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UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) By UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) • February 20, 2019

UA VIP experience has been great at Camp Pendleton

Service members in the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program at Camp Pendleton are glad they applied to join the free career-training program, which has proven to be a great experience for participants.

The free 18-week accelerated training program is open to active-duty transitioning military service members from all branches of the armed forces. Participants learn basic welding skills, which prepares them to go to work for a UA signatory contractor once they leave the service, which helps ease the stress of transitioning out of the military.

Marine Staff Sergeant Charles Brabec, a student of Welding Class 29, has spent almost 10 years in the service before deciding he was ready to change his life.

“The experience has been great so far,” said Brabec. “You really get out what you put into this class and it’s a great resource.”

UA VIP WeldingFellow classmate Javon “Jay” Davidson said the UA VIP Program is one of the best things to happen to him.

“It allowed me to gain a new skill, create a career path and transition smoothly into civilian life,” said Davidson. “I expect to continue to learn new skills in the UA apprenticeship, while being challenged every day.”

There are 15 Marines and 1 Sailor participating in Welding Class 29 who are working to obtain welding certifications such as the UA 100, UA 21 and UA 41.

“This class has consistently shown a great work ethic,” said Camp Pendleton Welding Instructor Sean Ellis.

Upon successful completion of the VIP program, graduates are guaranteed job placement and direct entry into the UA’s five-year apprenticeship program at an agreed upon location nationwide. As a UA apprentice, UA VIP graduates will improve upon their newly found skillset and work their way toward becoming a UA journeyman.

“Having a job waiting for me when I get out, especially one so lucrative creates such a comfortable transition,” said Joshua Miller, a Welding Class 29 participant. “Undoubtedly, this will be a strenuous job, but with hard work and a good attitude, it is sure to be a long and rewarding career.”

Miller and his 15 fellow classmates continue their second half of the UA VIP Program as they work their way to a successful career in welding.

To learn more about the welding program at Camp Pendleton, click here.