Instead of asking the question “how hard is Air Force basic training?” you should shift your thinking by asking “is Air Force basic training easy?”. Having a strong mind at bmt can make or break your experience at Lackland.

Training is more mental then it is physical. Air Force basic training will be manageable as long as you come mentally prepared and mentally strong,

Everyone is different so judge whether you think bmt is hard or easy with these further questions. They will help show what Air Force basic training really is like.

How Much Running Is In Air Force Basic Training?

The typical morning pt structure for an Air Force basic training workout routine is to run every other day. Some days the run will be self-paced, some timed, and some mock pt test runs.

The Air Force pt test is a timed mile and a half run. Time requirements are different for males and females.

To help prepare for the timed pt test run you will regularly have to do self-paced runs for 30 minutes with intervals of sprinting and walking after the initial 30 minutes. The total time running and cooling down takes around 40 minutes. So expect to be challenged and become capable of running 40 consistent minutes.

Colored reflective belts are handed out for the self-paced run. The colors reflect the speed of the runner and which lane you run in. So many trainees will try to earn faster colored reflective belts and not be seen as a slow and sloppy runner.

During the self-paced runs, you can expect to run 2 to 4 miles depending on your speed.

Just because you don’t run for some morning pt days doesn’t mean you won’t run at all that day. Sometimes you’ll have to run in a marching formation to and from places. Other times you’ll be preparing for things like the airman’s run and do practice runs.

In late 2018 the Air Force introduced memorial runs every Saturday. These Air Force basic training runs inspire and enhance performance by reciting Air Force history of highlighted airmen beforehand. A new focus is put on the physical training and readiness of today’s young airmen. So expect a strong emphasis on the current pt regimen at Air Force basic training.

Related article: Getting Air Force Running Shoes In Basic Training

Do You Do Pt Every Day In The Air Force?

Flight pt is typically performed each morning 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday. Currently, there are 44 physical training sessions scheduled for Air Force basic training. Sunday is the only day of the week that flight pt isn’t held.

That doesn’t mean there’s no pt whatsoever on Sunday’s. Your instructor could still have you perform push-ups as punishment for any number of reasons. Just cause there isn’t flight pt on Sunday it won’t prevent your bmt instructor from deciding everyone has to break a sweat.

When an instructor is mad you’ll know it by them saying, “on your face”. That means push-ups and flutter kicks until you’re told to stop.

I was really unlucky one day in basic. My basic training instructor had the entire flight of roughly 50 people cram into the bathroom and do push-ups and flutter kicks. We couldn’t stop until the bathroom mirrors had condensation running down them. Trying to find the space for pt in the bathroom is a challenge.

The only grace period is during the first week of Air Force basic training. When you just ate instructors don’t make you do any form of exercise until an hour after eating that first week.

However, after the first week is over the grace period is thrown out the window. You will be tested if directions aren’t followed after the adjustment period.

How Long Is Air Force Basic Training?

Air Force bmt has had a number of changes to its total length within the last decade. As of September 2018, the current Air Force basic duration is 8 ½ weeks.

Prior to this change Air Force basic training used to be 7 ½ weeks long. This isn’t the first time the total number of weeks has been 8 ½ either. In 2008 the Air Force basic training duration changed from 6 weeks to 8 ½.

Some things that could affect your total time spent in Texas at Air Force basic training is getting sick or failing the pt test.

It’s not unusual for people to get sick at bmt with so many people in close proximity all day and night.

If you get sick enough for it to become an issue, you’ll get sent to the sick flight to recover. Any days that are missed will have to be repeated. So if it takes a week to recover you’ll get put into a new flight that is entering the training period you left off at.

Between the sick days and makeup days, you could spend an extra week or two at Lackland AFB

I got sick during beast week and had to spend close to 10 weeks total at bmt. Repeating an entire week and a half of training. Plus I got put into an entirely new basic training flight because of it.

If you happen to fail the pt test you can’t leave basic training till you pass. You’ll have to spend the duration of your time performing extensive amounts of pt each day.

If weight is an issue its possible to have to go on a diet program too. All of this time preparing to retake the pt test could extend your total number of weeks at Air Force basic training.

Even after all of that the Air Force still has one of the shortest basic training lengths when you compare it to the Army or Marines.

After Air Force Basic Training Do You Get To Go Home?

Seeing family during graduation is great but short-lived. After being disconnected and not seeing loved ones for weeks, many airmen want to know if they get to go home after Air Force bmt.

After Air Force basic training everyone goes directly to their tech school. Newly graduated airmen are loaded up on buses to leave Lackland Air Force base and go to their specified tech school location. Not everyone goes to the same base to learn Air Force jobs so there are multiple buses lined up waiting to drive airmen to the next destination.

Unfortunately, that destination isn’t going to be home.

The first guaranteed opportunity to go back home won’t be until after completing tech school. Being a part of the recruiter’s assistance program or taking what few leave days you have accumulated to go home and see family before leaving for your first duty station.

Depending on the time of year when you’re at tech school, the schoolhouse might possibly shut down for the holidays and give you a chance to fly home briefly. The Air Force commonly shuts down shop for a few days around Christmas and a few more for the new year.

During certain phases of tech school you’re allowed to go off base. Some airman even have their cars at tech school. So if you happen to be attending tech school near where you live there is an opportunity to go home for the weekend. However, the likelihood of both locations being within a short distance of each other is slim.

But, those opportunities are much later after basic training.

To Wrap It Up

After going through this article which question has your mind shifted to? 

“How hard is Air Force basic training?” or “Is Air Force basic training easy?”.

Remember bmt is mostly mental rather than physical.

If you still want to know how to prepare for basic training, start by checking out these 50 surprising facts: How Air Force basic training used to be.

Corey Porter

Corey Porter

Air Force Veteran

Corey is an Air Force veteran and the lead writer at Basic to Blues. He refueled fighter jets as a young airman and deployed twice to the Middle East. Now Corey can be found hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Who the hell… POL!

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