By 1stLt Mary Alvarado, Public Affairs Officer, Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol.
Mt Airy Composite Squadron, a unit within the Maryland Wing (MDWG) of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) celebrated a night of promotion and awards on 27 February 2019 at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy, Maryland.Major John Strong, Group 1 Commander, MDWG, officiated the ceremony as the squadron and its members celebrated another milestone award. Three cadets, three phases achieved within the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and all recipients are success stories.
Cadet Raegan Buzzard began her journey with CAP, the official Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, while living in Germany with her family. Five years and five commanders later, she has experienced leadership and flight academies, staffed CAP sponsored activities, developed self-confidence and proven her ability to lead. Cadet Buzzard is the recipient of the 18469thAmelia Earhart Award since the award’s inception in 1964. She is promoted to the grade of cadet captain and is challenged to lead and serve junior-ranking cadets. This milestone marks the completion of Phase III of CAP cadet program and she begins her journey in Phase IV, the executive phase. Furthermore, cadets earning the Amelia Earhart award become eligible to represent the United States in the International Air Cadet Exchange. Much like the aviatrix the award was named after, cadet Buzzard is pursuing a career as a pilot and engineer. Her words of encouragement were “If I can do it, so can you.” She firmly believes that everyone can succeed. The Amelia Earhart Award honors an aviatrix, writer, and champion for civil rights who set many records in aviation’s infancy before her famous disappearance during her attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.
Cadet Aurora Albertson is one of the squadron’s youngest super achievers. She completed Phase II, the leadership phase, of CAP’s cadet program and received the General Billy Mitchell Awardwithin two years of joining Civil Air Patrol. Cadet Albertson promotes in grade to first lieutenant as she progresses through Phase III, the command phase. Not having narrowed down her career path, she embraces everything CAP has to offer; emergency services, ground team qualifications, powered and non-powered flight, rocketry and staff positions at CAP sponsored activities.
Cadet Alexander Rolfe joined Mt Airy Composite squadron about the same time that cadet Albertson achieved her General Billy Mitchell Award. Currently the squadron’s youngest cadet, he is proving to be another success story in the making. Cadet Rolfe promoted to the grade of airman first class, completing the second achievement within Phase I, the learning phase, of the cadet program. Although still in middle school, cadet Rolfe already shows an avid interest and talent in robotics, aviation design, engineering and coding.
The General Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late General Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent air force for America.
Photo Byline 1stLieutenant Elizabeth Linares