So Much To Tell…

I’m sorry it took me this long to get a new post up since I arrived in Montgomery but I think this entry may explain a little why it has taken so long.  Tom’s been doing a good job of keeping you up to date but I’ll try to fill in the gaps.  I’ll start from when I first stepped onto the OTS (Officer Training School) complex at Maxwell Air Force Base.  Several other COT students and I got off the school bus that had picked us up from the airport and dropped our luggage off at the front of building.  The front door of the building has a sign on it telling us to go around to the back, which we did.  As we rounded the corner of the building we heard a voice screaming at us that we better start moving faster at which point we all began to run in terror.  When we got closer we were screamed at to get in line and stand at attention.  Of course, I had a rough idea about what standing at attention was but apparently there were some finer points I was unfamiliar with.  The TI (Technical Instructor) was happy to correct my mistakes in the kindest way possible – screaming in my face.

For the next two days we stood at attention and marched around not really having any idea what we were doing and therefore, continually getting screamed at to correct mistakes we didn’t know we were making.  Throughout the week we’ve slowly had lessons on how to do things properly but it’s amazing how hard you will work on getting better at something when failing means an earfull from an angry airmen.  We were also given a book of OIs (operating instructions) which were instructed to memorize immediately.  It was only a 100 pages of rules and guidelines so no big deal.  On Saturday we had a test on the OIs and in another effort to make you all proud, I managed a 100%.  Now if I could just get my PT score to 100% I’d be happy…

Throughout the course of the week, as my flight (14 random people who I live right beside and are basically my team for everything and we compete against the 9 other flights throughout the course of the 5 weeks) and I have begun to figure things out together, I have become more and more sure that leaving all of you wasn’t completely crazy.  While I miss you all dearly and wish I could be there for volleyball, Flattop, etc., I’m finally starting to feel like I’m doing something with myself.  The last 3 months have been exceedingly easy for me and I haven’t been challenged physically or mentally since the Bar.  Now I’m doing something that makes me feal worthwhile and I’m realizing now that I REALLY needed that.

Other details to give you all an idea of what it’s like here.  We eat tight meals.  This means, we sit at attention, we have 20 minutes tops (they usually scream at us to finish and leave before that), and we can’t talk.  We also have to drink 3 glasses of water per meal which is probably healthy and would be fine if they didn’t immediately make us then go sit in class for 3 hours.  So far I have not wet myself here but keeping check back for updates on that. We also do call everyone sir and ma’am and the OIs are very particular about where in a sentence they should fall.

Also, I am the flight athletic officer which means I get to plan workouts for my flight and it’s my responsibility to make sure that everyone passes their PT test.  We only had one failure on the baseline test (the one Tom wrote about last week) and that person has to retake it on tomorrow.  We all have to take the final PT test in a couple weeks so I have until then to help them improve their scores.  I like the job a lot but man, I suddenly have a deeper appreciation for all the coaches in my life.  It’s hard to keep everyone moving.  Especially when we have a huge range of physical fitness levels.  But that’s boring so I won’t talk about that anymore…though if you want a funny visual, our PT gear is blue wind pants and jacket most of us probably would have enjoyed wearing in middle school.  When we walk we are anything but stealth as we sound like we’re all wearing garbage bags.

It’s about time for me to go to lunch now.  We have to eat every meal in the DFAC (Dining Facility) or chow hall as some of the priors (people who were enlisted and then received their commissions to become officers as opposed to me who has no prior military experience) call it.  Oh, and speaking of priors, I got VERY lucky to have a roommate who’s been in the AF for 15 years as a lab tech and knows everything I could ever need to know.  She can help me with my uniforms (you have to measure where to put your rank on perfectly), marching, and all the military lingo and acronyms I’m still trying to learn.  Plus she’s nice:)

I hope to be on again soon and Tom should be posting some pictures I sent him soon as well.  I’ll try to be better about writing but they really do an awesome job of keeping you extremely busy here.  Even as I writing this I’m thinking about all the studying I should be doing.  But I love you guys and I didn’t want any of you to forget about me so soon so I really wanted to give an update.

For those of you who demand comedy in my posts, I apologize for not being funnier.  Now that you guys are all properly updated, I should be able to come on and just post when I have a funny store to tell.  Though for now, I’ll leave you with this visual image – they make us wear camel packs and reflective belts everywhere we go…so although we have super cool military gear on, we look like crossing guards…especially since at night we carry yellow flashlights like those ones they use to control planes on runways.

OK, I’m out but I love you all and yes, I have memorized and love to sing the AF song…Of we go into the wild blue yonder…

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3 Responses to So Much To Tell…

  1. Mom says:

    Very interesting……We are happy that you are able to use your motivational skills to the benefit of our country and your flight. We’ll mail your package tomorrow. lOVE YOU!
    Oh and a comment to your contact info; has Tom given any thought to the last name Bergstrom Rehder. Following a long family tradition, he will NEVER be expected to run a marathon or anywhere else for that matter. Except perhaps to Casey’s for a Diet Mt. Dew. 🙂

    Mom and Dad

  2. Matt Rosine says:

    I have a new cadence you can teach your fellow PT students as you run (obviously they repeat each line – think Full Metal Jacket):

    “Up in the morning with the rising sun!
    Run all day till the runnings done!
    Ho-Chi-Mein is a son-of-a-bitch!
    Got the blue balls, crabs and the seven year itch!”

    I was actually one step away from completing my recruitment into the RAF back home, so it is fascinating to be with you as you go through this experience. Good luck and keep it up!

  3. Mike says:

    Really late reply here…….but I went through COT as well a little after you. I’m an MSC and I really enjoyed my time there. I was also non-prior and had a roommate who taught me the ropes (10 years prior service). I hope You AF career is moving along well.

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