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USAF Basic Training: Getting Recycled

What the hell does getting recycled mean in relation to military boot camp? Let me try to explain this as best I can.

Let’s say that you joined the Air Force, okay? Basic Training for the Air Force when I was in was about 6 weeks long. However, you could end up spending way much longer there if you get recycled. Let’s say that you are up to week 3 of basic training, then your training flight is up to week 3. Somewhere on the barracks, there is a group of Airmen who arrived later than you, so that group is on week 2 of their training. You still with me? Okay, good.

Now let’s say you do something really stupid, or perhaps you don’t pick up a certain required skill set that is required to move on in training? Well, they can remove you from your assigned flight and send you to one of those later arriving flights. So you’d leave your group, which is in week 3 of training, and get sent to another group who is currently in week 2 of training. Your boot camp just went from 6 weeks total, to 7 weeks because you were sent back in time to a later starting group.

I know of one guy who was still in week 3 of training when we were going to walk for our graduation. This guy was just an incompetent idiot, and he did so many stupid things. I know he was recycled a minimum of 3 times, and if I’m not mistaken, a fourth would have gotten him kicked out of the Air Force. He was sent back to my flight during a recycle, and though he was a nice guy, he was just not very smart about things.

I was so sharp and damn good that even though I spent under a week at a special unit, because I wanted to get the hell out of there. They eventually sent me back and I still got assigned to the same unit even though I missed about a week of the main training. Meanwhile, this guy couldn’t get out of the 3rd week of training. LOL. I did see him in dress blues towards my last days of training, so I think he got to the 5th week or something. I think they were just trying to push him through after all that investment in this idiot.

In any case, this is what recycling means in relation to the military. Don’t get recycled ya’ll!

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