Air Force Art

 

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Warrior Profile - MSgt Axel Guard-Torres (U.S. Air Force graphic/Corey Parrish)
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During the 1970’s, BMT remained at the "minimum essential" length of six weeks. The new curriculum included human relations training and drug abuse education. While Air Force BMT was shorter than that of the other services, Lackland continued to produce high-quality, productive Airmen averaging more than 85,000 Airmen a year.
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In April 1974, the WAF Squadron section was abolished and starting in October, women trainees were allowed to participate in the confidence course on a voluntary basis. The course became mandatory for all women Sept. 1, 1975, but they were only required to complete 16 of the 19 obstacles. By 1977, male and female flights began to run the course together.
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BMT also started to integrate the MTI corps in January 1976, assigning nine female volunteers to training squadrons. In June of 1976, Headquarters Air Force completely abolished its WAF directorate, thus eliminating the last command distinction between men and women. In 1978, BMT added M-16 familiarization training and firing to the curriculum for women recruits.
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The 1980s brought forth major expansion and the largest face-lift to BMT. More than 50 MOBs were constructed, opening numerous modern facilities.
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In 1985, the 3702nd BMT Squadron conducted the first bivouac since the 1960s during a three-day holiday weekend with volunteer MTIs and trainees. The bivouac was inspired by Project Warrior with the purpose of exposing trainees to field and combat conditions. The success of the first bivouac led to a second one during a three-day weekend in November. A final one took place in October 1986, before BMT adopted it as an annual volunteer program in 1987. The bivouac and other field activities, such as the gas mask chamber exercise, would later become a field exercise called ‘Warrior Week.’
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In 1988, the Air Force began issuing the battle dress uniform, or BDU, replacing the long-issued green fatigue uniform that had earned recruits the nickname of ‘pickles.’
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One of the biggest changes to BMT wasn’t anything related to the training curriculum, but was something that quickly became embedded in the BMT culture. For the past four decades, graduates of BMT would march in a parade to be recognized for completing BMT only to leave on buses shortly after. August 14, 1989, BMT held its first open graduation ceremony, providing graduates the opportunity to invite their family, friends and loved ones.
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Command Chief Master Sgt. David R. Staton has many years of experience at basic military training. He was there from November 1991 through January 1997 as a senior airman through technical sergeant; July 1998 through February 2002 as a technical sergeant and master sergeant; and February 2008 through January 2010 as a senior master sergeant  and chief master sergeant.
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