The skills obtained from just a few short months at basic military training in any branch of service are astonishing. One that you will immediately notice is how well you learn how to take a quick shower.
The Importance of Daily Hygiene in the Military
Daily hygiene is required when attending any military training program. You will be required to clean yourself each day as you tend to get rather dirty and sweaty throughout the day during the constant movement that is Basic Military Training (Air Force), Boot Camp (Navy and USMC), or Basic Combat Training (Army).
The military is a cross section of society of people from all over the nation, different socioeconomic groups, different ages and races. Many have different customs, traditions, and habits when it comes to cleanliness. One thing is for certain, the military takes this diverse group and turns them into a unit of military members with new but the same habits, discipline, and common challenges that unite the group into a team. One of the many things that conform to military standards of hygiene is taking daily showers.
Take Quick and Cool Showers
You will shower every night (including the first night ) at Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). For the first couple of weeks, your shower will be very short (about two minutes). You will learn to wash quickly, and not waste time. You will find that the cool shower will be refreshing during the heat and humidity of the summer and a warm shower will be equally as nice during the colder months of the winter.
Say Goodbye to Your Privacy
In Air Force basic training, there is no privacy for the showers. At the end of the day, you will be tired. Too tired to worry about being naked in a shower with 20 other people who are equally focused on cleaning themselves in a quick 1-2 minute shower time.
The shower is one large room, with several shower-heads. Everyone showers together. Don't let this worry you, however. Most recruits worry about this before basic training, but they typically realize it's not a big deal before long. For the first couple of weeks, you're being yelled at, even in the shower, so you don't worry about anything other than getting the shower finished as fast as you can. After the first couple of weeks, when you get more time and less yelling, it's no longer a big deal.
How the Military Changes You
You will quickly become more efficient with your time. Here is an amusing story from a father of Air Force daughters:
"Before basic training, it would take my daughters a minimum of two hours to get ready to go anywhere. They used to get up two hours before they had to leave for school, each and every morning. If we traveled on the road, I would always have to wake them up in the motel a full two hours before I wanted to get on the road again. Getting ready for the world for a teenager can be challenging if the perfect hair, makeup, and breakfast are required before leaving the house.
"My daughter Christina was the first one to come home on her first leave (vacation) after basic training and technical school. The next morning, I wanted to take her out to breakfast. She woke up (on her own) at 0600 (6:00 AM), and was ready to go 30 minutes later. When Jeanie returned home three weeks later, it was the same thing. I never thought I would see the day where they could prepare for the day in less than 30 minutes. Not only were they ready to go and quite presentable, but their beds were also made before we went out the door -- something else I never thought I'd see."
Serving in the military will change you in many ways. You may find that waking up early is much easier than before Basic Military Training. You may find that eating a full meal can occur in a few minutes as well as daily showers. And you will have the uncanny ability to sleep anywhere. You will also react in crisis situations a much calmer thinker.