September 26, 2018. Mt Airy MD. Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), celebrated an evening of awards and promotions at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy, Maryland. The squadron was privileged to have guest speaker Mayor Patrick Rockinberg, City of Mt Airy, MD, and presenter Major John Strong, Maryland Wing Group 1 Commander, at the evening event. Commander Laura Smith Velazquez was the evening’s host with Lieutenant Colonel Ray Buzzard as master of ceremonies.
Mayor Rockinberg kicked off the evening with an interactive conversation on leadership. He touched on his experience with leadership in local government, working with volunteers, constituents and budgets. He applauded Mt Airy Composite Squadron’s efforts and thanked them for their commitment to service and excellence within the community and, more recently, its participation in disaster relief emergency services.
Commander Smith-Velazquez spoke on her Hurricane Florence disaster relief experience; she and Cadet Master Sergeant Dylan Marty were on Team 1 sortie, deployed to Wilmington NC. Cadet Marty was commended for his resilience, sacrifice and commitment. Cadet Staff Sergeant Conner Snyder was also commended, in absentia; unable to attend the ceremonies due to his participation in Team 3 Sortie, Wilmington NC. Cadet 2nd Lt Albertson gained her ground team experience this summer at Hawk Mountain Ranger School. These three cadets have utilized every avenue and opportunity Civil Air Patrol has provided to pursue their emergency services interest; National Cadet Special Activities, wing and squadron level training. They form the core of the squadron’s ground team and serve as an inspiration to others.
A squadron survives on the dedication of its volunteers. Mt Airy Composite Squadron is honored to welcome the addition of senior members Nathan Rolfe and Elizabeth Linares. They bring a wealth of talent, fresh ideas and energy to the program. Cadet Airman Conner McGarrah showed his conviction for success and completed his Airman 1st Class requirements. He will promote once he completes his time in grade. Cadet 1st Lt Raegan Buzzard and Lt Col Ray Buzzard celebrated five years with Civil Air Patrol and Major John Strong finished the evening off with the presentation of two milestone awards.
- Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Aurora Albertson, Award # 69245 – The General Billy Mitchell Award is earned after the completion of Achievement 8/Phase II Leadership of the CAP cadet program. Cadet must pass a comprehensive 100-question examination covering leadership theory and aerospace topics. To highlight the significance of this accomplishment, the award is dated and numbered; 69,245 cadets have earned this award since its inception in 1964.
- Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Flanick, Award #3383 – The General Ira Eaker Award marks completion of Achievement 16/Phase IV Executive of the CAP Cadet Program, recognizing sustained excellence in all four areas of cadet life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. To stand in General Eaker’s shadow is to study leadership carefully and serve others. Only 3,383 Eaker Awards have been presented, since the award’s inception in 1998.
Family and friends gathered to celebrate the promotion of these dedicated members. Fellowship and refreshment completed the evening’s events.
photos by 1st Lt Mary Alvarado