Reinventing basic: Graduation comes earlier; 'real life' schooling follows

The 8½-week journey from recruit to airman will no longer end in a regimented march on a Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland parade field.

Beginning March 23, 400 recruits will take part in that rite of passage after 7½ weeks of basic military training — then turn back around for a five full days of interactive classroom instruction focused on character development.

Civilian facilitators and hand-picked military training instructors will lead newly minted airmen through role-playing exercises and real-life scenarios devised to drive home the Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence.

“What we expect of airmen as professionals can be dramatically different from the life they’ve come from. We’re going to talk about resiliency, sexual assault, professional relationships, ethics, how we treat each other with dignity and respect,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said.

via Reinventing basic: Graduation comes earlier; ‘real life’ schooling follows.

The article quotes AF officials lamenting that the pace of instruction is so fast that much of the training doesn’t stick in the enlistee’s minds.

So to address that, they’re going to compress the current 8-1/2 week program of instruction into 7-1/2 weeks.

And don’t forget that the issues with sexual harassment and assault at AF Basic were with the MTIs, not with the trainees. So of course, the AF answer is to take it out on the trainees.

And if the Air Force had enough of a problem with fostering a warrior culture, adding a week of touchy feely talkie stuff at the end isn’t going to help.

4 thoughts on “Reinventing basic: Graduation comes earlier; 'real life' schooling follows”

  1. After 8 years in the Air Force, I left in 1985 and joined the Marine Corps. Since retiring in 1999 as a Gunny, it has been things like this that have made me glad to make the change even when recalled in 2005. Mitchell, Doolittle and Lemay must be rolling over in their graves.

  2. The pace of training is not the reason instruction doesn’t stick. It is lack of discipline. I always told my Drill Instructors that instilling self-discipline came first. You give me discipline, and I will have a Marine who can learn and retain everything he needs to know.

  3. The problem must be pretty bad since they have to hire civilian “facilitators” to do the training.

    I read as much of the linked article as I had the patience for. It brought to mind that fine old word “bushwa”.

  4. Long past time for the Air Force to give up on trying to train its own troops and instead contract it out to the Army. Send them all through Army IET so they learn the basics of soldiering, then turn them over to the USAF for their AFSC training.

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