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Fort Cavazos Welding Class 27 starts accelerated welding training

The United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program welcomed another class of transitioning active-duty service members who are interested in a civilian career in the pipe trades. 

For 118 days, the students in Fort Cavazos Welding Class 27 will learn the basics of welding through classroom instruction and hands-on training. 

UA VIP is a DOD SkillBridge program created to help active-duty service members smoothly transition from a life in the military to a rewarding civilian career. 

Army Spc. Destin Horstead discovered the VIP program because he worked right next to the building where VIP classes are held. 

Horstead went to welding school for six months before he joined the UA VIP program. When he came across the program, he knew it was perfect for him because he knew he wanted to get back into welding. 

“My goal for my time in the UA VIP class is to learn as much as I can so I can be successful in this trade in the outside world,” he said. 

When Horstead begins his UA apprenticeship, he hopes to learn another trade and continue to network with other apprentices and journeymen in the UA. 

Horstead and his classmates will have the opportunity to learn oxy-fuel cutting, along with SMAW and GRAW welding on plates and pipes. They will also have the opportunity to receive certifications in SMAW and GTAW pipe welding, which will travel with them to their home locals.

The UA VIP program offers training in welding, HVAC-R and fire suppression at the following seven military installations:

Horstead and his classmates are expected to graduate from Class 27 on Sept. 5. 

Additional VIP information

Students will be placed into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location with guaranteed job placement once they graduate from the UA VIP program and transition out of the military. 

As apprentices, VIP graduates will receive competitive hourly wages and will quickly become eligible for comprehensive full-family healthcare and retirement benefits. 

After completing the apprenticeship program, UA VIP graduates will become journeymen, which will open up more career opportunities.