USAF Basic Training: Beating reveille

During basic training, every single second counts. As soon as reveille sounds we are jumping up, making the racks, brushing our teeth, shaving and ready to move for the day. The drill instructors are already there and ready to roar.

Because time is so important, some of us came up with ways to save time. For instance, though the drill instructors have a little bedroom to sleep at, they didn’t always stay with us overnight. Some days I suppose they went home to their families. Though technically, they were supposed to be with us 24/7.

As we knew they weren’t always there, some of us would get up a bit earlier than the rest. We’d pee, take a dump and sneak our socks on before going back to bed. Believe me, those few seconds saved you a ton of grief come reveille. Sometimes we’d even shave and brush our teeth before the others were up. This was a nice luxury to have and since it was already close to the morning, the bathroom inspections were already over and no one would get in trouble for using the facilities. Once everyone was done in the bathroom, that’s when you had to clean it up again and using it for shaving, etc would get someone reamed.

Hitting that sweet spot of getting things done early was an art. I was pretty good at it myself. It’s how I took my first dump during basic training. I was so damn constipated and backed up from the stress, that the first dump I took was spectacular.

I remember that we had some senior week guys over once patrolling our bay when I got up to pee. They were from another flight and caught me getting up after hours. However, they weren’t looking to bust my balls. They waved me over and shot the breeze with me for a bit. Those guys were pretty hard core and intense for airmen, I was fairly impressed by them.

These little tricks were really helpful and though we are only talking about a few minutes at most, the relief from pressure was immense. To give you context, I cut my fingers and face the first few mornings while shaving. Then I got in trouble for bleeding on the sink and floor. Get it?

I think that it is human nature to adapt and find ways to survive under any circumstances. This is just  another example of human resilience. Surviving boot camp and beating reveille. I wonder what Sgt Koellner or Senior Airman Bridgeman would say if they knew what we were doing behind their backs.

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