AFSOC commander inspires UPT Class 22-09

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 22-09, consisting of 23 officers, graduated from UPT, on April 6, 2022, at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, was the distinguished speaker for the graduation ceremony.

Slife, a command pilot in the MH-53, MQ-1 and others, mentioned how honored he was to attend the new aviator’s graduation ceremony.

“Good morning to family, friends, mentors, instructors, and most importantly, the graduates,” Slife said. “It’s an honor to be here today, witnessing the start of many bright futures for our Air Force.”

Throughout his speech, Slife gave a few tips for the graduates as they progress through their careers.

One piece of advice he gave was to maintain reflection and introspection.

“Reflection and introspection are survival skills in the aviation business,” he said. “The things you’ve learned up to this point in your careers, both as pilots and officers are important, even if they don’t seem to be just yet.”

The new aviators completed a 52-week pilot training program including academics, physiological training, and flight training in the T-6A Texan II, T-1A Jayhawk, and T-38C Talon. After graduation from UPT, the pilots will move onto their assigned aircraft and bases across the globe.

To end his speech, Slife gave one last motivating remark and thanked the families and friends for attending.

“You, each of the graduates, are the United States’ competitive advantage,” he said. “Your leadership will underpin the security and prosperity of the United States for years to come. Congratulations to each of you and thank you for allowing me to join you this morning.”