Getting Through Basic Training

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by falconmom2011, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. falconmom2011

    falconmom2011 New Member

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    I know that nobody can ever be fully prepared for the physical and emotional aspects of basic training, but does anybody have any suggestions? How many miles should a cadet train for? How many sit-ups, etc? Any other words of wisdom?:cool:
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If you can do 50+ push-ups (correctly, at a quick pace), 75+ 4-count flutter kicks, and maintain an 8minute pace for at least 2.5 miles, you'll probably be fine.

    The big thing is to put out max effort and not quit.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    With the amount of time left before BCT, I would suggest that the number be: "As much as possible". Meaning; do as many situps and pushups and possible. Then, next time, do some more. Keep going. Never have a "Max" in your mind. As for running; the same thing. I would train distance. Get your wind up. Run a mile, then more, and more, etc... Depending where you live, the 7000+foot elevation can play havoc on a lot of people. Even those who believe they are in shape.

    The hardest part of BCT is emotional. It's new. You don't know anyone. It's totally different from anything and everything that you know. How do you get through this? This answer is so easy; yet most new trainees who have problems adjusting, forget it. Simply remember 2 things. 1) Why you applied for the academy. 2) "MOST IMPORTANT": There are 1100-1200 other individuals in the EXACT SAME SHOES AS YOU!!! There isn't one feeling that you have, that other cadets there also don't have. Not one feeling that 50+ years of cadets hasn't felt. This alone make you part of a very special club. A very small club. Just using basic math, I would say a special club made up of LESS than 60,000 people. For you to even get to BCT is above and beyond what most people could only dream about.

    And this is the first thing to realize in order to survive BCT and the academy. You might have been a big fish in a little pond at your high school, but now you're in the company of other stellar individuals. And they all are going through the exact same thing and feelings as you. Once you realize that you're not alone, you'll be able to bond with and make new friends. You'll all help each other through it. You can't make it by yourself. best of luck.
     
  4. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Loud and clear echo to CC's advice on altitude. Many (many,many) moons ago as a young Marine Sgt., I had the glorious opportunity to go elk hunting in Colorado. Ran 3-12 miles a day, 4-5 days a week, to prepare for hiking and packing in the mountains. I was certainly in better shape than my companions, but I still felt the effects of altitude. Because I prepared, I recovered from exertion quicker and acclimatized faster, but less O2 is less O2. You have to get used to it and that will happen faster if you prepare. The same applies if you end up in areas of high humidity, you have to physically adjust and the more you have prepared the faster that will happen.
     
  5. pinkharley99

    pinkharley99 Member

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    According to my DD, there was nothing that could have prepared her for the mental barage she encountered during BCT. The first line of her first letter from BCT was ..."this is nothing like I expected, there is so much yelling, come and get me right now..."

    She had to really reach inside herself and understand that everyone was going through the same thing, not to take anything personally, and it would all be over in 6 weeks.

    Like CC said..."Once you realize that you're not alone, you'll be able to bond with and make new friends. You'll all help each other through it. YOU CANNOT MAKE IT BY YOURSELF..."

    All the Best.

    Deb
    C4C Alivia, CS11 Rebels
    2014 Like a Machine
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    PH99: FYI. For what it's worth; just about every single BCT trainee, sometime during the 6 weeks of bct, will question themselves about being there. They will think about all the other options they had. They will think about the family, girl/boy friends left behind, etc... 90+% of all BCT cadets were the TOP of their class. They ran the show. They had friends and respect. Now; they are being treated like KRAP. But there's a reason for that. I'd rather not get into the "WHY" BCT/Academy/Military is the way it is. Point is; the hardest mental thing for a new BCT trainee, is realizing that they are no longer "In Charge". That they are no longer the "Big fish in a little pond". But if you prepare for this, and realize you aren't alone, and truly do want the goals you started with, then everything will be fine.

    The goals are the biggest thing here. Believe it or not, there are 2 really big perceptions about the military academies.

    1. Just about everyone who applied and received an appointment REALLY WANTS THE ACADEMY, and they've wanted it for a long time. That is so false. Those who always wanted it, and want it as their first choice, usually find forums like this one. Many like minded individuals on this forum. Bad perception on people's part. There are a LOT of applicants/appointees whereby the Academy was their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th college choice. They wanted that Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Brown, or even University of Texas as their first choice. If they had "OTHER-BETTER" options, they most likely would have taken them.

    2. That everyone who applied and received an appointment, really truly want to serve their country. And they are motivated through patriotism by attending the academy. Again; quite far from the truth. A large percentage of individuals who go to the academy may be patriotic, but that wasn't their primary reason for applying and accepting an appointment. Many; it was the "Free Education". Some it was job security, travel, medical benefits, etc... There are as many different reasons, as there are cadets. And a very large portion of the academy class of 2006 will be doing a "5-and-Dive" this year.

    But what is in common with just about every applicant/appointee/BCT trainee; is that the academy is NOTHING like they thought it would be. Doesn't matter if they've never known a military person in the past, or if their parents are active/retired military. Doesn't matter if they are JrROTC, CAP, or Boy scouts. Most of them get to the academy and realize that it's totally different than they thought it was going to be. There are some that are much more prepared than others. Usually dependent children of active/retired military with a very strong military involvement in their day to day family life. Plus a very active and involved ALO. But even these individuals aren't 100% prepared for what they're about to encounter.

    So, as already said, simply concentrate on all the physical training you can do prior; and realize that no matter what happens personally, mentally, or emotionally once you get there....... It's not personal; and you're NOT the only one going through it. Every one of the 1100-1300 trainees are in the same boat. Good luck. Mike....
     
  7. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    Christcorp hit it on the head with his two things to remember. In addition to that, what helped me was to live from meal to meal. In the morning, just make it to breakfast, after breakfast, then make it to lunch, and after lunch, make it to dinner. Then make it until bed time and start the process all over. This method helped me break BCT into manageable portions so to speak.
     
  8. Seamonkeydo

    Seamonkeydo Member

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    http://hundredpushups.com/

    A push-up challenge that a came across and will soon undertake myself. It looks like a great way of preparing anyone heading to BCT.
     
  9. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    There is an excellent Pre-BCT Workout program in the Online instructions to Candidates PDF that your sons and daughters would have received. That would be a good place to start.
     
  10. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    The NEXT best preparation would be to be there because you want to be there. Not because mom or dad is pressuring you (however lovingly) to be there. On the bleak days, and they will come, you have to want to be there NOT because you came in order to not to disappoint mom and/or dad. I hope all the eager, excited parents here do sit down with their DSs or DDs once they receive that BFE and look them in the eyes to tell them that they will still love them and support them if they decide they want to pursue a different path. Please, that is important, and maybe hard to say but you have to. Because too many times, good kids want to please their good parents, but when push comes to shove, and the months of hardship wear on, grades go south and the yelling gets so loud, and the icy Rocky Mountain winter wears on, if a young man or woman really doesn't want to be there, they will end up leaving, and throwing away a slot that could have gone to another kid with perhaps slightly lesser qualifications who would have subsequently stuck it out and graduated.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Note that my suggestions were minimums to be able to generally "keep up" with most basics. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone will get better with training. If you can do the things in my first post, you will not be singled out for physical failings.
    For guys, 12 pull-ups, 7foot something jump, 60-ish sit-ups, 50-ish push-ups, and a 600m run in the low 1:50s will let you pass the PFT. 11:15 for the 1.5mi run AFT. You should strive to do significantly more than that.

    For BCT, the biggest factor is motivation. It is actually very difficult to kick someone out of BCT, if they are trying and want to stay. Now, if the cadre seriously think you do not belong in the AF, they will try very hard to get you to realize this. That rarely happens. As cadre, I only had 1 basic out of 30 who gave me doubts (he improved and made it). The cadre are there to train you, not to weed you out.

    If YOU want to make it, and are willing to give 110%, you will be successful. It's not always easy. You will have bad days. Having a moment of doubt is normal. If you do not quit and seek help, there will be many people willing to help you.
     
  12. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    Another huge thing that will help you get through is to simple remember why you are there. When you wake up in the morning, don't think "god, why did I do this?" The best thing you can do is wake up with a sense of pride that you are accomplishing your goals and remember whatever it is that made you want to graduate from the Air Force Academy. It doesn't stop there. Even after BCT, you are still going to have to keep that in your head. Every day you will have to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. NEVER LOSE SITE OF THIS! For when you lose site of your purpose, you begin to lack purpose and begin to fail.
     
  13. johnd9090

    johnd9090 Member

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    You can also just not be a little baby. When i went through BMT we had whiners and people who complain all the time. Why are you doing it if you're going to whine/complain?

    Just listen and do what you're told, and keep your mouth shut unless you're spoken to. Besides doing those things, just sing little hymns to yourself in your head and try to stay motivated. :p It's not hard. I'm sure BCT isn't much different. Only when i go through it, it will be people that are as old/younger than me yelling at me as opposed to 35 year old Tech Sergeants that are incredibly intimidating.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    :thumb:
    +100000000000
     
  15. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    Stay under the radar. I can't exactly speak for BCT, for I have yet to experience it; however, I expect it to be fairly similar. At Enlisted BMT, if your TI knew your name before you got your name tapes sewn on your uniform (week 4 of 8.5), you were a F' up. I was known as "Laundry Crew" for the first 4 weeks of basic. Another thing, don't form cliques. You will need all the help you can get during basic. One team, one fight. Everyone needs to work together to get through. You will no longer be an individual, you are part of the team.
     

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