Week 1 (TFIT/TFOT)
Week 1 was similar to Week 0 except we started TFOT on Thursday. We were also strange in that we got a holiday on Monday. As I recall there was no consistent staff presence during the weekend to include the holiday. On one day someone from the staff dropped by and caught one of the student squadrons doing what they weren’t supposed to be doing in front of the DFAC. Bottom line do what you are supposed to do and you will be better off. Someone is always watching. If someone is not watching you need to have the integrity to do what you are supposed to be doing anyway.
We started off the week on Tuesday morning with the confidence course. The confidence course is nothing to stress about. There are about 10 obstacles which varied from crossing from one side to another over beams of different slopes to monkey bars. The people who had good balance did well. Everyone had to try and everyone had two shots to pass the obstacle. If you didn’t make it through the obstacle it was completely fine. It was more of a team building and confidence exercise and it was nice because it helped us focus on something other than the dread of training.
The rest of our time during the week was spent in Boyd Auditorium or the drill pad. The MTIs taught us how to march. The lectures in Boyd were mostly in-processing in nature. Stay awake in Boyd. If you notice yourself nodding off, you have probably already been asleep. Stand up in the back if you feel yourself getting tired and you will be good to go. Don’t use on cough drops because they aren’t authorized even though it isn’t in the OTSMAN. The staff has cameras in the auditoriums and they use them to find sleeping cadets.
The Guard folks arrived on Wednesday night. Out flight all came together to ensure they were prepared for training (dorms, rolling shirts, etc). Some of our guys had to move dorm rooms to ensure male and female rooms were balanced. The general instruction we were given from the staff is to mix males with males and females with females, and ensure cadets were paired with people from mixed past or future career fields. If you will be in a room with two other people vs. one, this is when it will happen. Our flight received four additional personnel I think.
The Blue Line ceremony occurred on the first day of TFOT. At zero dark thirty in the morning we went to Welch Field and the squadron commander gave us a speech on why we were at OTS. To conclude the ceremony we were asked to cross the blue line if we were ready to commit to completing the training. Believe it or not there were a few cadets who did not cross the blue line and were dropped from the course. I will always wonder what caused them to dis-enroll.
On Friday we heard a speech from the OTS commandant, the squadron commander, and our student squadron commander. Our OTS commandant was an extremely good motivational speaker… I was in tears. We then met our Flight Commander. The purpose of this day is to motivate you and set the tone for the training. If you feel overwhelmed or if you can’t remember why you are there, that feeling is only temporary. The training is temporary and it gets better and better the farther you progress.
On Saturday we were again tasked to practice drill and go to AAFES if we needed items. We had limited homework assignments but nothing crazy. Most of the struggle of this week is getting mentally settled, figuring out what you are supposed to be doing, and mentally preparing for whatever is to come.