After 8.5 long—and honestly enjoyable—weeks at Air Force Basic Military Training, I had finally made it to graduation day. What an honor—and what a relief. It was finally here.
Graduation weekend is divided into two parts, Retreat (which takes place on Thursday after the Airman's Run) and Parade (which is on Friday). Retreat began with the Honor Graduate Ceremony, which I was grateful to participate in. Out of 586 airman in our week's graduating class, I was chosen as part of the top 10% as an honor graduate. Honor graduate selection is based on several different factors, including final EOC (end of course) test score, PT (physical training) points, leadership points, and a personal rating and recommendation from your MTI. All points are added and compared and the top 10% are the ones that make the cut. I was very fortunate to be included in that group—and I took home a very neat coin, certificate, and uniform ribbon for my achievement.
After the Honor Graduate Ceremony, all of the flights march onto the retreat pad for the Airman's Coin Ceremony. After a few songs from the band flight (which I was in!), the MTI's give each new airman a coin in commemoration of their BMT achievements. Immediately after the Coin Ceremony, the new airmen are released to their families for base liberty for the day.
During the Honor Graduate Ceremony—I am in the middle (directly to the right of the MTI).
All of the flights assembled for the Airman's Coin Ceremony.
With my husband and his brother, who joined my mom in traveling to Texas for my graduation.
Friday morning brings with it the Parade Ceremony. Parade is the last group activity for the flights, and is a formal ceremony to pay respect to the commanders and to signify our completion of BMT. We lucked out, we had a beautiful and not-too-hot day and the ceremony was amazing. After Parade, each flight returns to their dorms for an open house to show the families our living quarters before being released to explore San Antonio.
The playing of the National Anthem during Parade.
The band flight walking down the Bomb Run during Parade. I'm the last cymbal player next to the snare drummer.
After Parade... no longer a "trainee," now I'm Airman Rowe!
With my biggest supporter & best friend, my mom.
One very proud Technical Sergeant husband with his new wife & Airman.
The last couple days at BMT were absolutely unforgettable. The time spent with my family, the last moments with my flight members, and the memories made really topped off my BMT sundae with a nice, juicy cherry. I have a couple more BMT posts to come—don't worry, I won't share every detail (I need to leave some element of surprise for future trainees!)—and I can't wait to share them. Stay tuned.
See my other Basic Military Training experiences here: I am an American Airman │ BMT: Retreat, Parade & Graduation │ BMT: Graduation Weekend in San Antonio │ BMT: PT & Top PT Award │ BMT: Highlights & Final Thoughts