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Essence of basic training: Building Airmen Leaders

By | Aug. 27, 2011

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — For Americans who wish to serve their country as members of the U. S. Air Force, arriving at Lackland, home to the 37th Training Wing and crossing the "Gateway to the Air Force" is just the beginning.

Upon arriving en masse, basic trainees are greeted by an Air Force military training instructor who barks out orders without hesitation. They've begun their transformation into tomorrow's leaders.

Basic trainees must endure a grueling 8 ½ weeks of military training, culminating with a one-week trip to the Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training compound - the BEAST, an austere environment designed to prepare them for the reality of war.

If they are successful, upon graduation, they earn the right to be called, "Airmen."

Military photographers from the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron sought to capture the essence of Air Force basic training recently when they competed in the organization's picture story and stand-alone photography contest.

The competition with its theme, "Essence of Basic Training ... Building Airmen Leaders," challenged every photographer to cover every facet of basic military training, including the human aspect.

"I believe spirited competition brings about excellence. The squadron photo competition did just that. The images were magnificent and definitely captured what I believe is the essence of basic training in the Air Force," said Lt. Col. Chris Karns, 3rd CCS commander. "It was excellent work, a valuable training and team-building experience. The images they produced will be displayed for all to see in the organization."

THE RESULTS

Photo Picture Story Category
1st Place - Senior Airman Marleah Miller
2nd Place - Staff Sgt. Sharida Jackson
3rd place - Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

Stand-Alone Photo Category
1st Place - Staff Sgt. Araceli Alarcon
2nd Place - Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder
3rd Place - Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder
Honorable mention - Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder