Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Mount Airy squadron finishes successful 2019 with a first

Cadet Technical Sergeant Conner McGarrah places a wreath on one of 290 veteran graves during the first Wreaths Across America ceremony at Pine Grove Chapel and Cemetery in Mount Airy, Maryland on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Photo by 1st Lt. Elizabeth Linares Mount Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol.

December 27,  2019 – MOUNT AIRY, Md. – A persistent light rain did nothing to deter Civil Air Patrol members of Maryland Wing’s Mount Airy Composite Squadron from a chance to serve their community. The inaugural Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony at Pine Grove Chapel and Cemetery, one of 1,500 simultaneous ceremonies across the nation, commenced at noon without delay with Cadet 2nd Lt. Dylan Marty, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Conner McGarrah, Cadet Staff Sgt. Micah Mulhern and Cadet A1C Alexander Rolfe presenting the U.S. and Maryland state colors. Over 300 community members, civilian and veteran alike, were unfazed by the poor weather. Following the opening ceremony, attendees placed wreaths on each of the 290 veteran graves and spoke the name of each veteran aloud keeping the memories of their history alive.

The event brings a close to an outstanding year of service for the squadron. Members volunteered as event staff for the Mt. Airy Chili Cook Off and Westminster Oktoberfest helping ensure smooth operations as well as participated in the Monocacy National Battlefield’s Memorial Day celebration and Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company parade.

In addition to service events, the squadron organized educational trips touring Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Maryland State Police Aviation Command Section 3 in Frederick, Md., and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport air traffic control tower in Baltimore.

On other occasions the squadron arranged for guest speakers ranging from Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg speaking on character development to Lt. Col. Robert Terry, Maryland Wing’s director of aerospace education, presenting NASA moon and meteorite samples.

As a squadron, Mount Airy garnered an Aerospace Education Excellence Award and earned recognition for its members’ work in the Maryland Adjutant General change of command ceremony.

Individually, Mount Airy cadets embodied dedication to excellence Cadet Capt. Raegan Buzzard and Cadet Capt. Aurora Albertson both achieved the Amelia Earhart Award qualifying them to participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange. Cadet 2nd Lt. Dylan Marty and Cadet 2nd Lt. Conner Snyder earned the Billy Mitchell Award giving them the opportunity to enter the U.S. Air Force at the rank of Airman First Class. Cadet Tech. Sgt. Conner McGarrah and Cadet Staff Sgt. Micah Mulhern completed the first phase of the cadet program earning the Wright Brothers Award. Further success came to Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Dimitry Madsen for earning the Goddard Achievement, Cadet SrA Alexander Rofle, the Mary Feik Achievement, Cadet A1C Gabriel Robins, the Arnold Achievement, along with Cadet Amn Christiana Sykes and Cadet Amn Andreas Windsor earning the Curry Achievement.

Adult squadron members also demonstrated a dedication to excellence with 2nd Lt. Dave Mulhern earning Maryland Wing Safety Officer of the Year award. 1st Lt. Mary Ann Alvarado was recognized for her service during the 2019 Civil Air Patrol national conference hosted by Maryland Wing and received national recognition along with 1st Lt. Elizabeth Linares for winning Balsem Certificates of Merit in the categories of external media coverage and social media respectively.

The ceaseless, “can do,” attitude carried by all members throughout the year culminated in a Quality Cadet Unit Award for Mount Airy Composite Squadron. With a new year on the horizon members are looking forward to expanding this tradition of excellence through service.

Mount Airy Composite Squadron is a composite of both senior and youth programs whose members are drawn from Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties. Have a passion for emergency response, aviation or cyber defense? Are you considering a career in the military? Want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills? Youth ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome. Our squadron meets Wednesday nights, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Izaak Walton League of America, 6642 Woodville Road, Mount Airy, Maryland. For more information, contact commanding officer, Capt. Laura Smith-Velazquez at Follow Mount Airy squadron on Facebook at

Over 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year Maryland Wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions and were credited with four finds. Members flew an additional 32 patrol missions for Maryland totaling 2,245 flight 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 Air Force Rescue Coordination Center with saving 158 lives in the 2019 fiscal year. CAP’s 66,000 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 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


1st Lt. Elizabeth Linares
Public Affairs Officer
Mount Airy Composite Squadron

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