let you know, but the rest you have a good handle on. Keep pushing!

  83. KittyPurrysaid

    Do you have any insight on Open General contracts? I leave for BMT in July and most people I know are telling me I made a mistake but I don't feel that I did. Do you know if my G88 score and my PUHLES (111111) will factor into the selection process? Were most Open people in your flight satisfied with it?I'm 25 and my husband is AD Army. Our daughter will be turning 3 before I ship out. I hope that I'm given extra duties to keep my mind busy and not obsessively worrying about my kid. LolJob selection is important to me because we will be Dual Military and I want to increase my chances of doing Join Spouse out of Tech. Is this something I should mention when I go to job selection at BMT? Or should I just give my counselor the list and be like "I really want these jobs" (given they are avaliable when I go)

  84. Erinsaid

    @KittyPurry – I don't, sadly, since I'm a Reservist [we all have guaranteed jobs prior to going]. I'm not familiar with the PUHLES or the G88, nor do I remember how the Open General folks did. The majority of my flight (all but 3), was Guard and Reserve.As for your daughter, you will definitely be busy enough to minimize your worries. I always focus on the big picture and the benefits that this is going to bring your family. If I were you, I would definitely mention the dual military factor to your counselor, and look for a job that's going to be at every base, like Personnel, Services, SF, etc.Good luck to you!

  85. Abby Jennersaid

    I am so overly excited that I found your blog! I have been in the process of joining the air force since early March of this year and even with the help of my parents (who have been telling me stories of when they joined in the `70s…) and all the military men I know, including my husband, I just couldn't picture life at BMT for a female until I happened upon your blog. This is definitely a different perspective than what the males go through.i am so thankful I found this because it answered every question I didn't even know I had. Lol. I was just wondering , when you shipped out and took that plane ride to lack land, did you ride with anyone else? And how did you dress/wear your hair? I am really detail oriented and I guess I obsess when I'm excited/nervous but having an idea of what to do before the big day will help me. I love being as prepared as possible. I haven't even gone to MEPS yet and I've already packed up most of my stuff and have a bag almost ready for a leave date.

  86. Erinsaid

    @Abby Jenner – So glad you found me! Yes, I did have someone who went to Lackland with me. I met her through my recruiter and we happened to be shipping on the same day. Since we were both Reservists, we ended up working in the same Wing. As fate would have it, we were in the same flight at BMT and as an officer, I'm now working in her squadron as well. I did a sock bun on the way down, although it was rough since I was new to the practice. If I did it again, I would just do a ponytail. How awesome that you get to join a legacy of Airmen! Congrats to you!

  87. Kierstin Mocksaid

    Hey erin! Im getting close. 11 days actually, i never thought the day would get here. But now im freakibg out. My nerves are going wild i felt good up until yesterday. I was going to post this on the food post, but it wouldnt for some reason. You had mentioned something about throwing up. This is going to seem obnoxious but just to ease my anxious mind. Did you see many people throw up? When i get nervous sometimes it gets out of hand and i kind of end up at that point. I just wanted to know if you had any easing comments towards that. You mentioned go for the bushes never the concrete things like that.

  88. Erinsaid

    @Kierstin Mock – Eek, so close! I saw a number of people throw up on that first day or so, mainly because they weren't used to hydrating to such an extent. Are you worried that your anxiety will give you nausea? The biggest thing they say to do is to throw up in the bushes/trash can, and not on the pavement/tracks, or they will make you clean it up. Take lots of deep breaths and center yourself the best you can. You're going to be in the thick of it before you know it, but it is so worth it! If it makes you feel better, one of our biggest "thrower-uppers" ended up being an element leader, so she made quite the comeback!

  89. Kierstin Mocksaid

    Yeah definitely worried about the anxiety nausea. I think im most worried about arriving to lackland on the bus when its scary quite because everyones scared gives my brain tine to freak out. Im glad theres been other people with the throwups ha. Also makes me feel better that one could hold a leadership position. Im sure after the first few days my nerves will calm. I just have to keep thinking everyone else is in the same position as i and not worried about me but themselves (i get real worried about being approved by others).

  90. Erin Carpentersaid

    @Alisha DiPilla – Thank you! I would try it – the MTIs shouldn't have a problem with that. @Kierstin Mock – Exactly, you're not the only one. Hang in there and know that it gets better!

  91. Erinsaid

    @Carol – Thank you for your kind words! I was never a Warhawk, but that's ok! You receive "points" at BMT based on the various things you do – your "job" within your flight, your test scores, graded measures, clothing/drawer inspections, etc. All of those points total up to give a final score, and that's how they compare people against each other. All of mine resulted in my selection for Top Honor Grad, despite the fact that I was not the top PT person. It's in line with the AF concept of "whole person/Airman." Hope that helps!

  92. Erica Scheerersaid

    Hi Erin! I was just wondering what is the process of going through MEPS the second time around before you ship out? Do you have to do everything that you did the first time or is it not as lengthy?

  93. AkilahWakiyasaid

    Hi Erin, I leave for BMT pretty soon so you're probably seeing my random questions/comments all over. Thank you for your guidance! I wonder, while I know I CAN live without it, are there any sources of CAFFEINE at BMT?

  94. Erinsaid

    @Carol- You're welcome! :)@Erica Scheerer – As a Reservist, I never had to do it, sorry. I don't believe it's as lengthy. It should be a mere check-in at that point, and making sure there's no last minute issues.@AkilahWakiya – No ma'am, no caffeine while at BMT. Hopefully you've started weaning yourself already! Good luck to you, and thank you for your kind words!

  95. AnxiousforChangesaid

    heyy Erin! All of this information is so helpful. Ive been wracling my brain about passing BMT before I even talk to a recruiter haha im wanting to go into the Air Force, though Ive recently discovered I have runners knee…I am told I can minimize the pain with physical therapy but im wondering if BMT is grueling on the knees and if I am able to strengthen my muscles before hand, could I have a chance of getting through…I know you cant say for certain but just a general idea of your thoughts…thanks!!

  96. Erinsaid

    @AnxiousforChange – It's decently taxing on the body in general. Read my PT post, about the strength exercises you'll have to do, in addition to the running. Anything is possible – I would do therapy, prep yourself, etc, and try before I counted myself out completely. Good luck to you!

  97. AnxiousforChangesaid

    Ok, Thank you! I started physical therapy this week, and found some kinesio tape which works like a miracle! 🙂

  98. Amy cakessaid

    I am so excited to have run across this blog! I am an older enlistee (39) going into AF Guard and not prior service. So, needless to say, I'm nervous AND excited! I have googled everything I can think of! Not a lot of personal stories from "older" women, so I am so stoked to have found this! I am reading every bit of it and will probably have questions when I'm completely done. Thanks so much for blogging this!

  99. Erinsaid

    @Amy cakes – Awesome! it's definitely the best decision I ever made, and I hope the same proves true for you. Motivation is the biggest indicator for success, versus age. I saw motivated 18 year olds doing better than 30-somethings that were stuck in their ways. Good luck to you!

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