Teaching patience; Simmons speaks to SUPT graduates

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
The 14th Flying Training Wing, where world class pilot training occurs, has officially graduated Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 21-09, May 7, 2021, at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

After 52 weeks of pilot training, these eighteen graduates attained the aeronautical rating of pilot and will now move on to their new assignments to begin the next phase of training in their designated aircraft.

Col. Corey Simmons, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, from Travis Air Force Base, California shared his experience during the graduation ceremony.

When asked what skill or trait Simmons would recommend the new aviators keep throughout their careers, he stressed, “patience”.

“Be patient with yourself and the people you serve with,” Simmons said. “We all want to do things faster but sometimes you miss opportunities or experiences because you were so worried about the outcome. Cherish the friendships you make, cherish the opportunities many others won’t get and just enjoy the ride because as long as you love what you do, it is no longer a job anymore.”

Simmons is a returning member of Team BLAZE, having been not only a student at Columbus AFB but also a former First Assignment Instructor Pilot with the 48th Flying Training Squadron.

“It is nostalgic to be back here,” Simmons said. “Almost 21 years ago I walked across this same stage and haven’t been back since I was a FAIP 18 years ago. I have been really lucky to serve for as long as I have, and to be able to tell the graduates what I have learned along the way is a very cool feeling.”

Sharing the same experiences, Simmons connected to Team BLAZE’s graduating pilots with personal stories, advice on the career and the strength of airpower.

“It was BLAZE when I went through pilot training and it is still BLAZE today,” said Simmons. “I would like to say that means the name fits. This is a special place and I look forward to coming back.”