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.

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!”