On January 8, 2019, Hayden Fishburn left Colorado for Lackland, Texas for Basic Military Training (BMT). Fishburn, a December 2018 graduate, has always dreamed of being a part of the Air Force, and now he is achieving that dream. BMT was a nine week long program of physical and mental training. Every day, he was yelled at and told what to do. Each week was something new, and he learned the first Air Force customs and courtesies. The seventh week was “beast week,” where he simulated a deployed environment and he was also teargassed. He and the other people he was with learned how to work as an effective team.
After BMT, Fishburn flew to Vandenberg, California to learn about his job in Space Operations. He learned about the universe, the fiction, and use of satellites, rockets, and so much more. He really enjoyed this, but the long nine hour days of learning are “tough”. The classes he took at Fossil Ridge High School set him up for success, especially in math and science. He remembers some students would ask him about why students learn algebraic mathematics or even higher trigonometry and the teachers would say future careers. Many students do not understand this, but he knew exactly what he wanted to do and took his math and science classes very seriously.
Fishburn’s college plans are to finish technical school, then study Aerospace Engineering at University of Colorado or Aerospace and Aviation Science at Metropolitan State University. He has been through many leadership opportunities, like being a guidon bearer during BMT and Airman Leader during tech school, which for him has made him more comfortable around people. He is confident in the choices he will make at higher levels of action. On the Space Operator side, he has been impacted in many ways and just wants to learn more and take in all he can. “I have been able to see Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch from base and even be in reach distance of a Falcon rocket, these things have just inspired me to continue to learn about the universe and how we can use it to our advantage,” said Fishburn.
In BMT, he was under strict 24/7 control. His Military Training Instructors (MTI) controlled when he woke up, ate, and worked out, and he learned this with fifty other individuals. “At first it is very much a mental game as it is physical from the MTIs yelling all day. At the end of the nine weeks it has taught me a sense of urgency and usefulness of the time we have in a day,” he said. In tech school, Fishburn says it is not as bad, because they get some of their liberties back. This includes their phone and the last four hours of the day to do what they want, like workout and relax.
Overall, Fishburn has been through a lot of ups and downs in these last few months of his life. He will go on to do great things so keep a lookout for him.