First Two Weeks
(Two points of view of what to expect)
Day one ...arrive at the designated location to start your EOD (in Tucson it was a hotel conference room, in Yuma it was at the station).
You will fill out paperwork for hours and sometime during that day someone (usually the Chief or the A-Chief) will arrive to swear you in.
I recommend business attire the first day (although it is not required, it is your first impression).
Day two ....usually spent touring your duty area (if all your paperwork is completed). The agents from the station drove us around and
showed us the different areas where we would be working.
Day three ....spent traveling to the academy. This is usually a very long day and when you arrive here you will meet with your Law and
Spanish instructors. You will receive your room assignment and then fill out MORE paperwork. Some instructors are stricter than
others and depending on who you have, you may get yelled at, you may not.
Day four....get up early, go to breakfast. You will probably be instructed to bring the biggest suitcase you have (preferably one with wheels).
This will be to carry all of your books back to your room. You will spend the day filling out more paperwork and meeting various FLETC and
DOJ personnel. You will also meet the FLETC doctor and have your blood pressure and breathing checked. At the end of this day you will put
all of the books into your suitcase and take them back to your room. The instructional materials consist mainly of FLETC handouts printed specially
for the BP Academy (in binders). You will only have a few actual books (law books).
Day five.....Friday at last.....it's been a long week. You will probably be feeling overwhelmed already. You will get introduced to your PT instructors.
This is where the real yelling begins (my advice: don't wear any jewelry or watches to PT and don't look the instructor in the eye). You will also
start your natz law and ops A classes so make sure you've done your assigned reading.
Weekend.....my advice is to spend the first weekend getting settled in, putting your class materials in order and doing your homework.
If you can do that on Friday, you will have Saturday free to do some shopping or go downtown for a little while. Then when Sunday rolls around
you can relax in the morning and in the afternoon get your things ready for Monday morning.
Day eight.....Monday morning usually means inspection. Your law instructors will usually have spent time with you last week after hours to work on
your formation and marching. Since you won't be in uniform, you'll be all the way in the back. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING
ON IN FRONT OF YOU. The more you learn before you get in uniform, the better you'll be when you get to inspection. You will get a good idea
what looks good and what looks bad (I've watched people saluting the flag with their LEFT hand). You will start all of your classes this week and
really get rolling.
Day nine through twelve......you will be broken down into two sections (A and B) and five spanish groups (via a placement test administered on the
first day of class). Your classes will usually be one or two hour blocks each day. Your third day of PT will be "hell day" (it is usually Tuesday of the
second week). For our class we worked out in the mat room and then ran to a sand pit where we ran around in circles, did sit ups, push-ups,
side-straddle hops (jumping jacks), body builders, etc. until we had difficulty holding our head off the ground. You will have about 5-8 extra
instructors with you so that everyone will get a chance to get yelled at. Generally a good time is had by all. We had one guy in our class who made
the mistake of brushing the sand off of his shorts while we were standing in line to get a drink of water. One of the instructors saw him and made
him lay down in the sand and roll back and forth until he looked like a sugar cookie. The best advice I can give you for surviving "hell day" is keep
your cool, do the best you can and keep your eyes forward at all times. The less they know your name.....the better off you'll be at this academy.
Don't EVER give up.
We've already made it past week four and the days go by rather quickly now. I advise you to go back to your room each day after dinner and look
over the schedule for the next day. Get your clothes ready, your homework done and put everything in your book bag so when you wake up, you
don't need much preparation for class.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
I graduated from the academy about 2 months ago, so unless they have changed something, I will try to answer your question.
There is formation once a week. Generally this is for the graduating class, so it can vary on which day it's held. This formation mandates that you be at the formation area at 6:45. Now the reason that I mention this first is because usually on the non-formation days of the week, you will be waking up around 0630. At least I was, or eating breakfast. So when you have formation, the night before you will be shining shoes, brass, and ironing your uniform. I suggest doing these things as often as you can at the academy, anyway. The last thing that you really want is to get a PT instructor on your case for looking piss poor. Understandably, you won't be able to cram it in everyday, but go for every couple of days and definitely on formation days.
So you eat breakfast (or not) or go to formation, then you have your first class at 0800. It is your responsibility to be there on time. No one at FLETC is going to baby sit you. Make sure you know where you are supposed to be. It changes....but you will have a schedule that you receive your very first day there, so make sure you understand that, and you will have no problems. Some classes have PT as their first class. This kind of sucks because it means that you probably won't eat breakfast. My class/section had PT directly after lunch on some days. It's up to you whether you eat or not. After your morning classes, whatever they may be (each session/section is different). Like 619's schedule is different from 620's. (I'm just using random class numbers here....)
When you are released for lunch, again, it's your decision on what you want to do. Eat, sleep for an hour, study, whatever.....Just make sure you arrive to your next class on time (by the way, on time usually means 15 minutes early.) Then you have your afternoon classes until I think, 1630. Now, it's true that on some days you won't get done the day until later. As far as remedial go, those are your choice to go to. However, don't tell an instructor that you will be there and then not show up. If someone else is scheduling remedial or review sessions, you can go to them too. You don't have to ask for separate ones just for you. But again, it's your choice on these days, at least it is for academics. For firearms, PT, and driving, if they tell you to show up, you BETTER show up. These remedial, should you need them, are "mandatory." Now, I will put this out there....no instructor for any class can FORCE you to come to a remedial. However, PT, Firearms, and Driving.....if you need remedial in those classes, you are only going to get better if you practice, and you need it, so it is highly recommended that you go. Those classes are also the ones that if you fail a graded test (like your final in PT or your Emergency Response Driving) and then you fail the second chance test (yes there is such a thing, but trust me, you want to pass the first time) you no longer have a job. Pack your things and be prepared to tell your family that you failed the academy and got yourself fired because you didn't want to go to the remedial for practice in those classes.
Some other reasons that you won't get out at exactly 1630....your classmates have lots of questions about the law material. Yes, some of it is dry, I will grant that, but some of it is also confusing. It seems to contradict itself sometimes, and you will want clarification. If your instructor runs over time, then most times he/she will stay and finish that class. It would behoove you to stay and learn it. Also, uniform fittings are conducted after hours. You will have night shooting, night driving, and night scenario operations. These are fun and you will not mind being out past your bedtime, I promise. Also, they are really beneficial classes because you will be working the majority of your shifts in the real world during the hours of relative darkness. So this will "help" prepare you. Personally, I think there need to be more scenario based training days/nights....but that's just me.
You will have 3 hours of Spanish class a day. Some days this is more, some days near the end this is less. You will have PT every other day in the beginning until you have your pool days, then it will be every day. A word of caution and advice, DON'T PISS OFF YOUR INSTRUCTORS....none of them. They all talk to each other, including your PT instructors and depending on who you get (luckily ours were very cool), they might just decide to take it out on you in PT. Take to heart the response you got from someone about PT. Get to the academy in fairly decent shape. Work out on your own now. I used to work out every day, 3 times daily. Running, pushups, sit-ups......Make sure you get your body used to those exercises. Do as many pushups as you can, and build on that every day. Do flutter kicks....and body builders. And run. Time yourself to make sure that you can run the 1.5 mile in under 13 minutes. In fact, run it in under 11 to make sure that when you get there you have some cushion time for your body to get used to the heat and dryness, and the O2 level. It will make a difference. You'll get your time back down, but do it in under 13. And if you don't when you get there, get with your PT instructors for a running schedule to do on your own, or you make one. We literally had people in our class that still couldn't do it after 5 months. Make the effort on your part. And start now.
Word to the wise, women..... There are no concessions made for your gender. You have to do everything the men do and do it just as well. Including PT. Just thought I would throw that out there... I am female, so this is not a sexist comment. It just looks bad if you get to the academy and expect to be counted as an equal, but you can't perform to that level. We all have things we are good at and those that we are not good at, but work hard to improve the things you are not that great in.
In the end, remember that the training you receive may someday protect your life and that of your fellow agents. You want to do your best and give 100% at all times. Don't kill yourself, but do your best, and remember this when you have to stay later: when you are at your station, you still have to study and you have to work. Sometimes you have class the morning after coming off of swing shift. This means you get 4 hours of sleep and you have tests the next day. Trust me, 2 hours after an academy class should not be a source of contention. Enjoy the academy.....