This weekend I attended Drill for the first time. In the Air Guard, new trainees begin reporting for drill weekend even before they have gone to basic training. As explained by the Lieutenant overseeing the Student Flight, the main goal of the flight is to make sure we are all completely in processed and as prepared as possible before shipping out. So I’ll recap what happened this weekend. Keep in mind, the Student Flight experience varies from base to base. I am currently serving at Selfridge.
At the beginning of the day, we were all instructed to line up and report for roll call. Many of us were new and weren’t sure what we were supposed to do- the only instruction given was to pay attention to what the other people where saying who have been at student flight for awhile. All we had to do was stand at attention and say our reporting statement, “Sir, trainee (your last name) reports as ordered.”
All day on Saturday, there was a newcomers briefing that is required for anyone attending drill weekend for the first time. They basically just gave us an overload of information about the base and services offered. It’s a long day of sitting and listening. We were given a 2 hour lunch break where we could accomplish any tasks we may still have (I had to drop off my financial gain package at the finance department). We could eat for free at the base cafeteria; but we were also permitted to go off base if we would like.
An hour of PT is a part of every day of drill. When I heard this, I was a little nervous because I was expecting a basic training style workout. However, our PT was really chill. Since it’s still really cold out, we were all sent to the gym to work out on our own for an hour. There was no specific instructions given, we just had to do some kind of exercise. Now, I’m pretty sure that this is one thing that will vary at different bases. I’ve read other’s accounts that say they had to do a lot of push ups and were even yelled at while doing it. So, don’t count on PT being a walk in the park for you.
Preparing for Basic Training
When we weren’t going to various offices trying to complete our in processing, we were back in the Student Flight room. During these times we did a few different things to prepare for life at basic. We watched a few videos that show scenes from BT, but these videos were so old, it was pretty clear that our experience would be very different. We had a lot of time to work on our “memory work”- memorizing the Airmen’s Creed, ranking structure, and other info. We also took a good amount of time learning and practicing movements as a group and individually.
Overall, the experience was much more relaxed than what I was expecting. We were allowed to have our phones out and we were given a bit of freedom to accomplish things on our own. I feel that it is a good tool to help prepare. In some ways, you are thrown into things you may not know too much about, but this is the time you’re corrected nicely and patiently. It’s a great time to learn as much as you can for Basic Training.