4.21.2010

Prepping for Air Force BMT (How To Get You BOTH Out Alive)

Now keep in mind that as always, these are my opinions, thoughts, and tips which I derived from my own and Mr. Superman's (the person who actually went through BMT) experiences.

Now that you and your man (or woman) have made the decision to enlist and have probably already made several trips to MEPS, gotten your ASVAB score tucked safely under your belt, and turned in your job selections, its time to wait and prepare. Whether or not you have been selected for a job yet, its never too early to start preparing yourselves for those 8 1/2 weeks of separation and hard work.

When Mr. Superman turned in all of his paperwork he had submitted a list of five jobs he was highly interested in. Our situation was a little different because of his birth certificate being in Alabama, us being in Utah, all of his medical records in Arizona and our wedding certificate and my birth certificate MIA. It was stressful to say the least. To read about our experiences with all of our pre-BMT stress work hassle preparation (it is seriously lacking but just in case you are interested), you can do so here. The bottom five posts are from before he left. Long story short, he ended up being able to submit an additional 17 job choices and was selected for Munitions Systems (MUNS) which just happened to be his number five choice. It went hand in hand with what he had wanted to be doing after his finished his BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Always keep in mind that even if your loved one is selected for a job before BMT it is subject to change before they leave, while they're gone, before Tech School, during Tech school, pretty much anytime. The number one thing you need to cement in your mind from your first step into the world of all things military is that nothing is certain. NOTHING.

From the time we found out his job assignment to the date we had been given that he would be leaving for BMT we had something like 2 months. I don't really remember exactly because we had a whole lot of things happen but it felt like it was going to be a forever wait. Boy was I wrong. The last weeks I had with him before being separated for the first time since being married, flew by. They went by way too fast.

Things we did to prepare ourselves for BMT were mainly for Mr. Superman. He knew he'd have no problem with the classroom stuff because... well, he's a genius. Ha! Really though he was just wanting to try his best to get physically fit before going. He wasn't terribly out of shape but he had been sitting at a desk job for the previous two years. He started working out and would purposely run in the 110 degree Arizona weather to try and get used to the hell that would be San Antonio, TX. Even though he was in decent shape when he left, he lost 35 lbs and nearly 4 1/2 inches off of his waist by then end of BMT. It was more due to the 110 degree 90% humidity everyday more than the PT (physical training) regimen. We also made a budget plan for me to follow while he was gone. You always want to make sure that when your loved one leaves, they have written down all of the important phone numbers and addresses. You want to make sure that if you guys co-own a car or a house and are planning on selling them or anything else important, that all of the legal paperwork is done. Power of Attorney's are always a great thing to have done just in case.

For us, we were apart for 9 weeks and 2 days but that was because of extenuating circumstances. The length of BMT is 8 1/2 weeks and even though that length of time may seem daunting, you can do it! Thousands of people do it every year not to mention the incredible people who live through long separations due to deployments. The key to making it through with as little misery as possible is to STAY BUSY. Seriously. Work, go to school, learn new skills, clean, visit friends, spend time with family, take up a hobby, do anything and everything you want to and can do and the time will pass reasonably fast.

Also, write your man (or woman) everyday! Mr. Superman said my letters are what helped him through when he was homesick or worried about me. I wrote him some crazy long letters every day. It was therapeutic for me to still have the "how was your day today sweetie, mine was ___" conversation even if it was on paper. Don't hold out for phone calls but always be prepared to get them. Some people I know were unbelievably lucky and got one or two phone calls a week. Others were very similar to my experience which was two "official" 2 minute phone calls and I think 4 other phone calls where we were actually able to talk. I went 12 days without hearing anything from him but then when I needed his letters the most, I'd find them in the mail box. He also got one extended phone call because I had had surgery. Just be prepared for anything and everything. Stay calm, stay busy, and you'll be more than fine.

If you are curious and want to sort of follow along with your loved one during BMT I included a link below but I followed this one on my own when Mr. Superman was gone. Check it out here.

Notes:

MEPS: Military Entrance Processing Station. Useful information on MEPS and what to expect can be found here

ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Great link to get more info on the ASVAB right here.

BMT: Basic Military Training. Great link on BMT general info right here. (It's older and gives an overview of the old 6-week program but it gives you the right idea of what goes on.)

Just keep in mind that you are now a part of the Air Force (military) family and it really is an incredible thing. There are always resources to discover and research and always new things to learn.

♥ Mrs. S.

4 comments:

JG said...

All excellent advice. (In Army, it's BCT - Basic Combat Training.) When SoldierMan was in BCT, daily letters were essential.

Mandy said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am now a newbie follower of your beautiful blog! xoxo

L.C. said...

Luckily I married in his 4th year of enlistment, but we are about to tackle his cross training package because he hates his job, most crew chiefs do

Melissa Trajano-Williams said...

This is amazing. Thank you so much for posting this! My husband just found that he leaves for basic in June so I have been reading a lot about what we need to prepare ourselves for his departure. I have to say that your post is the best one so far. Thank you!
Melissa