FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - The completion of Basic Combat Training is truly something to celebrate. Over the weekend, 189 trainees did just that as they became soldiers in the U.S. Army.
They marched into the ceremony as trainees and left as soldiers.
“They’re done," said Capt. Nicolas E. Ocegueda, Commander of E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery. "They’re part of the family, part of the brotherhood. They’re soldiers now.”
At the Soldier Ceremony on post, trainees separated into their four platoons as the National Anthem was played.
Drill Sgt. Christopher Dilday said Basic Combat Training is grueling, but brings growth.
“Seeing them from day one until now, it’s a huge improvement in the way they’ve carried themselves in terms of discipline and just the way that their confidence level has gone up,” said Christopher Dilday, Drill Sergeant, E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery.
Capt. Ocegueda said the ceremony gives the soldiers a sense of honor.
“For me, having already done it, it’s a great connection point for them," said Capt. Ocegueda. "I’m very proud, as well as the drill sergeants and everything they’ve been through, and to see the discipline and the confidence and their patriotism to become part of our army at a time of war.”
The final tradition of the ceremony to officially become a U.S. Army soldier, putting on the army patch.
“It’s a really proud moment for all soldiers," said Drill Sgt. Dilday. "What makes it even better is that the tradition’s still going strong. We’ve been doing this for decades. I did it when I entered the army nine years ago and it’s good to see that they’re doing it now.”
The 189 soldiers from E Battery are set to graduate next December 17.