Love is in the air, folks, even at BMT! In honor of the holiday, I bring you the tongue-in-cheek topic of "Love in the Squadron." Before you get upset about it, know that I am completely aware of the fact that the purpose of BMT is to train Airman-hopefuls, not to make love connections. Regardless, we're human and love and attraction are natural emotions. So, let's talk about love, sex, attraction, self-love, and all of that goodness as it relates to BMT! I'm giving you fair warning here...
Eight and a half weeks?!
Before all of you sexually active adults start worrying about what you're going to do for eight and a half weeks, let me tell you that I don't even think that thought crossed my mind when I was down there, at least not in the first half. You're so insanely busy and stressed out that you're not thinking about sex. By the time you go to bed at night, you're so tired and exhausted that again, you're just thinking about sleep and not about sex.
As for self-love, the only privacy you have at BMT is in the bathroom stall. You're sleeping in a bay with twenty-five other people, so you're not alone at night. If any of my females took care of business, they were pretty damn discreet. I can't say the same about the males in my brother flight. There was at least one who bragged about his accomplishment and subsequently his name was used to refer to masturbation after that. Probably not his best idea...
One of my favorite quotes from that time period came from one of my females, who was venting to her Element Leader: "I'm exhausted, I'm frustrated, I'm horny." Welcome to BMT. You can understand why people go crazy when they hit tech school.
One of the older flights told us, "Around 5WOT, brother flight starts looking good." True! You'll start noticing everyone around that time, and trainees that didn't stand out before start looking a whole lot hotter. Our females started commenting on who had the best bodies in brother flight, who was the hottest, etc.
As you get closer to graduation weekend, all of that will change. The end is in sight and your spouse/significant other/lover is coming to see you and booking a hotel. I believe we were told that the powers that be do not encourage sex during graduation weekend, but we all know it happens. There will be no stories of bodice-ripping back in the dorms those nights, as if you do get naked you'll be gingerly removing your blues as to not wrinkle them or mess them up. [Side note: set yourself an alarm, don't get caught up in the moment or afterglow and not make it back to the squadron on time.]
If you're new to long-distance relationships, especially those in the military lifestyle, prepare for challenges due to the distance and the lack of communication opportunities. The ones worth keeping will stick around. At least one female in my flight received a "Dear John" letter and another female chose to break up with her boyfriend over the phone during one of our (very public) weekly phone calls. Be prepared - regardless of your personal turmoil, you'll still have to suck it up and press on with your training, all while maintaining military bearing.
Laundry Room Connections
The laundry room and laundry crew are the biggest culprits when it comes to BMT love connections. Due to gender mixing amongst those doing laundry, there's a greater likelihood of "trainees behaving badly" in the laundry room. Some trainees will try to "volunteer" for laundry crew so they can rendezvous in there for some face/flirting time. Beware of these individuals, as they can get themselves and the flight in trouble if they're caught. Again, if they're caught talking (versus studying) and an MTI pops their head in, they can get in trouble. We had a couple of our trainees make a laundry room love connection, although they waited until tech school to start dating. If you're worried about someone on laundry crew, make the suggestion that they switch duties.
You brought what?!
You'd be amazed at what trainees will bring to BMT. It is not uncommon for MTIs to find condoms and crazier yet, porn! I've seen/heard it direct from the source, folks! What are people thinking?! These are big no-nos, understandably. Your MTI will not schedule you time for sex during training, and you'll rarely watch movies (only of the instructional variety), period, let alone porn. We had a really nice flat screen TV in our day room and we never turned it on.
Did you know that some trainees try to get away with having sex at BEAST? C'mon now, folks, never a good idea! You're two weeks away at that point, you can wait a little bit longer! They will warn you against having this idea as you prepare for BEAST. Trust me, you wouldn't want to have sex out there anyway. It's dirty, it's dusty, you're sweaty, you smell nasty - just not the sort of place where you'd want to have your first encounter with anyone. BEAST does, however, lend itself to more mingly opportunities, since you'll be working closely with your brother/sister flight and two other flights. You'll get to know them better at BEAST than back in the squadron, so there is a fair amount of flirting that happens out there - just don't get stupid and try to make physical contact.
We have some love-themed no-nos to discuss today, and it's better to bring them up now while we're talking about it, rather than putting it off for another no-no post.
- Swapping contact info - Don't swap contact info with anyone from your brother/sister flight while you're in training. Graduation weekend, fine, but not during training up until then. We had a trainee jot down the name of a brother flight member so that she could write him during BMT, from one dorm to the next. Huge no-no, and it was only made worse by the fact that she wrote down that info and other notes to him in her BMTSG.
- Talking to trainees of the opposite sex - Obviously, this is somewhat of an archaic policy, as not all trainees are heterosexual, but you're not allowed to talk to members of the opposite sex, unless you're completing an MTI-approved assigned task with them. Don't get caught and be careful if you're chit-chatting in the dry cleaner with them.
Happy Valetines Day, everyone! Remember those Core Values of Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do! ;)