Day 8994 of the butt ramming of Dave Cartwright

Preface: This is in no way to be construed as an attack on the US Air Force as an institution. I am happy with my decision to join, and I will be for a long time.

Now, on to business. As you all well know, I am supposed to be departing for Basic Training in about six days. Well, that has now been put on hold for the indefinite future.

The official explanation is that the Air Force has changed computer systems, and during that change all recruit names were lost in the shuffle. I can understand and accept that. With computers, anything can happen.

What I have difficulty accepting is what seems like total disinterest on the part of my recruiter to fix the problem. I called about three weeks ago and asked for confirmation of my ship date, and all was well. A week later I received a call telling me that all was NOT well and that I needed to stand by for further information.

I called a few days later, and received the above information (RE the computer problem). Again, these things do happen, so I wasn’t too put out by the situation…except for the fact that I had already quit my job in anticipation of my departure. Now I know that was stupid on my part, but I wanted to see some family and some friends before I left. I am currently biding time at my old job, the one I left a year ago, so that’s at least a temporary solution to the problem.

I called last Thursday, and he (being the recruiter) told me that he would know for sure when I was leaving on Tuesday of this week. OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Well, I called Tuesday, and lo and behold, he was on leave.

Dammit, Dammit, Dammit! Now I’m starting to get a little frustrated. Not mad, mind you, just annoyed a little bit.

So I call him today (Wednesday). He tells me that he has no idea when I’m leaving and that he’ll tell me next Wednesday, the day AFTER I was supposed to be gone.

That’s the story as of right now, and there is no satisfactory solution in sight.

This is my LIFE I’m talking about here. All I want to do is live it. And as with everything good I’ve ever done for myself, things are going wrong.

Am I ever gonna leave? Time will tell. Right now I’m not too sure. Not because I don’t want to go, but because nobody can tell me when.

I’m so frustrated.


I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a rough time of it. I’m sure that they’ll pull it together soon, and you’ll be in for six weeks of hell before you know it.

As a former Airman myself, I could tell from this sentence you hadn’t actually been in the Air Force yet. :wink:

Don’t worry, the fun is yet to start. Do you have a career field lined up already or are you going to pick while in Basic Training? Wait till the repercussions of this spread and they tell you that they have no idea which training base you’re supposed to go to or what your job is supposed to be and you’re stuck doing details at Lackland AFB until they know what to do with you.

In the meantime, heed this advice, given to me by my recruiter and it turned out to be the best thing anyone told me beofre going to BMTS – Do not volunteer for anything. You don’t want the Training Instructor to know your name, cuz then they call on you for anything. If you can make it to the 4th week and the TI still doesn’t know your name, you’ve pretty much made it.

The good news is that this doesn’t change the fact that we’re going to get you good and FUBARed this weekend in Baltimore. :slight_smile:

Well, Dave, speaking as a 20-yr veteran (USAF ret), I admire your enthusiasm and drive. It’s just more of the “hurry up and wait” you’ll get to know and love in the next few years.

There could be any number of SNAFUs in the system. In the next few years you will see how the Big Blue Machine can get clogged up. Then you get to play catch up as you are told to report YESTERDAY just to stand by for a few eons and await further orders.

If it is any further assurance, in wartime things move very differently. The Air Force can move very fast when it wants to.

I know that you just want to get on with this. Keep steady and stay cool. If you’re capable of that, you’re pretty much ahead of the ballgame as far as the US military goes.

Good luck, Dave. Hopefully in six or so weeks you can let us know that you’ve earned your Blue Suit. Rock steady, Rainbow!

Wow, this sucks.

Hang in there. :frowning:

Good luck, Dave, things will straighten themselves out, usually with no assistance from the military machine.

Wanted to comment on something Crunchy Frog said. When I first left for Marine Corps basic back in '82, I was also given that old advice–never volunteer for anything. Unfortunately, the Drill Instructos were way ahead of us. Te first time a volunteer was asked for, those of us who did not raise our hand were taken to the “Rose Garden” where we did mountain climbers and worse until we nearly dug to China. They made it very clear to us that we would volunteer for any and everything… and thereafter, we did.

Hope the USAF is different.

Sir Rhosis

Well, it was different back in 1992, when I went through. Sir Rhosis has a point though, that was 10 years ago (10 years ago?!) and things may have changed.

Although, this is the AF we’re talking about here, the civilian branch of the military. :slight_smile:

BTW Amn Doors, I was kidding about being able to tell you weren’t actually in the AF yet. I would’ve reenlisted myself if I could’ve gotten an assurance that I could change career fields. However, I was in a critical career field (only about 200 in the whole AF) and they didn’t like letting us go.

FWIW, the Green Machine isn’t any better, either.

Airman Doors,
Don’t feel too bad, you are not the only one who got screwed. Typical Air Force crap (you become cynical after 10 years in the service), they totally replaced the whole Air Force Personnel system with the now infamous (MilMod) whatever that means. As soon as it went online, everything crashed, assignments, pay, anything having to do with personnel. People were not getting paid their bonuses, anyone with an assignment was on hold for a while, no one could volunteer for any assignment, and they are STILL working on it. Hang in there, you’ll make it eventually.

Also, on the volunteering bit, MAKE SURE YOU VOLUNTEER FOR Shoe Aligner. This is the easiest job during all of basic training. That’s what I was. Basically, every night after everyone lies(?) down to sleep, you and 3 other people take a wooden board and use it to align everyone’s shoes under their bed with the legs of the bed. SO EASY!!! And the best part is, if for some reason they are not aligned in the night (Training Instructors do walkthroughs at night to check everything) or not aligned in the morning, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!! :slight_smile: Somebody moved their bed, moved their shoes, whatever. You never get in trouble - perfect job! To top it off, the 4 shoe aligners all made Honor Grad in basic training! (a cool certificate and a ribbon you can wear your whole career)
If you have any questions about this or anything else to do with the Air Force (and nobody offered before), just email me. I will answer anything I can, and find out anything I can’t. (for what it’s worth, I am currently stationed at Bolling AFB, in downtown DC and I am an E-6 with 10 years in the Air Force.)

Have fun,

I’ll second the shoe aligner thing. I was an aligner, but only because I hadn’t volunteered for anything else. After assignments had been handed out, the TI asked who didn’t have a job. Me and two others raised our hands and she said we were the shoe aligners. I thought she just made it up on the spot so we had something to do.

My God, you mean this is NORMAL? What have I done? :eek:

I just needed to vent a little spleen. I am cynical by nature, and so I can see the irony of the situation. The one guy in the entire country actually anxious to join up is getting delayed? Ha ha ha. Funny joke, guys.

Just get on with it so I can leave. I made cheesesteaks for five years, I have no desire to do it for another few weeks.

Anyway, thanks as always for the advice. Shoe aligner, eh?

Just be glad she didn’t make you Permanent Latrine Orderly; P.L.O.

As to the Never Again Volunteer Yourself angle, guess which branch had that built in to their very name?

Actually, that was “Latrine Queen” when I went through - not a fun job (hard to make someone clean other people’s pubes from behind the toilet)

And before anyone says anything (i know how the SDMB is) you are not standing behind the toilet when you ask someone to clean, the person is cleaning behind the toilet :slight_smile:

Airman Doors, let me add that if you are selected for Door Guard Duty Roster Selector, I don’t know what the real title is, but that is what they made me. It is a job where you take flack from the other airmen cause you are the one interfering with their recreation time, but you NEVER EVER have to pull door guard.

Sorry you are having to wait before you can “serve your country”. I know that saying is corny, but we are out of the Vietnam mentality and can say that now.

And if your TI asks you why you joined up, say that quote.

Damn, Dave . . . that sucks.

On a brighter note, I’ll have the Suburban on Saturday, which means I will be able to fit five drunk dopers in my car.

Or seven, depending on how drunk y’all are.

That really sucks babe. On a brighter note though, at least now we have more time for another road trip…

In any case, I found you a going away present today while I was at the mall. It just screamed “DAVE!!!” So if we’re not gonna get a chance to meet up, I need your address so I can mail it to you.

Bummer, Dave, hope this all works out soon.

Now: Shoe Aligner?! You’re serious, huh? Wow. Female Instructors, too? Huh, go figure.

I’ve got a different piece of advice for you WRT basic: Whatever happens, do no take it personally. The DI’s (or, I guess TI’s in your case) have a job to do and they will rip you a new one from time to time. They will make your platoon do things for the tiniest of reasons. It is part of the job. They need to instill in you the “snap-to-it-iveness” necessary in military life. Don’t take it personally, that’s the best advice I can give you for Basic.

I’ve got another one: shut up. As in, don’t talk. Unless they talk to you.

I volunteered in basic and got put on the drill team :cool:.
This meant that I got out of personnel inspections (I already had to keep a sharp uniform because we did graduations every Friday), got to hang out with guys and actually speak to them (a huge NO-NO in Navy boot camp), and lots of other stuff. Of course, it also meant I had to be up at 4:00 a.m. every morning, to make it to the mess hall by 4:30 and drill practice by 5:00. Or some ungodly hour like that.

Hang in there. You’ll be regretting their speed of getting you shipped in no time! :smiley:

I’m sorry, sweetie, but I’ve got no sympathy for you.

Former Seaman Robin.

BTW… when you do go through BMT, let me know when/if you get a liberty weekend after graduation, and I’ll show you San Antonio (or we can get a dopefest together with PurpleBear).