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Reservist earns top basic training award, credits AFRC training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso
  • 477th Fighter Group Public Affairs
A member of the 477th Fighter Group was named top graduate out of 620 Airmen completing Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 9.

Airman 1st Class Andrew Morgan is a traditional reservist who will be assigned to the 477th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as an F-22 avionics specialist. Morgan is a resident of Anchorage, Alaska.

The top honor goes to the Airman who excels in the challenges of Air Force Basic Military Training. Morgan was the weapons monitor, scored a 97 on his end of course test, and completed the mile and half run in 10 minutes and 34 seconds in addition to 52 sit-ups and 48 push-ups.

"The training I went through before leaving for BMT helped out immensely," said Morgan, "I was way ahead of the game because of what we did with the Reserve training prior BMT."

Morgan's success can be attributed in part to his participation in the 477th FG Development and Training Flight, a new Air Force Reserve initiative which prepares enlistees for BMT by educating them on Air Force customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, and physical fitness prior to arrival at BMT.

"The D&T flight has sent 21 trainees off to basic training so far," said Tech. Sgt. Travis Marshall, 477th FG D&T Flight facilitator. "Eight members have returned after training, a few of them held roles such as dorm chiefs and element leaders, but Morgan is our first trainee to be recognized as the Top Graduate. We will continue to provide them with the tools that they will need to successful in BMT."

Prior to the stand-up of D&T Flight program new enlistees only contact with the military was twice a month contact with their recruiter and weekly contact during the month prior to leaving for BMT. This training so far has proven to increase the success rate of Airmen in BMT. According to Chief Master Sgt. Laura Wilkes, Development and Training Flight program manager, there is a 7 percent discharge rate of Reserve Airmen who were not in a D&T Flight prior to coming to BMT and only a .5 percent discharge rate for those who were.

"Trainees can be a part of the program for as short as one month up to one year as they await their training dates," said Marshall. "As of right now they are averaging six to seven months in the program before leaving for BMT."

There are currently 37 active D&T flights in the Air Force Reserve.

"Prepare yourself mentally, but don't stress about it," said Morgan. " Most trainees get used to the conditions of BMT after a while, but being able to handle one's self under pressure is the biggest thing to overcome. The sooner you can get a start on that, the better, and the D&T Flight at the 477th FG did that and more."