- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Nearly 100 guests and members of the Civil Air Patrol Charles Composite Squadron celebrated its first anniversary with a dining out and awards ceremony.
The keynote speaker was Brig. Gen. Richard Anderson, former national commander and current chairman of the Civil Air Patrol’s board of governors.
Anderson challenged the cadets to take advantage of the educational and personal growth opportunities available through CAP to help them be successful in their life goals.
Other attendees were Del. Sally Y. Jameson(D-Charles); Col. Ray Lyon, vice commander of CAP’s Middle East region; and Col. John Knowles, commander of CAP’s Maryland wing. Col. Kay Walling, Lt. Col. Rob Couch, Lt. Col. Wes LaPre, Lt. Col. and Chaplain Edco Bailey, Maj. Jeff Welch and Maj. Mike Crockett attended from the Maryland wing.
Five of the six members of the founding committee also attended.
A special guest was Col. Mary Feik, aviation pioneer and only living namesake of a cadet achievement award.
Feik presented the Feik Award to five of the squadron cadets.
Other awards presented were 13 first flight certificates, four Wright Brothers awards, two Mitchell awards, seven Level I awards and five Davis awards (all with Yeager award seals).
The achievements were outstanding considering the short time the squadron has been in existence, according to a news release.
In keeping with the tradition of a dining out, the vice president of the mess, flight officer Capt. Raymond Salvagnini, the most junior officer of the squadron, created a repulsive, nonalcoholic grog bowl.
President of the mess, Cadet 1st Lt. Zane Reitmayer, the cadet commander, meted out punishment of drinking from the grog bowl for violating rules of the mess.
Even Anderson had the honor of drinking from the grog bowl.
The master of ceremonies, Deputy Commander for Cadets 1st Lt. Carlos Montague, maintained the spirit of the dining out with his banter.
“Our squadron motto states that ‘there is always room for improvement,’ and while that’s certainly always true, I can’t get over how much we’ve accomplished in our first year, and such a successful dining out is only the most recent feat,” said squadron commander Lt. Col. John Reutemann.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft.
CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search-and-rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the center with saving 54 lives in fiscal 2011.
Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program.
CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years.
CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.
Nearly 1,600 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year, wing members flew 29 search-and-rescue missions and were credited with 13 finds, saving three lives. Maryland Wing flew more than 160 missions for Maryland for a total of 2,222 hours flown. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.2 million. Go to www.mdcap.org.
The Charles Composite Squadron meets 7 to 9 p.m. every Monday at Maryland Airport in Pomonkey.
Go to www.charlescap.org,www.gocivilairpatrol.com.