BMT Awards & Ribbons
While at Basic Military Training (BMT), trainees are able to get recognized for both individual and group achievements. This article will give you an overview of the different awards and ribbons a trainee can earn while at BMT.
Physical Training Awards
All trainees at BMT are required to meet minimum physical training requirements in order graduate. Trainees can get recognized by exceeding the minimum physical training requirements. There are two higher physical training levels trainees can reach. These levels are called “Thunderbolt” and “Warhawk”, with Warhawk being the highest level you can achieve. Trainees that want to be considered for Honor Graduate must, at a minimum, achieve the Thunderbolt physical fitness level.
Trainees that achieve Warhawk status will be given a special T-Shirt, a special certificate of recognition and the special privilege of having an additional town pass day on the Sunday of BMT Ceremony week. The requirements for these level are broken down below:
Basic Expeditionary Airmen Skills Training (BEAST) takes place during week 5 of BMT. BEAST is a simulated combat deployment exercise in which trainees are responsible for securing a zone in the simulated country of “THOR”. The zones are called “Reaper”, “Predator”, “Sentinel” and “Vigilant”. There are multiple flights assigned to each zone.
During BEAST week each zone will be graded on the various scenarios they will encounter, activities they are asked to perform and their overall motivation. At the end of BEAST week the BEAST instructors will award BEAST Excellence to the zone that out performed all others. Points are awarded to the flights based on their ranking during BEAST week, with the flights earning BEAST Excellence getting the most points. These points will be used towards the flights earning Warrior Flight or Honor Flight.
The flights that earn BEAST Excellence do not get any special privileges for winning but they do get bragging rights for beating out all the other flights.
While at BMT, flights are constantly being evaluated on different activities they are required to perform. These activities include drill, academics, entry controller, emergency evacuation, fitness, marksmanship, bearing & discipline checks and BEAST excellence. Based on the total points earned during BMT, if a flight meets or exceeds the required amount of points, they can be recognized as being a Warrior Flight. More than one flight can be awarded the Warrior Flight status since the determining factor for achieving the status is based on total points earned. Flights that achieve Warrior Flight do not get special privileges beyond the pride of knowing they did a great job as a team to earn that status.
Based on all of the evaluations made during BMT, one flight will be recognized as being the Honor Flight. This flight is recognized as being the best flight out of all the other flights graduating that week. This is obviously a status that all the trainees and their Military Training Instructors (MTI) are striving for. The Honor Flight does get the special privilege of having an additional town pass day on the Sunday of BMT Ceremony week.
Air Force Basic Training Ribbon
All Airmen graduating BMT will earn the Air Force Basic Training Ribbon to wear on their uniforms throughout their Air Force career.
National Defense Medal
All members of the military that serve our country during a time of war/conflict are authorized to wear the National Defense Medal. As a result, all Airmen currently graduating BMT are awarded this medal. The ribbon version is usually worn with the blues uniform and the actual medal version is usually worn with formal dress blues or mess dress uniform attire.
Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Each trainee has the ability to earn the status of expert marksman when they qualify on the M-16 weapon during BMT. In order to achieve this award trainees must score enough points on their target to meet or exceed to expert marksman threshold. Trainees that achieve this status will be awarded the Expert Marksman ribbon to wear on their uniform during their Air Force career. Airmen that do not earn this ribbon during BMT will have additional opportunities to earn it during future weapons qualifications at Tech School and/or permanent base assignments.
Airmen who excel during BMT may be awarded BMT Honor Graduate status. Airmen achieving this status are awarded the Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon that will be worn throughout their Air Force career. Only the top 10 percent of each flight are eligible for being selected as Honor Graduate. In order to be eligible for Honor Graduate, the following requirements apply:
1. Trainee must achieve Thunderbolt or Warhawk status on their fitness test
2. Trainee must score 90 percent or higher on all written exams
3. Trainee must have passed all inspections
4. Trainee must be recommended by their MTI for Honor Graduate status
Honor Graduates will be recognized during a special ceremony on Thursday of BMT Ceremony week. In addition, Honor Graduates are given the special privilege of having an additional town pass day on the Sunday of BMT Ceremony week.