LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS –
While many people are trying to keep New Year's resolutions, Airman Marlana Rayburn pledged her service to the Air Force.
On Jan. 4, she did so by taking the Oath of Enlistment with several hundred of her fellow Airmen graduating from Air Force Basic Military Training, but with one surprise. Her father, Tech. Sgt. Robert Rayburn, a military training instructor assigned to the 331st Training Squadron, decided to continue his Air Force journey by re-enlisting by her side during the same ceremony.
The two committed themselves to service to the Air Force in front of Brig. Gen. Darrell Jones, 37th Training Wing commander.
"I'm very proud of them both," said Jenetta Rayburn, the wife of Sergeant Rayburn and mother of Airman Rayburn. "We are very supportive of her. We told her no matter what she does, we are going to support her decisions."
Sergeant Rayburn has been a military training instructor at the 331st TRS for three years. He received his instructor campaign hat in 2005, making the moment his daughter finished basic military training even more special for him.
"This was a big highlight for me," Sergeant Rayburn said. "I'm going to probably lose it here in a minute. It makes me proud."
Although Sergeant Rayburn did not instruct his daughter during the six weeks she was in training (she was a member of the 322nd TRS), he was not concerned with her ability to excel.
"Don't worry. I gave her all the training she needed at home, before she went through BMT," Sergeant Rayburn said with a chuckle.
The Rayburn family arrived at Lackland in September 2004. Robert Isaac Rayburn, son of Sergeant Rayburn and brother of Airman Rayburn, is currently attending Stacey High School, where he is a member of the boys' Varsity Basketball Team.
"It gives me chills just thinking about it," said Lt. Col. Thomas Schmidt, 331st TRS commander. "They are a perfect microcosm of the Air Force family. It makes us all very proud to see them continue our great Air Force tradition. Sergeant Rayburn is one of the finest MTIs around. This is a very special day for his entire family."
According to Airman Rayburn, she made the decision to enlist during her first year of high school.
She will now depart for Sheppard Air Force Base to attend technical school and await her first assignment.
"It was hard, but I'm glad I made it through," Airman Rayburn said. "I got to see my dad every now and then, and that made it easier, but I'm so glad I went through it."