basic training graduates swear in on graduation day
Air Force

Here’s What Happens after Air Force Basic Training

Graduating from Air Force Basic Military Training means you accomplished a significant milestone in your life. However, you are probably wondering what happens after Air Force Basic Training.

There are several steps to consider before your life returns to a regular routine.

For instance, the weekend after graduation is a time of celebration and an opportunity to relax and enjoy your accomplishment.

The Air Force graduation weekend is full of both scheduled and free time.

Also, you have advanced training to consider before moving on to your first duty station.

Keep in mind COVID has altered some of the traditional events and liberties following Air Force Basic Training, so be prepared to pivot and be flexible.

Related ArticleCoast Guard Basic Training Guide 

What Happens After Air Force Basic Training Graduation?

Many graduates wonder what happens after air force basic training

Air Force graduation events are scheduled for Wednesdays and Thursdays, and there is plenty to keep busy in the days following.

Wednesday Pass

After the Coin Ceremony at 10 a.m., you’ll be allowed off-base liberty. However, you’ll need to report back to your squadron by 8 p.m.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to remain in uniform and within the city limits. There are a few exceptions to that rule that you’ll learn about before liberty is granted.

It’s also critical to note that liberty is conditional and granted on merit. This is your chance to get off base and see San Antonio, so make the most of it .

Thursday Pass

Immediately after the graduation ceremony, you will have what is called base liberty, which is called the Thursday Pass.

You are not allowed to leave Lackland Air Force Base. However, there is plenty to do.

If you have family visiting, they can join you on base to visit and catch up but be sure to be back to your dorm by curfew at 6 pm.

The Weekend Pass

Friday morning may start with Town Pass. In this case, you’ll be allowed to go off-base again.

However, be prepared to stay close by. You can go almost anywhere you wish if you remain in the San Antonio metro area.

Be sure to review the list of places you are not allowed to visit, however.

Curfew is the same as Thursday after base liberty, though, so keep an eye on the time.

If you do not have family visiting you for graduation, there is a bus available Friday morning to help you get where you wish to go.

On Saturday morning, the town pass begins at 9:00 am, and the curfew is at 8:00 pm.

Sunday Activities

What happens after Air Force basic training on Sunday is a little different than the previous days.

There are religious services available most of the day and starting at 6:30 am.

Base liberty begins at 9:00 am, and Airmen are free to visit with their family or fellow Airmen on this day.

Airmen who meet Top Physically Fit Airman’s expectations or are on the Honor Flights have a special pass and may leave the base.

In some cases, you may have to ship to your Tech School location on Sunday evening. However, you’ll have your orders well in advance so you can make appropriate arrangements for packing up and saying farewell to any family visitors.

Base liberty ends at 6:00 pm, which is earlier than previous days.

Monday is the day when most graduates leave Lackland Air Force Base and continue with the next phase of what happens after Air Force Basic Training.

Related ArticleAir Force Basic Training Graduation Gift Ideas

Air Force Tech School Explained

Security Forces in Training After Basic Training

Early Monday morning, you will begin to process out of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and start the next phase of your training.

After basic, you attend Tech School. 

Tech School is where you learn the necessary skills needed for entry-level competence in your Air Force career.

This technical training depends on your career.

There are many Air Force careers, and most of the training for the careers occurs at four different bases.

Texas has three bases named Goodfellow Air Force Base, JBSA-Lackland Air Force Base, and Sheppard Air Force Base. The fourth base is Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.

The training varies, as well. Some jobs only have six weeks of training while others take many months.

For instance, if your job is to be administrative, you’ll attend Tech School at Keesler Air Force Base for 41 days. During that time, you’ll learn office management policies and the skills necessary for official documents.

If your career is in Air Traffic Control, you’ll attend AIT at Keesler Air Force base for 72 days, where you gain the hands-on skills necessary for managing aircraft traffic.

Security Forces is another meaningful career in the Air Force.

The training for Security Forces is 65 days long and occurs at Lackland Air Force Base. You will not have to go far once processing out after basic training.

Security Forces receive law enforcement training, learn combat skills, and study how to protect both people and property.

No matter which technical school you attend, you’ll earn college credits in your field.

Also, technical school is a free benefit you gain from your service. 

Tech School Phases

tech school air force
Air Force Tech School is an exciting time where you get to learn more about your chosen Specialty Code. Image:

While at Tech School, you go through phases that affect how much freedom you have in your spare time.

At first, you are on base and in your uniform at all times unless you are in your dorm room.

You’ll eat in the dining hall and stick to a curfew.

Also, you cannot use a private vehicle.

In the next phase, you have fewer restrictions.

You may wear civilian clothes off duty and drive a car, for instance.

Also, you’ll only need to eat twice a day during the week on base.

As you progress through training, your freedoms expand.

Eventually, the freedoms will reflect those that you can expect from everyday life for a USAF Airman.

Off duty, you’ll be able to drink alcohol (if over 21), travel away from the base, and keep and use a car. etc.

You’ll live on base during Tech School, usually in a dorm that is set up much like a college dorm, with two individuals per room, with two rooms sharing a bath. This can vary depending on the available dorm space.

If you’re married and your Tech School lasts longer than 180 days, you may even be able to live off base with your spouse. This can depend on your performance and behavior, as well as your commander. 

What Happens After Tech School?

McGuire Air Force Base

After Tech School, you might consider taking leave before moving to your first permanent duty station.

Leave includes an advance of 5 days of paid time off, but some Airmen extend their leave by working with the Recruiter Assistance Program in their hometown. 

Recruits usually have banked 5 days of leave by the end of basic training, but you’ll be able to draw on 5 future days of leave.

Leave is accrued during technical school, too, but not all training programs are long enough to accrue the additional 5 days. 

You could also go straight to your first duty station.

The Air Force pays for your transportation to your first duty station.

When you graduate from Tech School, you must decide how to move your belongings to your new home.

Fortunately, the military pays for the move.

You could do it yourself and the Air Force will reimburse you at the rate it would cost to pay someone to do it. Doing it yourself will cost you money out of pocket, but you will be reimbursed, and you have your belongings in your control the whole time.

Another option is having the Air Force move and transport your belongings. This option has no out-of-pocket costs, but you might wait a while for your belongings.


There are many reasons to begin your career in the Air Force, but the process has many recruits wondering what happens after Air Force basic training. 

The weekend you graduate from basic training is full of options to visit with family who visits, and to decompress after training. 

You have some restrictions and curfews, but you have many options.

However, you will find you need to be back early on Sunday to prepare for the next stage of your training.

Tech School is the next step after basic training, and the time it takes to get through this training depends on your career.

Once you finish technical training, you are ready for your first permanent duty station.

However, you might consider taking leave and going home for a few days before you begin working in your new career.


Rob V.
After Air Force Basic Training

After Air Force Basic Training

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Find out what happens after Air Force basic training, including what happens right after graduation, as well as details on Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
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