When I last left you, I was posting from the Houston USO. The rest of the journey was a lengthy one, let me tell you. I ended up having my connecting flight to Montgomery canceled. Fortunately, they booked me on the next flight out that evening, but it meant a late arrival. I had planned to attend a social gathering with some other Officer Trainees (OTs), but I was going to miss it as a result.
When I arrived in Montgomery, I was tired and I was ready to get what sleep I could before the big day. I spotted another service member at the airport, but he went off before I could talk to him. Come to find out, we ended up at base lodging together and he wound up being in my squadron. I hit the curb and found the first cab driver that I could, although it was quite the adventure as I second-guessed the legitimacy of his enterprise when I jumped in the car. Luckily, I made it to base lodging and got into my room as soon as I could. It was tough calming down that night, but I knew sleep was going to be precious.
The OTS Complex as seen from base lodging.
The next morning I went to breakfast with the other OTs that had been connecting via Facebook [Tip: Find out if Facebook has a group for your class date, for sure!]. It was a nice way to socialize and relax with people who I’d be getting to know really well over the next nine weeks. Unlike at BMT, where you’re immediately thrown into the deep end upon arrival at the airport, OTS gives you a window for reporting (approximately 12 to 4 PM) and you’re on your own until then. So, we had time to kill. Lots of last-minute Walmart and Target runs, sitting around chit-chatting, and “last suppers.” I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we made the most of it and enjoyed our last moments of freedom.
The calm before the storm!
As a group, we tried to agree on general arrival time. We didn’t want to get there too early, but we had also been warned not to show up close to the end of the arrival window. I think we aimed for 2 PM or so. The area is well marked on these arrival dates, and there are white signs pointing to the OTS parking area. There are two long rows of parking for all of the trainees on the complex – Basic Officer Training (BOT), Academy of Military Science (AMS), and Commissioned Officer Training (COT).
There was a tent set up, and two columns of trainees had formed. After parking your car, you’d walk up and stand in line. At the front of the line was the commander of our training squadron, greeting us and asking us if we were ready and if we could recite the Core Values (and if we were prepared to live and breathe them). The OTS Chaplain was also there on-site, giving us tips as to what needed to have prepared before arriving at the front door of the dorms, turning males away to go get a hair cut, telling us to tuck in our shirts and put our hair up
Tip: Unlike at BMT, arrive with your hair already compliant with AFI 36-2903.
Two by two, we walked across the grass fields, dragging our bags and heading to the dorms. For those that couldn’t carry all of their luggage at once, there was a truck for transporting it over. Frankly, I wasn’t going to be that girl and schlepped all of my stuff. What happened when we hit the door? Well, that’s going to have to wait for the next post…