Sunday, October 23, 2011

Basic Training During the Holidays

For those leaving for basic training in the near future you have probably realized that you will be there during the holidays, and you probably have questions as to what will happen at basic training during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The following is for Air Force Basic Training only.

The Air Force has a program called Operation Homecooking which has been around for 35 years. For Thanksgiving, and only Thanksgiving, trainees will get a break from training and have the opportunity to spend this holiday in the home of a local active duty member (don’t worry it won’t be your Instructor’s). Participation in this program isn’t guaranteed. If you are in your first couple of weeks of training you will not go anywhere. Instead you will continue with training but that night’s dinner usually consists of turkey. The number of trainees that can participate in Operation Homecooking is dictated by the number of active duty members who volunteer to host a trainee. If you are selected to participate it is important to remember the following information which your Instructor is sure to give you.

- You are not allowed to drink any alcohol, even if offered by your host family.
- You must remain professional and respectful.
- Don’t badmouth your Instructor or fellow trainees.
At the same time it’s alright to relax and have a good time away from Lackland AFB.

Historically Christmas is a relaxed training day. With Christmas being on a Sunday this year you will have the option of going to church that day. Sundays are normally non-PT and appointment days which means you will spend the day in your dorm. Usually you will be given cleaning details or told to work on your wall locker, but your Instructor will stay away as much as possible which will make the day a lot more relaxed.

Remember, before leaving for BMT remind your family not to send you presents while at basic training.

This article was written by SrA Nick VanWormer, author of The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook available at


  1. I was wondering about all this actually! Will be in during Thanksgiving and Christmas both(plus my birthday and new years....*sigh*). I appreciate the post!

  2. I'm only to glad to help. One of the things that will make being at basic during the holidays easier is that you will be with other people that are going through the same thing, and everyone has a common goal - GRADUATE ON TIME! Good luck and have fun at basic.

  3. Do you know what it looks like if they are supposed to graduate from but over thanksgiving weekend? Does everything continue as planned?

  4. Did you ever find out? My daughter would graduate Friday after thanksgiving but I don't know if this is really happening.

  5. I've been trying to find an answer to that question as well. So far I have heard the coin ceremony moves to Wednesday and things continue from there each day instead of starting Thursday

  6. Hey! I actually did find out from the AF wing moms group on Facebook. The coin ceremony is on Wednesday, they will either get town or base liberty on Thursday and then the rest of the graduation continues like normal