On Thursday evening at Davison Army Airfield, four MVCS cadets were recognized and promoted at a squadron ceremony.
Cadets Stephen Gordon and Dien Dewever earned the Wright Brothers Award which is accompanied by promotion to Cadet Staff Sergeant. This award is part of what Civil Air Patrol calls the “Learning Phase,” or Phase I. Cadet Zachary Namiotka completed the Charles Lindbergh Achievement, accompanied by promotion to Cadet Master Sergeant. This is the second achievement in Phase II, the “Leadership Phase.” Finally, Cadet Leilani Kavanagh earned the Earhart Award, accompanied by the final promotion in Phase III, the “Command Phase,” to Cadet Captain.
Parents, family members and MVCS senior members were present for the ceremony. As each awardee marched front and center to be recognized and have new collar devices pinned on by parents, Cadet Major Clare Porter, who served as master of ceremonies, explained the significance of each award. Civil Air Patrol cadet awards are named after individuals who have accomplished great things in the field of aviation. More details can be found online via CAP’s “Stripes to Diamonds” page.
On Thursday evening the wing aircrew meeting occurred as usual at Davison Army Airfield. At the same time, a cadre of wing inspectors arrived to go through the Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s key programs.
Subordinate Unit Inspections (SUIs) are conducted by region, wing or group headquarters on units subordinate to their headquarters. A wing may conduct an SUI on a group, squadron or flight within the wing. Likewise, a group headquarters may conduct an SUI on a squadron or flight within the group. Specific details about scheduling and conducting Inspector General inspections, Staff Assistance Visits, SUIs and Self-Assessments are described in CAPR 123-3.
The program exists to protect the CAP organization by ensuring the various laws, rules, policies and agreements governing CAP programs are complied with. The program also helps its members meet the demands of CAP’s many rules, regulations and policies.
CAP personnel are volunteers, most of whom lead very busy professional and personal lives. These inspections insure that assets ultimately provided by the U.S. tax payer, as well as the many volunteers that make up the organization’s workforce, are handled consistently in the best possible way. To ease the administrative burden of inspection programs, the wing has gradually moved most record keeping online, “to the cloud,” so that members can access information remotely, from home or office, or even on their smartphones and tablets.
Last night Mount Vernon Composite Squadron met for a busy evening of training followed by a traditional change of command and awards ceremony for cadets.
Prior to the ceremony, the seniors met for aircrew training and were joined by the cadets for a series of safety presentations covered by Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, the squadron’s safety officer, who addressed winter weather, jumping your car’s battery, safety mishap reporting, operational risk management and more.
Following training, the seniors joined the cadets and a large group of friends and family to witness the cadet change of command during which C/Maj. Clare Porter passed the guidon to C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox. For her service as cadet commander, Porter received the Commander’s Commendation Award for Outstanding Performance. Porter made remarks to the cadets and assembled guests, expressing her thanks for the support and mentoring she received during her tenure as commander. Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis was on hand to make the award presentation. Deputy Commander for Cadets, Capt. Travis Owens, presided over the entire ceremony.
Following the change of command, three cadets were presented with the cadet recruiter ribbon which is earned for bringing two or more new cadets or senior members to the squadron. Additionally, three cadets were promoted to C/Amn (Maj. Gen. John F. Curry Achievement), two to C/A1C (H. H. “Hap” Arnold Achievement), and two to C/SrA (Mary Feik Achievement). C/MSgt Nathan McCale traded his chevrons for those with the C/1st Sgt’s silver diamond. Following the ceremony, the cadets and senior members enjoyed a reception to celebrate their accomplishments and the health and camaraderie of the squadron.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, expressed his thanks for the wonderful turnout of parents, friends, and family who came to support the cadet’s ceremony.
The public will be able to eavesdrop Dec. 24 as Civil Air Patrol helps the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) track Santa Claus. The NORAD Santa Tracker website will provide a link allowing parents and children worldwide to listen to audio from CAP’s national radio nets as they support Santa’s epic journey.
Listeners will hear CAP radio operators across the country report local weather conditions and other factors that could affect Santa’s flight operations and navigation. The radio messages will be addressed to North Pole Mission Base.
At least seven CAP national net control stations will be managing net operations and providing periodic updates on Santa’s location. The CAP stations will begin Santa reports at 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific time. The stations will remain on the air until at least midnight.
“The HF radio systems CAP is using for the Santa Track net are an important resource,” said Malcolm Kyser, CAP’s chief of communications. “During emergency service and disaster relief operations when telephones and Internet may not be working, CAP’s volunteers routinely use radio to report damage assessment, conduct aerial photography and perform other essential missions.”
CAP National Staff
Just a reminder that Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s seniors won’t meet tonight, but will pick up on the second Thursday in January (the 12th.)
Happy Holidays everyone!
Civil Air Patrol members and their families are encouraged to spread the word about the new Friends of CAP program among their family, friends, co-workers, emergency service provider partners and anyone else who may have an interest in supporting CAP. Annual dues for Friends of CAP are only $35, which is tax-deductible, and they can sign up quickly online. Friends of CAP support the organization without any of the commitments involved with membership. This program does not replace CAP’s Patron members and is an easy way for people to support the organization. CAP Friends receive two printed issues of CAP’s magazine, Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, annually along with emails from national staff about all the great things CAP is doing. Additionally, CAP Friends can take advantage of selected benefits and discounts.
The two major benefits of Friends of CAP are: 1. Increased public awareness about the organization and the great things our members do to help their communities, states and nation. 2. Some of these Friends of CAP (to include CAP alumni) may want to become regular members in the future when their life circumstances permit them time to participate.
Thank you. We hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
CAP National Staff
Last Thursday night following both wing aircrew and squadron meetings, senior members gathered with cadets and family members at Davison Army Airfield for an awards ceremony. We were honored to have National Capital Wing’s Vice Commander, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, with us as a member of the official party to present awards.
Following the arrival of the official party, Mount Vernon’s commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, opened the ceremony. C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate was presented with his Billy Mitchel Award certificate for which he had been recognized in a previous meeting. Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky was presented with CAP’s Meritorious Service Award for his time as the squadron’s commander. C/TSgt Ryan Porter was recognized for promotion to his current rank. C/2d Lt. Brokate took a moment to call a departing cadet, C/SSgt Adam Nazar, front and center to be recognized, and thanked him for his service to the squadron.
Prior to the ceremony, the squadron’s safety officer, Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, reminded squadron members that school is back in session and to take extra care traveling during this busy time in our area. Following what’s been one of the hottest summers in many years, avoiding heat injury gives way to the elevated risks of distracted driving, pedestrians in school zones, and loads of school work and after school activities for our cadets. Lt. Col. Porter closed the ceremony by thanking family members for supporting their cadets.
With the cancellation of the aircrew meeting, tonight’s squadron CAP meeting (9 Jun 16) is cancelled. The cadets will still meet. The safety brief will be rolled into the Thursday, 23 Jun 16 meeting.
Thank you for all you do to support CAP’s many missions!
BRIAN H. PORTER, Lt Col, CAP
MER-DC-045 Mount Vernon Composite Squadron
This evening at Fort Belvoir, the commander of the National Capital Wing, Col. Bruce Heinlein, presided over a change of command ceremony. In front of a cadet formation and assembled senior members, Col. Heinlein extolled Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s performance, and the outstanding work of Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky who has had command for 25 months. Volchansky was presented the CAP Commander’s Commendation Award prior to the traditional passing of the squadron guidon.
The departing squadron commander and the new commander, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter, both delivered remarks during the ceremony.
Lt. Col. Volchansky is an instructor pilot with CAP, and a retired U. S. Air Force officer. Lt. Col. Porter is an active duty officer in the U. S. Air Force and prior to taking command of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron had held the position of Deputy Commander for Cadets.
A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its members is never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of members to their unit’s commander. Great symbolism is attached to the ceremonial aspects of a change of command.
If you move your cursor over the certificate below, you’ll have access to additional pictures of the evening’s ceremony.
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