Thank you for your support. If you are reading this, it means that you care about me, are curious what I am up to, or some other very specific Google search led you to this humble corner of the Internet. In any case, I just want to say THANK YOU for your time, your letters, your words of encouragement, your thoughtful questions, and more.
Thanks to the resilience I have developed courtesy of a lifetime filled with mentorship from people like you, I am proud to share that a couple weeks ago I did what fewer than 1% of Americans do: I graduated from Basic Military Training (BMT).
BMT is boot camp for all Air Force members: Active Duty, Reserve, and Guard. (I am in the Air National Guard, the Guard component of the Air Force.) BMT is 7½ weeks long and is easily one of the most difficult experiences I have encountered to date. You can get a good idea of what our day-to-day was like by watching this overview video made by Business Insider. It is mostly accurate.
Before I left, a lot of people told me that “BMT is the most fun you’ll never want to have again.” Having been through it and taken the past couple weeks to process it, I’ll say that half of that statement is true… BMT was definitely not fun, nor is it supposed to be. After all, the goal is to develop you into being a valuable person who can contribute to the Air Force Mission. And the Air Force Mission is to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace. Key word in all of that is “fight,” which can manifest in a lot of ways and none of them are “fun.” So yes, BMT was a difficult experience, but that is the whole point.
Even so, I definitely did have some good moments at the time. From getting to know surprising things about my flight mates to learning how to roll a super tight shirt to watching my body transform into something stronger to stepping into roles where I needed to establish dominance–there were many learning moments and small connections that brought purpose and pride to what we were doing. Now that I am in Tech School, I have this unique and defining shared experience with everyone else here. It is a rite of passage that now connects me to everyone else who serves. There is a whole new lexicon that I am learning and that further connects me to other people, and this connection is one of the several reasons that I chose to join.
Of course, the best part of BMT was graduating! I am proud to report that I was an Honor Graduate, a distinction reserved for the top 10% of graduates. The graduation ceremony was something that we practiced starting in Week Three and it motivated us every time. Once the day finally came, we were so fortunate to have the loveliest weather and I was even more fortunate that my mom and dad were able to be there to celebrate with me. Below is a collage of photos from BMT itself as well as graduation day.
Enjoy and please contact me with any questions! Once again, thank you for your support.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not represent that of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or any other entity.