D&TF trainee named Top BMT Graduate

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Laura Turner
  • 310th Space Wing Public Affairs

On Friday of each week, families pack into the hot stands on the parade field at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to watch hundreds of brand new Airmen march their way from Basic Military Training into the operational Air Force. Of the hundreds, a select few are chosen as Honor Graduates, while only one is selected as Top BMT Graduate based on their leadership qualities and professionalism in the training environment.

Airman 1st Class Kristyn Kline, Top BMT Graduate for July 20, 2017, credits her involvement with the 310th Space Wing’s Development and Training Flight as one of the reasons she was successful. The D&TF is a somewhat shortened version of BMT offered to Reserve recruits to guide, mentor and train them for military success. Trainees in the program drill for two days a month, learning drill and ceremony from former Military Training Instructors, dress and appearance and other Air Force standards.

“A few weeks before shipping to BMT, I ran into a previous D&TF member and I remember asking him about his experience,” recalled Kline. “He replied ‘You’re prepared, but you’ll never really be prepared.’ It didn’t take long after landing in San Antonio to realize the truth of his words. I went into BMT seemingly well briefed on what was in store, hopeful that the ten years of age and experience I would have on most of my flight mates would just add to my preparedness. In large part, this held true, but there’s just something about Basic that is capable of rocking the socks off even the most confident person.”

Kline mentioned the biggest hurdle for her throughout BMT was exercising infinite patience with her peers in order to remain the role model leader that her flight mates and MTI’s expected her to be.

“It was a true test of my strength and character and, admittedly, a challenge I did not anticipate facing,” said Kline. “I was able to overcome this challenge, however, owing greatly to my participation in the D&TF; one of the biggest benefits being I had already memorized rank insignias and made a habit of my reporting statement. Looking back, it’s incredible to see how these seemingly small things allowed me that much less to stress about and also made me stand out from the crowd.”

Tech. Sgt. Christina Stewart, 310th Space Wing D&TF program manager, attested to Kline’s dedication to the program.

“She spent nine months in the D&TF to prepare for the BMT experience,” said Stewart. “I’m pretty sure this is the first time the 310th has had a Top BMT Grad. It’s such a huge honor and I’m so proud of her!”

Kline plans to continue her involvement with the program by mentoring new trainees.

“I’m excited to build on the foundation of leadership and excellence I have laid before me,” said Kline. “I am grateful that I will be able to give back to the D&TF in the same great way they gave to me!”