Mt. Airy squadron celebrates milestone awards
August 24, 2017 — Mt. Airy, MD — Mt. Airy Composite Squadron, part of the Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, celebrated the awarding of prestigious cadet milestone awards on August 24, 2017. at the Veterans of Foreign War Banquet Hall in Mt. Airy, Md. Cadet Executive Officer Daniel Flanick blazes the trail for Mt. Airy cadets, earning the rank of Cadet Captain and receiving the third cadet program milestone, the Amelia Earhart Award. Cadet Commander Blake Scott and Cadet Deputy Commander Raegan Buzzard each earned the rank of Cadet 2nd Lt. and achieved the second milestone, the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award. Cadet Amy Franklin and Cadet Aurora Albertson promoted to the rank of Staff Sgt. 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), Cadet Capt. Daniel Flanick, and VFW Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year (2016), Cadet 2nd Lt. Raegan Buzzard.
The squadron was privileged to have Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, US Public Health Services, as the guest speaker/presenter and Lt. Col. 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. His stirring remarks began with responsibility, “What I always tell my officers is, ‘you got promoted not because of what you did; you got promoted because of what we expect you to do’. So in the future you are going to have to do a little bit more . . .” Through the use of personal anecdotes and examples, he emphasized the importance of his ending remarks, “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.
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 first milestone, the Wright Brothers award requires the successful completion of the Phase 1 of the cadet program; completion of the first three achievements, passing a comprehensive exam on leadership knowledge and drill and ceremonies performance. The second milestone, the Billy Mitchell award, is earned after the completion of Phase 2; the first eight achievements of the cadet program and a 100–question examination on leadership theory and aerospace topics. The Billy Mitchell award is earned by only fifteen percent of all cadets nationally. The Amelia Earhart Award is the third milestone. It is earned after the receipt of the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award, requires the successful completion of the first eleven achievements and a comprehensive 100-question examination that covers aerospace topics, leadership theory and staff duties. Only three percent of the 24,000 CAP cadets nationwide earn the Amelia Earhart Award. Cadet Capt. Daniel Flanick is the first cadet from Mt. Airy Composite Squadron to have earned the rank in close to a decade.
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.
Mount Airy Composite Squadron is a composite of both senior and youth program whose members are drawn from Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties. Beginning September 2017, the Squadron will meet on Wednesday nights, 6:30pm to 9:00pm, at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter, 6642 Woodville Road, Mt Airy, MD 21771. 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, contact Lt. Col. Ray Buzzard.