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Ask An Army Spouse: Graduation from Army Training

See our other articles about graduation ceremonies, how to dress and my other graduation tips.

Planning Travel & Graduation Dates

I just got my husband’s graduation and family day dates. I want to book my flight as soon as possible so I can get the cheapest flight possible.

My question is, how long should I wait until I book my tickets? How big is the chance that his graduation date will be moved?

As of right now, he is supposed to be graduating on the 28 of January. Should I wait or am I worrying for no reason? Any response will be helpful. Thanks in advance 🙂

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Anything is possible with the Army, but I would say the chance of dates changing is very slim.

Ft Benning Graduation

I have lots of questions about graduation, it’s a coupe of weeks away, and I still haven’t received anything in the mail about it.

I am going up alone and traveling by greyhound for over a day, so I just want to ensure I get everything right.

I should be arriving in Columbus, Ga, at about 8:00 am. I don’t know what time the family day ceremony is. If I’m a little late will they still let me in? Will I be able to take a taxi to the fort? If so, I heard that sometimes there is a wait to drive in, which would drive my fare up. Is this true?

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There shouldn’t be a problem with meeting him for the family day if you are a little late getting to post.

As far as taking a taxi, there can be a line to get on post simply because they are checking IDs, etc. at the gate. Be prepared for that possibility.

Here’s some additional information for you:

Ft Benning Basic Training Graduation

Break After Graduation

My boyfriend is graduating from BCT in May in Fort Leonard Wood; that weekend is Memorial weekend. I wonder if he will get a weekend off or if he has to stay on the base. His parents are going to the graduation.

Thank you!!

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It depends on where his AIT is going to be located. Usually, if his AIT location is at a different post, he will have to leave after basic training to travel to the next post.

If his AIT is at the same post, he may be given the weekend off after he has been processed into the next school. It is hard to say for sure, as every AIT is different, and the instructors handle things differently.

I know some who have had the weekend off and some who were given no time. I’m sorry I can’t give you a more definite answer. As it gets closer to the time for graduation, he should have a better idea of what to expect after it is over.

Signing Out Soldier After Graduation

My fiance left for BCT at Fort Jackson earlier this week. I heard rumors that only immediate family and spouses can sign out their soldiers after graduation.

It will only be me and my mom going to his graduation because his parents cannot afford the plane ticket and all the costs. Will I be able to check him out for the day, or will we have to stay on base?

*****
This can vary from one drill sergeant to the next and one post to the next. Many times, even if this rule is in place, most have been able to get around it.

The worst-case scenario is that you spend your time on post with him that day. As graduation gets closer, he should have more detailed information about the check-out procedures for that day.

Seeing Soldier for First Time at Graduation

I will see my boyfriend at his boot camp graduation for the first time in 2 months.

I can’t be the only one to have felt extreme nervousness about it. Until now (the halfway point), the thought of seeing him has made me so happy I could cry. Now I feel anxious, like what if I got there and he changed?

I am probably just letting my imagination get the best of me, but it would be nice to hear someone else who has gone through it say the same thing.

Nothing on my end has changed, except maybe loving him even more. I get letters almost every day he is there, but there is still (obviously) that disconnection.

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I think what you are describing is completely normal. For one, we often have too much time to think when they are gone.

There is too much free time to analyze every aspect of the relationship. Rest assured that he will be different. Basic training does change them, but I’ve yet to talk to anyone who feels like the change is negative.

They do a lot of maturing during training, and you will see a much more professional and self-assured person when you arrive at graduation. You will be able to see that sense of accomplishment on his face.

I’m sure it will all be fine.

As soon as you talk to him and spend time together again, you will see that even though he has changed, he is still the same person you knew before he left.

I think the initial nervous feeling is always there, whether it’s reuniting after a long training or deployment. But it doesn’t take long to get back into the old swing of things. It will soon be like you were never apart.

So resume being excited! 🙂

Basic Graduation Picture Package

My husband left for basic at Fort Leonard Wood 5 weeks ago. A couple of weeks ago, he told me that he purchased the graduation photo package and a t-shirt with his photo on it for me during processing.

Will he be able to send it to me, or will I have to wait until graduation (July 29th)? If he can send it to me, about how long does it take to get them? Thank you in advance!!

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I would guess that you will be able to get it when you see him. Of course, that is only a guess. If anyone reading has had a different experience, please leave a comment! 🙂

Pinning at Graduation

Hi, I’m a new army wife, and my husband’s graduation is next month. I was wondering how many people get to go on stage when they get to pin their soldiers. Because my husband’s parents and I don’t get along, I don’t want to be up there with them. lol

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I had to laugh out loud at this one!

When my husband graduated, most soldiers had several people there with them for the pinning. There wasn’t a limit. Of course, there’s nothing to say that one graduation will be exactly like the next.

When he graduated from OSUT, I put his cord on him while his parents also stood there (and took pictures).

We he graduated from Airborne, my cousin (who was also Airborne) pinned his wings on him while I took pictures.

When he graduated from RIP, I pinned his scroll on him. In all three of those experiences, they never said only one person could participate.

Good luck with dealing with the in-laws!

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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19 Comments

  1. My son just graduated basic training today. His father & I were not able to attend. Is there a way to get discounted air fare? We would love to attend his
    A I T graduation. It is in Fort Lee Virginia about 900 miles from us. Flying would make it easier.

    1. There aren’t military discounts on airfare that I’m aware of. Everyone seems to have their tricks of the trade to get lower fares but I have found that booking on a Tuesday/Wednesday seems to be the best bet (at least to the places I fly to on a regular basis for work). If you can have a Saturday stayover, that typically helps as well. Good luck!

  2. My husband left for BCT August 3 to Fort Sill. When will he graduate? How will his personality change? I have read some horror stories from people that once training is completed, the spouse in the military does not have feelings for their spouse anymore. How true is this?

  3. My boyfriend is leaving for boot camp on October 18th and after his AIT training our goal is to get married as soon as possible so i can Go with him. Is the army gonna give us a hard time or will it be a relatively easy process?

  4. I have a question, my boyfriend is graduating this week and he doesn’t know that I am going for sure but I am, for the turning blue is there a way to notify him that I’m there and can put the cord on him? His company doesn’t allow them to call all the time.

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