“Sir, trainee Smith reports as ordered.” ― The reporting statement.
Most recruiters urge members of the Air Force Delayed Enlistment Program to memorize the statement before getting to basic military training.
For most, the statement is easy to remember in a normal situation, but not so easy when a military training instructor is standing in front of them waiting to hear it.
Luckily, more than 30 members of the DEP here were given a taste of just how difficult giving that reporting statement will be when they arrive at BMT.
Recruiters from the 319th Recruiting Squadron based at Ramstein enlisted the help from three former MTIs to give their soon-to-be trainees a small preview of what to expect when they arrive in San Antonio, Texas.
“It was pretty intense,” said Emily Eason, daughter of James Eason, 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing. “It was a wonderful experience and I think it gave us a great advantage over other members of the DEP.”
The DEP members were in formation as the three former TIs started their rounds. Some were easy targets.
“I couldn’t stop smiling at first,” said Thomas Rush, son of Master Sgt. Damon Rush with the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. “I felt like the situation got really serious. I know that I am more prepared for BMT now than I ever would have been had we not gotten this opportunity.”
The MTIs did not break character for the 10-minute preview of what the DEP members would experience in their first weeks of BMT.
“This was such a great opportunity for us,” said Senior Master Sgt. Manny Pinero, 3rd Air Force first sergeant and former MTI. “It felt good to put the campaign hat back on.”
After the preview, members of the DEP were given the opportunity to ask questions about what they just experienced and received insight about what is expected of them.
“The best advice I can give you is to be prepared, not just physically but mentally,” said Tech. Sgt. Jacob Chavez, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and former MTI. “Be prepared to leave home and have discipline.”
Chief Master Sgt. Adam McNair, U.S. Air Forces in Europe first sergeant and former MTI, gave sound advice to the members of the DEP.
“If you can make it through BMT, it will be the best decision of your life,” he said. “Once you arrive in San Antonio, it is no longer about you. It is about the team.”
Pinero told the group to honor the millions who have come before them and to carry that honor throughout their career.
“Remember how it feels to graduate BMT in front of your family,” he said. “Then remember that feeling of pride and honor every day when you put on your uniform.”