Before a trainee leaves for BMT they have to fill out a VARL (Visitors Access Request Letter). This form is required by all AB's so that the USAF can do a background check on those wanting to go to graduation. This should be completed before they leave for MEPS. We suggest that you keep a copy of it at home in case it gets misplaced or there is a question regarding the information. Once the clearance is done, passes are issued and given to the trainee to mail home. It is up to the trainee as to whom the passes will be mailed to especially if there are several families. He/she may either mail them all to one household or send them to the different homes. You should expect to receive the passes between WOT 3 & WOT 5. Minors, those under the age of 18 while attending graduation events will NOT be issued a pass because they are required to be with an adult who has a valid pass, Military ID, DoD ID or CAC ID at ALL Times.

Now, if for some reason someone decides to go and they were not on the original VARL, the trainee has thru the WOT 3 to turn in additional names, up to a maximum of 10 adults. Adults with Military ID or DoD ID do not need to be added to the VARL. This link will allow you to print out the VARL, so that it can be filled out with the proper information. Do NOT sign it, your AB has to do that. Mail it to your AB ASAP so that they can turn it in.


ATTENTION:  Effective March 20, 2014

Effective 20 Mar 2014, BMT trainees will be authorized to sponsor only 10 (Ten) adult non-military affiliated family and friends to gain access to Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Lackland during BMT graduation week activities. Each trainee will be given time to submit a "Visitor Access Request Letter (VARL)." Once approved by Security Forces, trainees will mail Visitor Access Pass(es) to their guest(s). Any visitor that does not receive a visitor access pass will require sponsorship from their Airman upon arrival or will otherwise be denied access to the installation. Note: Airmen will not be able to sponsor guests onto the installation until after the Airman's Coin/Retreat ceremony on Thursday. Message posted by 737 TRSS/TSOS

So what happens if the name is not on the original list and it is past WOT 3?


Posted 4/30/2014 Printable Fact Sheet

All visitors to Lackland Air Force Base age 18 and over and not in possession of a valid DOD identification card are required to have a Visitor Access Pass in their possession prior to gaining access to Lackland Air Force Base. Each visitor must have a pass issued in their name and a state issued picture ID card in their possession while on Lackland. It is the sole responsibility of the trainee to complete a Visitors Access Request Letter (VARL) for up to 10 anticipated adult guests. The trainee is responsible for mailing out passes upon receipt in the 3rd week of training.

Note: If a Trainee is requesting more than allowed 10 guests. The Trainee will need to submit a Deviation Request through their chain of command.

Trainees should arrive to Basic Military Training with a completed VARL, as they are issued by their Recruiter prior to leaving for BMT. However, in some unique situations, your trainee may contact you requesting information needed to complete a VARL form. The required information includes the guest's full name, date of birth, driver's license number and state of issuance.

You should anticipate receiving your Visitor Access Pass around the end of the trainee's fifth week of training. If you have not received your pass contact your trainee directly via mail or during an authorized telephone call to ensure your trainee has completed the VARL form and has mailed your Visitor Access Pass to you.

In the event guests of a graduate did not receive their Basic Military Training (BMT) passes via mail after providing required information in advance for Visitor Access Request List (VARL) prior to graduation. Guests can verify if they meet all access requirements and were added to the BMT master listing by contacting 802 SFS BMT Processing at 210-671-7258 / 7244. After verification, guests can proceed to the VCC to obtain an access pass.


Note: If you do not receive a Visitor Access Pass prior to arriving at Lackland, you will be required to visit the Luke East Visitor Center upon arrival (Open 24-hours daily). The BMT Reception Center cannot verify guest lists or visitor pass issuance. You may check with your trainee during an authorized telephone call on the status of your pass(es).

If your trainee submits a late VARL, we cannot guarantee that passes will be ready or available for your Airman's graduation. If passes are not ready, visitors may have to wait until after the Airman's Coin and Retreat Ceremony is over before the Airman may go to the Visitor Center to sponsor visitors on base.

Note: Sponsoring means your Airman vouches for you to enter the installation and assumes responsibility for your actions while on base.

If your trainee is in the 1st - 3rd week of training, visitors must go to the above link ("copy of the VARL form") and print out a VARL, fill out all required information (do not sign) and mail it to the trainee directly for signature. The flight MTI will forward to Security Forces for processing. If visitors do not receive their passes by the end of the 5th week of training, but choose to travel to San Antonio/Lackland AFB, they will have to report to the Visitors Reception Center for assistance.

If installation access is denied for any reason, only the trainee may initiate a deviation access request waiver to the installation commander. Please direct any questions to your trainee directly via mail or authorized telephone calls.


The following is from the Official AF site:

***Due to DoD wide increased security measures, a background check must be accomplished on all family and friends of trainees attending Air Force Basic Military Training ( BMT) graduation events. Prior to EAD, all recruits must complete the Visitors Access Request Letter and hand carry it with them to BMT. This will save training time, and avoid processing delays, and prevent unnecessary travel expenses for family members denied access to Lackland AFB.

Visitors planning to attend BMT graduation week events are highly encouraged to purchase refundable/transferable tickets in the event they are denied access or in the event their recruit's graduation date changes. Also, all guest(s) 18 years old and over must have a photo ID.

Recruits do not have to request anyone:

a. With a valid DoD Card (e.g., common access card, retired military ID card) this card grants them access to the base. b. Individuals under the age of 18 may enter the base when escorted by an adult who is granted access.

Denial of Visitors Access:

a. All collection of information is considered "law enforcement" sensitive and is not disclosed to non law enforcement personnel. Some of the more common reasons individuals are denied installation access are:

1) Currently on parole and/or probation

2) Registered sex offender

3) History of gang affiliation or extensive criminal history

4) Identified on the Terrorist Watch list

5) Currently have an active warrant

6) Currently barred from any U.S. military installation

7) Any felony conviction for murder, assault, sex offenses, etc.

b. The above list is not inclusive. Other situations may be discovered that warrant access denial. Refer any questions to Lackland AFB Police Services at Commercial (210) 671-7254 or Email: 37SFS.PoliceServ@Lackland.AF.MIL.


802 Security Forces Squadron

NCOIC, BMT Pass and ID 

  • *** IF the guest was formally DENIED, the trainee CANNOT sponsor the guest on the installation at all. The sponsorship program they are talking about are for people that did not receive passes. A denial is complete denial to the installation for the ENTIRE period of time. The only person that can change this denial is our installation commander, which is requested by the trainee through my office. There is no work-around or loop holes for this policy. If the guest was not issued a pass and was not formally denied (the trainee is required to notify the guest) then the trainee can sponsor the guest at the Visitor Control Center after the ceremonies for the day. A pass issued in the capacity will be issued from Thursday to Sunday of the week of graduation. Per ROBERT L. WALTERS, SSgt, USAF 802 Security Forces Squadron NCOIC, BMT Pass and ID

***Added note from Lorraine Silva: If you have family members that reside in Puerto Rico, Canada, and/or UK or of Foreign Nationality (Non-US Resident):

In order to get on base, our AB's fill out a VARL form (Visitor's Access Request Letter). The form information required is name/date of birth/driver's license or passport #. Puerto Rico is on a different background systems check and therefore, there may be difficulty in getting clearance. BREATHE.....

Your next step is to contact BMT ASAP both by calling and then follow up with an email. You'll need to ask for information regarding a Foreign National Visitor Escort form. This form is given to your AB who fills it out with the same requested information as on the VARL. BMT will try to provide an escort until you get your Airman, who then in turn takes the lead of escort.

BMT: 210-671-7333, have paper handy for notes and make sure to get the Name, Rank & correct spelling of the person you spoke with!