Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Fort McHenry cadets, senior members and supporters recognized for their achievements and service

August 2017 — Arbutus, MD — Volunteering with Civil Air Patrol unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal and builds camaraderie and teamwork. On August 9, 2017, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol’s Fort McHenry Composite Squadron recognized cadets and senior members and expressed appreciation to the FMCS family and community for their contribution to the squadron’s programs and success. Maj. Don Ells, Group II commander, joined squadron members and families in congratulating recipients for their awards and commitment to the CAP mission and core values of volunteer service, excellence, integrity and respect.

The presentations began with Lt. Col. Steve Hollis, squadron commander, presenting the Squadron Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation to several FMCS personnel and family members recognizing their support at the 2017 Howard County Family Wellness Day. Hollis expressed gratitude on behalf of the squadron, “A CAP squadron is only as successful as its members’ commitment to excellence and is effective because of the avid and constant support of the members’ families, friends and community sponsors.”

Hollis continued the presentations as he recognized several cadets for their hard work and achievements.

  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Paul A. Skidmore – received the Gen. H. H. (Hap) Arnold Achievement Ribbon.
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Christion J. Brown – received the Wright Brothers Award.
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Angelina E. Pfuger – received the Wright Brothers Award.
  • Cadet Technical Sgt. Mervin D. Thomas-Crawford – received the Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker Achievement Ribbon.
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Kailey Anne Runge – received the Charles A. Lindbergh Achievement Ribbon.
  • Cadet Maj. Collin D. Stiers and Cadet Maj. Eugene J. Nash – received the Operations Officer Achievement Ribbon.

Speaking on behalf of the squadron, Hollis expressed pride in cadets’ achievements and encouraged them to continue their pursuit of excellence, “Congratulations to all who work hard, set and achieve their goals and support the Civil Air Patrol mission. Your service and volunteerism are important investments to our community and the people who live in it.”

The CAP cadet program and its activities provide the youth of our nation with a quality program to enhance their leadership skills through an interest in aviation. CAP’s cadet programs provide every cadet the opportunity to:

  • develop self-discipline, teamwork, and confidence through the study and practice of leadership in an Air Force environment,
  • develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for understanding aerospace principles and the total impact of aerospace power upon society,
  • participate in a variety of special activities and programs,
  • develop a personal ethical foundation and an understanding of the moral issues of our time through discussion and debate and
  • become physically fit and develop a lifelong habit of regular exercise.

The CAP cadet program is a year-round program for youth ages 12 through 19. They can fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits.  Cadets meet two hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer.

CAP cadets pledge to serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, attend meetings regularly, participate actively in unit activities, obey their officers, wear their uniform properly and advance their education and training rapidly to prepare to be of service to their community, state and nation. Through study and performance, cadets work through a series of achievements and milestone awards. As CAP cadets progress, they advance in grade, increase the scope of their leadership responsibilities, earn awards and become eligible for nationally-sponsored special activities and scholarships.

The Fort McHenry Composite Squadron, as part of the Civil Air Patrol, America’s Air Force Auxiliary, is comprised of volunteers who are part of the nation’s finest force of citizens performing Missions for America. The squadron meets weekly Wednesday nights from 7-9 p.m. at the American Legion Post 109, 1610 Old Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, Maryland, 21227. Prospective cadets aged 12-18 with their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking volunteer opportunities are invited as well. Follow the Fort McHenry Squadron on Facebook at For more information about CAP and the squadrons of the Maryland Wing, Group II, visit

Nearly 1,600 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

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 for more information.


by Capt. Alice Raatjes, Public Affairs Officer, Fort McHenry Composite Squadron.

Photo credit:  Capt. Alice Raatjes, CAP


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