Kadena's new enlistees get a taste of Basic Training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Angelique Perez
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
New Air Force enlistees here got a taste of Basic Military Training April 25th to help prepare them before shipping off to the real deal.

The new program provided the 20 Delayed Enlistment Program recruits with a realistic look at what a normal day at BMT will be like.

The recruits' day began bright and early at 4:30 a.m. with a simulated ride to BMT and continued with a day of marching, physical training tests, combat showers, a shakedown with a former Military Training Instructor, low-crawls, and the dreaded snake-pit.

A "shake-down," which consists of giving up all personal gear and exchanging it for the uniform, is one of the first opportunities for enlistees to experience being yelled at by an MTI upon arrival at BMT.

The "snake-pit" is where the MTI's sit together at one table so they can watch all trainees in the dining facility. If a trainee passes by the table and does something incorrectly, all the MTI's are conveniently able to pounce at one time to "correct" the individual.

Volunteer Physical Training Leaders from the medical group administered the PT tests and also stood by as medics in case of an injury.

"We wanted to administer the PT test to them so that they would know what the AF standards are, and where they are physically in relationship to these standards," said Master Sgt. Alando Respress, 18th Wing Air Force Special Operations 21 Process Manager, and coordinator of the event.

Members of security forces provided M-16 familiarization and hand-to-hand combat training which consisted of a quick, but thorough run-down of the M-16 rifle and its components. Then the recruits went through a vigorous lesson in low-crawls, high-crawls, and other movement training.

"The program is not design to replace anything that will be taught in BMT, but provides instructions that every recruiter should be training their DEP prior to going to BMT," said Sergeant Respress. "We were very careful when developing the training and we enlisted the help of a couple of former MTI's to help us build the itinerary."

The recruits also received several briefings that educated them on what to expect at BMT, Air Force customs and courtesies, military education benefits, technical school, and arrival at their first duty station. Airmen in the First Term Airman's Center were also able to talk with the recruits and give some advice and a few tips from their recent BMT experience.

"'Day at BMT' is a program designed to prepare new recruits (Airmen) for BMT and give them the best possible chance at success," said Air Force recruiter and event coordinator Tech. Sgt. Matthew Davidson. "One of the first questions I always get asked by new recruits is 'What is Basic Training like?' and 'Day at BMT' is an opportunity to show them a first-hand glimpse at what they can expect."

Sergeant Davidson said this is the first time in the Air Force that a program like this has been put together and he felt it was a success. Though tired and dirty, the new recruits said they felt more capable and ready for what was coming at BMT.

"To me there is no greater feeling than enlisting a new Airman," he said, "helping them start their lives and putting them on the path to success. They need to have the basic fundamental moral values, want to succeed, want to do what is right - I guess better put, integrity and determination."