Seems I’d forgotten some of the duties and details that you can do at BMT! There’s so much to be done while you’re down there, forgive me. If you’re just joining me, check out Part 1 (bed alignment, shoe alignment, End of Bed Display), Part 2 (Fire Monitor, Utility Crew, Day Room Crew, and Hallway/Chome Crew), and Part 3 (Academic Monitor, PT Monitor, Water Monitor, and Electrician). There are single posts dedicated to some of the jobs with great responsibility loads; you can find these posts on the main BMT page. On with Part 4 of our Duties and Details series!
The Chapel Guide is the only other position besides the Dorm Chief and the Element leaders that gets to wear a blue plastic badge that identifies them as a Chapel Guide. They will wear this badge only on Sundays when they are doing their duties, and at no other time. Our flight had three Chapel Guides, although we only had two badges to go around.
You don’t have to be particularly religious to be a Chapel Guide, although it doesn’t hurt and our Chapel Guides tended to have a strong faith background. Chapel Guides march younger flights (“baby flights”) from the squadron to their respective services. It’s typically those in 0WOT that get marched to their service, maybe 1WOT. After that, you’ll march yourself to church, in small elements of four trainees, to eliminate the need for road guards along the way.
Chapel Guides were up the earliest on Sundays, falling out of the dorm promptly at 0545 at the sound of Reveille to eat breakfast first and head to the chapel. They would return back to the dorm by 1600 at the very latest.
Once at church, Chapel Guides ensured that other trainees didn’t fall asleep during the service. The atmosphere was very relaxing for our Chapel Guides, and they got to talk with older trainees and learn about the events and activities in the upcoming weeks of training. My Chapel Guides were excited to see the older Chapel Guides graduate, which kept them motivated. For lunch, they would either march back to our squadron or eat at the nearest squadron to the service they were attending.
Chapel Guides assist at services that don’t conflict with the ones they personally attended, so you’re able to do your duty and worship at the same time.
Road guarding is one of the most challenging duties/details out there, in terms of physical demand. There are four road guards for every flight. They march in the back of the flight, wearing a reflective vest, and if it’s during the hours of darkness, use a flashlight as well. Road guards are used when the flight is marching outside of the squadron. If you’re inside of the squadron, you’ll march in the back but you won’t have to do your duties. If the flight is crossing a street, the road guards will run out from behind the flight and block oncoming traffic, holding their palm up. As soon as the flight goes by, the road guards will fall back in or leapfrog forward to block the next street.
The job sounds pretty straightforward, but you’re going to be hustling like nobody’s business. Our road guards got yelled at a lot during the first few weeks, for doing their job wrong, for not running out at the right time, for not standing in the appropriate place, etc. In the San Antonio summer heat, the job wore you out quickly. If you think you may need some extra physical conditioning, you might consider volunteering for the job, since you’ll definitely get a workout! Your MTI may choose taller/bigger trainees for the sake of visibility. Road guards have to carry their vests and be ready to fall out pretty much all of the time. The pouches on the web canteen belt make transporting the vests a lot easier than when we didn’t have them. There have to be four road guards at all times, so if someone is missing (due to illness, an appointment), an alternative needs to be found before your MTI catches wind of the loss. Be proactive and find someone to do it – don’t make him/her find someone.
The Pad Crew cleans the pads in the squadron. The pads are the areas right outside of the dorm stairwells and chow halls, which are covered by the overhang. On the concrete pad, there are a number of painted dots to help element leaders line up. The pad crew will use push brooms to keep the pads tidy and pick up trash. Pretty straightforward job! Our road guards were designated as the pad crew, so when the flight did their details in the dorm, they’d go downstairs to clean the pad.