JBSA-Lackland to allow family, friends at basic training graduations starting in July

Visitors haven’t been allowed at graduations since the COVID-19 pandemic started

JBSA-Lackland to allow guests at basic training graduations starting July 22, 2021.
JBSA-Lackland to allow guests at basic training graduations starting July 22, 2021. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will allow family and friends to attend basic training graduation next month. It will be the first time guests are allowed at gatherings on the military installation since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020.

The new protocols will go into effect starting with the Air Force Basic Military Training graduation at JBSA-Lackland scheduled for July 22.

“We’re excited to welcome back visitors to Lackland and the greater San Antonio area to witness our Air and Space Force’s newest members start their military journey,” said Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, Joint Base San Antonio commander in a press release. “Recent changes to our local health protection conditions and CDC guidance have contributed to this decision. We have assessed COVID-19 impacts and associated risk factors and have determined we are in a good place to welcome families back.”

Graduates will be allowed a limited number of family and friends at the ceremony according to the following guidelines:

  • Each graduating trainee will be allowed to invite two guests only (infants and children are considered a guest).
  • All visitors must be fully vaccinated (last shot plus 14 days) according to current CDC guidelines, and must show proof of their vaccination (i.e., the vaccine card); photos or copies will not be accepted.
  • All guests of trainees – including Department of Defense ID cardholders – MUST be on the visitor list to enter the ceremony. No exceptions will be made. Trainees will provide their guests the required information to access the installation and ceremony.
  • Graduates will have the opportunity for on, or possibly off-installation, liberty following the ceremony to spend time with their guests. In order to mitigate risk to other trainees and cadre, trainees will be required to be fully vaccinated to participate in off-installation liberty.

The graduation ceremony and activities will look different than they did prior to the pandemic, officials said.

“We truly understand the personal value and meaning attending graduation events in person has to our trainees’ families,” said Col. Rockie K Wilson, 37th Training Wing commander. “While our ceremony will look a little different, we want families to experience the culmination of building the next generation of Airmen and Guardians, and to share that experience with others so we can continue to inspire and recruit young men and women to join our ranks.”

JBSA-Lackland officials said the plan to allow guests back could change if local conditions and COVID-19 protocols change by July 22.

Information about graduation and COVID-19 protocols will be posted on the Air Force website and on the BMT Facebook page.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.