There is Air Force Basic Military Training—also known as "Basic" or "boot camp"— that helps transition a recruit from civilian life to the military. After completing basic training, the airman will head to a technical school where they will receive specialized training in their assigned or selected career field.
Just because the new Airman has finished Basic Military Training, does not mean life in the advanced schools gets easier with newly earned freedoms. In fact, the Air Force will gradually allow the Technical School Airmen to gain their everyday freedoms and privileges back over time.
Restrictions of Technical School
The Air Force once had lesser restrictions on Airmen in Technical School. However, the added distractions of liberty made many fail due to time away from the base, school, and studying. Also, some students got into liberty incidents. To ensure success and higher performance, the Air Force mandated tougher discipline for the new Airmen fresh out of basic training.
These restrictions the Air Force places on its Airmen during Technical School training are released like clockwork. There is a certain number of calendar days broken up into three phases of training. For instance, Phase 1 lasts from the first through the 14th calendar day and is nearly as rigid in its rules and regulations as Basic Training. Phase II runs from the 15th calendar day through the 35th calendar day, and Phase III continues until completion of Tech School.
Phase Two Specifics
Within the first two weeks, the Airmen at Tech School have started to figure out the schedule and the effort required to succeed and are therefore granted more freedom. However, the following restrictions still apply. As with any member in the military, the Airmen start to learn, "with greater privileges come greater responsibilities." Airmen are expected to follow, promote, and encourage all Airmen to adhere to standards. They will be held accountable and supervised commensurate with their time in service.
During this phase, Airmen will still adhere to the list of requirements below:
- Will remain in uniform and on station during duty hours. If Airmen go off station, they will wear the appropriate blue uniform combination and remain in the local area as determined in writing by the training/operations group commander. No civilian clothes.
- May consume alcohol if of legal age on base only, but not during the duty week or 12 hours prior to duty.
- May ride in and operate a private motor vehicle (PMV) after duty hours.
- Will adhere to a call to quarters (curfew) of 2200 (10:00 P.M.) to 0400 (4:00 A.M.) on evenings prior to duty days and a curfew of 2400 (Midnight) to 0400 on evenings prior to non-duty days. Training/operations group commanders will determine, in writing, call to quarters for Airmen assigned to shifts other than a traditional day shift.
- Will have their rooms inspected a minimum of one time while in Phase II. Airmen must keep their rooms according to local guidelines but may personalize their rooms.
- Will march to and from all locations during duty hours.
- Will participate in a formal open ranks inspection conducted by an MTL a minimum of one time while in Phase II.
- May use a personal electronic device (such as cell phones and MP3 players) after duty hours only.
- Will pass all required open ranks and room evaluations prior to progressing to Phase III. Units will determine pass/fail to depend on locally developed standards.
Documenting Discrepancies and Successes - The “Gotcha Form”
The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Form 341 in Air Force Basic Military Training is the primary method the Air Education and Training Command uses to document discrepancies and excellence for non-prior service recruits in both Basic Military Training and Air Force Technical Schools. You will have to carry one of these forms with you along with your military identification with you at all times while in training.
The good news is that these forms can be used for good as well as discrepancies in basic military performance. If you do something well (and someone sees you), you will get credit for it. But the same holds true for if you have a poor uniform appearance or somehow out of regulations in your appearance or performance of duties.
If an instructor at the training command (Basic Training MTI, Military Training Leader, instructor, Airman leader, etc.) observes you doing something good or bad, they can "pull a 341” from you. The instructor will complete the bottom of the form, documenting what they observed and returns the form to your squadron for further action that your chain of command deems appropriate.
Just because you are no longer in Basic Training, does not mean you are not supposed to be held accountable for your performance of duties and maintain discipline.