• Jim Ratti, '82

Class News Update - Brian Neal

17 Mar 2021

Maj Gen (Ret) Brian Neal sent me a quick note to pass on the news of his daughter's graduation from UPT on 12 Mar 2021. Rachel is a 2019 Clemson grad and her UPT class (21-01) is unique in that is the first to graduate from Air Education and Training Command's (AETC's) new Accelerated Path to Wings" program.

Brian presented Rachel with a set of pilot's wings that his dad gave him when Brian graduated from UPT in 1983. Brian's dad earned those wings on 1 July 1948, when the AF was only 9-1/2 months old. Pretty cool legacy to pass on to a third generation.

The new UPT program, also dubbed XPW, produces pilots in approximately seven months - five months shorter than typical undergraduate pilot training - and lets student pilots stick to a single aircraft, the T-1 Jayhawk.

Here's a picture of Rachel's entire graduating class:

You can read more about the XPW program here and here.

Heartiest congratulations to both Brian and Rachel!

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