What to Expect in Basic Training

Air Force Basic Training lasts 8 1/2 weeks. All new Air Force recruits go through the same basic training: the 737th Training Group, at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas.

While at basic, you’ll do PT six days per week. The six-day-a-week regimen includes three days of aerobic running and three days of muscular endurance training. The runs consist of 40-minute sessions of group-paced running, self-paced running and six 30-second sprint interval runs separated by brisk walking. Each week, trainees are timed on a two-mile run.

The muscular endurance training takes up to 48 minutes on a circuit of crunches, leg lifts, pushups, flutter kicks and pullups. These are designed to improve upper body and abdominal strength quickly.

During the entire period of basic training, recruits are individually timed on the 2-mile run once per week.

  • Lack of improvement may require a reassessment of your fitness category
  • Improvement may move you into a higher fitness category
  • Recycle action is considered if you are more than 1 1/2 minutes over your allotted running time
    • “Recycle” is a term that means taking a recruit out of his normal flight, and “recycling” him/her into a flight that is in an earlier week of training (usually two weeks). That means that recruit spends that extra time in basic training. It is possible for recruits to be recycled three or four times for failing to meet the physical fitness standards before the commander finally gives up and initiates administrative discharge action.
  • Results of this assessment designate a recruit’s physical finess category.
  • Privileges may be revoked if you show no signs of improvement.
  • Recycle action may occur any time a recruit does not improve or fails to meet standards.
  • Airmen on full PC waivers have the same restrictions as those who fail to improve.


Week 0 – Orientation

You will be assigned a Training Instructor (TI) who will give you directions, explain procedures and assign tasks in preparation for your first full week. You receive an initial assessment of your physical fitness (2-mile run, push-ups and sit-ups) during zero week. This assessment aids in identifying recruits who are in poor physical condition.

Activities and Requirements:

  • In processing
  • Haircuts
  • Learn reporting statement
  • Flight assignment
  • Clothing and equipment issue one
  • Dorm and drill basics
  • Individual duty assignment


Week 1 – Fall In

Your first full week of Basic Training will offer several challenges both physical and mental.

Activities and Requirements:

  • Reporting and saluting
  • Medical and dental appointments
  • Educational benefits briefing (MGIB)
  • ID card issue
  • Entry control procedures
  • Career guidance
  • Individual drill


Week 2 – Basic War Skills

You will begin preparing for your role as a warrior.

Activities and Requirements:

  • Weapon handling and maintenance
  • TEMPER (Tent Extensible Modular Personnel) tents
  • Integrated base defense
  • Cover and concealment
  • Tactical movement
  • Firing positions
  • FPCON (Force Protection Conditions)


Week 3 – Combat Lifesaving

Knowing what to do, and what not to do, while you’re under enemy fire can save your life and those of your fellow Airmen.

Activities and Requirements:

  • SABC (Self Aid / Buddy Care) under fire
  • Bleeding control
  • Bandages and dressings
  • Combat application tourniquet
  • Blood clotting agents
  • Splint fractures
  • Internal bleeding


Week 4 – Countering the Threat

You will learn your role in countering diverse threats to national security, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) weapons.

Activities and Requirements:

  • CBRNE / chamber training
  • Anti-terrorism
  • Security programs
  • BMT obstacle course


Week 5 – Ready to Fight

Continue to learn and evolve as a warrior.

Activities and Requirements:

  • Introduction to the Code of Conduct
  • CATM (Combat Arms Training and Maintenance)
  • Mental preparation for combat
  • Pugil stick application
  • Basic leadership
  • Basic situational awareness
  • AEF (Air Expeditionary Force) prep


Week 6 – The Beast

During what is perhaps the most challenging week of you BMT, you will participate in the week-long Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training (BEAST). All of the skills and tactics you have learned will be put to the test in realistic, field training exercises (FTX) and combat scenarios.

Activities and Requirments:

  • SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) familiarization
  • Mobility processing line
  • Deployment briefing
  • Post-operation critiques


Week 7 – Airmanship

You are evaluated on your airmanship skills and learn important aspects of the Air Force’s history and heritage.

Activities and Requirements:

  • Air Force history
  • Enlisted heritage
  • Joint warfare
  • Combat stress recovery
  • Sexual assault prevention and reporting
  • Suicide awareness and prevention
  • Financial management


Week 8 – Graduation

Although your Basic Training experience has come to an end, your journey is just beginning.

Activities and Requirements:

  • Final written test
  • Airmanship and core values
  • Formal retreat
  • Haircuts
  • Technical school briefing
  • Commanders department briefing
  • Town pass briefing