CSAF, CMSAF inspire during Thanksgiving visit to BMT

  • Published
  • By Christa D’Andrea
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

Just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin made his first visit to the 37th Training Wing, marking the occasion by presiding over the oath of enlistment for 756 graduating Airmen.

Allvin emphasized the importance of service in the U.S. Air Force, highlighting the commitment and dedication of the next generation.

“Congratulations, you made the team,” Allvin said to the newly graduated Airmen. “This is a team that requires commitment.”

He went on to say that Airmen today are serving in a “time of consequence” and their commitment to service has never been more important.

Additionally, Allvin’s address was a reminder of the magnitude of the oath they were about to take and what is yet to come in the next chapter of their life as an American Airman, reminding them to serve honorably.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass also attended the event and imparted her own words of wisdom and encouragement.

“I was you over 30 years ago when I joined this winning team,” Bass said.

Bass told the crowd she signed up for the G.I. Bill and to “figure out life.” Four years later, she signed up again to pay off her car.

“Somewhere I learned what it really meant to be on this winning team and what it means to wear our nation’s cloth,” she added.

She then asked the graduates to make the organization better, to make their career fields better and to make the Air Force better.

During the senior leader’s visit to the 37th Training Wing, they made a brief stop at the 344th Training Squadron where they were met by Senior Master Sgt. Ladiwina Gilly, Air Force Recruiting Schoolhouse superintendent.

Gilly spoke about the crucial role the schoolhouse plays in preparing recruiters to inspire and engage with the public, and showcased the behind-the-scenes role-playing training that was on-going at the time. Additionally, Gilly described the schoolhouse’s “Seats to Streets” effort.

The program is a modernized approach for recruiting students to help sharpen their skills by leaving the simulated lab room environment and taking to the streets to interact with people. With basic training graduations occurring 48 times per year, future recruiters have many opportunities to engage with guests at the Airman’s Coin Ceremony on Wednesdays.

“Seats to Streets effectively trains students on rejection and how to respond when told ‘no,’” Gilly said.

She emphasized to leadership that learning how to accept rejection was an important part of the training process.

Allvin and Bass visited with more than 60 of the Air Force’s newest recruiters in training and were able to gain insights into the training processes.

Following the recruiting schoolhouse, the visit continued along the training continuum to basic military training to tour BMT facilities and observe training in action.

While touring a dormitory and observing a trainee’s bed and locker area, Allvin decided to “pull a 341” from a trainee who was only in their second week of training. He indicated on the 341 that “this is impressive ... keep pushing” and signed it “CSAF #23.”

A form 341 is used to document discrepancies or excellence for trainee performance. The CSAF’s note of encouragement was left on the trainee’s bed, only to be discovered later.

At the conclusion of the tour, Allvin and Bass expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and praised the dedication and professionalism of the Airmen at the 37 TRW.

The visit underscored the vital role the wing plays in shaping the future of the Air Force.