An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Retired major general virtually congratulates SUPT Class 20-12/13 graduates

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. Retired Maj. Gen. Brian Bishop, former commander of Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education, and commandant of Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, virtually spoke to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 20-12/13 during their graduation ceremony April 24 at Columbus AFB, Mississippi.

In accordance with safety and health guidelines from the Defense Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a guest speaker was unable to attend the ceremony. Bishop applauded the students on their accomplishment through a recorded video message, and gave them various points of advice.

“Congratulations to Class 20-12/13,” Bishop said. “This will be a day that you will remember for the rest of your lives, but more importantly, congratulations to the families. Whether you’re in the room or not, we could not do this thing we call pilotage without your love and support, so thank you.”

Bishop started his speech by saying why he thinks pilots fly.

“I think if I asked each one of you why you fly and why are you doing the things you do and why you wanted to join the Air Force, each of you would have your very specific reasons,” he said. “But I do think there’s a thread that runs through all of them.”

Bishop said first he believes flying brings pilots excitement.
“From takeoff to landing. Also, your senses become more acute when problems and situations arise in front of you,” Bishop said.

While pilots want to avoid problems when flying, pilots feel a sense of excitement when a problem is mitigated or solved, he said.

Bishop also said he thinks there is excitement from executing a mission. He says being able to accomplish a mission for the United States is one of the core reasons of why pilots fly.

In addition, he said flying brings a sense of comradery amongst past and present flyers.

“That is especially true in the military because we rely on our heritage and our squadron design to bring us together,” he said. “But there is a military, civilian-pilot relationship as well.”

He gave examples of when he has gone to different functions, how pilots seek each other out and share aviation experiences. If there are two pilots in the same room, military or not, they are easily able to connect and relate with one another, he said.

Bishop said there are only a few people to share those experiences.

“And finally, I think there’s a way pilots look at the world,” Bishop said. “We see the world in three dimensions. We overcome the boundaries and the barriers and the obstacles that are here in the 2D world because you can fly up and get over them.”

Pilots not only can see the world in three dimensions flying, they can apply it to other things, he said.

Bishop said pilots are also able to apply the three-dimensional type of thinking to problem solving.

“As pilots, we tend to solve things differently, see things differently,” Bishop said.

The graduation was later recorded and posted on the Columbus AFB Facebook page for people to view.