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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Retreat Ceremony

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Retreat Ceremony in Air Force Basic Training
Joint Hometown News Service/Flickr

Right after the coin ceremony, your flight will form up for the retreat ceremony. While you're forming up down the street, your friends and family members will be making their way to bleachers on the retreat grounds (which is a parking lot behind the Reception Center).

For those who don't know, a " retreat ceremony " is a ceremony to lower the United States Flag at the end of the official duty day.

There is simply no way to describe how your friends and family will feel during this retreat ceremony. I have been through hundreds of such ceremonies, and dozens of military parades. I have been both a spectator and a participant. I have spent countless hours organizing both events. Not a single event struck me emotionally as hard as watching my daughters, during their basic training retreat ceremony, as part of a group of proud professionals, displaying their respect for our Nation's flag. If there isn't a tear in your friends' and families' eye at the end of this ceremony, they're harder people than I am.

Immediately after the retreat ceremony, you'll finally get to spend some time visiting with your friends and family.

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