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Protecting Utah

First All-UHP Class Since 1967 Graduates and Takes Oath of Office – All One, All Highway

Sunday February 24, 2019
The badges for the new UHP troopers are displayed on a table.

On Friday, 24 new Utah Highway Patrol Troopers graduated from their training and took their oath of office. They will start working with their Field Training Officers as soon as Saturday.


This class represents the first UHP only and UHP run academy since POST was created in 1967. Their 21 weeks of training began on October 1st and they represent the final group of the over 100 Troopers that UHP hired last year.

The UHP Honor Guard presents the colors at the graduation and swearing in ceremony for the UHP One Class.
The UHP Honor Guard presents the colors at the graduation and swearing in ceremony for the UHP One Class.

Colonel Rapich was the first to address the class, and he reflected on his 27 year career with UHP. “If you ask me today what I love most about working for the Utah Highway Patrol, it’s the opportunity to serve and work with the greatest men and women in the state of Utah, the United States and possibly the world.” He congratulated the class on their accomplishments and noted that this day was about them and their success. However, he continued, “After today, it is no longer about you. It is about the commitment you have to serve those who have trusted you with the authority to act on their behalf an in their best interest.”  

“After today, it is no longer about you. It is about the commitment you have to serve those who have trusted you with the authority to act on their behalf and in their best interest.”  

Colonel Rapich
Commissioner Anderson addresses the new troopers.
Commissioner Anderson addresses the new troopers.

Commissioner Anderson began his keynote address by sharing advice about how the new Troopers can effectively plan their future and maximize their contribution to the Utah Highway Patrol and the people of Utah. He encouraged them to have a vision, evaluate what they’re doing to contribute to UHP’s internal and external performance, and to set goals, establish expectations for themselves and work diligently toward achieving those goals. As part of the Utah Highway Patrol, “People look to you as being a leader,” he said. “You will make an impact on people’s lives every single day. Embrace that, cherish it. Enjoy what you do.”

“You are becoming a problem solver, a mediator, a counselor, a guardian, a mentor, a coach. And also a hero – to all of us.”

Commissioner Anderson

He told the Troopers that on this day, there are several titles that they are taking upon themselves. “You are becoming a problem solver, a mediator, a counselor, a guardian, a mentor, a coach. And also a hero – to all of us.”

Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce administers the oath of office to the new Troopers.
Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce administers the oath of office to the new Troopers.

Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce said a few words before he administered the oath of office to the new Troopers. He said that in his position as a judge on the Utah Supreme Court, people sometimes ask him if his job is easy. For the Troopers, he said, “Nobody is ever going to ask you that. Everybody knows how difficult it is… Everybody knows how important it is…And the amazing thing to me is that you knew all that going in. You chose this not because this was easy, but because it was hard and because it was important, and I thank you for that.” 

“You chose this not because this was easy, but because it was hard and because it was important, and I thank you for that.”

Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce

He noted the fact that the oath the Troopers were about to take was the same oath that he took to become a justice on Utah’s Supreme Court. “When you think about what that means, it is really humbling. To think that we are being asked to play our own part to secure the blessings of liberty that so many have fought and died for,” he said. “It is our job by taking this oath, to do what we can, not to just protect the lives and property of the people of Utah, but protect the liberties of the people of  Utah.”

The new UHP troopers take the oath of office which is being administered by Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce.

Following the oath of office, the Troopers then had their badges pinned on them by family members.

Trooper Vargas has her badge pinned on her by her husband.
Trooper has his badge pinned on him by his spouse.
Lt. Colonel Zesiger congratulates new Trooper Svedin

Lt. Colonel Zesiger gave the Troopers career advice through a parable. He told them to collect the little things they do every day, that have a tremendous impact on people. Together, those little things will represent an outsize impact at the end of their careers. “Welcome to the Utah Highway Patrol,” he said. “We welcome you and your families to the UHP.”

Trooper Hill was selected by his classmates to give the class’ response at the ceremony. He shared the class’ gratitude for the hard work that Sgt. Fallows and Cpl. Pearson put into the class saying that they literally couldn’t have done it without them. He concluding by addressing his classmates and encouraging them to continue their success: “It has been an honor learning from you, training with you and growing stronger with you…Let’s continue to be all one, all highway.”

The members of UHP One and administration pose for a photo.

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