Chow Runner, Flight Guidon, Element Leader – OH MY!


While attending BMT for the world’s greatest Air Force, trainees find themselves assigned to certain job duties – Chow Runners, Flight Guidon, or Road Guards. From a mama’s perspective – these duties prepare them for dorm life and beyond. Imagine the excitement upon receiving a photo of my son assigned to Latrine Queen duties! OF COURSE this did not happen BUT it would’ve made his Air Force scrapbook that much more interesting.

Job duties create room for constructive criticism.

One of the first few calls I received from my son while he was at Basic Training revealed a hoarse and squeaky voice (brought back memories from when his voice changed as a teenager). His job that week was the Chow Runner which involved very high visibility for leaders to point out any flaws. He had to announce, extremely loudly, when his group (a.k.a flight in the Air Force) entered the dining hall. Repetition of this wreaked havoc on his vocal cords.

What is a Latrine Queen? Glad you asked! This never-sought-after duty requires that their bathrooms be spotless. Period. Just use your imagination – a bunch of young adults, run ragged daily from a packed schedule, barely able to let the shower water heat up, much less CLEAN anything…yea, you’re thinking what I’m thinking.

Job duties help them learn their strengths and weaknesses.

These job duties can entail responsibilities as an Academic Monitor to being a part of the Pad Crew. Each is important in its own way and helps change up the monotony of their highly structured day all while preparing them for life after Tech School and on to their FDS (First Duty Station).

Those trainees who exhibit leadership skills may be promoted to Dorm Chief/Element Leader. This designation is normally the highest available at BMT and earns praise from their leaders. The downside is that this position can also be easily lost if anyone in the group portrays less than exceptional skills and/or attitudes.

We were excited to learn that after a week of hollering in the dining hall (Chow Runner) our dude was elected Element Leader. As a child, he portrayed leadership qualities alongside a fantastic personality, so it made our hearts warm that he was chosen for this. However, since he was now responsible for his flight, he also was punished alongside them if anyone stepped out of line.

Job duties provide lifelong skills needed.

Other jobs are a bit more fun without the higher level of responsibility: Chow Runner (requires a voice that carries since they announce each flight entering the dining hall), Laundry (gathering, washing, returning laundry to fellow Wingmen, repeat), Shoe Aligners (yep, attention to detail required), and the aforementioned Latrine Queen (spotless restrooms and bathing areas, though how this happens amongst a group of young adults is beyond me).


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