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The Oath of Enlistment

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Social Media

When you join any branch of the U.S. military, you take an oath of enlistment. Sometimes this oath is conducted in a private ceremony with only a handful of individuals, but other times it is performed in front of sold-out stadiums. I’ve gathered a few photos highlighting our Delayed Enlistment Program enlistees who are taking their first steps toward enlisting in the Air Force.

The first time someone has the opportunity they will resemble their civilian side. The second time they say the oath will be at basic training graduation, which signifies their transformation from civilian to Airman.

DEPer takes oath of enlistment
Ruben Gawan, son of Chief Master Sgts. Lori and Phillip Gawan, takes the oath of enlistment Nov. 2, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. After 19 years of traveling around the globe with his parents as a military dependent, Ruben decided to enlist in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chase Hedrick/Released)

The oath of enlistment can be performed anywhere, and sometimes there are opportunities to perform it in front of huge audiences.

Thunderbird officers performs the oath of office.
Maj. Tyler Ellison, Air Force Thunderbirds pilot, administers the Oath of Enlistment to enlist Florida’s newest Airmen during the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo Air Show at Lakeland, Fla., April, 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/Released)

Many people have seen it conducted before baseball, football and even NASCAR events.

DEPers take oath at a minor league baseball game.
Members of the 331st Recruiting Squadron Delayed Enlistment Program take the Oath of Enlistment at the Montgomery Biscuits annual Military Appreciation Night baseball game June 13, 2015. Maj. Gen. Maury Forsyth, Spaatz Center commander, administered the oath. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna Burnett/Released)

One great aspect of taking the oath after your first enlistment is someone can make it memorable.

Oath taken under water.
Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnes, 325th Communications Squadron quality assurance NCO in charge, prepares to take the Oath of Enlistment June 26, 2015. His re-enlistment was done 70 feet under water. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)

These Airmen reenlisted during their deployments. Not only are they honoring our country, they are making an added commitment to protect it while deployed.

Deployed Airmen take the oath of enlistment
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. LaMarcus Molden, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Iraq personnel manager, recites the oath of enlistment along with 125 other service members during a re-enlistment ceremony at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2011. Molden was deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and is originally from Albany, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo/Released)

Sometimes you have those people who like to add a little flair to their oath. This Air Force PJ performed the ceremony and then jumped from a C-130! Go big or go home.

Jumping from a C-130
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kristopher Tomes, a pararescueman with the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, re-enlists aboard a HC-130 minutes before jumping near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 19, 2013. Tomes is deployed from the 308th Rescue Squadron and has performed more than 150 jumps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller/Released)

If you’ve ever taken the oath of enlistment, feel free to share your story with us!

The memories of air shows past

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Social Media Team

As a child growing up in South Texas I could not wait to see the annual air show. As a 10-year-old I tried to figure out how this enormous beast of an aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy, could remain in the air while moving at a turtles pace. How did it not just fall out of the sky? Watching fighter jets performing barrel roles and zooming past the audience in a thunderous roar was just amazing to me. Although these photos are not mine these are some of my favorite air show photos.

The Air Force Thunderbird's perform at an air show.
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Falcon demonstration team performs at a recent air show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Thunderbirds Public Affairs/Released)
Julie Clark stands outside of the cockpit during an air show.
Julie Clark stands outside of the cockpit of her Chevron Mentor T-35 to greet the crowd during the 2009 Dover Air Force Base Open House and Air Show. Several flying acts took place, including Ms. Clark’s aerobatic demonstration, at the weekend event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Lewis/Released)

The best part of being at an air show is not just watching the pilots perform acrobatic stunts, but getting to walk through the aircraft.

Airshow visitors walk around Air Force aircraft during an air show.
The crowds gather around a C-5 Galaxy and other aircraft during an air show.

Other than an air show when can the average person sit under the wings of a C-130 and just hang out?

Crowds of people sit under the wings of a C-130 in order to block the sun.
A group of visitors take shade under the wing of a C-130 aircraft during a base air show. The Thunder Over the Rock air show had more than 40 static displays for the public to explore. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Willis/Released)

But I do not want to kid myself, watching pilots perform stunts is the reason the majority of us attend air shows.

F-22 Raptor performs at an open house.
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.– An F-22 Raptor performs a max climb take off during the 2010 Aviation Nation Nellis Open House. The Nellis Open House is an opportunity for the Las Vegas community to view aerial demonstrations and static displays of various aircraft from the military. The open house also acts as the final air show of the year for the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald/Released)
A wing-walker performs during an air show.
A wing-walker performs during the California Capital Air Show in Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 6, 2014. The event featured both military and civilian demonstrations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo/Released)

Even when the pilots are not performing tricks, how often do you get to see a B-2?

B-2 performs a flyover at an air show.
The “Spirit of Indiana” a B-2 Stealth Bomber, makes a pass in front of the crowd at the 2011 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., May 7, 2011. The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defense shields. This particular B-2 is based out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston/Released)
Aircraft recreate the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“Tora, Tora, Tora” performs a reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Designed as a living history lesson, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries. (Courtesy photo)

Although these photos are some of my favorite feel free to share your best air show photos with us.

Airmen go above and beyond

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Social Media Team

When someone joins the U.S. military, he or she makes a sacrifice only a handful of people in the U.S. will ever experience. These select few will serve the nation in different career fields, which will make their experiences vastly different. Some will get to travel the world, but never set foot on a battlefield. Others may be entrenched in combat for most of their Air Force careers.

On May 6, three special tactics Airmen received medals for their actions in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. According to the Air Force Special Operations Command, the mission entailed American and Afghan special forces units infiltrating a known enemy area on Sept. 27, 2014, to “disrupt insurgent operations, including drug and weapons cache, and enemy command and control.

For the next 48 hours, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Greiner, Senior Airman Dustin Temple and Senior Airman Goodie Goodman, 21st Special Tactics Squadron combat controllers, fought not only for their own survival, but for the lives of their fellow wingmen and Afghan teammates. Read more here.

Recipients of these medals
Air Force Lt. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, and Navy Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus, the deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, stand beside three Air Force special tactics combat controllers, who received an Air Force Cross and two Silver Stars May 7, 2015, at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. They are credited with saving the lives of more than 80 Army special forces and Afghan commando teammates by providing flawless air-to-ground integration in the special operations battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Conroy)

Nose art isn’t just for humans

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Since the conception of war planes, Airmen have figured out ways to personalize these aircraft and make them their own. During World War I, the artwork focused on squadron pride. During World War II and beyond, these paintings became more intricate and personal. I would call some of them masterpieces because they reflect the creativity and craftsmanship of the pilots and aircrew who flew these aircraft. During World War II, some Airmen and artists would make additional money and boost morale by incorporating these murals onto the noses or bodies of aircraft.

I thought I would go through some of the Air Force’s archives and find some great examples and share them with you. I will say, some of the nose art from World War II and later could make our mothers blush.


Nose art called "Lets make a deal"
“Lets Make a Deal” nose art from a Boeing B-52G that flew in Operation Desert Storm is on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Released)

Continue reading Nose art isn’t just for humans

Welcome home

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

When service members deploy, they develop bonds and memories they will never forget. Airmen develop everlasting bonds with their deployed co-workers and units, but nothing beats returning home with honor to your family and loved ones. These photos of our favorite homecoming moments tug at our heartstrings.

Little girl waits for her father to arrive.
A young girl waits for her father at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom, Sept. 19, 2013, following his four-month deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dana J. Butler/Released)

Continue reading Welcome home