During the 7WOT, you’ll participate in a series of short, performance-based evaluations with your MTI to measure individual drill as well as your military bearing and courtesies. Due to the brevity of these evaluations, I’m combining them into this single post. These assessments are graded on a pass/fail basis. If you make more than a specified number of errors, you’ll fail the evaluation. In my experience, trainees who failed were allowed to re-test with our MTI. If you fail twice with your MTI, you may have the opportunity to re-test for your section supervisor. Don’t fail for them, or else you’ll run the risk of receiving an Unsatisfactory (U) for the week of training, or worse yet, potentially being recycled. Definitely not something you want to be facing in your 7WOT, right before graduation. Unless you stress yourself out, most everyone should pass, as you’ll practice these skills for weeks. Remember that your experience may differ slightly, based upon your squadron or MTI’s policies.
If you are hoping to be an Honor Grad, please note that you must pass all of these evaluations.
Individual Drill – This evaluation measures your ability to successfully execute a number of basic drill movements that you’ll begin learning almost as soon as you arrive at BMT. This evaluation is conducted by your MTI, and while it’s an individual evaluation, your MTI may (as mine did) assess you in small groups. Our assessment was held on the pad underneath the overhang, four trainees at a time. The rest of the flight was lined up around the pad, along the edge. In roster number order, we were called to the center of the pad, where our MTI gave a number of drill commands that we had to execute. These commands included Right Face, Left Face, About Face, Attention, At Ease, Parade Rest, Present Arms, Order Arms, and so forth. While we performed these movements, our MTI walked around the group, verifying if they’d been correctly executed. He checked to see if our heels were in line and touching, if our arms were pinned to our sides, if our salutes were at the proper point of contact, etc. As with anything else at BMT, if you make a mistake do not let it show on your face or in your body language. Secondary movements (self-correcting your body or wavering in your stance) will count as errors and potentially draw more attention to your mistake. Your MTI makes verbal corrections as he/she walks around. Respond to them appropriately, without looking at your body as you make the adjustments. Our MTI dismissed us to head up to the dorm if we’d passed the evaluation, but held back those who’d failed.
Reporting to an Office – Your MTI will instruct and assess you on the formal procedures for reporting to the office of your commander, once you’ve entered the operational Air Force. This skill was demonstrated for us a couple times, we practiced it out in the hallway, and then we did our evaluation (individually). This was not something we trained for at length, but you’ll get a decent amount of experience doing something similar when you report to your MTI in the Flight Office. Our MTI used the day room for this evaluation. He sat at the desk in the front/middle of the room. We approached the closed door to the day room, gave one firm knock, and then waited to be acknowledged. Once acknowledged, we would enter the room and close the door. You’d march along the most direct route to the desk (usually a diagonal route), and stop when you were a few feet away. You’d give a salute, a reporting statement, dialogue for a bit, and once dismissed, salute and proceed along the most direct route out of the room again. My MTI made casual conversation to put us at ease, and the evaluation was over in a matter of minutes. Again, most everyone should pass this evaluation with ease. Nerves and loss of military bearing are the biggest contributors to failure.
These evaluations are two of the many components to your graduation, but don’t be too nervous. You’ll have so many things going on in your 7WOT, these are just minute components to your training. Always give it your best effort, but don’t let your nerves overtake you.