Veterans in Piping (VIP): HVACR & Welding Graduations at JBLM


Today, 16 welding students and 10 HVACR students graduate from the Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after completing weeks of accelerated training.

This is the 8th welding class and 7th HVACR class to graduate at JBLM. Each graduate goes on to continue their training as apprentices in UA Local Unions while working for signatory contractors. Special thanks to welding instructors Jay Clevenger and Mike Murphy and HVACR instructor Dave Gibson for their commitment to helping these 26 veterans start their journey towards lasting careers as members of the United Association.

The ceremony is being held at Local 26 Training Center in Lacey, WA beginning at 9am. The keynote speaker will be the Installation CSM; Command Sergeant Major Richard Mulryan. UA International Representative Scott Smith will also be speaking at the ceremony. The VIP Program has trained 216 veterans from the Welding & HVACR programs at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State since 2013.

The VIP Program offers high-quality skills training and jobs in the pipe trades to active duty military personnel preparing to leave the service. Participants in the program receive 18 weeks of accelerated skills training in either welding, HVACR or sprinklerfitting, and earn industry-recognized certifications and college credit as part of their training. Upon graduation, participants gain direct entry into UA apprenticeship programs, which are recognized in the industry as the best in the business.

The program is currently being offered at Camp Lejeune (NC), Camp Pendleton (CA), Joint Base Lewis-McChord (WA), Fort Carson (CO), Fort Hood (TX), Fort Campbell (KY), and Fort Sill (OK).


Joint Base Lewis-McChord - Welding (Class 8)

JBLM Welding 8 Class Photo

Joint Base Lewis-McChord - HVACR (Class 7)

JBLM HVACR 7 Class Photo