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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!”
After safety and aerospace training on the evening of 18 December, MVCS cadets and senior members came together to recognize those earning promotions and awards. Following the ceremony, they celebrated with a holiday pot luck meal.
MVCS Commander Lt Col Lou Volchansky presented Lt Col Brian “Irish” Porter with the Exceptional Service Award at the MVCS meeting last Thursday evening.
Lt Col Porter received this belated award, signed by Maj Gen Carr, former CAP National Commander, for his service in the Yokota Cadet Squadron while stationed overseas. Lt Col Porter is an active duty USAF colonel whose full-time job is Chief of Safety at the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews. According to Lt Col Volchansky, “He has hit the ground running as our Emergency Services Officer, and has reinvigorated emergency services training with 2d Lt Matt Smith.”
This award recognizes exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility while serving in any capacity with CAP. However, the duty should carry the ultimate responsibility for the successful operation of a region, wing or major project within the region or wing. The discharge of such duty must involve the acceptance and fulfillment of the obligation so as to greatly benefit the wing or region and CAP.