Squadron heralds in a Change of Cadet Command

April 05, 2018. Mt Airy, Md.

Mount Airy Composite Squadron, a unit of the Maryland Wing (MDWG), Civil Air Patrol (CAP), held a Change of Cadet Command ceremony at the Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10076. Cadet First Lieutenant (C/1stLt) Raegan Buzzard, former cadet commander, passed command to Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2ndLt) James Buchheit who accepted the squadron’s guidon and the opportunity to spread his proverbial leadership wings as the new cadet commander. Squadron commander, Captain (Capt.) Laura Smith-Velazquez officiated the cadet commander’s change of command which was attended by family, friends and other squadron members.

Serving as the squadron’s cadet commander is the ultimate challenge for a cadet officer and one that every cadet aspires to achieve. Within any squadron, the cadet commander is the most visible cadet, a role model for the entire cadet cadre, and the primary liaison between the senior staff and the cadet staff. Fulfilling the duties and obligations of cadet commander is an enormous test of leadership skill. Mt Airy squadron is fortunate to have a bevy of dedicated cadets who are advancing through the program and honing their leadership skills.

Buchheit joined the program in 2015 and has shown great aptitude for academics, selfless service and leadership. This cadet’s commitment and perseverance has enabled him to step through every position available in the cadet chain of command and afforded him the opportunity to work with the squadron’s cadet and senior members. Speaking on behalf of the squadron, Commander Smith-Velazquez stated, “We look forward to the continued growth and maturity of our youth leaders and invite everyone to encourage them in their pursuit of excellence in service.”

Today’s cadets are tomorrow’s aerospace leaders. Through its Cadet Program, CAP has been transforming youth into responsible citizens since 1942. To achieve its overall goals, the Cadet Program is organized around four main program elements: leadership, aerospace, fitness and character. CAP develops youth through self-paced study of the art of leadership. Through a graduated curriculum, cadets first learn to follow, then to lead small groups, and ultimately experience command and executive-level leadership, earning cadet grade and honors along the way. CAP produces confident young leaders who think independently and persuade others in an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual respect. Former cadets can be found in leadership positions in the military, aerospace industry, public service and the professions.

Mount Airy Composite Squadron is a composite of both senior and youth programs whose members are drawn from Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties. The Squadron meets Thursday nights, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign War, Post 10076, 107 S. Main, Mt Airy, Maryland. Have a passion for aviation, dream of flight, are considering a career in the military? Want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills? Join us. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop in. For more information, contact Commander Laura Smith-Velazquez at lsmith@cap.govFollow Mt Airy squadron on Facebook at https://goo.gl/wNFmdJ

Photographs by: Senior Member Linda Grasley

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