Top 20 Ways to Prepare for Field Training
By Cadet Craig Miles
1. Run when it is hot outside and run for long distances. Run while the sun is at its peak or when its 85+ degrees (drink plenty of water), and run for long distances of 6 miles +.
2. While at Field Training actively drink and refill your camel back as much as possible. You will be working a hard 17 hour day. Make sure you always find time to refill your camel back.
3. If you are injured, in pain, or have gone more than 3 days since your last bowel movement tell your Cadet Training Assistant/Flight Commander. They are there to keep you safe and active. There is no point hiding an injury that will later get you kicked out from Field Training.
4. Practice memorizing people’s names. Field Training is a mine field full of Cadet Training Assistants expecting a greeting by name.
5. Get used to waking up at 0400 and going to bed at 2100. If you adjust your body now it will be no problem when you get there.
6. Purchase a small metal lock. Not plastic, not a chain, but a straight up metal lock. While at field training I had a lock with a thin wire covered in plastic. One rotating Flight Commander knew these broke very easily so he stood there and yanked on my lock until it became inoperable. I received a From-17. Heed my warning and get a strong metal lock.
7. Memorize the verbiage for everything. Reporting in, reporting in to the dining facility, preparing for an inspection, etc. Verbiage is king.
8. Be prepared to take the test on the Airman’s Manual and Field Training Manual on Training Day 1. Even if you don’t have everything memorized make sure you know where to find it if they allow you to use you manuals.
9. Be prepared to do ridiculous amounts of push-ups and sit ups. You will be doing these every day in small and large increments. I think we did 70 push-ups once followed by diamond push-ups.
10. Practice Superman Drills. Race your friends to see who can switch uniforms the fastest. Develop tricks and muscle memory when shedding you clothes in a hurry.
11. Practice Marching. In Garrison is 98% column marching on large sidewalks and 2% everything else, Joint Forces Training Center is 98% column marching in route step and 2% everything else.
12. Practice Detail marching. Detail: 2-4 Cadets marching together in a 2 by 2 square. Detail commander is on the right or back right of the detail.
13. Realize that the goal of a group leadership project is not to complete the group leadership project. You are being tested on how well you lead. Not on if you can figure out which wing is prepared for an inspection.
14. Practice, practice, practice verbally saying all the quotes from the Field Training Manual. Doesn’t matter how well you may think you have the quotes memorized. If you practice saying all of them out loud it will be much easier to spit it out when you have several cadet training assistants yelling in your face.
15. Maximize your attention to detail. Pay attention to the little things in life everywhere. When you’re walking to class or when you’re watching TV.
16. Remember the 5 P’s. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) in everything that you do.
17. Realize they you will be part of a team and your Flight, Squadron, and Wing will be counting on you to show up prepared. The moment you get there you will become part of a team. Everyone will be relying on you to be able to properly do you job and you theirs.
18. Realize that at field training it’s the little things that get you through the day. French toast for breakfast, smile checks during superman drills (my team would be frantically changing uniforms when one of us would stop, stare at everyone, and say SMILE CHECK! We would then put on a goofy smile and some thumbs up and continue changing), or the fact that you’re becoming a lean mean Air Forcin’ Machine. Don’t be locked on 24/7. It is important to take pleasure in whatever you can.
19. Relax. It is impossible to know everything, but the more you know and the better you train and prepare the easier your life will be. You can’t be 100% prepared for Field training. Even if you knew everything there was to know the Flight Commanders and Cadet Training Assistants would still find ways to through a wrench in the gears of whatever you are doing.
20. Realize that Field Training is a game. They are testing you to see how you respond. You can either buckle under pressure or rise to the occasion.
- Learn more about SLU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 207