A different point of view: a married couple’s BMT experience

  • Published
  • By Joe Gangemi
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

Almost every evening over the last year, Staff Sgt. Sarah Bento, a Military Training Instructor assigned to the 433rd Training Squadron, would come home to share her experiences as an instructor with her husband, Devon. Her words undoubtedly had an impact on Devon because in September, he began experiencing BMT first-hand.

“It was by coincidence that he decided to enlist at the same time I’m working as an MTI,” Sarah said. ‘’Despite hearing about the difficulties experienced in BMT, he knew he didn’t want to regret missing out on this opportunity that he had wanted for years already.’’

Although Devon has been interested in joining the military, it took COVID-19 and Winter Storm URI for him to consider all of his options. When he finally decided on enlisting in the Air Force, he thankfully had Sarah for an insider look to his new life.

‘’By the time he had decided to enlist, I had already been using him to practice teaching classes and applying certain lessons to,’’ said Sarah, a seven-year veteran.

‘’It was more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought I learned a lot from Sarah,’’ Devon said. ‘’Experiencing BMT as a trainee made me realize how difficult of a job my spouse has.’’

Both from San Jose, California, Sarah and Devon grew up approximately four miles apart, but they didn’t meet until December 2015 and were married three years later.

During an assignment at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, Sarah had the chance to be a First Term Airman Center instructor, which fueled her desire to become an MTI. 

“To get to influence and mentor so many young Airmen, before they’ve had any real experience within the Air Force, was a dream of mine,” said Sarah, a Public Health specialist outside of this Developmental Special Duty. “The MTIs that I had in BMT were incredible and significantly impacted my life in a positive way, and I wanted to have that same opportunity.”

Upon graduating Military Training Instructor School in November, Sarah left with two awards -- Excellence in Instruction and Distinguished Graduate.

Devon was assigned to the 320th Training Squadron during BMT, coincidentally the same squadron Sarah was assigned to when she went through in January 2015.

“Over the 7.5 weeks of training and squadron realignments, I experienced two different squadrons and interacted with four instructors,” Devon said. “Their hard work and dedication were apparent and made a positive impact on me understanding the Air Force Core Values and the importance of teamwork.”

Devon is now attending technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base to become an Aircraft Metals Technology specialist.

Staff Sgt. Sarah Bento embraces her husband, Airman 1st Class Devon Bento, after his Basic Military Training graduation at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 28, 2021. Sarah and Devon have been married three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joe Gangemi)