Last week we wrote to some trainees going through Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB. We received a reply from an Element Leader and thought that we would share it here, along with some information about what being an Element Leader entails.
The T.I.s will organize their Basic Training flight within the first couple of days. If you have shown any degree of leadership, or military knowledge (such as JROTC, or Civil Air Patrol, or Boy Scout Eagle), the T.I. may select you to become the Dorm Chief, or an Element Leader.
Sometimes (not always), T.I.’s will select older members of the flight for these leadership positions.
The Dorm Chief is the top “recruit-leader” in the flight. He/she is responsible to make sure that all orders, standard ops, and instructions are carried out correctly when the T.I.’s aren’t around.
What is an Element Leader
To assist the Dorm Chief in this enormous responsibility, the flight is divided into “elements,” and an Element Leader is put in charge of each.
The Element Leaders are responsible to the Dorm Chief to make sure that members of his/her element comply with orders and instructions. The bad news is that being a Dorm Chief or an Element Leader means that in addition to getting chewed out for things you do wrong, you get the added pleasure of getting chewed out for things that members of the flight (or your element) do wrong, as well.
Here’s the response we received back from an Element Leader.
Thank you so much for
To share a little of what goes on here as a trainee I’ll tell you. Living with 47 girls is NOT easy. BMT is challenging in all aspects, but the living situation is the hardest part of it all for me. I’m an Element Leader in my Flight along with three other girls. Trainees in my element seem to respond to my leadership style fairly well.
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