Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Mt. Airy Composite Squadron heralds in a change of cadet command

4/27/2018 — MOUNT AIRY, Md. — Mount Airy Composite Squadron, a unit of the Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, held a change of cadet command ceremony at the Mt. Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10076. Cadet 1st Lt. Raegan Buzzard, former cadet commander, passed the command to Cadet 2nd Lt. James Buchheit who accepted the squadron’s guidon and the opportunity to spread his proverbial leadership wings as the new cadet commander. Capt. Laura Smith-Velazquez, squadron commander, officiated the cadet commander’s change of command which was attended by family, friends and other squadron members.

Serving as the squadron’s cadet commander is the ultimate challenge for a cadet officer and one that every cadet aspires to achieve. Within any squadron, the cadet commander is the most visible cadet, a role model for the entire cadet cadre, and the primary liaison between the senior staff and the cadet staff. Fulfilling the duties and obligations of cadet commander is an enormous test of leadership skill. Mount Airy squadron is fortunate to have a bevy of dedicated cadets who are advancing through the program and honing their leadership skills.

Buchheit joined the program in 2015 and has shown great aptitude for academics, selfless service, and leadership. This cadet’s commitment and perseverance have enabled him to step through every position available in the cadet chain of command and afforded him the opportunity to work with the squadron’s cadet and senior members. Speaking on behalf of the squadron, Smith-Velazquez stated, “We look forward to the continued growth and maturity of our youth leaders and invite everyone to encourage them in their pursuit of excellence in service.”

Today’s cadets are tomorrow’s aerospace leaders. Through its cadet program, CAP has been transforming youth into responsible citizens since 1942. To achieve its overall goals, the cadet program is organized around four main program elements: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. CAP develops youth through a self-paced study of the art of leadership. Through a graduated curriculum, cadets first learn to follow, then to lead small groups, and ultimately experience command and executive-level leadership, earning cadet grade and honors along the way. CAP produces confident young leaders who think independently and persuade others in an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual respect. Former cadets can be found in leadership positions in the military, aerospace industry, public service, and the professions.

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, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at Mt. Airy Veterans of Foreign War, Post 10076, 107 S. Main, Mt Airy, Maryland. 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 Capt. Laura Smith-Velazquez at  Follow Mount Airy squadron on Facebook at

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 at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


PHOTO:   New Mount Airy squadron cadet commander, Cadet 2nd Lt. James Buchheit (right) pictured with guidon bearer, Cadet Sr. Master Sgt. Aurora Albertson.  (Photo credit:  Sr. Mbr. Linda Grasley, CAP)


1st Lt. Mary Alvarado, CAP
Public Affairs, Mount Airy Composite Squadron



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