Selection as an Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT) honor graduate means you have far exceeded the standards of basic training. Not just exceeded them by a little bit -- but by a whole lot.
The TI is allowed to select (a maximum) of ten percent of his/her flight as "Basic Training Honor Graduates." Those selected are entitled to wear the Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon for the rest of their Air Force career.
To even be considered for Honor Graduate, you must achieve the "Thunderbolt" physical fitness level during your final AFBMT physical fitness test. Otherwise, you're out of the running, no matter how well you performed in other areas of basic training.
Additionally, you must average over a 90 percent on all the written examinations, and never fail a graded inspection (graded inspections are conducted randomly after week #3). You must also never receive a negative mark in your written evaluations (which are done periodically -- usually weekly or more often --by your T.I.).
Just because you meet the above standards does not mean they will automatically be selected as an honor graduate. Current regulations limit the number of selectees to no more than ten percent of the flight. So, how far you exceed the above standards can make or break whether or not you are selected.
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