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Basic training 'transition week' launches in January

Aug. 22, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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Staff Sgt. Eddie Glover, insures that a flight of basic trainees are properly aligned in formation at the 322nd Training Squadron on April 17, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (Benjamin Faske/Air Force)
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JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — For the first time in January, basic military training will be shortened from 8˝ weeks to 7˝ to make time for a week of character development training and a focus on reinforcing Air Force core values.

The “transition week,” announced last fall, is the capstone of two to three years of adjustment to BMT following a sexual assault scandal that led to a series of court-martial convictions against instructors at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

“There’s a lot of dead time,” Rand said Aug. 20 at the Air Force Sergeants Association conference here. “We’re going to get graduation over in seven week. Have the moms and dads come out, the parade, recite the Airman’s Creed.”

But then, the new airmen will return.

“We want to make sure that these airmen, when they leave Lackland and they go out to their tech training wherever that is and get prepared to go into the Air Force, ... are better rooted and grounded in the profession of arms,” Rand said. “And that is the overriding goal.”

The first class in January will help solidify what the week becomes and will have the chance to name it, Rand said.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody told Air Force Times when announcing the new week that the Air Force is concerned that recruits may not be absorbing the character developmentlessons because of the high-stress environment of basic military training.

The week will largely focus on sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder and other stressors. It will largely be classroom lessons.

Launch of Transition Week was delayed due to sequestration.

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