On the evening of May 25, 2017, the Mount Airy Composite Squadron (MD-091) held a Change of Cadet Command and Awards Ceremony at the Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) banquet room, downtown Mt Airy. Lieutenant Colonel Ray Buzzard, Commander Mt Airy Composite Squadron, presided over the event.
The Change of Command is a time-honored ceremony designed to mark the occasion when the responsibility of command is passed from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. On this night, Cadet First Lieutenant Flanick stepped down as the squadron’s Cadet Commander and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Scott assumed the duties and responsibilities. The ceremony began with the posting of the colors; Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Buzzard and Cadet Staff Sergeant Messick carried rifles, while Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Lohoefer and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Pitt carried the American flag and the Maryland flag, respectively.
The following medals were earned and recognized during the awards portion of the ceremony: VFW Cadet Officer of the Year, C/1st Lt Daniel Flanick; VFW Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year, C/Chief Master Sgt. Raegan Buzzard; and Air Force Sergeants Association Mt Airy Composite Squadron Sergeant of the Year, C/Senior Master Sgt. Jason Lohoefer. Promotions acknowledged Cadet Technical Sergeant Buchheit and some of the squadron’s newest cadets – Sarah Panah, Ryan and Daniel Larocca all promoted to Airmen Basic.
Along with the Change of Command, new leadership positions were assigned to current staff members and new staff members were given their first leadership role, as follows:
- Deputy Cadet Commander: Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Buzzard
- Cadet Executive Officer: Cadet First Lieutenant Flanick
- Cadet Flight Commander: Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Lohoefer
- Cadet First Sergeant: Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Pitt
- Cadet Flight Sergeant: Cadet Technical Sergeant Buchheit
- Element Leader #1: Cadet Staff Sergeant Walker
- Element Leader #2: Cadet Staff Sergeant Messick
After a few announcements about upcoming events and pictures, the cadets and their families enjoyed cake, refreshments, and fellowship. New NCO Public Affairs Officer, Cadet Airman First Class Amy Franklin was instrumental in writing this article. Second Lieutenant Patti Messick was in attendance to document the event in photos.
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 www.capvolunteernow.com 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 email@example.com.