Newly arriving Air Force basic military trainees, assigned to the 321st Training Squadron, quickly set bags down Aug. 2 during zero week at Lackland Air Force Base. More than 100 civilians arrived at Lackland for 8 1/2 weeks of training to become Airmen in the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Araceli Alarcon)
Tech. Sgt. Trevor Tiernan, 321st Training Squadron military training instructor, corrects a trainee Aug. 2 during the first few minutes of zero week at Lackland Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Araceli Alarcon)
Air Force basic military trainees from the 326th Training Squadron listen to instructions during their chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNE) training July 26 at Lackland Air Force Base. CBRNE includes a visit to the gas chamber, contamination avoidance and decontamination procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sharida Jackson)
An Air Force basic military trainee attempts to finish an obstacle without falling off July 25 at Lackland Air Force Base. The obstacle course consists of 20 challenges designed to test strength, endurance and will power. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
Air Force basic military trainee Aaron Parker crawls to the next point while participating in the Creating Leaders, Airmen and Warriors (CLAW) Course July 26 at Lackland Air Force Base. CLAW gives trainees the opportunity to overcome obstacles under physical and mental stress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Matt Davis)
Air Force basic military trainee Nicholas Warila, 322nd Training Squadron, Flight 533, low crawls through an obstacle course during the Creating Leaders, Airmen and Warriors (CLAW) course July 27 at Lackland Air Force Base. CLAW is a three-hour, mission-oriented exercise designed to test teamwork, leadership skills and the ability to perform under pressure. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Marleah Miller)
An Air Force basic military trainee reties his boots after completing the uphill low-crawl obstacle, part of the Creating Leaders, Airmen and Warriors (CLAW) course, July 27 at Lackland Air Force Base. CLAW is a three-hour mission-oriented exercise designed to test teamwork, leadership skills and the ability to perform under pressure. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Marleah Miller)
An Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor looks back at a trainee on the parade field during a BMT graduation ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base July 29. Following graduation, Airmen go on to technical training before their first Air Force assignment. More than 7 million Airmen have completed BMT since 1946. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)
Airman Basic Corinthian Maldonado is greeted by his sister, Samantha Labron, for the first time since leaving for basic military training July 29 at Lackland Air Force Base. The 8 1/2-weeks-long program graduates more than 35,000 Airmen annually. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
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."
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