Lackland AFB – My Experience at Basic Training

It’s kind of ironic that one of the most important Air Force Bases in the world has no fighter aircraft stationed at it, and as a matter of fact, unless you count the Kelly Air Annex next to it as part of the base, it actually does not even have a runway. Then why is this base so important? Well since 1941, it has been the primary Air Force base for training new recruits. Way back in 1980, I was one of those recruits.

When I was there, basic training was 6 ½ weeks long. Many of my squad mates said they joined the Air Force because the basic training was easier and shorter than the other service’s basic training. While I am sure it was not as intense and physical as basic military training in the Army or the Marines; a few of those who told me they joined because the training was easier never made it through. I did not think it was physically imposing, but it sure was mentally; and that is what basic training is all about, testing your mental will and how you hold up under pressure.

Despite all the mental wear and tear, basic training was probably the best I ever felt in my whole life. I ate right, was physically fit and I did the same thing at the same time almost every day. I guess the body loves routine more than people realize.

I was good at everything that was required of me in basic training, except for folding my underwear perfectly. Thankfully, that is not a usable skill that was required of me in the everyday world. InLackland Basic Training my flight, I finished first on the obstacle course, although I probably should not brag, as a girl prevented the man in front of me from moving across a rope over water on the last obstacle, and he eventually fell into the water when he could not hang on any longer. Afterward, I did not even mind eating the seemingly 30 year old C-rations for lunch; if the Air Force issued it to me I believed they had to be safe.

The only real problem I had during my experience in basic training was with the squad leaders who were supposedly equal to us, but treated some of their fellow recruits very poorly. I had a closed door meeting with my drill instructor about this very issue. He understood the issue and told me that if my fellow basic trainees couldn’t handle the mental adversity from that, then I didn’t want them next to me if there was a war going and the bombs started falling around us. Enough said.

These days, Air Force Basic Training has been extended to 8 ½ weeks. I think this is a great idea, especially since I don’t have to go through it again. It is the type of training that makes men out of boys and two additional weeks will never hurt anyone. I was proud to serve in the Air Force and I am proud of the fine young Airmen that Lackland Air Force Base still turns out to this day.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith
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