My First Military Experience
The date was September 23rd 2003. I was leaving my home for the first time; I had been dreading the unknown of entering basic military training for months. I knew difficult challenges would lie ahead, but little did I know what changes were about to become of me in my first military experience. The trainees were stuffed into the bus like sardines; I was shoved to the very back on the floor by exit sign. The smell of fear and the odor of a gym locker room filled the air. Night had already fallen by the time our bus arrived at Lackland Air Force Base. My heart was beating out my chest and the feeling of butterflies in my stomach made me feel like I was going to vomit. The bus stopped and a training instructor ran onto the bus and quickly started yelling and shouting. Looking back after eight years of service to my country, several key concepts in my first military experience taught me followership, responsibility, and teamwork.
In the first week of basic training, we quickly learned the importance of followership. One day while in the a briefing room where we were packed in like cattle at a cattle auction, we were instructed to quietly sit for the weekly instructional briefing by our training instructor, Staff Sergeant Smith. Staff Sergeant Smith was our primary training instructor, he was obligated to instruct and mold us into Airmen during our stay here at basic training, and he excelled at instructing and correcting us at every minor infraction. He always presented himself with a freshly press and starched uniform with a black Smokey the Bear hat cocked forward on his head. While he was briefing us on the week’s future events, one of the trainees interrupted him with a smart alec remark and without hesitation the training instructor, Staff Sergeant Smith, got so close to him that he was spitting in the trainee’s face with a gruesome expression on his face and with a gravelly voice that instilled the fear of god he began to