3/28/2013 – JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — When Airman Kaycee J. Franco thinks about women’s history month, she’ll think of it as the month that she began making her own personal piece of Air Force history — receiving the Air Force Airman’s Coin, graduating basic training and becoming an Airman.
As Franco stood with her fellow trainees on the parade field at Lackland, her family and friends were able to witness a ritual that will be etched in her memory throughout her career, the Airman’s Coin ceremony. After Master Sgt. Christopher Crawford, an MTI, presented her with the Airmen’s Coin, she immediately earned the right to be called “Airman.” She was one step closer to accomplishing something amazing, graduating from basic training.
Franco, originally from Dewey, Okla., found the eight weeks of basic training to be “insane.”
“Spending time with 45-plus girls in one dorm was not very fun,” said Franco. “But after time, things began to get a lot better. I have made a lot of friends; many who I hope will be lifelong friends.”
Inspired by other family members who are in the Air Force, and having a father who was very enthusiastic about her joining the military, Franco realized that by joining the military she could do something remarkable with her life and have a career doing something that she enjoyed.
Although the medical field was her first choice, it was difficult to get into. Franco said she felt she would enjoy working on airplanes, using a computer and being in the air, so she decided to become an aerospace control and warning systems specialist. She will be attending the six-week Aerospace Control and Warning Systems course at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss.
During basic training, Franco showed early on that she had drive and ambition by performing as an element leader.
“I helped make sure that everyone always had their stuff together and was prepared for the day,” said Franco. “Also, I was one of the only ones who knew how to march, so that helped our flight a lot.”
Franco’s abilities were also apparent to her military training instructor, Staff Sgt. Stasia T. Smith of the 326th Training Squadron.
“Airman Franco has initiative and ambition,” said Smith. “When I train trainees, I am looking for them to be able to fill my role as a noncommissioned officer and leader when I leave the military one day. But also, I’m thinking of them as my equals–that I would be confident enough to stand next to as my wingman in wartime and peace time situations. Trainee Franco is defiantly one of those Airmen.”
Although Franco is just beginning her journey in the Air Force, she is already determined to be the best Airman she can possible be.
“The Air Force is going to help me become a better person, go far in my career and be very successful in life,” said Franco.
At the end of the coin ceremony, Franco and her fellow Airmen recited the Airman’s Creed. “I am an American Airman. I am a warrior. I have answered my nation’s call. I am an American Airman…….” As she and her fellow Airmen recited the last line, “And I will not fail,” it signaled the reality that she had passed her first big test and was about to start something amazing–her Air Force career!
by Dona Fair
37th Training Wing Public Affairs