Selfridge Trainees Prep for Basic Military Training

The trainees recently joined the 127th Wing at Selfridge and will soon be attending Air Force Basic Military at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

Michigan Air National Guard trainees Jaccelynn Sherry, Woodrow Cope and Dakota Mills are given instruction in close order drill by Airman 1st Class Brent Houle at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., May 5, 2018. The trainees recently joined the 127th Wing at Selfridge and will soon be attending Air Force Basic Military at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- Newly-enlisted trainees in the Michigan Air National Guard spent several days in May picking up fundamental military skills to help prep them for their Basic Military Training experience.

The trainees have all recently enlisted in the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and are awaiting training dates to BMT to truly launch their military career. While they await their ship-out dates, the trainees participate in the Student Flight program with the Selfridge-based Wing, ensuring their initial paperwork is in order and learning the basics of military service, such as the rank structure and the chain of command. The trainees, who will not earn the right to be addressed as “Airman” until graduating BMT, also learn close order drill — right face, left face and the like.

“It means that when you get to Basic, you’re not shocked by the things they are throwing at you,” said Airman 1st Class Brent Houle, a recent BMT graduate who is back at Selfridge now and serving as an assistant to the Student Flight.

“When I went to Basic, the input I had from the recent graduates before me in Student Flight was very helpful,” he said.

After a time as a Student Flight assistant, Houle will attend an Air Force technical training school to allow him to serve as a military cyber surety specialist with the 127th Wing. He is also a student at Eastern Michigan University, where he is majoring in cyber defense studies.

“I’ve always had an interest and an aptitude for computers, so this is a great opportunity for me,” he said.

Among the trainees being put through the paces during the May training period of the 127th Wing were Jaccelynn Sherry, Woodrow Cope and Dakota Mills. Both Sherry and Mills are assigned to become Air Force defenders as part of the 127th Security Forces Squadron. Cope will become a metals specialist in the aircraft maintenance field.

Sherry said she is interested in a career in federal law enforcement and sees military service as the first step on that path.

“I want to do something to help prevent human trafficking,” she said. “I think the discipline of being in the military will help me later in life.”

Mills said he is also interested in a possible career in law enforcement outside of his military service.

“This is going to prepare me for where I wan to go,” he said.

Cope said he’s been working in a warehouse for several years and sees his new enlistment in the Air National Guard as an opportunity to learn a new skill and gain a fresh set of opportunities.

“It is a new path,” he said.

For information on service and career opportunities in the Michigan Air National Guard, call (586) 239-5576.