Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Mt. Airy squadron celebrates fall awards

11/30/2017 —  MOUNT AIRY, Md. — Civil Air Patrol’s Mount Airy Composite Squadron, part of the Maryland Wing, celebrated an evening of awards and promotions held at the Mt. Airy Veterans of Foreign War Post 10076 in Mt. Airy, Md. The squadron was privileged to have guest speaker, Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer David C. Clipson, and presenter Rear Adm. Scott Giberson, U. S. Public Health Services, at the evening event. Lt. Col. Ray Buzzard, squadron commander, served as master of ceremonies with Lt. Col. Dean Trombley facilitating.

Former CAP Cadet First Sgt., now-Marine Pfc. Jason Lohoefer visiting home after boot camp, kicked off the ceremonies with an address to the squadron. He spoke of his chosen career and upcoming specialized training. Lohoefer discussed his career goals and attributed his success to his Civil Air Patrol leadership training and experience.

Clipson was the evening’s guest and motivational speaker. A hospital corpsman, a career executive with over 25 years’ experience in health care management, a dynamic leader/mentor and strong communicator, Clipson’s discourse held several strong messages that hit home with his audience:

  • Set goals, even at the age of 12, they provide direction and achievement opportunities. Your goals may evolve into something different but you are still moving forward.
  • Service and sacrifice, know the difference. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to career or family; choices will have to be made in order to find balance.
  • Understand that as you wear the uniform, cadets all over the country are also wearing that uniform; “You are part of something bigger.”
  • “When you serve, you serve in and out of uniform, . . . make sure you hold a higher standard.”

Rear Adm. Giberson, honored the importance of organizations like Civil Air Patrol. As a presenter, Giberson proved to be an inspiration to the cadets and they all expressed their privilege to receive their promotions and awards from him.

The evening was a busy one which included acknowledging the following members that were promoted to the new ranks, as noted, with other members recognized for their professional development achievements.

  • Cadet Airman Katherine Grasley
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Mitch Walker
  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Dylan Marty
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Jackson Curtis and achieved the first cadet milestone and receiving the Wright Brothers Award
  • Cadet Airman Dimitry Madsen
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Ashley Pitt and achieved the second cadet milestone and receiving the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Raegan Buzzard was promoted to Cadet 1st Lt.
  • Flight Officer Raymond Buzzard completed Level I Orientation and received a membership ribbon
  • Senior Member Brian Winters promoted to Captain. He achieved Level II and was awarded the Benjamin O. Davis Award and leadership award ribbon earlier in the month
  • Senior Member Laura Smith-Velazquez promoted to Captain, achieved Level II and was awarded the Benjamin O. Davis Award and Leadership Award Ribbon.

The Mt. Airy Composite Squadron cadet program continues to grow and evolve as cadets progress through the Civil Air Patrol 16-step program. The program is divided into four phases with a milestone achievement award at the completion of each phase. The squadron is enjoying the existence of cadet staff officers that help to teach, run programs and assist with basic administrative duties.

Mount Airy Composite Squadron is a composite of both senior and youth programs whose members are drawn from Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties. The squadron meets Thursday nights, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at Mt. Airy Veterans of Foreign War, Post 10076, 107 S. Main, Mt. Airy, Md. Have a passion for aviation, dream of flight, are considering a career in the military? Want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills? Join us. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop in. For more information, contact Lt. Col. Ray Buzzard at Follow Mt. Airy squadron on Facebook.

Nearly 1,500 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 or follow the wing on Facebook.

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:  2nd Lt. Mary Ann Alvarado, Public Affairs Officer, Mount Air Composite Squadron

Mount Airy squadron members pose with special guests.  (Photo credit:  2nd Lt. Patti Messick, CAP)


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