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McEntire Student Flight steps into style

U.S. Air Force Airman Benita Mbonu-Obi, assigned to the 169th Student Flight, renders a salute at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015.  The trainees were taught several facing and drill movements in order to prepare them for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman Benita Mbonu-Obi, assigned to the 169th Student Flight, renders a salute at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015. The trainees were taught several facing and drill movements in order to prepare them for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 169th Student Flight practice drill movements at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015 in order to prepare for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 169th Student Flight practice drill movements at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015 in order to prepare for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Marlene Johnson-Moore, commander of the 169th Student Flight, instructs trainees on drill and ceremony at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2013. The trainees were taught several facing and drill movements in order to prepare them for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Marlene Johnson-Moore, commander of the 169th Student Flight, instructs trainees on drill and ceremony at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2013. The trainees were taught several facing and drill movements in order to prepare them for Basic Military Training. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman Alexis Rush, assigned to the 169th Student Flight, holds up her Student Flight shirt at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015. The trainees received shirts and binders that include useful information in a ceremony to help introduce them into the Swamp Fox family. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman Alexis Rush, assigned to the 169th Student Flight, holds up her Student Flight shirt at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., June 13, 2015. The trainees received shirts and binders that include useful information in a ceremony to help introduce them into the Swamp Fox family. (U.S. National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE S.C. -- Every month, a scattering of individuals across the base make their way from building to building, wide-eyed and wearing civilian clothes. Now, thanks to the support of the base, they're no longer individuals, but a team with a common goal. Even though the faces will change, the program mentoring our newest trainees, the 169th Student Flight, will remain strong and deeply rooted in Swamp Fox culture.

Trainees assigned to the 169th Student Flight received matching polo shirts and their own binder filled with useful study information at a ceremony held here, June 13, 2015.

"This is literally the future of McEntire," said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Marlene Johnson-Moore, 169th Student Flight director. "I want them to know that and I want them to feel like they are the legacy of McEntire."

Student Flight has had great support from many organizations around the base, said Johnson-Moore. Because of that support, she was able to provide the trainees with binders that include information that will aide them in becoming successful Airmen. In addition, each student received a matching Swamp Fox polo shirt to identify them as part of the 169th Student Flight team.

"We've given them polo shirts so they can all be uniform and feel like they're a part of something, so that they can feel like a cohesive unit," said Johnson-Moore. "We're not about talk, we're all about action and building the best program that we possibly can."

Since Johnson-Moore has taken over the program, there has been a tremendous amount of action. Each Unit Training Assembly, the trainees are subjected to real-world physical training tests, formations and educational instruction on military rank structure, customs and courtesies and various other military core knowledge subjects.

"It was harder than I thought it would be," said Isaiah Johnson, a trainee currently in the Student Flight program. "I thought that I would be doing paperwork, but now I'm doing drill, meeting high ranking officers and other things that I wasn't ready to be doing."

Student Flight exposes the trainees to things that they'll be facing every day in their military career and in doing so, builds their confidence.

"I think that this program is an asset to the base as a whole because it is the very foundation of the leadership and excellence that this base, the Swamp Fox family, has come to be known for," said Johnson-Moore. "We just get them started. Good habits, leadership, responsibility, discipline and excellence are all things that we instill in them."