August 2013, Westminster, Md. – Cadet 2nd Lieutenants Christian Hamric, Logan Parrish, Olivia Persing and Jonathan Yerger of the Maryland Wing’s Carroll Composite Squadron received their insignias and promotions after earning the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award.
On August 6, 2013, Group II commander, Lt Col Christopher Howell joined Carroll squadron commander Lt Col Frank Jarosinski to recognize and pin new rank insignia on the epaulets of four new cadet 2nd Lieutenants while the squadron, family and friends looked on sharing in the excitement of their distinguished accomplishment. Known for his consist pride in the Carroll cadets, Jarosinski commented: "CAP provides the youth of our nation opportunities to excel in citizenship, aerospace education, community service and leadership. With a strong foundation of safety, education and mentorship, our squadron is dedicated to assuring cadets are provided every opportunity to achieve personal growth and success while they learn the importance of respect, service and quality leadership. These four newly appointed cadet officers will reap the success of their achievements now and throughout their lives."
The Gen. Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America. A cadet earns this award after completing the first eight achievements of the cadet program and must pass an arduous 100-question examination testing leadership theory and aerospace topics. Receiving the Mitchell Award marks the end of the enlisted phase of the cadet program and provides the newly appointed cadet officer a wealth of advanced program opportunities. Since its inception over 30 years ago, more than 42,000 cadets have earned this honor.
These four newly appointed cadet officers reflect the success of CAP's mission to enhance youth development through the promotion of aerospace education. All excelled in duty, service and met challenges with a determination to succeed. Each traveled their 'road to excellence' by making the most of every opportunity to learn, accept new challenges and improve upon their physical and mental capabilities. Independently they worked to achieve the Mitchell award; however, their success as a cadet leadership team is apparent in their willingness to accept new opportunities to train and mentor other cadets. They are CAP leaders for the future. Hamric, Parrish, Persing and Yerger symbolize the best of being a cadet, achieving recognition for quality service while learning to be the best that you can be in all that you do. They mirror the CAP motto, "Integrity First -- Service Before Self --- Excellence In All We Do."
Hamric has been a Civil Air Patrol member since 2009 and is a student at Winters Mills High School. Asked about his experience with CAP cadet leadership and his perspective on his new role, he said: "I have for all my five years seen our senior and cadet officers lead the cadet body to a high level of prestige as currently represented by Carroll squadron. I am more than eager to fulfill my role as a squadron leader and as a cadet officer; I hope that my efforts and contributions will lead to our mutual success." Hamric plans to participate in the Air Force ROTC while attending college and serve in the Maryland Air National Guard. Ultimately, he wants to teach U.S. History on a high school level.
Parrish, a CAP member for three years and a homeschooled high school graduate, looks forward to a career as an aeronautical engineer. With a love of flying, he also wants to attain a pilot's license. Known for his ability to achieve success through teamwork and camaraderie, Parrish is anxious to accept his new position within the squadron: "I am very much looking forward to being a CAP cadet officer. This experience will allow me to expand my knowledge of aerospace and give me the opportunities to teach and inspire newer cadets."
Persing, a homeschooled high school graduate, is known for her pride in self and commitment to quality service as a CAP cadet. Joining CAP just over two years ago, she has a knack for leadership and a compelling passion for excellence. Persing exhibits strength and determination in pursuit of personal goals and CAP program objectives. Looking forward to accepting new responsibilities and working with squadron cadets, her approach is simple, "...just do it and do it right!" Persing's career goals include pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering and she hopes to become an FBI agent.
Yerger joined CAP in 2011 with an appreciation of the military and an interest in flying. He is an active member of the squadron's ES ground team and recently earned his Blue Beret and membership in the Civil Air Patrol's special services corps. He has held various cadet staff positions at the MD tri wing encampment and PA encampment. A viable leader, Yerger is committed to cadet excellence and is striving to achieve his ultimate goal, the CAP Spaatz award. Yerger is homeschooled, plans to graduate this year and pursue a career in engineering.
Parrish, Persing and Yerger are also members of the squadron's award winning 2013 Color Guard. The self-taught Carroll team placed first in both the 2013 Maryland Wing and Middle East Region Color Guard Competitions and achieved high honors and the Esprit de Corps award at the 2013 National Cadet Competition.
Once a cadet earns the Mitchell Award, they are promoted to the grade of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant. These cadets, who take the opportunity to enter the CAP's Senior Member program, are eligible for immediate promotion to CAP 2nd Lt at age 21. Cadets who receive the Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement in the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enlist in the US Air Force. They are also eligible for advanced credit in the Air Force ROTC program. Mitchell Award cadets may also apply for a variety of scholarships and CAP special activities.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 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. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Nearly 1,700 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 29 search and rescue missions and were credited with 13 finds saving three lives. Maryland Wing flew over 160 missions for the State of Maryland resulting in 2,222 hours flown. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.2 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org.
The Carroll Composite Squadron meets 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings at the Hilltop Assembly of God Church Hall at 30 North Cranberry Road in Westminster, Md. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities are invited as well. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.carrollcap.org. You can also follow the Squadron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/capcarrollcomposite.
By 2dLt Alice Raatjes, Public Affairs Officer, Carroll Composite Squadron www.carrollcap.org Photo Credits: Hailey Barao.