BMT Graduation Thursday
In response to some easing of COVID-19 restrictions, starting July 22, 2021, families providing vaccination documentation will have limited access to graduation events. There will be a limit of two visitors per Airman. Masks may be required. Please visit the BMT site for additional information.
BMT Graduation has been heavily modified and is an outdoor event only held on Thursdays and is held at the Pfingston Reception Center bleachers. Refer to the base map here. Since all events are outdoors, please take precautions against the heat and sun, such as staying hydrated, wearing hats, and applying sunscreen.
Exciting things happen on the last Thursday of BMT. Trainees are called Airman for the first time and this day marks the end of Air Force Basic Training. It is also an exciting day for families. On this day, families will finally get to see their Airman After 7.5 long weeks. The day begins early for both families and Airman.
Air Force BMT Graduation events begin with the Airman's Run. The 1.5 mile run to celebrate the challenge overcome during basic training takes flights across the Retreat Pad.
The Airman's Run is not currently open to families. However, Basic Video Productions will be on-site taking photos and filming all flights in participating squadrons with the best possible view of the Airman's Run. These photos can be purchased on a flash drive along with all other event photos from Thursday's ceremonies. This flash drive can be purchased inside Building 5725, Room 110 on Thursday from 7am-5pm. This room, Basic Video Productions' office, is also where you can pick up your airmen's portraits if they have not done so already.
There is also a Graduation Events DVD for sale which will include all of the video footage filmed exclusively by Basic Video Productions from Thursday's events, including proceedings not open to families. This DVD can be purchased outside of the reception center after grad or by calling 210-695-4979.
Watch this video snippet to get an Idea of the Airman's Run experience.
After the Airman's Run
After the Airman's Run, flights return to their dorms and change into their dress blues for the Graduation Ceremony. During this time, families can visit many of the vendor exhibits outside the reception center. Many of the vendors offer discounts for events or meals in San Antonio for families and BMT graduates. Be sure to pick up a map which shows where the flights will be placed on the retreat pad.
Basic Video Productions will be available to record personalized messages on the Retreat Pad immediately following the graduation ceremonies. All of these messages along with all of the event footage filmed on Thursday will be included in the Graduation DVD.
Honor Grad Ceremony
The honor graduates will march on to the Retreat Pad and the Top Honor Grad will be recognized.
After Honor Grads are dismissed they will rejoin their flights and march down the retreat pad with them for the remainder of grad.
The Airman's Run and Honor Grad ceremonies will not be open to families. They are, however, captured by photo and video by Basic Video Productions, and all events are included in the Graduation Events DVD. Participation in events varies by squadron. Public events start with the Coin Ceremony as described below, starting at 9am.
Pass in Review Ceremony
The ceremony begins with playing of the National Anthem, the invocation and recognition of distingushed visitors. The flights will then pass in review.Visitors in attendance are expected to be seated in the Retreat Pad bleachers before 9:00am.
Airman's Coin Ceremony
Flights begin marching on to the Retreat Pad in order to Receive their Airman's Coin. The ceremony signifies the end of Basic Training. The Coin Ceremony marks the official transition from trainee to Airman.
The Retreat portion immediately follows the Coin Ceremony. During Retreat, the U. S. Flag is payed tribute, brought down, folded and safeguarded. After Retreat, Airmen will sing the Air Force Song and be dismissed for Base Liberty.Airman will sing the Air Force Song. The reviewing officer will address families and Airman. The Airmen will reaffirm their Oath of Enlistment and recite the Airman's Creed. Flights are dismissed and Airman are released to their visitors.
At this time, families can move on to the Retreat Pad to greet and congratulate their Airman. The tradition is that Airman must be "tapped out" in order to be released to their visitors. To Tap Out your Airman, simply tap him or her on the shoulder.
Graduation Flight Photos, Family Photos, Grad DVD
Some flights may have scheduled to take a graduation flight photo immediately after BMT graduation. Be sure to check with your Airman. Graduation flight photos are $20 for an 11x14 print and will be hand delivered to your Airman's dormitory on the same day. Basic Video Productions will also be taking family photos in building 5725, room 110 near Arnold Hall from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Visit the Grad DVD table set up at the Reception Center for additional information and directions. While you are at the reception center after parade you can pre-order a DVD of Graduation events, the flash drive with the event photos or pick up of your airman's portrait photos if they have not already done so.
Squadron Open House
Families have the opportunity to visit the dormitories and see where their Airman has been living immediately following grad at 11:00 am. Open house is done on a per-squadron basis, and not all squadrons participate.
Photographers and Videographers from Basic Video Productions will be walking around filming and taking photos during the tap out. Photographers are also available for family portraits until 12:30pm in room 110 of building 5725, there you can choose to either have your photos printed or include them for free with your purchase of a flash drive of the event photos.
A buffet is also made available to families at the Gateway Club from noon - 7:30pm. Airman get a reduced price for the buffet. Families pay full price.
11-6pm - Enjoy the day in San Antonio With your Airman! Airman must be back in dorm by 6pm. Airmen not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are to stay on base.
Download a list of places to visit on base. Airmen have must be back in the dorms by 6:00pm.