Squadron commander recognized for milestone achievement

On Thursday evening, the commander of NATCAP Wing, Col. Janon (J. D.) Ellis, lingered after the wing aircrew meeting to present MVCS commander, Lt. Col. William (Bill) Eliason with a certificate commemorating his completion of a significant CAP leadership milestone.

According to the official CAP fact sheet, “the Gill Robb Wilson Award is Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) highest award for senior member professional development. It recognizes senior members who have dedicated themselves to leadership and personal development in the CAP.  This award was first given in 1964 and honors the late Gill Robb Wilson. He is regarded as the founder of Civil Air Patrol and served as CAP’s first executive officer.”

Ellis noted that these certificates are numbered.  Eliason’s receipt of the award represents the 3,514th time it has been presented since 1964.

Col. J.D. Ellis, NATCAP Wing Commander, presents Lt. Col. Bill Eliason, MVCS Commander, with the Gill Robb Wilson Award. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Wilson, for whom the award is named, learned to fly during WW I.  Click for further details of his biography.

Eliason, a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, had a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force including squadron command, senior leadership positions at the group, numbered air force, and joint combatant command levels.  Earning a Ph.D. from Old Dominion University in 2010, Eliason is currently the Director of the National Defense University Press and the Editor-in-Chief of Joint Force Quarterly.  He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and National Defense University.

Gill Robb Wilson certificate presented to Lt. Col. Bill Eliason on Dec. 14, 2017, by NATCAP Wing Commander Col. J.D. Ellis at Davison Army Airfield. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Squadron Meeting and Cadet Promotion Ceremony

Last Thursday night Lt. Col. Tom McGrath presided at our regular squadron meeting.  Lt. Col. Terry Pricer presented a safety brief on seasonal topics.  McGrath presented an aerospace education video covering the basic aerodynamics concepts of lift, weight, thrust, and drag.  Here is that video (approximately 30 minutes) if you missed the meeting, or are interested:

A number of new senior attendees were introduced and McGrath convened a question and answer session following the training presentations to answer any questions prospective members might have about CAP.

Our cadets then formed for a promotion and awards ceremony presided over by Capt. Joseph Murphy.

Four cadets were promoted to Cadet Airman (Maj. Gen. John Curry Achievement), one to Cadet Airman First Class (Hap Arnold Achievement), one to Cadet Technical Sergeant (Eddie Rickenbacker Achievement), and two to Cadet Senior Master Sergeant (Gen. Jimmy Doolittle Achievement.)  Senior members and parents of cadets attended the ceremony with parents pinning on new collar devices in many cases.

C/Amn Zane Brunsman is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Zane Brunsman is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ethan Boyer is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ethan Boyer is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Sam Selby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Sam Selby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ronyn Orrell is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ronyn Orrell is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Tariq Beval is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Tariq Beval is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/TSgt Stephen Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/TSgt Stephen Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Stephen Gordon is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Stephen Gordon is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Mount Vernon Receives Subordinate Unit Inspection

Maj Claude Salch, MVCS Administrative Officer and Professional Development Officer (second from right), reviews programs with wing inspectors. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

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.

MVCS Starts New Year with Cadet Change of Command and Awards Ceremony

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.

Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing presented C/Maj. Clare Porter with the Commander’s Commendation Award for service as MVCS cadet commander. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Deputy Commander for Cadets Capt. Travis Owens passes the guidon to C/1st Lt. Nathan Cox. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

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.

C/MSgt Andrew Cameron, C/MSgt Nathan McHale and S/SrA Stephen Gordon earned the recruiter ribbon. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

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.

A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein's collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion as his brother is also being promoted to C/Amn. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.
A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein’s collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion while his brother is also being promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Jon Rosa has collar devices pinned on by his father. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Jon Rosa is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
New cadet commander, C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox, pins 1st Sgt device on C/MSgt Nathan McHale while Capt. Travis Owens (foreground) explains the significance of the position to those assembled. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
The insignia pinned on the collar of C/MSgt Nathan McHale.

Mount Vernon Superlatives

Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

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.

Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Award Ceremony

Col. Bruce Heinlein was our squadron’s guest of honor at Thursday’s cadet meeting during which three awardees were recognized.

Cadet Capt. Clare Porter received the Earhart Award which marks the transition of the cadet from the command phase to the executive phase of the cadet officer corps.  Porter’s promotion to cadet captain accompanies this award.  Perhaps no name is as symbolic of aerospace achievement as Amelia Earhart. In 1928, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air.  She disappeared in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the world in a twin engine Lockheed Electra. Her disappearance is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the 20th century.

C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Sr. Airman Ryan Porter was awarded the Mary Feik Achievement, CAP’s third achievement, which is accompanied by promotion to cadet senior airman.  Mary Feik is an amazing aviator whose contributions to CAP are legendary.  More on her background was covered in a recent post on our site, which includes an informative video produced by another CAP unit.

Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Michael Brokate received the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) NCO of the Year Award.  We were honored to have the Command Chief of the National Capital Wing, Chief Master Sergeant Denny Orcutt, make this presentation.  In 1961, four men established AFSA to become a beacon for advocating quality of life concerns affecting the Air Force Enlisted Corps. AFSA now has seven divisions and 130 chapters across the globe.

CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Following the presentation of awards, Col. Heinlein, the NATCAP Wing commander and a former commander of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron, made remarks to the cadet formation and their guests in attendance.  Afterward, the cadets were dismissed to enjoy refreshments with one another and their families.  Finally, Col. Heinlein and CMSgt. Orcutt held separate meetings with cadet officers and NCOs to field questions and discuss current CAP issues.

 

Civil Air Patrol Mary Feik “Aviation Legend” Movie

[UPDATE: Mary Feik passed away on June 10, 2016.]

If you’re new to CAP, or if you’re just watching from the sidelines, and you’ve never heard of Col. Mary Feik, watch this and be inspired.

Mary Feik as a young woman in the cockpit of a P-80 fighter jet. Undated courtesy photo.
Mary Feik as a young woman in the cockpit of a P-80 fighter jet. Undated courtesy photo.

This video is provided by Lt. Col. Mike Cramer, Civil Air Patrol, Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron, Group 3, Colorado Wing, Rocky Mountain Region.  Many thanks to the Colorado Wing for putting this video in the public domain.  From its YouTube location, the following text is provided:

“Mary S. Feik is an aviation engineer, master mechanic, pilot, instructor and aircraft restorer. She has received many awards and honors in her storied career and is a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol.

Col. Mary Feik is a national treasure who has the biggest heart we know. She is 100 percent devoted to CAP and every cadet who has worn and continues to wear the uniform. She has the solid gold Presidential pin to prove it! Every year she tries to visit as many cadets as she can to share her amazing story. For those who have not had the honor and privilege to meet her and receive a personally autographed Feik achievement certificate, this video is the next best thing. She’ll tell you to follow her dad’s advice, ‘Aim high and follow your dreams … because it worked for me!’

Of course, this movie would not have been possible without the hundreds of hours volunteered by our own CAP senior member and movie producer, Ed Flanagan. Ed is the owner and producer of the Manitou Motion Picture Co. in Colorado Springs. He is a first-class guy who delivered a first-class movie!”

Latest promotions

On Thursday night, C/2d Lt Harrison Cox and C/Amn Peyton Burns were promoted to their current ranks.  The promotion to C/2d Lt accompanies the Billy Mitchell Award, while the promotion to C/Amn comes with earning the Curry Achievement.  Congratulations to our squadronmates on a job extremely well done.

C/2d Lt Harrison Cox is promoted.  Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/2d Lt Harrison Cox is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/Amn Peyton Burns is promoted. Lt. Col. Brian Porter (left), MVCS Deputy Commander for Cadets, affixes new collar devices.  Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/Amn Peyton Burns is promoted. Lt. Col. Brian Porter (left), MVCS Deputy Commander for Cadets, affixes new collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.

Garmin VIRB Camera Kit & FEMA Uploader Training

Garmin Virb Elite HD Action Camera. Photo credit: http://www.snowboardsteez.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/garmin-virb-elite-hd-action-camera-xl-e1420567030156.jpg
Garmin Virb Elite HD Action Camera. Photo credit: http://www.snowboardsteez.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/garmin-virb-elite-hd-action-camera-xl-e1420567030156.jpg

The National Headquarters Operations Directorate has begun hosting a variety of webinars to provide training to our members in need.  These webinars can be found by clicking here.

In this post, we would like to highlight the webinar and materials associated with the Garmin VIRB Camera Kit and FEMA Uploader Training available at the link.  As CAP is called upon to do this post-disaster photography mission at an increasing rate, this online training is very important for aircrews.  Lt. Col. Eric Templeton, CAP, National Emergency Services Academy Mission Aircrew School Commandant presents a webinar hosted by Mr. John Desmarais, Director of Operations, covering this important material.  Here is the webinar, it is an hour and fifteen minutes long so carve out some time to watch and absorb this very important information.  Click here for the slides used during the presentation.  Here are the FEMA Image Upload Instructions.

Almost 70% of CAP aircraft will receive these units.  If you’ll be flying with CAP, you’ll soon come into contact with this technology so we recommend spending some time with this material.

Latest Awards and Promotions

Tonight’s cadet meeting was cancelled due to weather, but last week five MVCS cadets were recognized with awards, achievements and promotions.

From left to right: ... Photo by 2d Lt. Mark Patrick.
MVCS cadet awardees pose for a photo following the receipt of their new collar devices.  From left to right: C/2d Lt. Sean Callis, C/CMSgt Anith Muthalaly, C/MSgt Kelia Aardema, C/SrA Ethan Smith, C/Amn Nathan McHale. Photo by 2d Lt. Mark Patrick.

C/2d Lt. Callis received the Billy Mitchell Award; C/CMSgt Muthalaly received the Neil Armstrong Achievement; C/MSgt Aardema received the Charles Lindbergh Achievement; C/SrA Smith received the Mary Feik Achievement; and C/Amn Nathan McHale received the Maj. Gen. John F. Curry Achievement.  These awards and achievements are all accompanied by promotions in CAP rank.

Prior to the award ceremony, the squadron began its Safety Blitz and had a special presentation from a former Iraqi Air Force F-1 pilot.  Following is a slide show from the award ceremony.  Parents, siblings, and other friends and family are always invited to participate in these ceremonies (bring your cameras!)