St. Mary’s squadron leader takes command of Navy test pilot school
August 8, 2018 – PATUXENT RIVER, Md. U.S. Navy Commander Glenn Rioux, a member of Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol’s St. Mary’s Composite Squadron, took command of the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md., during a ceremony in July 2018.
This legendary institution educates 70 national and international pilots, flight officers and engineers every year. They also boast distinguished alumni, including four of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts (Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Wally Schirra and Scott Carpenter), NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, and record-setting astronaut Sunita Williams. Cmdr. Rioux had been serving as the school’s Executive Officer for the last year and a half. In addition to his illustrious Navy career, Rioux has also served as the deputy commander for cadets and information technology officer at St. Mary’s Composite Squadron for the last five years.
“It is humbling that I am even associated with this famous, elite group of professionals, never mind that I have an opportunity to lead this great team and influence the education of the world’s finest test pilots, flight officers and engineers,” Rioux said, speaking to the test pilot school. Rioux, who started his naval career 27 years ago as an enlisted electronics technician and someone who “didn’t have the grades to get into college,” had a simple message for the audience that day: work hard and act with integrity.
In his role as a Civil Air Patrol lieutenant colonel, Rioux provides leadership experience and technical expertise to the nearly 120 cadets and senior members that comprise St. Mary’s Composite Squadron and Esperanza Middle School Flight, including his son Andrew and his daughter, Rachel. As the squadron’s IT specialist, he and his son created the squadron management system, a web-based database system specifically designed to meet the needs of CAP unit commanders and activity directors and the basis behind the squadron’s current website. He has also overseen three CyberPatriot teams, two UAS4STEM unmanned aerial systems teams, and one region-level color guard. Under Rioux’s leadership, the squadron’s CyberPatriot team competed in the platinum tear, taking a podium finish in Maryland. This month, the squadron’s UAS team heads to Muncie, Indiana for its third appearance in the UAS4STEM national competition, following back-to-back third place wins.
As a consistent advocate of the cadet program, Rioux did not hesitate to offer a prominent position in the change of command ceremony to a Civil Air Patrol color guard. Cadets Matthew Hayden, Tom Wilson, Michael Hayden, and Rebecca Shepard put dozens of hours into perfecting a presentation that would take less than five minutes to perform. In addition, Cadet 2nd Lt. Andrew Rioux, dressed in his class A blue uniform, pinned Cmdr. Rioux with his command pin during the ceremony.
St. Mary’s Squadron is a composite comprised of both senior and cadet members. The squadron meets Wednesday nights, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Capt. Walter Francis Duke Regional Airport, 44200 Airport Road in California, Md. 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 by and meet with staff. For more information visit the squadron’s website at https://md089.capunit.com/main/ or contact Maj. Dennis Villar at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 mdwg.cap.gov or follow the wing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol.
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 http://gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
Photos (left to right):
Navy Cmdr. Glenn Rioux accepts command of the test pilot school located at N.A.S. Patuxent River, Md.
C/2nd Lt. Andrew Rioux pins the command pin on his father, Cmdr. Glenn Rioux, U.S.N., as Kathrine Rioux looks on.
St. Mary’s color guard participating U. S. Naval Test Pilot School’s change of command ceremony held at N.A.S. Patuxent River, Md. (left to right): Cadet Sr. Master Sgt. Rebeca Shepard, Cadet Master Sgt. Michael Hayden, Cadet Staff Sgt. Tom Wilson, and Cadet Master Sgt. Matthew Hayden. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy Photography by Liz Wolter)
Maj. David Trick, CAP
St. Mary’s Composite Squadron