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MTI father reenlists as daughter graduates BMT

Re-enlistee, Tech. Sgt. Robert Rayburn, a military training instructor with the 331st Training Squadron, takes the Oath of Enlistment alongside his daughter, Airman Marlana Rayburn, during a basic military graduation parade at the Lackland Parade Grounds Jan. 4. (USAF photo by Robbin Cresswell)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Rayburn, a military training instructor with the 331st Training Squadron, takes the Oath of Enlistment alongside his daughter, Airman Marlana Rayburn, during a basic military graduation parade at the Lackland Parade Grounds Jan. 4. Sergeant Rayburn decided to reenlist next to his daughter as she graduated basic militatry training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robbin Cresswell)

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS -- A father and daughter pledged their service to the Air Force by taking the Oath of Enlistment together here Jan. 4.

Airman Marlana Rayburn took the Oath along with several hundred of her fellow graduates of Basic Military Training, but there was someone a bit more familiar reciting the words next to her.  

Her father, Tech. Sgt. Robert Rayburn, a military training instructor assigned to the 331st Training Squadron, decided to continue his Air Force journey by re-enlisting during the same ceremony.

"I'm very proud of them both," said Jenetta Rayburn, Sergeant Rayburn's wife and mother of Airman Rayburn. 

Sergeant Rayburn has been a military training instructor at the 331st TRS for three years. He said the moment his daughter finished basic military training was special for him.

"This was a big highlight for me," Sergeant Rayburn said. "I'm going to probably lose it here in a minute. It makes me proud."

Although Sergeant Rayburn did not instruct his daughter during the six weeks she was in training (she was a member of the 322nd TRS), he was not concerned with her ability to excel.

"Don't worry. I gave her all the training she needed at home, before she went through BMT," Sergeant Rayburn said with a chuckle.

"It gives me chills just thinking about it," said Lt. Col. Thomas Schmidt, 331st TRS commander. "They are a perfect microcosm of the Air Force family. It makes us all very proud to see them continue our great Air Force tradition. Sergeant Rayburn is one of the finest MTIs around. This is a very special day for his entire family."

Airman Rayburn said she made the decision to enlist during her first year of high school. She will now depart for Sheppard Air Force Base to attend technical school and await her first assignment.

"It was hard, but I'm glad I made it through," Airman Rayburn said. "I got to see my dad every now and then, and that made it easier, but I'm so glad I went through it."
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