2017 October 05 – Physical Training

The first Thursday of October 2017 saw the gathering of Mt Airy Composite Squadron cadets at Parr’s Ridge Elementary School at 1830, 6:30 pm military time. Cadet First Sergeant James Buchheit took charge of the warm-up exercises. Deputy Commander of Cadets Dean Trombley and Testing Officer Brian Winters were in attendance to monitor and record performance.

Physical Training (PT) is one of the core aspects Civil Air Patrol. “The goal of the cadet physical fitness program is to make cadets physically fit and to motivate them to develop a lifelong habit of exercising regularly.” The use of good judgement and common sense are required during these activities; safety is a priority and taught to the cadets. Civil Air Patrol uses the USAF wingman concept in the cadet program as a sort of buddy system supporting the overall well-being of its airmen and is shown to best advantage during these exercises

“The wingman concept is also an important part of the CAP cadet program and includes fundamental instruction in CAP Core Values, the wingman concept, safety and cadet protection for new cadets. It is especially important that each cadet know he or she can turn to a wingman for advice and moral support. Even more, with the wingman program, each cadet wingman is proactively watching his or her mate and stepping forward to help when the cadet needs assistance.”  Major Karl Lotvedt, Commander, Osprey Composite Squadron; Maryland Wing News, Feb. 09, 2016.

The setting of the sun on short fall days brought the outdoor fitness activities to a close. The cadets loaded up and proceeded to the Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) meeting room to finish up the evenings’s activities.

Article and photos by 2nd Lt Mary Alvarado

2017 September 28 – Promotion Night

Mt Airy Composite Squadron’s September promotion night was celebrated on 28 September 2017, at the downtown Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Affairs building. Beginning at 1830, military time, the cadets began with opening ceremony, followed by basic in-place drills and marching. Indoor activities included promotion boards, Drug Demand and Reduction lesson and safety.

At the end of the nights activities, awards and promotion were presented. Cadet Basic Lauren Varley, Jackson Varley and Katherine Grasley promoted to the Cadet Airman. Cadet Garrett Walker promoted to Staff Sergeant and is rapidly advancing on his brother, Cadet Master Sergeant Mitch Walker. Parents were in attendance to participate in recognition of their effort and achievement.

The squadron was honored to have Major Steve Weinhold, Group 1 Deputy Commander and former Squadron Commander, in attendance. He requested the privilege of presenting 1st Lieutenant Brian Winters with the Benjamin O. Davis, Jr Award for completing the Level II Professional Development. Lt Brian Winters has been a squadron foundation member for roughly fifteen years. Brian began as a cadet member in 2005 and, after a short military stint, returned as a senior member and has been a major asset to the cadet program. Major Weinhold and Lt Winters have a long history to celebrate and the squadron joined in with balloons and refreshments.

Article and photographs by 2nd Lt Mary Alvarado

21 September, 2017 – Civil Air Patrol Meeting

The Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Veterans of Foreign War meeting room in downtown Mt Airy on September 21, 2017. Cadets began the meeting Thursday outside of the VFW with inspections and in-place drills and basic marching movements.

Following drill, cadets went inside for an emergency services class, led by Cadet 2nd Lt Scott, about hot & cold weather injuries and natural hazard injuries.

  • The hot weather injuries included: Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
  • The cold weather injuries included: Frost Bite – Stages 1 & 2 and Hypothermia – Stages 1 &2
  • The natural hazards include: Terrain, Poisonous Plants, Insects, mammals and reptiles

Lt. Scott discussed how to prevent these injuries from happening, the symptoms for each injury and their appropriate treatment. He then led a small group of cadets in a group quiz that allowed the cadets to become certified in injury prevention and go on missions as trainees.

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Ashley Pitt promoted to 2nd  Lieutenant and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant James Buchheit was promoted to the position of First Sergeant. Change continues as cadets advance in rank, assume new duties and gain in maturity. The meeting was concluded with additional in-place drill and marching.

Article by Cadet Staff Sergeant Amy Franklin

2017 Fun & Pig Roast

Saturday, September 09, 2017, the Mt Airy Composite Squadron and Mt Airy community members gathered for a pot luck and pig roast at the home of 2nd Lieutenant Patti Messick. The weather was ideal, the food irresistible and the company welcoming. It was an opportunity to converse in a relaxed atmosphere and review  recent changes in programing, meeting schedule and location.

A consensus was met during scheduling discussions and Wednesday meetings were ruled out; thus negating the opportunity to use the Isaac Walton League location as a meeting place.  Thursdays remain the best evening for meetings, but a new location was still desired. The Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 10076, graciously offered their upstairs meeting room as a meeting place and will work with the squadron to accommodate flight simulators and program needs.

The beginning of a new school year has ushered in new changes. Now that the meeting day, location and time have been agreed upon, it is time to focus on the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program, flight opportunities, search and rescue training and community service.

Photograph by 2nd Lt Patti Messick; article by 2nd Lt Mary Alvarado

Civil Air Patrol Meeting, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cadets of Mt. Airy Squadron (MD-091) met on September 6, 2917, Wednesday night this week, at Parr’s Ridge Elementary, Mt Airy, to begin physical training (PT) with the mile run. Once finished, cadets went to the VFW, downtown Mt Airy, to finish their physical fitness test which consist of sit- ups, push-ups, and sit & reach. As stated in the CAP Physical Fitness program, activities are one of the five facets of the Cadet Physical Fitness Program. Cadets will experience a range of structured activities to get moving.

C/2nd Lt. Scott talked to cadets about the role of the Cadet Flight Commander. The Flight Commander directs and supervises the cadet flight and if someone has any questions, they should go to the Flight Commander for guidance. He also told cadets that the Flight Commander oversees everyone’s promotion and they must provide guidance and make sure that cadets have what they need to achieve promotion requirements.

C/2nd Lt. Scott also taught a character development class on personal hygiene and why it’s so important. He told cadets it is important because if you don’t have personal hygiene, people will judge you negatively and will make you look bad. C/2nd Lt. Scott stated that if you improperly wear your uniform, it will not just look bad on you, but on the entire squadron giving people a bad impression of Civil Air Patrol.

Article by Cadet Staff Sergeant Amy Franklin, Cadet NCO-PAO

2017 Aug – CAP Milestone Awards Celebrated in Mt Airy

Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), celebrated the awarding of prestigious cadet milestone awards on August 24, 2017 at the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Banquet Hall, Mt Airy, Maryland. Cadet Executive Officer Daniel Flanick blazes the trail for Mt Airy cadets; he earned the rank of Cadet Captain and received the third cadet program milestone, the Amelia Earhart Award. Cadet Commander Blake Scott and Cadet Deputy Commander Raegan Buzzard have earned the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant and achieved the second milestone, the General Billy Mitchell Award. Cadet Amy Franklin and Cadet Aurora Albertson promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and received their first cadet program milestone, the Wright Brothers Award. Earned earlier this year, The following certificates were awarded following the milestone portion of the ceremony: VFW Cadet Officer of the Year (2016), Daniel Flanick and VFW Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year (2016), Raegan Buzzard.

The squadron was privileged to have Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, US Public Health Services, as the guest speaker/presenter and Lieutenant Colonel Ray Buzzard, Mt Airy Composite Squadron Commander, was the master of ceremonies. RADM Giberson came to celebrate cadet performance and advancement, praising them for their commitment, enthusiasm and civic involvement. Through the use of personal anecdotes and examples, he provided the cadet with the following words of wisdom: “ I’ll leave you with three things that really help me succeed in life and they apply no matter what your age. First, be dynamic . . . never idle. Second thing, have balance . . . spend time with your family, play your sports, study . . . The third thing is, build bridges . . . keep building bridges, don’t burn them.” RADM Giberson captivated and inspired his audience with his stirring remarks and dynamic personality.

CAP’s cadet program uses aviation as it’s foundation and allows cadets to progress through a 16-step plan. The plan is divided into four phases with a milestone achievement award at the completion of each phase. The Billy Mitchell award, second milestone, is earned by fifteen percent of all cadets nationally and the Amelia Earhart Award, third milestone, is earned by only three percent of the 24,000 CAP cadets nationwide. Cadet Captain Daniel Flanick is the first cadet from Mt Airy Composite Squadron to have earned the rank in close to a decade.

photographs by 2nd Lt Patti Messick & 2nd Lt Mary Alvarado

2017 August 17 Meeting

Mt Airy Composite Squadron gathered at 6:30 pm for a regularly scheduled Thursday meeting at the Carroll County Senior and Community Center, Mt Airy, MD. Following opening ceremony, the meeting began with drill practice. New cadets worked on in-place movements taught by the Cadet Technical Sergeant Mitch Walker and Lieutenant Colonel Dean Trombley. In the meantime, two other elements of cadets practiced and performed drill tests, as required for rank advancement.

Cadet 1st Lt Thorpe, Cadet Staff Sgt Swam and 2nd Lt Mike Swam from the Carroll Composite Squadron returned with a presentation, historical information about WWII planes and era, intended to prepare cadets for the Collins Foundation historical aircraft event to be held at the Carroll County Airport from October 13-15, 2017. Civil Air Patrol cadets will be allowed to see and work with vintage WWII planes such the B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, and the P-51 Mustang.

Emergency services training began with Lt Col Trombley showing cadets different supplies needed for deployment; examples included personal hygiene materials, sleeping bags, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and more. He also told cadets to pack more supplies than needed because if it is a 24-hour mission, expect to stay for three days.

2nd Lt Buchheit’s aerospace lesson was about the solar eclipse and it’s path across the United States. He explained that Maryland was going to see 80% of the eclipse, and how to stay safe during the eclipse.

At closing formation, six cadets received their next promotion:

  • C/Amn Daniel Larocca – promoted to Airman First class
  • C/Amn Ryan Larocca- promoted to Airman First class
  • C/A1C Jackson Curtis- promoted to Senior Airman
  • C/SrA Aurora Albertson- promoted to Staff Sergeant
  • C/SrA Amy Franklin – promoted to Staff Sergeant
  • C/TSgt Mitchell Walker- promoted to Master Sergeant

article by Cadet Staff Sergeant Amy Franklin

photographs by 2nd Lt Mary Alvarado & 2nd Lt Patti Messick