AFA Outstanding Cadet of the Year for 2016

Mt Airy Composite Squadron is proud to present the recipient of the Air Force Association’s Outstanding Cadet of the Year, Cadet Second Lieutenant Daniel Flanick, Cadet Commander, Mt Airy Composite Squadron. Squadron Commander, Lt Col Ray Buzzard awarded the AFA Cadet of the Year Award for 2016, on March 02, 2017, at the Mt Airy Senior and Community Center, in the presence of family and friends. The Flanick family has a long history with Civil Air Patrol and has lent the program several iconic examples of outstanding leadership. Daniel is the youngest in this line of exemplary cadets and the last of this generation. The family has been a staunch pillar within the Mt Airy Composite Squadron for many years and the squadron has benefitted immensely by their participation and example.

The Squadron Commander may nominate any candidate in the CAP Cadet Program who has displayed superior performance during the year. The AFA is very supportive of cadet accomplishments and provides an award package that includes a silver medal, a sky-blue ribbon and a certificate.

Cadet Flanick ‘s memorable service includes holding the position of flight leader in charge of training new cadets, honor guard and drill team; he has hosted aerospace rocket launching events, assisted in teaching and has earned his rocketry badge. On February 12, 2016, then Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Flanick became Cadet Commander, Mt Airy Composite Squadron. The squadron ushered in a squadron change of command in April of the same year with Lt Col Ray Buzzard accepting the reigns of command. Cadet Commander Flanick has done an impressive job of bridging the differences between the old guard and the new. He earned his Mitchell Award and was presented the award with ceremony on July 28, 2016. Fort Detrick requested an honor guard for a Veteran’s Day ceremony in November 2016 and Cadet Commander Flanick dedicated extra time to train new cadets to accommodate the request.

Cadet Commander Daniel Flanick is a stellar embodiment of the Civil Air Patrol core values; integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect. He has demonstrated his ability to command with professionalism that far exceeds his youth. He is capable of embracing change, working toward greater goals and he has the ability to treat all people equally, without prejudice, and bring out the best in everyone.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.

The Mount Airy Composite Squadron meets at 7pm Thursdays at the Mt. Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mt Airy MD. If esprit de corps, camaraderie, and leadership are part of your vocabulary, we welcome you to join us. If you have a passion for aviation, are considering a career in the military, or want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills, this is for you. Youths, ages 12 to 18, and parents are always welcome to drop in. For more information about Mt Airy Composite Squadron, contact Commander Ray Buzzard at

photos courtesy of 2nd Lt Patti Messick

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