USAF Basic Training: Air Force Training harder than Marine Corps?

I saw a video clip of an Air Force Military Training Instructor saying that by the end of our basic training, Airmen are in better shape than U.S. Marines. Watching this man make the statement that (if you watch his eyes, he doesn’t believe it himself) Air Force basic Training is harder than Marine Corps basic training with a straight face was terribly embarrassing to me as an Airman. Our training is not a walk in the park, but there is no way in hell that it compares to Marine Corps recruit training. No way in hell.

Watching this MTI make that statement was horribly embarrassing for me as an Airman. On behalf of all Airmen of reason, I apologize to our fellow Marines for this man’s temporary insanity. I can only hope that he was forced to say this by a higher up because if you look at his eyes, his body language, there is absolutely no confidence in that bold statement.

I spent many months training with Marines prior to shipping out for basic training. I learned their ways and was fully prepared to undertake that intense training. I ended up talking to different recruiters and eventually switched to the Air Force. To learn why I switched branches you can read here!

I’ll give you a simple example of how our training differs here. When you see Drill Instructors training their platoon, they are running beside them and singing cadence and so on. We never, never, never once ran as a group during basic training. My military training instructors never sang cadence when marching us, we didn’t do any of that. Our runs were about two mile runs were we followed a set road path. While we ran this, on our own, at our own pace, the TI’s were riding bikes to check up on everyone. That was just embarrassing.

Granted, I’ve not been to any other basic training, and I know the Marines and Army also do solo running, but I don’t know if the instructors are cruising around on bikes during those solo runs. However, I know the Marines run a hell of a lot more and with the DIs. They also do a lot more incentive training than we did during basic. When we messed up we were punished, but I don’t recall even one time that they made me get on my face and do push ups, mountain climbers, etc. My punishments were kitchen patrol and man that really sucked, but it had zero bearing on my fitness level. It was exhausting, but that was due to the very long hours and lack of sleep.

Our boot camp was challenging in its own way. I know I had my difficulties during my time in training, especially in the beginning before I accepted my situation. But to dare make any comparison when it comes to PT with the US Marines is just embarrassing. This MTI should be ashamed for making that statement, whether of his own volition or coaxed by command. It’s just not true.

I’d go one step further and say that training with the Marines as a poolie while enrolled in the delayed entry program was more physically challenging than my entire time in Air Force boot camp. The psychological and emotional aspects are a whole different thing. Though I found that part a bit more challenging, I still wouldn’t compare it to the USMC. That’s just an insult to every Marine that has ever lived.

I’m not crapping on my branch here. I’m an Airman and I will always be and Airman. However, I am a realist, and Air Force boot camp is nowhere near as intense as Marine Corps boot camp. Come on now, stop embarrassing us.


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Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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