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Columbus | CMSAF #16 speaks at Pilot graduation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Officers from classes 23-04 AU and 23-05 graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) February 3, 2023, at Columbus Air Force Base.

The new aviators had the privilege to have the 16th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (retired), James A. Roy, as their graduation speaker.

“We are one team, one fight,” said Roy. “We are the greatest Air Force in the world, and I know that because I have visited a lot of them. We are the best because of the Airmen we have, just like the 18 who are graduating today.”

Roy was the Command Chief at Columbus AFB from 2000-2002 and is one of the only enlisted Airmen to be a keynote speaker for a UPT graduation.

“This is a very special moment and I appreciate the opportunity to share this moment with you all,” said Roy.

UPT has changed its course. The new syllabus allows officers to become rated pilots upon completion of training in the T-6. This change means the Air Force will be producing pilots in a little over eight months rather than one year.

“You all have just completed what is possibly the hardest training course in the Air Force,” said Roy. “Be proud but remain humble.”

Today these officers earned the title of Air Force Pilot and received their silver wings.

Most of these aviators will continue follow-on training at Columbus in the T-38 or T-1A, while a few will depart and begin training in their respective aircraft.