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How to survive being a chow runner in Air Force BMT

Updated on March 2, 2011

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If you want to survive being a "Chow Runner" in Air Force Basic Military Training, you must read this guide...

First of all, let me congratulate you on joining the world's greatest Air Force! I am personally proud of you and the country supports you! Always know this. Let me first explain what a chow runner is and how you can go about being appointed for this detail during your basic military training (BMT) experience.

No matter what, every single person in your BMT Flight will have one job or another. Jobs are more commonly known as a detail during basic training. Whatever you do, don't volunteer for anything! If you are asked an ambiguous question like "Do you consider yourself a leader?" That will wind up getting you the detail of an element leader or dorm chief.

How to be the best chow runner...

Once appointed the chow runner, your job is to announce to the Military Training Instructors (MTI) that your flight is ready to come in and eat. This is a two-step process. First once your flight is lined up outside, you march straight in towards the "snake pit."

Side note: The "snake pit" is the rectangular table in the front of the dining facility where all of the MTIs sit to eat. Marching up to this pit exposes you 100% to their wrath.

Once near the snake make, make sure you are perfectly centered to the table and wait for the MTI to ask what you want. Once they are asking what you want, MAKE SURE you say your reporting statement which is as follows:

"Mam/Sir, Trainee Last Name reports as ordered."

Don't literally say "Last Name." Say your real last name, otherwise you will be in for a long and hard day.

Again, they will probably ask what you want. Once prompted to speak again, spit out this statement VERBATIM:

"Mam/Sir Flight ### is prepared to enter the dining facility from the East/West side."

The MTI will respond with one of the following:

  1. "Follow your brother/sister flight"
  2. "Bring them in"
  3. "Line up and wait"

At this point, you repeat what they said to you as it applied to you, for example the MTI says,

"Follow your brother flight"

You respond with:

"Follow my brother flight. Yes sir/mam. Thank you sir/mam"

Immediately do a left or right face and exit the chow hall to get your flight and bring them in after your brother flight or sister flight has already brought their flight into the chow hall. Before your bring in your flight, you have to tell your flight to come in. To do this, you say:

"Flight ###, prepare to enter the dining facility from the east/west side followed by the...# Element"

At this point, you get to pick which element: 1-4.

Once you tell your flight that they can enter the dining facility, you have to face the snake pit once more. This time, it might be a little easier. Go through the same routine when approaching the snake pit again. Once the MTI gives you the permission to speak, say your reporting statement and say this:

"Sir Mam, Flight ### has entered the dining facility from the East/West side."

The MTI will respond with one of the following:

"Sit and eat"


"Sit, eat and get out"

If they say the first of the above, chances are you will have a little more time to eat. If they say the second statement, you and your flight better be ready to eat very fast.

Almost there! Once the MTI has released you once again, it's time to perform the last of the chow runner duties. Your last job is to guide the trainees in your flight, where to eat. You will be directed to relieve the current chow runner then line up perpendicular to the row of tables. The order in which you tell a trainee to sit goes like this.

"Front, sit and eat."

Then the next trainee walks up to you and you say:

"Back, sit and eat."

As you are saying this, you stand in a position where your legs are spread shoulders length apart with one arm behind you and the other arm across your chest pointing in the direction of the tables where you eat.

You made it!

Congratulations! You made it through my long guide! I hope this helps you with your experience if you do become a chow runner during Air Force BMT. As always, feel free to comment if you have any more questions about anything in the Air Force!

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      23 months ago

      Chow Running is a lot more gentler now lol.

      Youll still get lit up at the snake pit and theyre still as harsh as ever but when seating your flight all you have to say is front sir/maam or back sir/maam

      and when your calling in your flight now its

      Flt ### prepare to enter the dining facility from the east/west side. All key personnel fall out fall in followed by the forth element.

      the key personnel include fire monitors to hold the door open and to call in the other elements when it is appropriate. Water monitors to fill up cups of water, And dorm chief so they can post the trainees when in line.


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