Basic trainees align in formation.

Air Force Basic Training: What to Expect

When joining the Air Force, you can choose one of two paths:

  • Enlist: If you enlist, your first stop will be Air Force Basic Training, eight-and-a-half weeks of physical preparation to serve, before you move onto more technical training.
  • Get a commission as an officer: If you take the officer path, you’ll go to Officer Training School, the U.S. Air Force Academy or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

What you need to know:

  • The Air Force Basic Military Training location is Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Basic Military Training is eight-and-a-half weeks. The training focuses on getting you:
    • Your flight assignment
    • Individual duty assignment
    • Equipment
    • Uniforms
    • Orientation
  • You’ll learn the basics of military life:
    • How to handle and fire a weapon
    • Basic defense
    • Combat life-saving skills
    • Countering threats to national security
    • Airmanship skills
  • The sixth week: Basic Expeditionary Airmen Skills, or the BEAST. This will assess everything you learned during field training exercises and combat scenarios.

After Basic Military Training, you’ll move on to technical training to learn the skills needed to perform your specific Air Force job.

Entering the Air Force as an officer

You can do this in one of three ways:

  • Attend Officer Training School after earning your bachelor’s degree
  • Attend the Air Force Academy after high school
  • Join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in college

Additional details regarding all of these programs are available on the U.S. Air Force website.