*This is a very informative post I found by someone that graduated from 68W AIT*
I shipped out to AIT directly from Basic Training. I graduated BCT on November 30, 2007, on a Friday. I shipped out on Sunday morning, and got to Fort Sam Houston, TX around 11:30AM. After we got off the plane, we got a travel voucher from the USO, and caught a taxi to Fort Sam. Right away I was thinking, “no bus?” I was so used to not having any freedom at all, that taking a taxi to my destinaion, as opposed to being driven by a DS, was now foreign to me. The taxi driver dropped us off right at the CQ for reception. When we got there, we had to give the sergent there (BTW Fort Sam doesn’t have an DS’s, because they think it takes away from their actual rank as Sergent) our orders. The Sargent gave us these weird MRE’s that were actually good, and then told us to grab some blankets, and pick a bunk in a specific bay. He told us that we now have the freedom to roam around and eat, and do whatever we want until he sends word of the next formation. I thought, “awesome!” We son found out that Echo Company, the company we will be in, isn’t starting for another month. So, guess what they made us do? Yup, tonnes of detail work, from picking up cigarette butts, to raking leaves, everyday except the weekends. It’s not that bad though, while in reception, the drove you to the big PX where you can buy whatever you want. I bought a laptop, with a broadband internet card to keep me entertained. Eventually we were sent home for Christmas exodus, and came back after the first week of January.
When we came back from Christmas exodus, we reported directly in to Eco Company. We met out new Ds’s, and did some paperwork. They gave us new blankets and sheets, assigned us permanent bunks in bays assigned to “Divisions” which are two sister platoons. For example, my platoon was 2nd ID, and our sister platoon was 1st ID. Both platoons shared a bay. That’s pretty much it for the first day, not including formations to go to chow.
The average day in AIT
The average day in AIT started with a 4:15AM wake up, and a 5:15AM formation, in which you must be in formation 10 miutes earlier than that. After that you go to PT, which is a bit better than BCT PT, but you still have to do you own PT if you want to better your PT score. Eventually you will do some more combatives during PT. After PT (around 6:15AM) we formed up on the PT field, and marched to chow. The chow hall in Fort Sam was worse than Fort Sill. However, in all fairness, the Fort Sill chow hall actually won awards for being one of the best. Eating chow here for the first time will be a shock. They actually give you time to eat.
Before I continue, let me explain the phases of AIT at Fort Sam. First phase is Phase 4. Phase 4 is basically lockdown, you can’t leave the battalion area, and are marched everywhere. Phase 5 gives you a lot of freedom. You can walk yourself to chow, and have the freedom to leave base when they release you for the day. Then there’s Phase 5+ which is ust like Phase 5 except you can walk yourself to class also, and are allowed to have a personal vehicle. In order to get to Phase 5 or 5+ and stay there, you must pass the PT tests. As soon as you faila PT test you go back to Phase 4.
Now after you are done eating chow, while in Phase 4, you will wait outside in formation until everybody is done. You’ll get marched back to the company and released so that you can change into ACU’s and be back in formation at 8:00 to march to class. In Phase 5, after you are done eating, can do whatever you want, but make sure you are in formation at 8:00 in ACU’s. In Phase 5+, after you are done eating, you do whatever you want, but make sure you are in formation in ACU’s on the CTA of your classroom’s building at 8:30AM.
After class is over at 5:15PM, you will wait for everybody to get into formation. Once everybody is in formation, you will get marched to chow if you Phase 4. Once you are in Phase 5, you will get marched to the company, and then released. It is up to you when you go to chow at this point (I recommend going off post to eat, or ordering in if you want). This is the same for Phase 5+. For Phase 5 and 5+, you are released for the day. For Phase 4, you have to form up after chow, and get marched back to the company for a final formation until you are released.
The first phase of training is CPR. This is a very simple, short training, ending with a 20 question test and a Skills validation testing you on your ability to perform CPR. Next is EMT training. You will be given a large textbook and a workbook that you must study and complete. You will have a test each week, sometimes even twice a week. The worst part is trying to stay awake during the “death by powerpoint”. The EMT course consists of 7 modules, 8 tests (7 regular tests plus a final test), Skills Validation, the NREMT-B (The final exam for EMT-B), and 6 weeks. After you complete a module in the textbook, you will have a test, usually on a Thursday. Module 5 is split into 5.1 and 5.2, and you will have both tests in the same week. Modules 6 and 7 are tested together. Out of these 7 tests, the hardest one is probably 5.1, just a heads up. After that you have the final test (NOT the final exam/NREMT-B). This is easy as ****. All they do is take questions you’ve seen on each previous test. If you happen to fail any of the tests you go to an hour long reteach, and then you retest the next morning. If you fail that one, yo get recycled into the next company. If you fail 2 more times in that company, you get sent to another MOS. After all of that testing, you have Skills Validation, where you are tested on each of the skills you were taught during the EMT course (Ex: Trauma assessment, putting a patient onto a spineboard, etc).
After Skills Validation, you have the NREMT-B. Now this exam isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to fail anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing, and has trouble with critical thinking. It’s a hard test, but if you study every night, and don’t be nervous, you’ll have no problem at all. The NREMT is a computerized test, and asks anywhere from 70-120 questions. Once the computer as accurately computed your skills level according to the way you answer the questions, the test will end. Mine ended at 74 questions, but just because you get 120 doesn’t mean you are an automatic fail. It’s still, possible to pass with 120 questions, it just means that it was harder for the computer to pinpoint an exact skill level for you since you were kind of all over the map. However, if you do fail the NREMT-B you will get 2 more tries. If you fail again, you get sent to another MOS.
Congratulations you are now a certified EMT-B. Now you move onto the whiskey side where you learn the combat medic side of the course. The whiskey side is 4 weeks long and builds upon what yu’ve learned as an EMT. Here, you will learn Intermediate and Paramedic level skills to use as a 68w. On the whiskey side, you don’t get a textbook, but you do receive a whle bunch of “memeo’s”, or hanouts, to study. There are 4 tests, 1 test a week. After those tests there is another Skills Valiation to test you one your new learned skills as a 68w. The skills tested include cricothyroidotomy, or “cric” for short, intubaion, inserting IV’s, applying tourniquets, etc.
After you have done all that, you move onto STX (Situational Training eXercise). While in STX, you will be given weapons. Since you have weapons, you will be under lcokdown, and going back to Phase 4 again since they need to keep track of the weapons. Don’t worry though, they let you turn in the weapons for the weekend so you can go off base. In STX, you no longer train in platoons. You train with you respective sister platoon. Each division trains on one of five different events in a day during the two weeks of STX. One event is Trauma Lanes. Trauma Lanes is THE Final Exam. Here, you have a dummy that has different injuries (at least two different injuries). You must properly treat and bandage the dummy, all the while following the proper trauma assessment steps, and having the instructor yell at you and cream at you. You have 30 minutes to complete it. It might sound like a lot of time, but it really isn’t. And depending on the instructor, you will normally get one CLS, who can only help hold pressure and help apply bandages, and aidbag and supplementary aidbag, and a volunteer to give an IV to. Trauma Lanes is not easy. I’d say it’s harder than the NREMT, only because its very nerve racking. Just make sure you don’t get nervous, don’t get tunnel vision, and know your trauma assessment.
Another even is MOUT. The Sargent will assign 4-5 squads that will clear a building, each squad having 2 medics, a senior medic and a junior medic. The sergent will also assign OpFor (Opposing Force) to act as the enemies, as well as casualties to provide a hard time for the medics. Each squad as to clear the building, and bring any casualties to a safe spot to for treatment, and then to the LZ (Landing Zone for the Helicopter).
A third event is Patrol. Patrol is awesome. You are split up into two teams. There will be a leader in charge of both teams, as well as a senior medic and an RTO (the guy in charge of the radio). Each team is assigned leaders, junior medics, litter bearers, and infantry. There will also be OpFor assigned, but for Patrol its usually Prior Service who get it. You will be assigned a mission. Ours wa to rescue casualties from a downed helicopter. You will have to make your way through the forest, water and mud to reach your destination. You WILL get soaked and muddy from head to toe. You’ll love it! Once you reach the casualties, and they are treated, you must make your way to the LZ (sometimes they make patrol go to the BAS instead though)
A fourth event is Battalion Aid Station. A BAS is like a really small hosptal in the battlefield that can provide aid to only a select amount of people at a time. Your mission in this even is to receive casualties from both the group doing patrol that day, and casualties that the sergent assigns. The Sargent will be assigning the folowing positions, Doctor, PA, airway medics, blood medics (responsible for IV, etc.) platoon leader, platoon Sargent, triage NCO, litter bearers, evacuation team, and a whole bunch of medics and infantry. You must successfully treat all incoming causalities and get them to the LZ.
The fifth, and last, event is Blood Labs. This is really fun! The Blood Labs are two rooms made to look like an office building as well as an Iraqi marketplace. The rooms are filled with dummies that are attached to computers and can simulate a casualty pretty well. The dummies are laying around in random places, and its almost pitch black inside, with smoke everywhere. To top it off, they place heavy metal music to distract you. When I went through Blood Labs, they were playing Rammstein, which pumped me up! The instructor will assign a senior medic, and everyone else in your squad will be a junior medic. You must work together to effectively provide treatment to all the casualties before they die (and if you don’t provide the correct treatment in time, the computer can make the dummy simulate death. After its over, the instructor will turn on the lights, and show you what you did right and wrong. After that’s said and done, on the last day of STX, you will turn in your weapons.
After STX, you go to the FOB for your final training, which lasts 5 days. The FOB is not at Fort Sam though, it’s at Camp Bullis. The FOB is really nice at Camp Bullis. You still sleep on cots, but it’s in air conditioned tents, and there’s actually nice bathrooms and shower facilities at the FOB. While at the FOB, you will get weapons again. There will also be 4 events: Patrol, FAS, BAS and MOUT.
For Patrol your division is randomly split into 2 groups. The Sargent will assign leaders, senior and junior medics, litter bearers, an RTO, infantry and OpFor. It’s basically the same thing as patrol from STX, except on a larger scale, and its not in such a large forest. One group has the mission to rescue casualties from a downed helicopter, treat them, and bring them to the FAS. The other group has the mission to rescue causalities from a specific location and bring them to the FAS. Afterward each group will switch missions.
FAS, or Forward Aid Station, is another event. A FAS is a lot like a BAS, but it’s much smaller and can normally only treat 2 people at a time. A FAS will usually be much closer than a BAS. For FAS, you mission will be to receive and treat casualties from the two groups doing patrol. after the casualties are treat, you must get them to the ambulance for transport. The Sergent will assign much of the same positions that there were in BAS for STX. Another even is BAS which will be very similar to BAS from STX, and FAS from the FOB, except the BAS is actually in the FOB, as opposed to the FAS which is in the woods. The only real difference is that you will be getting a lot more causalities. Your mission will be to treat causalities from Mass Casualty Situation. There is going to be a mix of injured soldiers as well as injured Iraqis. The rest is similar to FAS.
The Fourth event is MOUT. MOUT for the FOB is similar to MOUT for STX except its on a much larger scale. You start off with a good 20 minute convoy ride to the MOUT site. The MOUT site consists of two two-story buildings and 2 one-story buildings. Each squad is assigned a specific floor of a building to clear, and an exra sqaud will be assigned to form a perimeter. There will also be OpFor assigned. Your mission is to bring the casualties to a collection point, and reat them until transport has been arranged. In our situation, transport never arrived, and we had to carry the heavy casualties to a fake BAS.
After you’ve done all that, you clean your weapons and turn them in. You’ll get transported back to Fort Sam. You’re last week consists of graduation practice and paperwork (out-processing), and our company ad a graduation dinner. I’m not sure if t will be the same for other companies. The graduation will be very much like the BCT graduation, except we had ours in ACU’s. After graduation you get to meet your family, and then you will get released after your bay has a final inspection and has been dubbed ‘clean’. Then you’re free, grab a flight home, or drive home!
How to Prepare
Study!Make sure you study your textbook every night, and make sure you know that trauma assessment!! Other than that, make sure you do your own PT aside from the PT in the mornings. There’s 2 nice gym’s at Fort Sam, go to them and lift weights, or run on the treadmills if you like!
After reading all of your questions by email or from the comment box, I’ve decided to put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are we allowed to bring our electronics, and if so when are we allowed them?
A: Yes, you are allowed to bring any electronics (ie. laptops, cellphones, etc.) I had a laptop, cellphone, PS3, games, and a monitor. WHEN you get this is defendant on the company you are assigned to. My company let us have our electronics from day 1. Other companies might only let you have them after you pass your first PT Test (which is usually in week 2). However I believe most of the companies let you have them on Day 1.
Q: Will I get to go home for the Holidays, and if so for how long?
A: Yes, everybody will get to go home for the Holidays. I got home around 4 days before Christmas, and I stayed for two weeks.
Q: How long is the course?
A: The EMT-B side is 9 weeks, the Whiskey side is about 6 weeks. However, if you fail a test, you will get sent back to the company before you. They will usually be 1-2 weeks behind. Also, if you already have an unexpired EMT-B license, you will only have to do CPR and the “Whiskey Side” of the course.
Q: Can I have more information about the NREMT-B Exam?
A: Sure! As I said in the article, the exam is a computerized test consisting of 70-120 questions. Theses questions are chosen from a very large database of questions at random. It is very likely that nobody in the same platoon will get the same question. The test ends once the computer has accurately judged your skill level. How it does this is simple. It will choose a random topic, and ask you a series of questions on that topic. Once you get a certain number of question correct on that topic, it changes topics and asks different questions. If you keep getting them wrong, it will usually stay on that topic for a longer period of time. The computer graphs your answers. It starts off with a baseline, or the “floor”. On that floor, it graphs your answers over time according to the difficulty. If you get every question right in that topic, it looks like a small rmap on the chart. If you get every question right, the graph will look like series of ramps on a floor. If you get some right ad some wrong, wit will look liek random assembly of dots around a line. The computer wants to create order to these dots in order to assess your skill level. So, just because you get 120 question, doesn’t mean you keep getting them all wrong, it just means you are not consistant in the way you answer your questions. I’ve seen people pass with exactly 120 questions, and I’ve see others fail with 70 questions. The pass-rate of the exam in my company was 85% the first time around, maybe a bit more. Most people who didn’t pass the first time, passed the second time, and even then you still get 1 more chance after that. Here are some things to remember about the exam: don’t stress yourself out, study every night, and remember your patient assessment.
Q: What are the showers like?
A: On the 68w side of Fort Sam, the showers are all open. One big room where every can see everything. Don’t worry about that though, once you get to Fort Sam you will definitely be used to it from BCT.
Q: I am already an EMT (EMT-B, EMT-I or EMT-P), will I have to go through EMT training again?
A: No, you will not have to go through EMT training again. You will be what is called a “Fast Track”. You will be sent straight to the “Whiskey Side” (Army side of 68w training)Reception
I'm currently in B Co. 232 Med Bn at FSH...I LOVE THIS PLACE! The article pretty much hit it on the head! The only real difference is that now STX and FTX have been combined! We are now in the field for a total of 16 days straight! This is an AWESOME program and they are producing amazing medics. The graduates from the classes of '08 are out performing the e-5 e-6s down range! The instructors are amazing and know how to teach! any question just ask!
Until they finish all the frickin construction, I can't imagine 'love' and 'Ft Sam' being in the same sentence. Then again, AIT students probably don't have to drive around post like we did.
IrishWhiskey, what platoon are you in?
I'm a little confused...Who is telling you that you guys are "out-performing" medics downrange when it sounds like you haven't even been down range to see what it's like when someone is actually trying to kill you. At FSH noone is attempting to really do you harm, it's training son, don't get it confused with real combat.
Thanks for the great post very informative.
Can someone tell me how they do reclass training. I'm guessing my wife and kids won't get to pcs here since it's a short school. I'm considering going 68W. I want radiology specialist but, I heard you have to go through 68W training first. I'm just narrowing stuff down before I go to the career counselor. Anyone know if this is still in the BEAR program cause my MOS is overstrength right now?
for the phasing they changed it a bit...but it depends on your company..the company im in right now(delta) they let you phase still if you failed pt test or gpa isnt high enough but your phase 5 lmited...so 2300 formation and you can go anywhere on post just no off post...
Dragon Medics Hooah
Definitely depends on your company and even your platoon sgt. I'm in Charlie and we don't have Phase 5 limited at all. Some of our sgt's phase almost everyone and some are really strict.
I know this thread is a little old but I thought maybe someone could still help me out on a question I have. It's more of a personal preference/opinion I guess but just wondering people's thoughts.
I am currently becoming a Certified EMT-B and will be an EMT-B come May 2010. I want to be a 68W and nothing else after I graduate HS. I know I could Fast Track the Army and only be required to complete the Whiskey Phase of 68W AIT. My question to anyone of you is would you recommend this? Some I've talked to do, others don't. They say its a good refresher and its AIT is a lot of fun that you'll miss out on, but some say its better to just start at the Whiskey Phase. What are your opinions on this.
Personally, If I could have fast tracked through the EMT-B portion of AIT I would have in a heartbeat. It's nothing but power points day after day after day. I'd spend all day everyday just trying to stay awake. If you recently got your EMT-B you won't need the refresher anyways.
In my opinion, AIT hasn't been very fun at all, and you won't miss much at all if you skip the first two months. My company is pretty much done with the whiskey training and it's been the funnest part of the training by far.
1. If you are AD, fast tract. YOu don't need those classes...all material is to take the NERMT anyway, which you will already have done.
If you are RES/NG take them. YOu get paid for something you have done already. YOu won't have to take the test.
2. As for PCSing family to any part of school...NOT for the 68W part of your MOS. If you have a follow on MOS, you will be able to mmove them on the PHASE 2 of that MOS. But think carefully, not worth it unless it is at least 6mos long or longer...family can make it harder.
Good luck SSG mike
Get your EMT-B before you go, I wish I would have. 5 months at Fort Sham was fun but I could have done without. Watch yourself in San Antonio though
I leave for Basic Training in August (Fort Jackson) and I have chosen the 68W MOS where can I find the materials to study for the tests before I get to that point? My dad and mom both pursued medical careers in the military but it was so long ago they are unable to give me "up to date" information.
Congrats. I went to Jackson for BCT and then to Sam Houston for my 68W school. If you want a head start over your peers in AIT, the best bet is start studying for your NREMT exam (go to Barnes and Nobles and purchase a EMT-B book). Our company had a significant number of soldier medics that failed out or got recycled because of the NREMT. When you get to AIT, things will be a lot more relaxed than at BCT but don't let that affect your grades. There were a group of us that got recruited out of AIT to bigger and better things because of our high grades so getting an early start is a good idea. Good luck in Jackson. Its gonna be hot and sticky and good luck in Sam Houston.
Once completing 68W AIT, what certifications/licensures are you qualified to take? Does the AIT prepare you for Paramedic or just EMT?
Medic school prepares you for being a Nationally Registered EMT-B.
You will learn some intermediate and Paramedic skills on the 'whiskey' side but as far as actual Paramedic schooling, you'll have to look into that at your unit.
|Powered by Social Strata|