In the current era of Covid-19, we have seen substantial changes and adjustments in every branch of the military to how they are dealing with graduation ceremonies.
While this year’s ceremonies will look very different and face many limitations, you can still support your trainee in many ways.
Every individual puts in hard work and dedication every day at training and they deserve to be rewarded accordingly.
The Air Force has taken many steps to ensure the proper training for the trainees in this Covid-19 time and has shortened many of their programs by about a week.
As a result of this, all in person graduation events are going to be live streamed to prevent the infection of any trainees in the Air Force.
Despite this current block on in person graduation, we find that this information will be able to help you if conditions change or you are still curious as to how the ceremony will work.
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Air Force Basic Training Graduation Dates 2020
Here is a list of the currently provided dates of graduation for the Air Force Basic Training school with their associated basic training start date.
|Basic Training Start Date||Basic Training Graduation|
|November 5, 2019||January 2, 2020|
|November 12, 2019||January 9, 2020|
|November 20, 2019||January 16, 2020|
|November 25, 2019||January 23, 2020|
|December 3, 2019||January 30, 2020|
|December 10. 2019||February 6, 2020|
|December 17, 2019||February 13, 2020|
|January 7. 2020||March 5, 2020|
|January 14, 2020||March 12, 2020|
|January 21, 2020||March 19, 2020|
|January 29, 2020||March 26, 2020|
|February 4, 2020||April 2, 2020|
|February 11, 2020||April 9, 2020|
|February 18. 2020||April 16, 2020|
|February 24, 2020||April 23, 2020|
|April 2, 2020||April 30, 2020|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Air Force Basic Training Graduation?
Under normal circumstances, Air Force Basic Training Graduation would be held at JBSA Lackland located in the City of San Antonio.
With the outbreak of Covid-19, you are not permitted to go to the graduation in person unless conditions change in the near future.
This base is in an easy to reach location that can be driven to from the San Antonio Airport in just about 20 minutes.
To get into the actual graduation area, you will need to enter in through either the Valley Hi gate or the Luke East Gate.
Here’s a map and directions for each:
Valley Hi Gate
Address for Valley Hi Gate – 1033 Truemper St., Lackland Air Force Base
Luke East Gate
Address for Luke East Gate – 2196 Luke Blvd., Lackland Air Force Base
The many signs and way points near the base should make it easy enough to find where you need to go with the assistance of a GPS.
How has Covid-19 affected Air Force boot camp graduation?
In nearly every way, Cozid-19 has had a direct effect on the way that Air Force trainees are going about their training and how they will graduate.
While the situation is constantly changing and evolving, there have been many measures taken over the past months to ensure the safety of everyone on and off of the base.
Starting with basic training, the overall time spent for new recruits in basic training has been reduced from the standard 8.5 weeks down to seven weeks to adjust for lost time and social distancing.
This current system of training means that any previously considered graduation dates that would have been in effect at the beginning of the year are likely to have changed somewhat.
Not only are there restrictions for who can be allowed on the base at any given time, but trainees and staff are also required to socially distance and wear masks when possible.
This precaution to ensure the efficient and safe training of the next generation of Air Force members means that all graduation ceremonies are being conducted virtually via live stream.
Despite the lack of in-person graduation for families of the trainees, the live streams still provide a connection between the families at home and the trainees on base.
As the situation is monitored into the future, the base could announce the lifting of certain restrictions that may allow some guests to come onto the base if appropriate.
Your best bet for knowing how to watch or get updates on when your live stream could be occurring is to check out the Facebook page of the base to see when you can expect to get more information.
It may also be a good idea to check in with your trainee to see if they have been given more specific information to relay to friends and family members.
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What day of the week / time of the day is Air Force basic training graduation?
Unlike some other branches where the graduation event is just one day, the Air Force Graduation ceremony lasts an entire weekend.
During this exciting time, friends and family members are exposed to a wide array of traditions and experiences that will expose them to what the Air Force is all about.
The weekend event kicks off on a Thursday morning with events taking place every day though Friday to make sure there is enough time to experience the entire event.
The main graduation parade takes place on Friday, but many ceremonies like the Airman’s Coin Ceremony take place on Thursday to uphold the Air Force traditions.
It is always great to get there for both days to make sure your trainee has their family with them throughout the event, but there can often be accommodations made if circumstances prohibit you from attending both days.
With the entire Covid-19 situation in effect, the two day event no longer takes place in favor of having a simpler graduation ceremony that only is live streamed on one day.
The current live stream dates are likely to remain on Friday’s for the foreseeable future unless any substantial changes are made.
How do I get onto the base at Lackland Air Force Base?
Getting onto any military base requires action to be taken well before even a family member steps foot on the base.
For events like graduation, a trainee will be required to fill out special passes detailing who they want to let onto the base for their graduation ceremony.
Trainees will fill out these forms and have them mailed to any guests they wish to come to their graduation that will arrive before the date of the ceremony.
If you do not get these passes or do not present them upon arrival at the base, there is almost no way that you will be granted access to any of the base’s facilities.
When you arrive with your access pass, you will be asked for that and some vehicle information before you are issued a guest pass that will allow you to enter onto the base itself.
Air Force Basic Training Graduation Dress Code
Similar to the other branches, there is no specific dress code for guests who are coming to view a graduation ceremony.
The trainees will be wearing their dress uniforms, so it may be respectful to honor their hard work and dedication with slightly nice clothing.
This ceremony also takes place outside in Texas, so prepare for the heat with what you wear.
Who can come to Air Force BMT graduation?
The rules for Air Force graduation state that each trainee is allowed to invite up to 10 friends or family to their graduation event.
Something to note however is that children and those with any military affiliation are not counted in this maximum number.
Given the current Covid-19 circumstances, nobody is allowed onto the base to witness the ceremony until they decide it is safe to do so.
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If the graduation ceremony were to be operating under normal circumstances, it would look something like this.
Thursday – Coin and Retreat Ceremony
- 7:00-9:00: Orientation Briefings
- 8:00: Airman’s Run
- 9:45: Airman, Spouse, and Parent Orientation
- 10:30: Honor Grad Reception
- 11:00: Airman’s Coin Ceremony
- 20:00: End of Liberty
Friday: Graduation Day
- 7:15: Orientation Briefing
- 7:15-8:30: Transportation to the Parade Ground
- 9:00: Graduation Parade
- 10:15-11:15: Squadron Open House
- 11:15: Town Pass
- 20:00: End of Liberty
Where can I watch a live stream of the graduation?
The current way that these graduation ceremonies are being run places a strong emphasis on the live stream component as it is the only way to watch the event in real time.
You will once again have to consult the Facebook page for the base to get more information as they provide the relevant information as to when to expect the live stream.
The event is also likely to be recorded so that families and friends can watch it at a later time if they miss the live stream.
No matter how you want to support your trainee, their graduation ceremony is always going to go down as a very memorable event in their career.
Even though the Covid-19 situation has made it much harder to be there in person to support your loved ones, having at least some connection with them is the best we can do.
Hopefully we’ll all be back on bases for graduation ceremonies in the near future.