By Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Basic military training is the first step for every enlisted Airman’s career; it transforms you from a civilian into a military member. Many may remember seeing Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s “Gateway to the Air Force” sign or the buzzing sound of that first haircut. We asked our Facebook followers to share their top BMT moments and received over 1,000 comments! Do any of these bring back memories?
Bill Thomas- In 1968, giving blood during week 3 for the wounded of the Tet Offensive. Seconnd best memory is the perfect score on rifle range, but that’s expected of an East Tennessee Ridgerunner.
Linda Dianne Decker Schwalm- Visiting the Alamo and Riverwalk. That is where I met my husband when we were both in basic training back in March of 1979. We married in 2011 after finding each other again on Facebook.
Jon Burford- Graduation and getting called an Airman for the first time after 6 weeks.
Silas Stephan- Being awarded my Airman’s coin.
Calvin Grove- Grilled cheese and Jesus.
Nick Ranum- Leaving.
Mary Lou Storey- Having to buff the floors with our towels because the buffer broke. We were singing the Brady Bunch theme song while buffing the floors and our TI came over the intercom and told us to shut up. Good times!
Joshua David Smith- As the oldest in my flight and being called “Gramps” it would have to be getting the best score on the PT test. I was awarded the Thunderbolt Award and received an “extra town day pass”! Oh yeah, I had the fastest 1 1/2 mile run time in the flight: 8:22!
Ethan Best- Watching 0 weekers getting “initiated” to BMT life.
Peter Andrew Gati- I’ll find out soon! I’m leaving for Lackland on Tuesday!
Dominick Pagani- Keep in mind this was back in 1994, but getting to wear my Blues starting in week 5 (BMT was 6 weeks back then) and seeing the “Rainbows” who didn’t have a clue. I remember this TI (Sanchez of the 323rd Training Squadron) was ripping into two new recruits, as I was walking by he stops, looks at me and says, “Make a hole for that Airman! You guys might get the same respect one day, but I doubt it!” #BestFeelingEver
Perry Oberg- Graduation and transferring to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, where I met my wife to whom I have been married 64 years in January.
Tom Baur- The stylish haircuts.
Bill Wilt- Leaving! Back then we didn’t have graduation or coins, just got on a bus and move on to Keesler Air Force Base. I was personally proud that I made it through and was ready to do more.
Brian Schmalzriedt- Walking out in front of my family for the first time as an Honor Graduate before the Coin Ceremony.
Trevor Song- The time when I stuffed a whole pancake in my mouth during breakfast. The instructor saw me do it and yelled “SONG, EAT MORE CIVILIZED!”
Nathan J. Tripp- Singing Jodies, not wearing a web belt and wrapping up the last week of BMT with doing EC Duty for a baby flight when they first came in.
Rebecca Wiesner- My last day as chow runner! Each moment I went in front of the TIs I was so scared!!!
Brian Cornelius- I won Airman of the Week and got to hang the award on my locker. The next morning a TI did a 4 a.m. inspection and said “Nice job” in a non-basic training way. A little ray of sunshine…
Gene Bryant- The obstacle course and rifle range.
Connie Berneche- Watching my youngest son graduate and running as fast as I could to tap him out. (I may have knocked down other mothers whoops)
Evan Scholer- Pugil sticks; finally getting to relieve some built up frustration on fellow flight members!
Sara Guajardo- Jodies, being called Airman instead of trainee, graduation and everyone shouting the Airman’s Creed (gave my family goose bumps!), and being able to shake my MTIs hand on final day out to thank him for not killing me.
Allen Alcaraz- 341s.
Robert Mock- Gas chamber. I was sick the whole time and it cleared everything right out.
Jimmy Blumberg- I enjoyed the whole experience and wish I stayed in longer now thinking back. Skillsets I developed in my field have and still help me in my civilian life today. I too still watch my gig line. PT, the obstacle course, security forces (security police) training and the brotherhood were my favorite. I am glad I served and GOD BLESS ALL THAT DO.
Brian Bursch- Standing at attention and getting chewed out by 4 TIs, ranging in height from short to tall, neck sure was sore after that. August 1978.
Jr. Hunte- The obstacle course and the first time marching in dress blues. We didn’t have coins in 1990, but my parents coming from Minnesota to see my graduation was enough!
Gene Roche- Being an MTI.
Kevin Hand- KP! Got to sit and eat in relative peace.
Whether you feel pride looking back on BMT or just relief that it’s over, what was your top BMT moment? Do you wish you could do it all over again?